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Red Onion With Rosemary Focaccia

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450g/1lb/4 cups strong white bread flour, plus extra for dusting
5ml/1 tsp salt
7g/Ľoz fresh yeast or generous 5ml/1 tsp dried yeast
2.5ml/˝ tsp light muscovado (molasses) sugar
250ml/8fl oz/1 cup lukewarm water
60ml/4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, plus extra for greasing
5ml/1 tsp very finely chopped fresh rosemary, plus 6-8 small sprigs
1 red onion, thinly sliced
Coarse salt


Serves: 4


1. Sift the flour and salt into a bowl. Set aside. Cream the fresh yeast with the sugar, and gradually stir in half the water. If using dried yeast, stir the sugar into the water and sprinkle the dried yeast over.

2. Set the yeast aside in a warm, but not hot, place for 10 minutes, until it has turned frothy.

3. Add the yeast, the remaining water, 15ml/1 tbsp of the oil and the chopped rosemary to the flour. Mix all the ingredients together to form a dough, then gather the dough into a ball and knead on a floured work surface for about 5 minutes, until smooth and elastic. You may need to add a little extra flour if the dough is very sticky.

4. Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl and slip it into a polythene bag or cover with oiled clear film (plastic wrap) and leave to rise. The length of time you leave it for depends on the temperature: leave it all day in a cool place, overnight in the refrigerator, or for 1-2 hours in a warm, but not hot, place.

5. Lightly oil a baking sheet. Knead the dough to form a flat loaf that is about 30cm/12in round or square. Place on the baking sheet, cover with oiled polythene or clear film and leave to rise again in a warm place for a further 40-60 minutes.

6. Preheat the oven to 220°C/425°F/Gas 7. Toss the onion in 15ml/1 tbsp of the oil and scatter over the loaf with the rosemary sprigs and a scattering of coarse salt. Bake for 15-20 minutes until golden brown.

7. Serve the bread freshly baked or leave to cool on the baking sheet and serve warm.

Energy 496Kcal/2094kj; Protein 11g; Carbohydrate 90.4g of which sugars 3.8g; Fat 12.5g of which saturates 1.8g; Cholesterol 0mg; Calcium 167mg; Fibre 4g; Sodium 496mg

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