It’s easy enough to talk about focaccia ! It is one of the most ancient preparations
that humans know. It was already one of the most diffuse and best known of street foods at the time of the Phoenicians, Egyptians, Carthaginians and Romans.
The Romans offered it as a sacrifice to the gods. It was also the classic food of travellers and fishermen because of its long conservation. Despite the passage of so many years, the original recipe has changed very little and the ingredients are still water, flour, animal fats such as lard or vegetable fats such as oil, and leaven.
Today in Italy, it is still considered one of the most popular foods, even by foreign tourists. There are many varieties and different names depending on the regions. The most famous is undoubtedly the Ligurian type.
Forbidden to eat focaccia!
During the 1500s in Genoa, it was so popular that it was eaten everywhere at all hours. It was so popular that a bishop prohibited eating it during funeral Masses. Aside from anecdotes, today the most diffuse type is the focaccia of Genoa, no thicker than 2 centimetres, with a shiny surface and the typical holes.
Focaccia di Recco
Focaccia, like many traditional Italian dishes, is the object of various interpretations. Some historians place its origin in the XII century, as demonstrated in an ancient document that refers to a preparation donated to Crusaders headed for the Holy Land. The document describes a focaccia prepared with a very thin layer of dough, filled with cheese, of the kind that is still typical of the Ligurian town of Recco near Genoa.
The secrets of making a perfect focaccia
There really are no particular secrets for making a perfect Genoa focaccia. The important thing is the choice of the raw materials, with high gluten flours and long leavening (even all night). When I make it, I do a first leavening of approximately 45 minutes. Then I spread the dough in a mould and let it rest in the refrigerator all night. I cover it all with a little water, kitchen salt and oil. Then I protect it with cellophane. The next morning I bring it up to room temperature by letting it rise for two hours. Then I bake it in a non-ventilated oven for about 30 minutes.
My focaccia is ready to be cut and eaten: delicious!