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Ook Ook

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  • #16
    Re: Ook Ook

    Originally posted by Bianca View Post
    I just came across this thread after googling ook ook. South Australian town with a high Italian population, you aren't in the states mid north are you? I lived up that way for a number of years and would get Ook ook at one of the local cafes at least once per week! I've been searching for a recipe for years but never could find one til this thread. It was like it didn't exist outside that town! Thankyou so much!
    You're welcome.
    Yep I'm in that town with the great big chimney. Of course, I am so old I was actually working there when the chimney was built.
    Which caf? did you like?
    I'm sure you would have experienced the whole "oil dripping out as you bite into it" thing. Not really anything like conventional focaccia, eh?
    Pretty sure it doesn't exist anywhere else, except in someone's nonna's kitchen back in Molfetta. I doubt you'll ever see it in a caf? in Adelaide.
    If you don't have a wood fired oven, I think you would need to run your kitchen oven very hot.

    P.S. last time I actually bought ook ook, the lady who made it was Greek.
    Last edited by wotavidone; 02-07-2014, 10:11 PM.


    • #17
      Re: Ook Ook

      No wood fired oven unfortunately but having the old Chef running flat out it still worked out a treat. I got a thermomix for Christmas so I've only just started experimenting with yeast doughs. Husband thought it was the best thing ever as he'd never eaten anything quite like it. I used to frequent the Country Cafe when I worked just around the corner. So grateful for this thread, I swear I've been googling every six months or so trying to find a recipe, thinking I'd made the whole thing up.


      • #18
        Re: Ook Ook

        My workmate's missus bought the Country Cafe, renamed it Cafe Montana (no idea why), and gave it a go.
        They closed it a couple of months ago. I guess they couldn't make it a pay.

        I take it the ook ook turned out like you remembered it?

        Pictures, we gotta have pictures.
        Last edited by wotavidone; 02-10-2014, 04:31 PM.


        • #19
          Re: Ook Ook

          Thought I'd Google ook ook again. If you type ook ook Italian bread in Google images, mine and Bruce's pictures turn up in the first three rows, and after that you get pictures of bread, not ook ook.
          Damn, that sandwich of Bruce's looks good.

          It really does look like the world outside my town had never heard of this stuff until we got our thread going.

          There is just a few years-old questions on forums asking for recipes and answers saying they'd never heard of it.

          It feels pretty cool knowing we are first.

          It really looks like it is just oil soaked, tomato topped focaccia, but it is sooo different to the normal stuff you can buy.

          So if any members make it, post some pictures so we can further contribute to cultural awareness on the web.

          Remember, if it's topped with anything other than tomato and herbs, it's not ook ook.


          • #20
            Re: Ook Ook

            I wanna discuss doughs but don't wanna start a new thread, so I'm hijacking my own thread.

            I've been building on the basic dough recipe for a while now.
            I'm now on version 4, I think.

            So far I have:
            Pizza - 1kg flour, 600-650 mLs water, 4 tsp salt, 1 tsp yeast.

            OOK OOK - l kg flour, 700 mLs water, 4 tsp salt, 2 tsp sugar, 1 tsp yeast.
            (I reckon I accidentally doubled up the sugar when I first listed the recipe - doesn't matter much the yeast eats the sugar anyway.)

            Bread - 1 kg flour, 650-700 mLs water, 4tsp salt, 2 tsp sugar, 50g softened butter, 1 tsp yeast.

            Sourdough - 1 kg flour, 600-650 mLs water, 4 tsp salt, 2 tsp sugar, 50g softened butter, 50mLs starter.

            Essentially, I take the basic pizza dough recipe and add some sugar to get some more rise when I want to make ook ook. No added oil because there is plenty of that added later.

            For bread its the ook ook recipe with some butter added.

            For sourdough its the bread recipe with starter instead of yeast.
            The water isn't consistent because I use different flours so different water amounts to get the same consistency of dough.

            The starter:
            I took a couple tablespoons each of water and flour, with a couple teaspoons of sugar. I whisked in a half teaspoon of my normal yeast with a fork.
            Left it uncovered on the kitchen counter to ferment. Naturally it smelled and behaved like normal.
            Next day I poured some off and added some more water and some more flour, whisking it to about the consistency of a thick batter. Smelled like ordinary dough.
            About the third day, the starter started to smell like I was making beer, and the batter became very frothy shortly after I fed it with flour and water.
            Next day it smelled decidedly off and I nearly threw it out. But I decided to persevere and poured some out and fed it. It frothed up pretty much straight away. Next day it smelled like brewing beer again and frothed up when I fed it.
            So I risked making the first sourdough bread effort. I used 50 mls of the freshly fed, frothed up starter in place of yeast in a bread dough.
            I intended to bulk ferment it slowly in the fridge for 2 or 3 days, but the next day it tried to climb out of the bowl in the fridge so I lit the oven and baked the bread.

            It rose as good as any other bread I made, and had a distinctly sour smell and taste. Not bad or overpowering smell, but definitely different to my usual bread.

            So what, what do the bread makers on the forum think has been happening here?
            Is the distinctly different taste just because my commercial yeast I started with tastes different after days of reproducing itself, or have wild organisms colonised my starter? i.e. is it a stale culture of my normal yeast or a real sourdough?
            Last edited by wotavidone; 05-28-2014, 07:09 AM.


            • #21
              Fired the oven last night. Sunday of a long weekend and all of Monday for recovery, cleanup and lazing around.
              My mother and 2 of my sons managed to attend, but one son got a call out to a town 100 km away and didn't get home till midnight.
              Other family invited cancelled after a small car accident and a work problem took the shine off his day.

              Result : plenty of left over dough.
              This was the basic recipe - flour water salt yeast.
              So I cleared up the kitchen, while I let the oven cool off with the door open.
              Then I made ook ook with the pizza dough.
              Definitely the way to go, sort of tangier flavour, not as sweet, and a different crumb, kinda chewy.

              I've run out of the black olives I made using V12spirit's suggestions. This left me with half a jar of very fruity smelling slightly salty oil.
              Use this fr the oil in the ook ook. Nice flavour - can olive oil treated this way be said to taste more "olivey"?


              • #22
                With the help of a member of the forum on, I have finally found the roots of the South Australian OOK-OOK
                It is simply a local version of a Bari tomato topped focaccia according to this Molfettese website


                You have to translate the page. The first recipe for "u cucl" sure relates well to the local version. Lots of olive oil, tomatoes on top, brush the top with olive oil, garnish with salt and oregano.

                The Grano Arso version looks interesting "burnt grain" flour


                • #23
                  So I followed the recipe for u cucl that is given on the website as closely as I could.
                  Awful. I know it was awful because there was plenty left in the morning.
                  I'm sticking with my own recipe.


                  • #24
                    Hello! My name is Talia and I just stumbled on this site after searching for information on the roots of my family’s famous ‘ook ook’ and a recipe to make the dough from scratch, only to be pleasantly surprised at reading all these comments. My family hails from Port Pirie via Bari, Molfetta. My grandparents migrated here when they were young and started their family in Port Pirie before moving here to Adelaide and adding to the nest. I grew up with a slice of ook ook on my plate regularly and taking it to school for a snack with lunch. All the kids wanted some. All our family friends loved it. And now that both my Nonna and Poppa have passed, me and my Dad try to keep up with the tradition and make it from the premade dough from the supermarket often. In fact I have a bag of dough in my fridge right now waiting to become ook ook on Friday night.
                    Anyway, I just wanted to say how wonderful it was to see a discussion about it here and that I’m going to take he plunge and try and make the dough from scratch next time. But of course it will only ever have the traditional toppings of sliced tomato, oregano, salt and pepper and LOTS of olive oil. Bellissimo.