Focaccia alla Barese: Apulian Onion, Anchovy, & Olive Focaccia {ModBak}

Now that I’ve found an easy, tasty, and reliable focaccia dough, I have enjoyed trying new focaccia and pizza recipes, like this recipe from The Modern Baker. Like the Sfincione that I made recently, the Focaccia alla Barese is part of the Yeast-Risen Specialties section of the Modern Baker Challenge. And like the Sfincione, this recipe featured anchovies, so I knew I would be eating it alone.

After making the dough, and while it was on its final rise, I made the topping. I began by sautéing onion in olive oil, then adding chopped anchovies. I seasoned with pepper (no salt, as the anchovies were salty enough on their own).

I stirred in the olives, then put the topping in the fridge to chill for a few minutes. While the onion mixture was cooling, I prepared the crust by dimpling the top with my fingers. Then I spread the topping on the crust, dusted the focaccia with the barest sprinkling of sea salt, and drizzled it with olive oil.

I baked the focaccia at 425°F for 30 minutes, until the dough was well-risen and the topping had begun to dry.

I let the focaccia cool for a few minutes on the pan, then moved it to a cutting board to finish cooling. I cut the focaccia into squares to serve.

The Focaccia alla Barese was savory and delicious. The anchovies and olives blended well and gave it a salty, yet slightly sweet flavor.

Although I enjoyed this focaccia immensely, I have to take exception with something Nick Malgieri says about it in the side note to the recipe. Nick states that the anchovies “melt into the topping and add a pleasant note of saltiness, but no stong fishy taste.” While I wouldn’t call this focaccia overly fishy tasting, you can definitely tell it has anchovies on it. And if you’re not an anchovy lover, this isn’t the dish to make a convert out of you.

But if you like anchovies, you will love this focaccia.

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5 Comments

  1. October 21, 2011 at 8:02 am

    […] this recipe comes from the Nice region of France, it’s very similar to Focaccia alla Barese, an Apulian specialty from Southern Italy. Both feature onions, anchovies, and olives baked on a […]

  2. Renee said,

    December 13, 2010 at 10:49 pm

    I liked it but agree about the “melting” anchovies. Mincing I think is the key!

    • gaaarp said,

      December 13, 2010 at 10:51 pm

      I think the bottom line is, if you don’t like anchovies, you won’t like this much.

  3. Kayte said,

    December 11, 2010 at 12:55 pm

    It looks wonderful…I am completely ignoring the fact that there are little fish bodies on this and just envisioning it without. Nice photos of it. We loved it just fine without the fishies…and I will make it again just that way.

    • gaaarp said,

      December 11, 2010 at 12:59 pm

      I’m glad to hear it was a hit without the fishies, as that’s the only way anyone around here would eat it. I might make it again that way for the girls.


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