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How to make focaccia: real Italian focaccia and crescenza from Genoa

While you might know that focaccia is an Italian bread, you may not know that it is particular to Liguria.
In fact, focaccia is a Genovese dish and the last time I was in Genova, I ate so much it wasn’t funny.

Focaccia comes in many forms, but traditionally it’s very simple and you won’t normally find it stuffed with chicken, sundried tomatoes or other examples of modern mediterranean cuisine.

One of the simplest, but tastiest focaccia is that made with crescenza cheese.

Called focaccia al formaggio di Recco, it’s two thin slices of focaccia with crescenza in between, then baked in the oven.
Making it like what you find in Genoa is not easy, but it’s a simple enough dish to try.
After the jump, our recipe.
Ingredients: flour, water, extravirgin olive oil, salt, crescenza or stracchino.
Ingredienti: farina, acqua, olio extravergine d’oliva, sale, crescenza oppure stracchino.
Procedure: in a bowl place one and a half cups of water, ¾ of a cup of oil and a little salt.
Slowly sprinkle in the flour and mix quickly by hand to create a light mix, with plenty of air.

When the flour has absorbed the water and the mix becomes more solid, transfer it to your workspace and work the mix, kneading while adding extra flour.
Continuing kneading until the dough is smooth and fully integrated.
Rolling out the dough is essential for a good focaccia and is best done in pieces.
Cut off part of the dough (cover the rest so it doesn’t dry out), and roll and flatten it until it is as thin as possible.
Repeat for each sheet of focaccia that is required.
Take a pan and oil and flour with a little polenta.
Place one sheet of dough, then uniformly add as much cheese as you like before placing another sheet of dough over the cheese.
Brush the top sheet with a little oil and place in the oven for about 20 minutes at 180°-200°C.

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