I confess that I am in love with focaccia, whatever way it is seasoned. Seasoned with just extra virgin olive oil, a little salt and rosemary, it is delicious both to accompany cheese or salad, and to eat as is. If you like it as much as I do, I invite you to prepare this recipe for Mediterranean focaccia , which with the touch of ham is exquisite.
If there is something that characterizes focaccia, in addition to its simple preparation, it is the number of variations it has and the infinite adaptations that have been made, can be made and will continue to be made. It is a dish with a lot of history, more than pizza!, and with a lot of future. Such is the number of combinations that can be made, that I am sure I will never get tired of eating it.
For that reason and for it to turn out as it should, with a golden crust and a soft, airy interior , there is nothing better than Emile Henry's ceramic focaccia tray for baking it. An ideal tray due to its rectangular shape and excellent heat transmission, which is also beautiful to present freshly baked on the table and in which you can even cut the portions without fear.
I leave you with the recipe for this delicious Mediterranean focaccia, I'm going to take a bite of mine, which I just took out of the oven.
For the focaccia dough
- 400 g of baking flour
- 230 ml of water
- 6 g dry yeast
- 1 teaspoon of sugar
- 1/2 tablespoon sea salt
- Extra virgin olive oil
For the brine
- 50 ml extra virgin olive oil
- 50 ml of water
- 1 tablespoon of salt
To season Mediterranean focaccia
- 1 red onion
- 10 green olives (the ones you like the most)
- 1 handful of arugula
- 6 thin slices of serrano ham
To prepare the dough:
- Heat the water slightly, so that it is lukewarm.
- Dissolve the yeast in a little warm water along with the sugar and stir until well mixed to activate it.
- Add the salt to the rest of the water and stir to dissolve it.
- Put the flour in a bowl, add the water with yeast and the sugar and then the water with the salt and mix well, until everything is completely integrated.
- Knead by hand or in the mixer with the dough hook, until you obtain a uniform dough. To make it easier for you, you can alternate kneading with rest in this way: about 3 minutes of kneading and about 10-12 minutes of rest. Proceed several times like this, as much as the dough requires, until you see it smooth and soft. When resting, cover it with a kitchen towel to prevent it from drying out.
- When the dough is ready, form it into a ball, put it back in the bowl, add a splash of oil and let it rest for about 30 minutes or until it almost doubles in volume, covered with a kitchen towel.
- After the time has passed, grease the Emile Henry ceramic focaccia tray with oil and distribute the oil with your fingers or with the help of a brush.
- Press the air out of the dough by gently pressing it with your knuckles and place it in the mold, spreading it so that it covers the tray.
- Cover it again with the kitchen towel and let it rest for 30 more minutes.
To prepare the brine:
- While the dough rests in the mold, prepare the brine by putting the water, olive oil and salt in a jar.
- Stir to emulsify. You can help yourself with a fork or do it with the Tellier spoon to emulsify and beat , which is fantastic for these uses.
To season and bake the focaccia:
- Peel and cut the onion into thin rings and set aside.
- When 30 minutes have passed, using your fingers, make small indentations throughout the dough.
- Brush the entire surface with the brine.
- Spread the onion rings over the dough and place the olives, pressing lightly so that they do not move.
- Cover the dough with the kitchen towel and let it rest for 30 more minutes.
- Heat the oven to 210°C.
- When 30 minutes have passed, pour a splash of oil over the entire surface of the dough.
- Place the focaccia in the oven and bake at 210°C for 15 to 20 minutes.
- When it is done, take the tray out of the oven and spread the arugula leaves and slices of ham on top of the focaccia.
- Bring it to the table without unmolding, beautifully presented in the same ceramic focaccia tray in which you baked it.
- This same focaccia will be equally exquisite if you change the serrano ham for lacon, cooked ham or Italian mortadella. In any case, cut as finely as possible.
- Although in the recipe I indicate green olives, if you prefer to use them black, it will be delicious too.
- Season the focaccia to your liking: add a little black pepper or grated garlic to the brine or chop some cherry blossoms and distribute them when adding the olives, sprinkle sage, rosemary or thyme if you like their aroma, or when adding the ham add a some burrata, mozarella or any fresh or soft cheese you like, or pinches of sobrasada!