Hailing from the northwestern region of Liguria and dating back to the 11th century, focaccia is, without doubt, a veritable institution of Italian cuisine. Focaccia col formaggio, or focaccia with cheese, is synonymous with the town of Recco, which lies just south of the region’s capital, Genoa.
Of course, the simple combination of dough and cheese far predates modern-day Italy; records of focaccia col formaggio hark back to the Crusades when the local farmers of Recco were forced to take refuge with access to only the most humble of ingredients: flour, water, cheese, and oil. Together, the creamy, mild temperament of crescenza cheese nestled between flaky pieces of wafer-thin dough results in a bread worth every inch of its place in Italian gastronomic heritage.
Although hundreds of years have passed since the first focaccae col formaggio were crafted, the art of making this bread has not been lost on Ligurian natives. When an organisation exists such as the Consorzio Focaccia col Formaggio di Recco, specifically dedicated to preserving this local delicacy, ensuring culinary excellence is no simple feat. We trust our own focaccia recipe does this special dish’s heritage justice.
Prep time: 1 hour
Calories per serving: 625 kcal
400g of strong bread flour
150ml of water, lukewarm
10g of salt
50ml of olive oil
250g of stracchino
flaky sea salt, to finish
extra virgin olive oil, to brush
Our traditional focaccia di Recco recipe
Tradition dictates that focaccia de Recco is baked at a minimum temperature of 280°C, although baking it at 250°C is more than sufficient for those who don't have a high-powered oven at home.
- Preheat your oven to 280°C.
- Start by sifting 400g strong bread flour into a bowl. Using your hands, form a hole in the centre of the flour and add 150ml of water in addition to 50ml of olive oil.
- Using your hands, knead the ingredients together until they form a smooth and uniform dough. This should take around 5 minutes.
- Divide the dough into two equal parts and let it rest for 40 minutes at room temperature covered with a cloth. This is to prevent it from drying out.
- Cover a round baking sheet with greaseproof paper and roll out the first half of the dough until it is around 1-2cm thick.
- Spread the crescenza cheese on the bottom layer of dough. Roll out the second layer of dough then place it on top of the first, covering the cheese.
- Using your hand, press down on the edges to make sure they are sealed. Brush the surface with extra-virgin olive oil.
- Using a sharp knife, make small cuts on the surface of the dough, allowing the crescenza to peek through from within. Season with a pinch of flaky salt.
- Bake the focaccia in a preheated oven for 12 minutes at 280°C or until the surface is golden-brown. We believe our focaccia is best enjoyed straight out of the oven. Buon appetito!
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