We had a fantastic harvest of red onions from the allotment last year, and with only two of the beauties left, I thought I’d pair one with the rosemary we have growing in our back garden to make a delicious focaccia.
Wonderful when eaten fresh from the oven and the perfect accompaniment to the homemade soups I crave at this time of year, focaccia is comfort food at its best. A flat, oven-baked Italian bread, I prepare my focaccia in much the same way as I do my homemade pizza dough and this recipe makes just enough for a small loaf – perfect for two hungry Agents! 🙂
RED ONION & ROSEMARY FOCACCIA
Serves: 2-4 Prep/Cooking Time: 2 hrs 45 mins (including time for dough to rise)
225g strong white bread flour
7g sachet fast-action dried yeast
1/2 tsp. fine sea salt
2 tsp. coarse sea salt
4 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1 small red onion, finely chopped
2 tbsp. freshly chopped rosemary leaves
Sift the flour into a large bowl before stirring in the yeast and fine salt.
Make a well in the centre and pour in 150 ml of warm water with 1 tbsp. of the oil. Mix together with your fingers.
Turn onto a lightly floured surface and knead for approx. 5 minutes.
Lightly oil the mixing bowl, put in the dough and turn it over to coat in the oil. Cover with oiled cling film and place somewhere warm until it has doubled in size. (I left mine for about 90 mins.)
Meanwhile, gently fry the onion in the oil over a low heat for approx. 10 minutes and allow to cool.
Punch the dough to knock it back before rolling it into a rectangle about 2.5 cm thick and place it in a shallow, oiled baking tin. Cover and leave to rise for a further 30 mins.
Preheat the oven to 190C (170C fan oven).
Dimple the surface of the bread by gently pressing a finger into the dough at regular intervals.
Scatter the cooled red onion, chopped rosemary and coarse sea salt over the bread before drizzling with the remaining olive oil.
Bake for 30 minutes until the bread is well risen and golden brown (but keep an eye on the bread from about 20 minutes to make sure the onion doesn’t burn).
Allow to cool for 5 minutes or so before cutting in wedges and serving.
This really is divine and best eaten fresh from the oven but it keeps quite well for a day or two if kept sealed in a bag inside a cake tin. Just give it a few seconds in the microwave to warm up and re-soften when serving the next day.
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