Claudia Romeo: We are in Bari, Italy, my hometown, and today I am going to take you to a local bakery to try some focaccia bread. I know what you’re thinking, haven’t you done a video about focaccia already? Well, kind of, but what in the northern regions is a savory bread with olive oil, here in the southern regions, it’s got — well, actually, here we’re not shy on ingredients.

We’ve got olive oil, but we’ve also got tomatoes, we’ve got oregano, we’ve got olives, we’ve got more olive oil. So, I can’t wait to try it. Let’s go and see how it’s made. Today we’re going to visit Panificio Fiore, a local bakery that’s been churning fresh focaccia every day for over a century.

The bakery is just a few steps away from the city’s Basilica di San Nicola, an important destination for pilgrims all over the world. For those foodies exploring the old town on another kind of pilgrimage, a slice of focaccia here will cost you only 1 euro and will for sure open the doors of heaven.

PS: The bakery is actually located in a deconsecrated 13th-century Byzantine chapel. Claudia: Focaccia at Panificio Fiore is made with a combination of semolina and wheat flour. When the leavening time is over, the next step is to split the dough into small portions, which will, in turn, have to rest again for some time.

15 minutes later, the dough has fermented and is stretched onto these round baking trays, ready to be seasoned. Claudia: After tomatoes, Antonio flavors each wheel with olives, salt, and oregano. Claudia: Here we go.

Another 15 minutes have passed, and the focaccia has soaked up all the flavors of the seasoning. Now it’s time to cook it in the bakery’s 120-year-old wood-fired oven. Claudia: So, what is the best way to eat focaccia? Well, actually, there are many.

What I like to do is just come in here by the seaside, sit here, and have my piece of focaccia with a beer sometimes. It depends on the time of the day. So, you see, this one has been made just around the corner at the bakery.

Look at the oil. So good. Wow! Oh, my goodness. It’s so good. It’s so oily, but in a good way. So fluffy inside, and the tomatoes are just incredible. I just love all the flavors all together. You’ve got the acidity of the olive and the oily texture, and the tomatoes add that extra creaminess.

And then you’ve got the dough, which is nice and fluffy. This is the best feeling ever. Sitting here by the seaside, having a piece of focaccia. So good.