Tuesday, 24 May 2011

Red onion and rosemary focaccia (1 colour)

This is the first time I've ever made bread from scratch and I wanted to make a bread that our bread-maker couldn't. I have to say it turned out well - fluffy inside and crisp on the outside. I used only one red onion and would use two next time and probably some garlic because it did lack flavour for the type of bread it was supposed to be. Sun-dried tomatoes and some sort of cheese would also work well on top I think.

Strong white bread flour - 500 g
Dried yeast - 7 g
Salt - pinch
Olive oil - 4 tbsp
Lukewarm water - 350 ml
Red onions - 2, thinly sliced
Rosemary sprigs - 1 handful

1) Sieve the flour, yeast and salt into a large mixing bowl. Make a well in the centre and pour in the olive oil and about half the water. Stir with a wooden spoon or your hands (it's very sticky to begin with) to form a dough, adding more of the water if necessary.
2) Flour a surface and tip the dough on. Knead for 10 minutes. I'd never done this before but reading about it on the web the best advice seemed to be to use the palms of your hands or knuckles, kneading away from you and to then fold the bread in half towards you. After that turn the dough 90 degrees and start again.
3) Oil a pyrex bowl and add the dough, covering the bowl with cling film or a tea towel and leave to rise for 90 minutes.

4) Tip the dough back onto a floured surface and knead a little to knock the air out. Place in a greased swiss roll tray and shape it until it fits the tray and is level on top. Leave for a further 20 minutes.
5) Meanwhile, fry the onions in 1 tbsp of the oil until soft (about 5 minutes) and go pick your rosemary.
6) Sprinkle the onions and rosemary sprigs over the top of the dough and then press your fingers in the dough to make dimples. Drizzle over the last of the olive oil and bake at 200°C for about half an hour. Serve hot or cold.

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