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Focaccia Di Recco Ligurian Cracker Bread with Stracchino Cheese


2 cups/315 g all-purpose plain flour
cup/180 ml tepid water
cup/120 ml extra-virgin olive oil
8 oz/225 g stracchino or crescenza cheese
Coarse sea salt for sprinkling

Makes one 20 in/50cm focaccia


In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, water and 3 tbsp of the olive oil. Knead by hand until a smooth and elastic dough is formed. Shape the dough into a ball, set it back into the bowl, and cover it with a kitchen towel. Allow the dough to rest for at least 1 hour. Preheat the oven to 500°F/260°C/gas 10. When the dough is rested, divide it into two pieces. Rollout each piece separately on a lightly floured surface until the dough is paper thin, so that the colour of your hand can be seen through it. The masters work the dough like a traditional pizza, using the knuckles of both hands to move the dough in circles off the table. Alternatively, you can use a pasta machine to make rectangle versions, which is actually quite practical for parties. Grease a round pizza tray 20 in/50 cm in diameter (or rectangular baking sheet/tray) with 2 tbsp of the remaining olive oil. Place one sheet of dough on the pan.

Tear the cheese into golf ball-size pieces and scatter evenly over the surface of the dough, Place the other sheet of dough on top and, using the palm of your hand, flatten slightly the mounds formed by the cheese, Gently rub the surface with the remaining olive oil and create a few holes in the top sheet of dough by pinching and tearing here and there, Sprinkle a bit of sea salt over the surface and bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until crispy and golden, with a few burn spots being perfectly desirable and pools of melted cheese forming around the tears, Cut into squares and serve immediately.

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