Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Caramelised Onion, Anchovies and Thyme Focaccia

Hi everyone! I'm back from the busy streets of Hong Kong and Singapore. Our holidays are fantastic but I do miss my baking hobby and my blog.

This focaccia was made with an intention to celebrate mother's day. This idea came from one of my colleagues when she told me once that she loves homemade focaccia especially the ones that her mum made with sea salt and anchovies as toppings. 

With similar idea, I've made this caramelized onion and thyme focaccia with anchovies as extra topping and this focaccia is superb! The baked anchovies literally melt into our mouths and the bread texture is so fresh and yummy. For my son, I've chopped and diced the onions and garlic finely instead slicing them so that he wouldn't know that the onion and garlic exist on this bread. He was happily chomping without being fussy with this bread. This shows that mum's cooking is always the best...*wink*

Happy Belated Mother's Day!


Here's the recipe from Super Food Ideas Magazine, May 2011 issue 
(with my minor modification in blue)


2 cup plain flour (I use bread flour)
2 tsp sea salt
7g dried yeast
2 tbsp Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup olive oil
1 tbsp fresh thyme sprigs (Nice to know that they are freshly harvested from our garden)

Caramelized onion
2 tbsp olive oil
1 large brown onion, thinly sliced (I use red onion and roughly diced)
1 garlic cloves, thinly sliced (finely chopped)
2 tbsp brown sugar
1tbsp red wine vinegar (balsamic vinegar)

1 jar of 80g anchovies in oil, well drained

Grease 20 cm x 30 cm pan. Combine flour, half the salt, yeast and Parmesan in a bowl in a bowl. Make a well. Add 1 cup warm water and 2 tbsp oil. Stir until a soft sticky dough forms.
Turn onto floured surface. knead for 5-7 min or until dough spring back when pressed, adding extra flour if necessary. Roll out until large enough to line prepared pan. press into pan. cover with lightly oiled plastic wrap. Set aside in a warm place for 1 hr or until doubled in size.

(I use breadmaker with pizza dough setting for this step which consists of 20 min kneading and 30 min proving.)

Meanwhile, make caramelized onion. Heat oil in a frying pan over medium low heat. Add onion and garlic. Cook stirring occasionally for 8 min or until onion softened. Add sugar and vinegar. Cook and stir for 1 min until sugar dissolved and mixture thicken. Set aside. Preheat oven to 180ºC fan forced.

Remove plastic wrap from dough. Drizzle top of dough with remaining oil. Arrange onion mixture over dough. Sprinkle with thyme and remaining salt (and anchovies). (I didn't use the remaining salt because the added anchovies are very salty) Season with pepper. Bake for 15 min or until top is golden. Reduced temperature to 160ºC fan forced. Bake for 10-15 min or until top of focaccia sounds hollow when tapped. Set aside for 15 min. Serve warm.

I've made this focaccia using 2/3 of the recipe and used 20cm x 20cm pan.

Happy Baking
Please support me and like me at Facebook.


  1. Welcome back, Zoe. I'm sure you had a fantastic time along the trip. Looking forward to see what you got from your trip. Btw, the foccasia sound delish. And Happy Belated Mother's Day to you too. Have a great day.
    Blessings, Kristy

  2. Happy Belated Mother's Day to you....since you're back, can look forward to more yummy posts. This bread looks so delicious, will need to digest the steps before attempting. Like the topping!

  3. I just love focaccia and this one looks especially flavorful.

  4. your foccacia has an assortment of simple gourmet flavours. how you prepared your son's foccacia reminds me how my parents did the same thing for me :) and they still do it occassionally :D

  5. That looks great! I love the addition of anchovies to the toppings! Must try this soon! Happy belated Mother's Day to you too:D

  6. We love foccacia too, I did once with Rosemary, love it. Yours sound so good. Happy belated mother' s day to you.

  7. Hi! Welcome back, Zoe! Happy Belated Mother's Day to you too! You must be tired after a wonderful holiday! But I guess the urge to be in the kitchen overcame that! :)
    Your foccacia looks good, lovely with a cup of tea. I've never tried with anchovies topping before! Thanks for sharing!

  8. you were back in singapore???! i was wondering where did you go hahah...this looks absolutely yummy! and yeah, im kinda sad abt Mr Chiam's loss :(

  9. Welcome back ,zoe! Miss you so much!
    Love your foccacia,it make me hungry now!
    Happy Belated Mother's Day to you too!

  10. the combination of flavours that you put here sounds delicious. i also hope to make my own focaccia one day!

  11. Belated Mother's day wishes...focaccia looks extremely flavourful and delicious..lovely toppings..

  12. wow wow this looks loaded with delicious flavours!! im glad you're back - seems like you've been gone for a LONG time zoe...i even checked to see if somehow ive lost you on my google reader!! and thanks for your message on my blog too :) i think most kids take their parents for granted...until they hv their own kids or go thru certain experiences aye? happy belated mothers day too :)

  13. Glad you're back from your trip! This foccacia looks amazing and unique!

  14. I love this focaccia..reminding me of Sicilian pizza a lot..looks amazing and very delicious Zoe!

  15. I love focaccia and this look delicious Zoe, gloria

  16. Oh dear... the focaccia looks so yum and spongy... Great flavors too...

  17. Nice flavour & looks yummy!

  18. Ah you had me at anchovies!!! This looks fantastic- my mouth is watering just thinking about~ how yummy! :)

    Happy Mother's Day!

  19. Welcome back, Zoe! Great looking foccacia. Love the flavours in it. I sure want a slace of it right now :)

  20. Welcome back. This is a lovely way to start blogging again. Looks delicious!

  21. I like the Mediterranean flavors in this focaccia. I'm quite deprived as I have never had the chance to try a focaccia with anchovies. It looks delish!

  22. This focaccia looks so good. Even an Anchovie hater would try this one. I tell you, those pictures makes me hungry. Thanks for sharing the recipe. Excellent blog, great photos.