Luca Cianciulli’s focaccia recipe, chef of Moccione restaurant

Focaccia mocionne

Focaccia du Moccione — As soon as they opened, we loved this small restaurant on Villeray Street. A small dining room where you are warmly welcomed and feel good as soon as you enter, an exciting wine list, and above all, an enthusiastic, simple, and very well prepared cuisine. The chef and his team are there, a few steps away, where we can admire their precise and meticulous work. The focaccia was decadent. Chef Luca was kind enough to give us his recipe. To us and to you too, of course!

Focaccia from Luca Cinciulli

Ingredients

  • 1 kg all-purpose wheat flour
  • 125 g wholemeal spelt flour
  • 21g of salt
  • 35 g extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 g fresh yeast
  • 850 ml water at room temperature
  • 5 to 7 g of Maldon salt
  • Optional toppings of your choice: olives, slightly dried cherry tomatoes, rosemary, anchovies, etc.

Method

  1. In a small bowl, dissolve the yeast in a little water.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the two flours, salt, olive oil, and water. Using a mixer fitted with a hook attachment, combine the flour mixture and the yeast mixture until smooth. (About 2 minutes, do not overwork).
  3. Pour into a bowl high enough to allow the dough to double in size.
  4. Every 45 minutes, give your dough a few turns; that is, with a wet hand, reach into the bottom of the bowl and bring the dough to the top and fold it over. Ideally, you should do this movement 4 times in order to turn your dough 360 degrees. By doing this, you are “airing” between each layer.
  5. Repeat this every 45 minutes for several hours until the dough is well aerated, soft, and has doubled in volume. This may take 4-8 hours depending on the room temperature; the higher the room temperature, the less time this doubling process will take. Once doubled, store in the refrigerator overnight.
  6. The next day, prepare a 13 x 21 baking sheet with parchment paper and douse with a generous amount of olive oil. Remove the dough from the bowl and place on the baking sheet.
  7. Oil the entire dough and flatten it so that it covers the entire surface of the baking sheet. Let rise for another hour, or until nice bubbles appear.
  8. Turn on the oven to 450˚F. Sprinkle the dough with Maldon salt. Using a spray bottle, sprinkle with a good amount of water.
  9. At this point, you can add toppings of your choice just before baking (olives, slightly dried cherry tomatoes, rosemary, anchovies, etc). Use your fingertips to gently imprint the dough all over, one last time.
  10. Place in the oven and bring the temperature back to 425˚F. Spray with water every 10 minutes.
  11. Bake for 45 minutes or until a nice golden colour is achieved. “Me, I like a nice dark focaccia with the edges a little burnt.”
  12. Let cool for at least 30 minutes on a cooling rack before serving.

Note/Variation

Optional: set aside 150 g of fermented dough (for the next batch) Fermented dough is a portion of the previous day’s dough. Fermented dough adds complexity and flavour similar to sourdough. This is completely optional. When making your first focaccia, you will not be able to add any fermented dough, of course. However, if you plan to make a second batch, consider keeping 150 g of dough in a small covered bowl in the fridge (for up to a week). When making your second batch, simply mix the fermented dough with the dissolved yeast and olive oil and continue the recipe. Before baking, remove 150 g of the dough before baking, if desired, to continue the process.

Photography by Alison Slattery

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