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It seems like I hardly feature anything savoury over here. Apart from having an incredibly sweet tooth, I rarely gravitate towards baking savoury items like quiches, meat pies, etc. For a change, here’s something that I’d made some time back during my bread-making phase. After several attempts (and filling the pantry with all sorts of flours for breads) I decided to take a rest from the usual crusty artisan free-form loafs and bake these Italian Focaccia instead.
Aromatic with a nice bite, they were even better dipped in olive oil and balsamic vinegar. However, these were a little dry the next day and not as chewy as we’d liked (maybe my proportions were a little off?) Well, at least they did make an awesome sandwich when lightly toasted with some Emmental cheese, smoked ham and peppery arugula/rocket leaves!
Italian Herb & Onion Focaccia
adapted from two recipes – one is a Focaccia recipe by Flo Braker in “Baking for All Occasions” and another from Food & Wine magazine
1 cup warm water
1 package active dry yeast
1 T honey
2 1/2 cups unbleached organic bread flour
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 T dried herbs (rosemary, oregano, thyme and parsley)
1 t salt
1 large red onion, thinly sliced

In a large bowl, combine the water, yeast and honey and let stand for 5 minutes. Stir in 1 cup of the flour and 1/4 cup of the oil; let stand for 5 minutes. Stir in the remaining flour and the salt and knead until smooth. Transfer to an oiled bowl, cover with plastic and let stand for 1 hour. With the rest of the olive oil, warm it slightly and add in dried herbs, flavouring the oil. Preheat the oven to 220C. Oil a 9-by-13 inch rimmed baking sheet. Transfer the dough to the sheet and press it down to fit. Dimple the dough all over with your fingers and drizzle with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil. Let the dough rise until puffed, about 20 minutes. Scatter the onions over the dough. Drizzle the remaining olive oil over the focaccia and bake for 20 minutes, until golden. Transfer to a rack to cool. Serve.

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