Focaccia al rosmarino

Photography Johanna Ekmark
Words Manuela Conti

Focaccia al rosmarino

The morning when Johanna and I met for the first time, the sky was not the best. A gray languidness, without much passion, filled the air and enveloped the hills, in fact the whole horizon over towards Milan.

I, who have grown up in this house midway between Lecco and Monza, with the beautiful landscape all around, felt a bit sad and I tried to find the best words to describe a territory, which in itself could not speak, nor justify the shortcoming.

How do you explain a territory to those passing by chance, to those that can't rummage through their memories to find an image of your country? How do you explain those sunny days of our countryside?

At this point, the summer is still to arrive and the hills between Missaglia and Montevecchia are as lush and green as can be; this place is really showing off the very best of itself. The cultivation of aromatic plants in Lombardy sounds like a rarity, but rosemary has flourished for more than a century on these terraces, so when asked to find a perfume, or to put it better, an "odor" that could portray a part of this territory, I inevitably turned to rosemary, a herby symbol of these altitudes.

Focaccia al rosmarino


Biga (sourdough starter): 200 g wheat flour, 00 W 350 (suitable to prove for a long time) 90 g water 2 g yeast.

Dough: the biga 250 g of whole wheat flour, 500 g of wheat flour, type 00 650 ml water, 5 g of yeast, 18 g salt, 20 g extra virgin olive oil, 5 branches of fresh rosemary.

Emulsion: 1 tablespoon coarse salt, 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, 2 tablespoons water, flour for dusting.

Day 1 - prepare the biga: dissolve the yeast in the water, mix with flour and let rise at room temperature, covered with foil, for 16-20 hours depending on the outside temperature.

Day 2 - mix the biga with 550 ml of water, the yeast and flour. Dissolve the salt in the rest of the water, add to the mix and work this until you get a smooth, pliable dough. Add the oil little by little and work into the dough until completely absorbed. Leave to prove for 1.5 hours. Then, on a lightly floured pastry board divide into pieces of 100 g, flatten and let them rest for 10 minutes. Prepare the emulsion by mixing the ingredients with a fork. Transfer the buns onto the baking trays covered with baking parchment.

Then, with the first two fingers, make small indentations and brush each focaccia with some of the emulsion Flavor with rosemary, sprinkle little flour over the top and let prove again for about 40 minutes (depending on the room temperature). Bake at 200°C in a preheated oven for ten minutes, then reduce this to 180°C and cook for another 5-10 minutes. Remove from the oven and leave to cool on a wire rack before cutting.