Everybody loves a carb. You can say what you like but anything to do with fresh bread is more often than not, salivated over. Not to say I am not for a healthy option on my day-to-day eating, as difficult as it can be but this focaccia takes carb loving to another dimension. Get your running shoes ready because when this focaccia comes out of the oven you will feel as if you are carbo-loading for a race. You won't just have one bite. It will turn your kitchen into a delicious smelling bakery that will leave you waiting anxiously peeping into the oven to see when it is done. Luckily the bake time isn't too bad and once it is out, you will have the ultimate focaccia, to not only eat as is but to transform into any delicious sandwich after.
- 5ml sugar
- 125ml tepid water
- 10g dry yeast
- 150ml boiling water
- 10ml sugar
- 15ml salt
- 60ml olive oil
- 150ml cold water
- 750g cake flour
- caramelised onions
- rosemary sprigs
- pitted kalamata olives
- 3 large red onions, sliced
- large knob of butter
- 2 cups balsamic vinegar
- ¼ cup brown sugar
- 3 sprigs rosemary
Instructions for caramelised onions:
Melt the butter in a medium-sized saucepan and sauté onions until translucent.
Add the vinegar, sugar and rosemary sprigs and cook on medium heat until vinegar has been reduced and onions are soft
Thyme, mustard seeds, chilli flakes
Red wine can be substituted for the balsamic vinegar for a different flavour.
Instructions for bread:
Preheat oven to 230C.
Mix together 5ml sugar and tepid water. If your water is too hot it will kill your yeast. Stir in yeast and set aside to let it activate.
Combine 150ml-boiling water with 10ml sugar, salt and oil in a jug.
Add 150ml cold water and combine with yeast mixture.
Sift the flour into a large bowl, make a well in the center and tip in the yeast mixture. Mix to a soft dough adding extra liquid or flour as needed.
Tip dough onto a flour surface and cover with an upturned bowl and allow to relax for 5mins.
Knead thoroughly until smooth, elastic and no longer sticky at least 10mins. if you are using an electric mixer with a dough hook, put it on a medium speed for 10 minutes.
Turn into an oiled bowl cover with a tea towel and set in a warm place to double its bulk. If you don't have a sunny window let it stand next to a warm oven.
Roll out the dough and place on an oiled baking sheet. Press firmly over the surface of the bed forming indentations. Allow bread to double in size once more.
Brush the surface heavily with olive oil, spread caramelised onions evenly over, as well as olives and rosemary. Season with sea salt flakes.
Put in the oven and immediately reduce temperature to 200C.
Bake for 15 minutes or until golden once cooled slice into soldiers. Serve with balsamic and olive oil for dunking!