Sunday, October 17, 2010
The fame of the Focaccia di Recco has attracted people around the world making Recco the gastronomic capital of Liguria. The origin of this delicious bread dates back to the XVI to the XVII century, when the city of Recco was the target for Saracen’s attack. During that time, the population of Recco took refuge in the hills and survived from the only foods that were available - olive oil, flour, and the soft local cheese. The ancient Recchesi (people from Recco) would make focaccia dough from flour, water and olive oil. No leavening agent was used. Instead, the focaccia was shaped into two thin layers of dough filled with fresh cheese and cooked on a slate stone that was heated on the coal, cooked within minutes. That’s how the Focaccia di Recco was created.
This is my recipe for Foccacia col Formaggio. The only secret ingredient is the cheese: crescenza or stracchino. In the SF Bay Area I found theses cheeses at Draegers in Blackhawk (thanks to the charming cheese lady that looked it up for me)
Focaccia col Formaggio (Focaccia di Recco)
• 2 cups (220 grams, 7.8 oz) all purpose flour
• 1 pound Crescenza cheese, or Stracchino cheese
• 1/4 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil (plus more to brush the bread)
• water as needed (approximately ½ cup)
• salt to taste
Combine the flour and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer (or in a large bowl if you want to knead it by hand) and mix together. Add the olive oil and the water, just a little bit at a time, and mix on the stand mixer with a dough hook on low speed until the dough starts to form into a ball.
Increase the speed to medium, and let it knead until smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes.