Stuffed focaccia

Stuffed focaccia

Focaccia farcita

Sharing Puglia
Alicia Taylor

Walking along the cobblestones of Cisternino in the middle of the afternoon on a recent trip, the streets were deserted but Vivienne and I came across a small bakery with beautiful stuffed focaccias on the counter. This recipe is our vegetarian version, but you can stuff a focaccia with any ingredients you like.



Quantity Ingredient
650g 00 flour
1/2 teaspoon yeast
1 teaspoon salt
400ml tepid water
olive oil, for drizzling


Quantity Ingredient
80ml olive oil
1 onion, thinly sliced
3 garlic cloves, crushed
400g baby english spinach, washed and drained
pinch freshly grated nutmeg
200g mozzarella, thinly sliced or grated


  1. In a large bowl, place the flour, yeast and salt and mix well. Slowly add the tepid water, mixing continuously with a wooden spoon, until you have a sticky, shaggy-looking dough. (You may not need all of the water.) If the dough looks dry, add 1 tablespoon of water at a time, until the dough comes together. It will not be smooth and silky.
  2. Cover the dough with plastic wrap and place in a warm, non-draughty spot for 12–18 hours. This long resting time will ensure that the yeast activates and the flavour develops. The dough should have risen well and have lots of bubbles on the surface.
  3. Knock down the dough and shape it into a ball. There is no need to knead it. (If you do not need to use the dough immediately, store the covered dough in the refrigerator to use the next day. Bring the dough back to room temperature before using.)
  4. Sprinkle some flour on top, cover and let the dough rest again for another hour, or at least 30 minutes. The dough is now ready to use for the focaccia.
  5. Preheat the oven to 220°C.
  6. For the filling, heat the olive oil in a frying pan over medium heat and cook the onion and garlic for about 5 minutes, stirring well. Reduce the heat to low and cook, covered, for 15 minutes. Stir every 5 minutes to ensure the onion and garlic do not burn. They should be translucent, but not brown.
  7. Add the spinach and cook over high heat, stirring continuously, until the spinach wilts and is mixed well with the onions. Season with some salt and freshly ground black pepper and add the nutmeg. Set aside to cool slightly.
  8. Divide the dough into equal halves and roll each half out to fit an oiled 40 x 25 cm baking tray.
  9. Line the baking tray with one piece of dough and place half the spinach filling on top, followed by a layer of mozzarella. Cover with the remaining spinach. Top with the second piece of dough and press down around the edges to secure.
  10. Make several small holes on the top of the focaccia and place it in the oven. Turn the oven down to 200°C and bake for 45 minutes or until the crust is golden.
  11. Cut into squares and serve. This is delicious hot or cold.
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