Focaccia Molise Style
Focaccia has been around since the days of ancient Rome when it was served as a street food. Still in vogue, focaccia has morphed into many different shapes and is called by many different dialect names. In the region of Molise, focaccia is a two-crusted pie with multi-layered, complex flavor.
3 cups or more of unbleached, all-purpose flour
½ cup extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1 teaspoon coarse sea salt
½ cup white wine
2 medium-size heads escarole, leaves, separated and cleaned
2 cloves garlic, minced
10 black olives, chopped
1 tablespoon capers in salt, well rinsed
¼ cup pine nuts
8 anchovies in oil (optional)
½ cup grated Pecorino or Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
Egg wash for top of dough
1. In a food processor or bowl, combine 3 cups of flour, ¼ cup olive oil, 1 teaspoon salt and white wine. Mix to form a soft, smooth dough. Set aside.
2. Sweat the escarole leaves in a little water in a large sauté pan until they are wilted; drain them and squeeze them until they are very dry. Finely chop the leaves and set aside.
3. Heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in a sauté pan; add escarole, garlic, olives, capers, pine nuts and anchovies, mixing all well. Stir in the grated cheese. Cool the mixture to room temperature.
4. Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Divide the dough in half, roll each half out to a 12-inch diameter, and place one in a greased and parchment-lined cake pan. Spread the cooled filling over the dough and top with second rolled-out sheet of dough. Brush the top with beaten egg; bake for about 30–35 minutes or until golden brown.
5. Cut into wedges and serve warm.