This chewy focaccia is one of many excellent varieties sold at the bakery Panificio Cifarelli in Matera.
Yield: serves 8-10
- 1 1⁄4 tsp. active dry yeast
- 2 tbsp. sugar
- 3 1⁄2 cups flour, plus more for kneading
- 1 tbsp. plus 1 tsp. kosher salt
- 1⁄2 cups extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 1⁄2 pints cherry tomatoes, halved
- 1⁄4 lb. pitted oil-cured black olives
- Coarse sea salt
- In a small bowl, combine yeast, 1 tsp. sugar, and 1⁄4 cup water heated to 115˚. Let mixture sit until foamy, about 10 minutes. Meanwhile, whisk together flour, the remaining sugar, and salt in a large bowl; form a well in center. Pour in yeast mixture, 1 tbsp. oil, and 1 cup warm water; mix into a stiff mass. Transfer dough to a floured work surface; knead until smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes. Form dough into a ball and transfer to a bowl greased with 3 tbsp. oil; cover with plastic wrap and let rise until dough has doubled in size, about 1 1⁄2 hours.
- Heat oven to 475˚. Rub bottom and sides of a 13″ deep dish pizza pan or a 12″ cast-iron skillet with 2 tbsp. of the oil. Transfer dough to pan; flip to cover both sides in oil and flatten into the bottom of skillet with your fingertips. Cover skillet with a damp kitchen towel; set aside to let rise for 1 hour.
- Gently press tomatoes and olives into dough and sprinkle with salt. Drizzle dough with remaining oil. Bake until golden brown and cooked through, 30–35 minutes. Transfer to a rack to let cool slightly.