Focaccia Pugliese


4 cups (460 gr.) “0” flour (or all purpose flour)
1 cup (115 gr.) “Manitoba” or other good bread flour (or “0” if not available)
1 1/4 cups (320 gr.) room temperature water (half milk if desired)
1 medium boiled and mashed potato (5 oz.)(150 gr.)
2 tsp. salt
2 1/2 tbsp. olive oil
1 tsp. sugar or honey
2 1/2 tsp. dried yeast or the equivalent fresh (12 gr.)
fresh cherry tomatoes as needed
extra olive oil for pan and topping
oregano or thyme


1. Dissolve the yeast and sugar in 1/2 cup of the room temperature water.
2. Dissolve the salt in the remaining water.
3. Place all of the flours in a large bowl and make a hollow in the middle.

4. Place the mashed potato in the middle and add the water and oil gradually while stirring from the middle to the sides gathering in some of the flour. Pour in the yeast mixture as well and continue stirring until you have incorporated all the flour (you can use your hands) to form a soft mixture. If too sticky you can add a little more flour. At this point you can continue kneading by hand on a floured surface until dough is elastic – or place it in a stand up mixer with a dough hook and continue kneading there. (dough can be soft and slightly sticky)

5. Form dough into a ball and place it in an oiled bowl. Cover the bowl with wax paper and a towel.

6. Place bowl in a warm draft free spot and let rise until doubled (about 1-2 hrs.).

7. Remove dough to a floured surface and “punch down” to flatten it. Roll it into a cylinder and cut it into 2 or 3 pieces depending on your pan size. Roll each piece into a round to fit your well oiled pan (or you can use all the dough for a large rectangular baking pan).

8. Sprinkle with oil and place cherry halves on top (as many as you wish!). Sprinkle with oregano (or thyme as I did) and let rise covered with a piece of wax paper until almost double (about an hour).

9. Bake pans in a preheated (390deg F) (200deg C) oven for 15 minutes on the lower rack and then the last 15 minutes on the middle rack to ensure even browning. (you can bake two pans simultaneously reversing them half way through. Serve hot or warm.

TIP: If you prefer a pizza, skip the last rising and top with your favorite toppings. Continue as in the recipe. Also if you wish to simplify the dough making you can put everything in your mixer (starting with the flour) and let your mixer do the work – it will come out anyway!