Chestnut Focaccia with Pancetta and Rosemary

You’re going to love this recipe, which is easier than it looks and absolutely delicious. This focaccia makes for a great festive appetizer or a perfect lunch when served with large green salad. I highly recommend using pre-cooked and peeled chestnuts to considerably cut down the prep time.

Chestnut Focaccia with Pancetta and Rosemary

Inspired by a recipe by Jamie Oliver

  • 2 1/3 cups (300g) cake flour, plus more for dusting
  • 1 cup (100 g) chestnut flour
  • 2/3 cup (100 g) semolina flour
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 packets active dry yeast
  • 1 1/3 cup (325 ml) warm water
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
  • 4.5 oz cooked, peeled chestnuts
  • a few sprigs of fresh rosemary
  • 1.7 oz thinly sliced pancetta or bacon
  • Maldon salt
6-8 Servings

Stir together the flours in a large bowl with the sugar, salt and the yeast. Form a well in the centre and pour in the warm (not scalding!) water and 1/4 cup olive oil, then mix slowly to form a sticky dough.

Tip dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 5 minutes, until the dough is smooth and elastic. (Alternatively, you may use a stand mixer with a hook attachment for the previous steps). Transfer to a clean, lightly-oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap and set aside in a warm place to rise.

After about 30 minutes, when the dough has doubled in size, transfer it back onto the floured work surface and knead again briefly, adding flour if it’s a little too sticky. Rub a rolling pin with flour and roll the dough to form a 30cm x 20cm rectangle. Using the rolling pin, lift the dough and unroll it over the tray, dropping it neatly into place. Cover and leave to rise for another 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 200ºC/400ºF. Lightly oil a 20cm x 30cm baking tray. When the focaccia has risen again slightly, gently push the chestnuts and rosemary springs into the dough and sprinkle with Maldon salt. Lay the pancetta slices on top and drizzle generously with olive oil.

Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, then remove and place on a cooling rack. Serve warm or at room temperature.

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