In and out Focaccia – Focaccia with green olives, oregano, cherry tomatoes, and ricotta salata
Focaccia fuori e dentro – Focaccia alle olive con origano, pomodorini e ricotta
Fougasse stuffed with olives is quite a common little bread in France, nothing too original in here, but then I added oregano to the olives inside the dough and topped it with cherry tomatoes and ricotta salata to make it a little more “full”.
In Italy focaccia is a little different, it tends to remain simpler with rosemary and onions or just tomatoes, but I have never really seen focaccia with cheese. Oh well, that’s not really a problem. I had leftover dough from another focaccia I made when I had guests, and I really love leftover dough so you can play with it, it’s like a little toy.
The great things with such a “loaded” focaccia is that you can just eat it as is, and don’t need extras to accompany it.
Whoever has been to France probably knows the boulangerie Paul, it’s somehow a huge chain that sells bread all over France…yes the word chain is not very sexy nor has a great connotation in terms of quality….BUT Paul makes good quality breads, very consistant (and not cheap, referring to the baguettes with the grid marks on the bottom, yuck, I really hate those) so you can be in Orleans, Nantes or Paris, the bread is always the same…which is unlikely to happen if you enter an unknown boulangerie. Some breads can be ecstatic and others below average…and getting an average baguette IS a spoiled day for a French. Of course boulangerie Paul cannot compete with the best local boulangeries in town but they do have cute and delicious little breads and their petits pains aux olives, aux noix (walnuts) or aux lardons (bacon) are quite good. So basically my point was that I made this fougasse thinking about my friend Paul…
So when in France and you’re not sure where to find good pastries or bread, check out Paul, even though it’s not top of the line, little artisan baker, their breads and pastries are fresh and good.
When making bread dough like this one, it is important the dough remains very fluffy and elastic, if your ratio of flour vs water is too high, the dough will be hard and will have a tough time rising. You need a soft and almost sticky dough.
Ingredients for one focaccia
For the dough
- 1/2 lb flour
- about 6 g compressed yeast
- about 120 ml water
- 2 tbs green olives, chopped
- 1 tbs fresh oregano, chopped
For the topping
- about 15-20 cherry tomatoes, cut in halves
- 2 tbs ricotta salata, crumbled
- rock salt
- olive oil for drizzling
In a mixing bowl or working surface mix flour with salt olive oil and yeast that had been previously dissolved in lukewarm water.
Knead the dough, if too sticky add flour but the dough needs to be elastic and borderline sticky when kneading it. At the end of the kneading period, the dough will be elastic and very soft.
Cover with a towel and let it rise for one hour, then knead again and let it rise for two hours.
Spread the dough using your hands, you don’t necessary need a rolling pin, you can flatten it up using your fingers.
Top with cherry tomatoes, placed evenly on top, then ricotta. Sprinkle with rock salt and olive oil.
Cook in a pre-heated oven at 390F for about 20 minutes or until the bottom is golden brown and top as well.
You can serve it hot, lukewarm or even cold, it’s delicious either way!
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