For the focaccia dough you need
A large baking tray lined with baking paper or oiled
750 ml (3 cups) plain flour
1 sachet dried yeast
2 ml milled black pepper
2ml dried oreganum (optional)
3ml thyme leaves
2 cloves garlic crushed
30ml olive oil
250ml warm water (body heat, not hot)
Extra oil for brushing over dough
In a food processor bowl:
Mix all the dry ingredients
In a jug mix the garlic, oil and water and while the machine is running pour the liquid in.
Allow the machine to run until the dough forms a ball. This will only take a few seconds.
Let the machine run for a further minute (this ‘kneads; the dough for you!).
If mixing by hand:
Mix all the dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Add the garlic, oil and water and mix to form a dough. Knead the dough for a few minutes to form a soft, smooth, elastic ball.
Place the dough in an oiled plastic bag (large bag) and lightly fold the edges closed or knot the top, or bowl, oil the surface lightly and cover with cling wrap. Place it in a warm place. A sunny spot works well. In winter I place it on the heated floor tiles! If you have a gentle warming drawer this also works!
Once the dough has risen to about twice its size, ‘knock it down’ by kneading lightly. Shape it into a large rectangle. I use a large baking tray. Set the dough aside in a warm place for about 15-20 minutes.
While the dough is rising, prepare the topping:
This is a basic onion marmalade recipe. If you like make double the quantity and use it when and as desired.
For the topping you need to place the following into a saucepan:
4 large white onions
3-4 thyme twigs
30ml balsamic vinegar
Bring the above to the boil and simmer until the onions are soft and the mixture has a light caramel colour. Allow the mixture to cool.
Approximately 10 anchovy strips. You can cut wide ones in half
Black olives pitted
A few twigs of fresh thyme
For those who don’t do olives or anchovies add cubed feta or grated mozzarella.
Paint the dough with some olive oil
Spread the onion marmalade topping over the raw dough.
Arrange the anchovies in a lattice and add the olives. The French place them neatly, but if you are in a rush, you can casually toss them over!
If you have kiddies who don’t want the anchovy or olive simply mark off a quarter or third and adjust the topping ingredients to suit them.
Bake at 190°C for approximately 15 minutes. The bottom of the crust must be crisp, so simply lift a corner to check.
Serve straight from the oven or at room temperature, sliced into squares