Focaccia alla Barese: Apulian Onion, Anchovy, & Olive Focaccia
Submitted by Anne Marie.
Modern Bakers has moved into a new section of Nick Malgieri’s book, the Modern Baker. For the next three months, we will be baking and blogging from the yeast-risen specialties section.
This Focaccia is a traditional Christmas Eve antipasto in Apulia. Apulia is an area in Southeastern Italy. I was attracted to this recipe by the use of anchovies. You don’t like anchovies you say? I once heard a chef say that anchovies were one of the hidden ingredients, that add a depth of flavor, to a large number of his dishes. If people don’t know that they are there, they love them.
These anchovies are not hidden, but boy do they add some flavor.
You start by making the focaccia dough from flour, salt, yeast, water and olive oil. The dough is allowed to rise in the bowl for 1 to 2 hours and then the slack dough is put into a prepared 11×17 pan. Where it rises for another hour.
While the dough is rising, a large thinly sliced onion is sauteed in olive oil until softened and beginning to color. 2 oz of anchovies in olive oil are drained, chopped and added to the onions and sauteed for one minute. Allow the onion, anchovy mixture to cool. Some gaeta and cerignola olives are pitted and quartered and added to the mixture. I couldn’t find these olives, so I used a pleasing mixture of black and green olives.
Dimple the fococcia with your fingers, sprinkle on the topping and add a little kosher salt and a drizzle of olive oil. The upper right corner is missing the olives, for the olive hater…
This was so delicious, we devoured it.