Cooking Class: Focaccia Pugliese with Katie Parla - Context Travel

Cooking Class: Focaccia Pugliese with Katie Parla


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Meet one of Italy’s most celebrated flatbreads, Focaccia. This olive-oil rich dough stems from the regional area of Bari and Pugliese towns, and is baked in iron pans at places like Panificio Fiore on Strada della Città in Bari Vecchia, then sold by the slice. In this hands-on conversation, we will learn how to prepare an authentic and scrumptious Italian recipe, while we learn about the history and cultural significance of this dish.

As we embark on our cooking experience, we’ll learn some top tips on how to achieve the best Focaccia at home. We’ll learn how the pan should be drenched in oil before the soft dough is stretched into place, so when it all goes into the oven, the dough practically fries in the pan as it bakes. This allows for the crispy sides and bottom that we have grown to know and love, including the pleasant oily touch.

Led by Katie Parla, a culinary expert and cookbook author, this interactive seminar will allow participants to craft the unique texture of Focaccia Pugliese at home. Designed for the Italophiles and food enthusiasts, this conversation will both educate, tantalize, and inspire future Italian cooking endeavors.

Below are the items you’ll want to participate in this class. We will email attendees the full recipe with measurements and instructions prior to the class, so that you can pre-measure ingredients before joining.

This recipe features cherry tomatoes and olives, but you can use sliced onions, sliced potatoes, or raw tomato sauce seasoned with salt and herbs instead. If you don’t have a mixer, you can mix longer by hand to the recommended consistency.

Ingredients For 3 (10 to 12-inch) focacce

  • Farina di semola rimacinata (300 grams/3 cups) Katie recommends Tumminia flour from Sicily, available from Gustiamo; Caputo brand is another option)
  • Bread flour (200 grams/2 cups)
  • Boiled, riced, and cooled potato (100 grams/1 cup)
  • Active dry yeast
  • Sea salt Sugar
  • Extra virgin olive oil (155 grams/1 cup)
  • Filtered water
  • Cherry tomatoes (500 grams/1 pound)
  • Dried oregano (3 tsp)
  • Pitted black olives (about 30)

Special equipment

We don’t list every item you’ll need here (e.g., standard items like knives, bowls, cutting boards). But we do our best to identify items that may not be in every kitchen, and alternatives where possible.

  • Stand mixer (if not available, mixing by hand will work)
  • Kitchen scale (optional; measuring cups can suffice)
  • Baking stone or steel set for oven
  • Metal frying pan or skillet (10-12 inch diameter pan is ideal)
  • Wire cooling rack

Katie Parla, a New Jersey native, is a Rome-based food and beverage journalist, culinary guide, and educator. She is the author of the Saveur Award–winning food and travel site KatieParla.com, the ebook Eating & Drinking in Rome, more than twenty travel guides, and the coauthor of cookbooks including American Sfoglino, Flour Lab, and Tasting Rome. Parla has appeared on and produced Bizarre Foods with Andrew Zimmern and F*ck, That’s Delicious with Action Bronson, and served as a culinary consultant on Season 2 of Netflix’s Master of None. Her travel writing, recipes, and food criticism appear in the New York Times, Food & Wine, Saveur, Australian Gourmet Traveller, the Guardian, AFAR, Condé Nast Traveler, Punch, Eater, and more. She co-hosts the Gola, a podcast about Italian food and culture, with Dr. Danielle Callegari.

This conversation is suitable for all ages

90 minutes, including a 30 minute Q&A.

Customer Reviews

Based on 8 reviews
88%
(7)
13%
(1)
0%
(0)
0%
(0)
0%
(0)
K
K.C.
Always super

Katie is super knowledgeable. The recipe is easy to follow and her directions are good. Follow the instructions to make the dough at least 3 hours ahead of time and you can cook with her. Otherwise you are mixing while she is talking and you bake it off the next day. I liked the recipe and the frying pan hack. Mine turned out great.

S
S.W.
Great class

I really enjoyed Katie's focaccia class, very clear explanations and she teaches confidently creating a relaxed atmosphere.

S
S.F.
Informative and Fun!

This was a fun class. Katie provides great information, she's a pro at explaining the details (without over-doing it) and also at showing you just what you need to see on the camera. She takes time for questions. All in all, informative and fun!

D
D.
Very Interesting

Katie's information was great, her demo was very detailed and easy to follow, and she was entertaining. I wish the recipe we'd been given beforehand had included instructions for starting the dough by hand. It was suggested to start making the dough prior to class, but without a dough hook, we had to guess at some details and then learned in class that we guessed wrong, so we werent able to cook along during the class.

L
L.
Focaccia

Loved this class. Great tips for product to use, how to judge when dough is ready, different toppings to use.

Customer Reviews

Based on 8 reviews
88%
(7)
13%
(1)
0%
(0)
0%
(0)
0%
(0)
K
K.C.
Always super

Katie is super knowledgeable. The recipe is easy to follow and her directions are good. Follow the instructions to make the dough at least 3 hours ahead of time and you can cook with her. Otherwise you are mixing while she is talking and you bake it off the next day. I liked the recipe and the frying pan hack. Mine turned out great.

S
S.W.
Great class

I really enjoyed Katie's focaccia class, very clear explanations and she teaches confidently creating a relaxed atmosphere.

S
S.F.
Informative and Fun!

This was a fun class. Katie provides great information, she's a pro at explaining the details (without over-doing it) and also at showing you just what you need to see on the camera. She takes time for questions. All in all, informative and fun!

D
D.
Very Interesting

Katie's information was great, her demo was very detailed and easy to follow, and she was entertaining. I wish the recipe we'd been given beforehand had included instructions for starting the dough by hand. It was suggested to start making the dough prior to class, but without a dough hook, we had to guess at some details and then learned in class that we guessed wrong, so we werent able to cook along during the class.

L
L.
Focaccia

Loved this class. Great tips for product to use, how to judge when dough is ready, different toppings to use.