This focaccia is typical of a little town called Recco which is near Genoa, in Liguria. It is not the same focaccia that you would normally see. It is not thick and fluffy, as it is not made with yeast but it hides a very tasty and creamy “secret” inside: stracchino. Stracchino is a soft cheese made from cow’s milk, and it tastes divine. This focaccia reminds me of a wonderful weekend spent in Liguria with my best friends when I was in high school… we had so much of this focaccia! This is one of those dishes that I have never seen here in Australia… a few months ago I found the original recipe on the internet and thought of giving it a try. I have reduced the amount of stracchino: 1 kg of cheese for 500 gms of flour seemed a bit too much even for a cheese lover like me. You can try to make it the original way and I am sure it will taste fantastic, but I can assure you that 500 gms is plenty to enjoy this focaccia and will halve your calorie intake.
Ingredients for 4 persons:
500 gms flour
50 ml extra virgin olive oil
250 ml water
500 gms stracchino cheese
Salt and extra virgin olive oil to brush on the top
Put the flour, extra virgin olive oil and water in a mixer with a dough hook and knead well into a smooth dough. Let it rest for 1 hour.
Divide the dough into 8 balls of the same size.
Roll the first 4 into very thin circles. Do that by using a rolling pin first and then by gently pulling the dough with your fists. It has to be very thin, almost transparent. Put each rolled circle into a pan.
Cut the stracchino cheese into small pieces and place them on top of the rolled dough.
Now roll the other 4 balls of dough in the same way and use them to cover the focaccia. Cut off any extra dough and press it well on the sides to seal the dough but leave it loose on the top, like you see in the pictures.
Make small holes all around the top of the focaccia by pinching the dough with your fingers.
Brush the top with lots of extra virgin olive oil and sprinkle some salt.
Bake in a preheated fan forced oven at 250°C for 10-12 minutes or until golden brown.
Slice it and eat it warm.