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)
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.