Yesterday was a very good day. I FINALLY managed to create an almost-perfect focaccia Genovese. "Almost-perfect" because as my mother very kindly pointed out, it was slightly lacking in salt. Mother aside, I was still extremely pleased with the outcome of my creation, after quite a few failed attempts. To the right you can admire my greasy, soft on the inside and crunchy on the outside focaccia.
However, my long-awaited success made me realise how the previous failed attempts were vital steps in order for me to achieve the perfect focaccia. What I learnt from them was equally important as what I learnt in succeeding (I know it sounds SUPER cliché).
So I've decided to go through my previous attempts and see where I went wrong.
I was quite hyped up for my first focaccia so I decided to throw myself head-first into Giorgia's - head Chef at Masseria Moroseta - recipe. My first problem became evident pretty quickly, the dough wasn't rising as nicely as it should have been, and it was full of small little bumps (you can see them on the surface of this second focaccia). A few of my very helpful Instagram followers pointed out that I hadn't kneaded the dough well enough (I'd used a machine). The focaccia was good, but the texture just wasn't there. Feeling slightly discouraged, I told myself I would knead it by hand the following time.
But guess what?! I didn't. A good friend of mine sent me a focaccia recipe a few weeks later, and soon after many pictures of her beautiful creation from different angles. I therefore decided to follow this new recipe instead, thinking that if my friend's focaccia had come out so well, mine was bound to do the same. The recipe however outlined the fact that you had to mix and knead all the ingredients in a pasta machine—so what did I do? I USED A MACHINE (fully aware of the fact that it hadn't worked the first time) but part of me though it would be different the second time around. It obviously wasn't different from the first time, and the focaccia was once again lumpy and too flat. After my second failed attempt I made a very big decision: I was never going to make focaccia again in my entire life.
FORTUNATELY another friend of mine, BBQ da Blush, made the same focaccia our mutual friend had sent me and it turned out brilliantly. Seeing his perfect focaccia made me want to try again, this time kneading only by hand (I almost wanted to throw the machine out of the window) and, as I announced at the beginning of this, it worked. Please take a moment to admire the texture of my focaccia on the right.
Three focaccias, two kilos and thirty pimples later, I feel like I can conquer the world. I'm attaching the recipe here for you.