Sardinian Focaccia Twist


Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Serves


Appears in

The Italian Regional Cookbook

The Italian Regional Cookbook

By Valentina Harris

Published 2017

  • About

This lovely sticky loaf made with ricotta and salami is delicious eaten simply on its own (perhaps with a glass of local wine), but it is especially good when served as part of an antipasto selection with olives, cured meats and strong-flavoured Sardinian pecorino cheese. It has a bit of a kick as it contains a good pinch of potent dried chilli flakes, but you can, of course, vary the heat by increasing or decreasing the amount of chilli added according to your own taste.


  • 450 g/1 lb/4 cups strong white bread flour
  • 30 g/ oz fresh/compressed yeast
  • about 300 ml/½ pint/ cups warm water
  • pinch of sugar
  • sea salt
  • 90-120 ml/6-8 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, plus extra for greasing
  • 350 g/12 oz fresh ricotta cheese, drained overnight in a colander
  • 300 g/11 oz salami, chopped
  • large pinch coarsely ground dried chilli flakes


  1. Put the flour on to the work surface and make a hollow in the middle. In a small bowl, mix the yeast and warm water together. Mix in the sugar and about 30 ml/2 tbsp of the flour.

  2. Put the yeast mixture in a warm place to activate for 30 minutes, or until the froth begins to appear on the surface.
  3. When the yeast mixture is fizzing gently, add it to the hollow in the flour. Combine it together, then knead it energetically into the remaining flour, adding a little more water if necessary.
  4. Add the salt and the oil, and knead the dough well for about 10 minutes until soft, elastic and slightly shiny. Transfer the dough to a large, floured bowl.

  5. Oil the underside of a piece of clear film or plastic wrap to prevent it sticking against the rising dough, and use it to cover the bowl. Put the bowl in a warm place and leave it to rise for about 2 hours, or until doubled in size.
  6. Preheat the oven to 220°C/425°F/Gas 7 and oil a baking sheet. Roll out the risen dough thinly and brush the surface generously with oil.
  7. Cover half the dough with the ricotta and salami, and add a sprinkling of chilli.

  8. Fold the dough in half to cover the filling, then roll the focaccia up on itself, brushing the dough’s surface generously with oil on each turn.
  9. Transfer the focaccia to the baking sheet and bake in the preheated oven for 30-35 minutes, or until it is lightly golden.

  10. Remove the focaccia from the oven, cover loosely with foil and leave to cool.
  11. Serve, sliced, either at room temperature or while still slightly warm.


If you like, you could add chopped garlic, sliced raw onion or chopped fresh tomatoes to the basic filling, with or without the salami.