Franco’s Focaccia di Recco | Cheese-Filled Focaccia

Franco’s Focaccia di Recco

Focaccia di Recco - Chef Franco Lania

Focaccia di Recco – Chef Franco Lania

This is a focaccia recipe that hails from Liguria, the coastal region of northwestern Italy.  Recco is a beautiful seaside town located about a 30-minute drive from Genoa, the region’s capital.

 

Franco's Focaccia di Recco

Franco’s Focaccia di Recco

Focaccia di Recco is  absolutely delicious!  This is a focaccia that’s made without yeast, which enables it to become somewhat crispy once baked.  Focaccia di Recco is traditionally filled with Crescenza-Stracchino cheese, a soft cow’s milk cheese that has a delicious creamy texture along with a slight tangy taste that complements this focaccia perfectly.

 Once you’ve tasted this recipe, you will definitely be making this Focaccia di Recco time and time again!

Franco’s Focaccia di Recco

Preheat oven to 500°F

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 – lb. – Crescenza – Stracchino cheese ( can substitute with Taleggio or Robiola. If using these cheeses, remove the soft rind.)
  • 1/2  lb.- All-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup – Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 5/8  cup – Water (cold)
  • 1/2  teaspoon – Salt
  • 9 or 10 inch round baking tray

Procedure:

  • Combine the flour and the salt in the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment.
  • Add half the cold water along with 1/8 cup of the extra virgin olive oil.  Start mixing on medium speed.  Add the rest of  the water, little by little until the  the dough has come together.
  • Once the dough forms a ball, knead by hand for an additional 5 to 10 minutes, until smooth and uniform ( not sticky).
  • When the dough is ready, cover it with plastic wrap and let it rest for an hour at room temperature or in the refrigerator overnight.

To Shape:

  • Divide the dough into two equal parts.
  • Start with one ball and working on a lightly floured work surface and roll it out. The object is to to keep it round and as thin as possible, almost transparent. If you feel comfortable, you may toss it in the air like a pizza to expedite this process.  If you get a few tears, just seal them up.  This is a very forgiving dough!
Focaccia di Recco - cheese step

Focaccia di Recco – cheese step

Lightly grease the bottom of the baking tray with olive oil and place one layer of stretched dough onto it.

Add the Cresenza-Stracchino cheese, or any of the other cheeses, in pieces.

 

 

 

 

Don’t be stingy with the cheese!

Focaccia di Recco - sealed & oiled

Focaccia di Recco – sealed & oiled

 

Roll out the second ball of dough as you did the first and cover the cheese with the second sheet of dough.

Use a knife to remove the excess dough from around the edges of the pan.

Seal the edges by pinching the dough. Tear slight holes into the top layer of dough where the cheese is so that the steam can escape while cooking. Brush liberally with Extra Virgin Olive Oil and sprinkle with Kosher salt.

To Bake:

Place the focaccia on a rack in the center of the preheated  500°F oven. Bake for 6-7 minutes or until the top is golden brown and the bottom is cooked and crisp, as well.  ( check the bottom by lifting with a spatula )

Slice and serve the focaccia while still hot!

Cooking TipIt’s great with a side salad or as is before dinner with cocktails.

  • Alternatively if you have a pizza stone you can cook the Focaccia di Recco directly on that.  It will cook faster and insure a crispier bottom.
  • To do so, create your focaccia on a well-floured pizza peal (flour and semolina).
  • Follow the above instructions and slide it onto the pizza stone and cook- 5-6 minutes or until golden brown.
  • This focaccia is typically made in either round or square shapes.