La Focaccia al Formaggio di Recco
We met up with some friends in Recco, which known for being the birthplace of Liguria’s famous focaccia al formaggio, a Ligurian focaccia filled with a creamy cheese. You can find focaccia al formaggio in any forno on the Ligurian coast. I have always loved it and would always try to sneak it in between meals when visiting my husband’s family, pure indulgence, with the amount of gorgeous food that my mother-in-law prepares for any given meal, there is no need for a snack. Luckily we were indulged with lunch this time and shared three different types of focaccia al formaggio.
The first was the classic focaccia al formaggio, the second with pesto and the third pizzata, which was focaccia al formaggio with tomato sauce, fior di latte and green olives, good but I’ll stick with the Ligurian classics.
Focaccia al Formaggio
- 4⅕ cups (500 g) durum wheat flour
- 1 pound (450 g) stracchino or fresh Ligurian soft cheese (you want something mild and creamy that will melt)
- 5 tablespoons extravirgin olive oil
Make a mound of the flour on your work surface, scoop a well in it, and pour 4 tablespoons of oil, a small ladle’s worth of warm water, and 2 healthy pinches of salt into the well. Work the mixture into a dough and knead it until it is soft, smooth, and elastic, then cover it for an hour.
Preheat your oven to 360 F (180 C). Divide it into two pieces and roll them out into very thin disks the size of your baking sheet (if you have a 12-14-inch diameter metal pizza pan, it would be about right). Lightly oil the pan and lay the first sheet of dough over it. Shred the cheese and dot the dough with it. Lay the second layer over the first, roll the edges up and around to form a rim that seals, and give it a decorative pattern by pressing down on it with the tines of a fork. Puncture the top here and there the moisture can escape as the focaccia cooks, and bake it for about 15 minutes, or until it’s golden brown.