The idea of making my focaccia here in the mountains and baking it in our wood burning stove is very exciting!

As I was thinking of Rome and the time I spent in Latteria Studio, I thought it would be a good idea to make the second recipe I was given by Alice Kiandra after making her Pasta Fresca recipe last week. Instead of that, I found myself in the mountains, waiting for a snowstorm and cooking sour cabbage with singlino! Unexpected and fun!

I was thinking of making Alice’s Focaccia that I loved so much! I have a real soft spot for bread and pretty much anything made with flour and I can rarely resist to it. I’m not a huge dessert fan but I love cookies and my cabinets are always filled with bread sticks –especially salty ones- for those little moments of weakness.. I’m trying hard to avoid them but the truth is I almost never succeed!

I love baking even though I’m not very good at it. Perhaps that works best for me though, it keeps me safe from the daily temptation of freshly baked, warm bread! The ultimate fantasy-treat! Focaccia is the ultimate delicacy. I had never tried to make one on my own until I tried the one Alice made at Latteria Studio. Up until then, I thought that focaccia was only produced in bakeries specialized in exceptional, fine breads and couldn’t be homemade. Seeing Alice removing her hot focaccia from the oven was truly inspiring so I had to give it a try. I must say I am impressed!

The sour cabbage recipe I’ve made definitely needs some bread to go with. The idea of making my focaccia here in the mountains and baking it in our wood burning stove is very exciting! As I’ve mentioned before, our stove isn’t exactly famous for its even cooking but we’ll manage!

I’m not quite sure I’ve bought the right types of flour. I’m well aware that the secret to all Italian doughs (pizza, ciabatta etc.) lies in choosing the right type of flour. According to Alice’s recipe, we’re using equal quantities of strong 00 flour and soft flour. I’d much rather use organic flour but I wasn’t sure the result would be the same.

Focaccia is a sourdough  or yeast flatbread that is often decorated and sprinkled with herbs, such as rosemary, oregano etc.. It’s a very popular type of bread in Italy and has its roots in antiquity. It’s common to dimple the surface with a fork to prevent bubbles in baking and then spread olive oil on it. My bread needs some time to rest! This slow process gives me time to relax, enjoy the snowy view and warm up with a hot cup of mountain tea! Feels like a meditation session!


I’m kneading my focaccia dough in the mountains today! It will complement my lovely sour cabbage with singlino. I hope our stove will be able to pull through and bake my bread evenly enough! Fingers crossed!



200 g soft wheat flour

200 g strong bread flour

1 teaspoon of fast action dry yeast

1 teaspoon of fine salt

1 tablespoon olive oil

300 g of tepid water


1. Place flours, yeast and salt in a suitable mixing bowl and swirl around. Drizzle in the olive oil and then pour in the water. Maybe on a very cold day the water temperature ought to be on the warm side of tepid and never mix your dough in a metal bowl. The dough will chill and stop working ( just like you when you get a cold).

2. Plunge one hand in and use it as if it were a (kenwood) K beater. As you go around the bowl, gather flour from the side towards the center. Once all the flour has been incorporated, pat into a shaggy mass, cover with a cloth and leave to rest for at least 15 minutes. Do not worry if the dough feels sticky, it will be fine.

3. When resting time is over the dough will feel soft and pliable. Pour a little olive oil on the work surface and plop the dough on it. Flatten it out gently and then pull the dough from the edge towards the center and every time give it a quarter turn. Pull the dough four times. Upturn the mixing bowl over the dough and again leave to rest for about 15 minutes. Repeat the process once again.

4. Now gather the dough into a ball and leave to prove (around 45 minutes) in an oiled plastic bowl, covered. When the dough is ready ease it gently out of the bowl and onto an oiled baking tray. Leave to rest until the dough has relaxed (approx. 15 mins). Try to finger massage the dough into shape and if it feels like springing back leave to rest for a while longer.

5. Once the dough has been spread out, leave to rise (preferably uncovered) well away from droughts or direct heat. If the day is really hot you may need to cover it. Could take from 40 mins to 1 hour. If a thin skin forms on the surface of the dough it is fine, it will be easier to brush it with olive oil. When well puffed up- you know what I mean-gently dimple the surface with your fingers and brush lightly with oil.

6. Pop into the very hot oven and rotate the tin at least once. Takes around 20/ 25 minutes to bake but much depends on your oven.

I strongly advise against baking the focaccia with any herb strewn on the surface, especially rosemary, because the essential oil within the herb will turn bitter due to the strong heat. For a real taste sensation, chop some rosemary needles finely and shower the focaccia as soon as it is out of the oven. Boom! Focaccia freezes really well (so make two) and wedges can be reheated in the toaster quickly because of the porous crumb structure.