Tuesday, 31 May 2011

Italian Classic: Raffa's Focaccia al Pomodoro

Springweather is the perfect weather and timing to go to the park.
Sun, grass, good company, wine - preferably including an opener and glasses - and some food = equal to a perfect afternoon or evening. :)

But the park has some limits in what kind of food you can bring and you could consult books, magazines, sites etc that are dedicated to what you can bring, but you can also slowly start consulting this blog, or the cooking club members for some tips.
Chef Raffaela brought a really yum homemade focaccia last time we went to the park. She claims it's easy to make, I still have to experience this (which I will soon) - but most of all it's easy to take to the park and eat it there, with your hands. No forks, knives or plates needed! Genious. Especially if you have plans afterwards: you eat the whole thing, and throw out whatever you wrapped it in and basta, you're good to go wherever you want... me like! Because usually after a pic nic, the night has just begun!


  • 500gr white flour
  • 1 pack of dried yeast - a cube is fine too
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 225ml semi-warm water - circa 40 degrees Celcius
  • 200gr tomato passata
  • 150gr mozzarella 
  • 70gr green olives
  • 70gr black olives
  • salt
How to make it:
Heat the oven at 200 degrees Celcius.
Put the flour in a big bowl and mix it with the yeast. Make a little hole in the middle of the flour and put the sugar, salt and olio in it. Mix it all with the help of a fork, adding the water bits by bits at a time.
Work the dough on a slightly floured work basis for at least 10 minutes with your fists.
Once you are done, put the dough in a floured container, cover it with a humid kitchen towel, on a cool and humid place for the dough to rise twice its size. This needs at least 2 hours! 
Take the dough out and separate it in two equal pieces and start making two pizza shapes. 
Use a round pizza plate - grease it with some oil to avoid sticking - and add on of the pizza shapes.
Now you are ready for the topping: spread the passata on top of the dough, then put on equally the mozzarella, olives and salt. You can also add some herbs if you like. 
Put the focaccia in the middle of the oven for circa 15-20 minutes.

Outcome: Impressive home made focaccia.... because really it seems easier than it is! Enjoy the park!!!
A tip from Chef Raffaella: to make the dough rise better, you can also place the dough in the oven that has been heated until 50 degrees Celcius. Turn it off and add the dough covered with a kitchen towel. 

Focaccia al Pomodoro
Chef Raffaella

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