Focaccia e Lardo

Bowman Cellars

9010 Graton Rd
Graton, CA 95444

  • RECIPE YEAR: 2019
  • RECIPE BY: Samuel Kaminsky
  • YIELD: Serves 16
  • PAIRS WELL WITH: Chardonnay

This is my Uncle Eddie's focaccia recipe. I learned this at his restaurant in Ipswich when I was 12. Since then, it's been adapted to have herbs and confit added to it. This is a very straightforward recipe with patience as the real secret ingredient. The rewards are heavenly soft billows for blankets of perfectly cured and slice lardo to lay over.


  • 50 grams kosher salt
  • 200 grams sugar
  • 8 grams Instacure #2
  • 40 grams rosemary, finely chopped
  • 20 grams garlic powder
  • 30 grams toasted and ground black pepper
  • 3 star anise, crushed
  • 7 bay leaves, crushed
  • 5 grams thyme, finely chopped
  • 5 pounds pork fatback, even-sized piece, at least 1 inch tall
In a large bowl, combine the kosher salt, sugar, Instacure, rosemary, garlic powder, black pepper, star anise, bay leaves and thyme and whisk until evenly blended. Divide the seasoning mixture evenly between 2 bowls.

Put the pork in a 9-by-12-inch Pyrex glass baking dish. Rub the pork on all sides with half of the seasoning mixture. Leave the excess mixture in the pan, evenly distributed around the pork. 

Gently place the baking dish into a clean black trash bag. The light from your refrigerator can cause the pork fat to spoil. This is the most important step in the entire process. 

Let the pork cure in the refrigerator for 15 days. Every 3 days, flip the pork in the natural brine that's been made in the baking dish. At the end of the 15 days, wash the pork in cold water and repeat the process with the remaining half of the seasoning mixture. 

Pat the pork dry, then poke a hole about 1/2 inch away from one corner so you can run a string through it to hang it. Hang the pork for at least 2 weeks and preferably 4 to 8 weeks in a dark place that is between 45°F and 60°F, with between 65 and 75 percent humidity. If you are curing other foods along with the lardo, you might want to wrap the fatback in cheesecloth and then again loosely with aluminum foil. The foil will block the light when you open the curing refrigerator door.

Focaccia and Serving

  • 80 grams water
  • 15 grams honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon yeast
  • 400 grams all-purpose flour, sifted
  • 400 grams bread flour, sifted
  • 18 grams kosher salt
  • 50 grams extra-virgin olive oil, plus more as needed
  • 600 grams warm water
  • 5 grams kosher salt
  • 25 cherry tomatoes, halved lengthwise
  • 5 grams rosemary, finely chopped
  • Maldon salt, to taste
In a bowl, whisk together the warm water, honey and yeast until evenly incorporated. Let stand for 5 minutes. 

In a large bowl, whisk together the all-purpose and bread flours and the 18 grams kosher salt. 

Add the water mixture to the flour mixture and, using a rubber spatula, stir until thoroughly mixed. It should look like pasta dough that is just coming together. 

Add the olive oil and knead until a wet, shiny ball forms. Cover with plastic wrap and let proof at room temperature for 10 to 12 hours. 

Lightly coat a baking sheet with olive oil. Gently lay the dough on the prepared baking sheet and guide the edges of the dough to the edges of the pan. Let rest in a warm place, uncovered, for 30 minutes. 

Preheat the oven to 350°F.

In a small bowl, whisk together the 80 grams water and 5 grams kosher salt to create a brine. 

After the dough has rested, press your fingers into the dough to create dimples evenly across the top. Add the brine, a little more olive oil, the tomatoes and rosemary to the top of the bread. Bake until cooked through, 20 to 25 minutes. Keep the oven set at 350°F.

Transfer the focaccia to a wire rack and cut into pieces 1 inch wide by 5 inch long. 

Place the sliced focaccia on a baking sheet, transfer to the oven and heat until warm. Layer 3 slices of the lardo (recipe above) evenly on each slice of focaccia and wrap it like a present, nicely tucked in. Season with Maldon salt and serve. 

Bowman Cellars

9010 Graton Rd
Graton, CA 95444