spring onion focaccia
 

Ingredients:

  • 300ml warm water
  • 7g sachet fast-action dried yeast
  • 300g strong white flour
  • 200g ‘00’ flour
  • 2 tbsp caster sugar
  • ½ tbsp salt
  • 100ml extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra for greasing and drizzling
  • A few fresh rosemary sprigs
  • Sea salt flakes for sprinkling

For the Topping:

  • 2 bunches spring onions, stalks trimmed 
  • 1 tbsp good quality aged balsamic vinegar
  • ½ tbsp caster sugar

You’ll also need 

  • 20cm x 30cm high-sided rectangular baking tin

 

Preparation:

  1. Put the warm water in a jug, add the yeast and mix briefly. Leave for 5 minutes or until frothy.
  2. Put the flours, sugar and salt in a large mixing bowl and make a well in the centre. Pour in the yeast mixture and combine with your hands until everything just comes together. Add the olive oil and mix well to form a loose dough (it should feel wet and very soft).
  3. Turn the dough out onto a work surface and knead for about 8 minutes using the ‘slap and fold’ technique. Alternatively, knead in an electric mixer with a dough hook on a medium speed for 5 minutes.
  4. Lightly oil a large clean bowl, then add the dough and cover with lightly oiled cling film. Leave in a warm place for 1-2 hours until doubled in size.
  5. Heat the oven to 160°C/140°C fan/ gas 3. Put the spring onions in a small baking tray, drizzle over the balsamic vinegar, then sprinkle over the sugar and a pinch of salt. Toss to coat, then bake for 6-8 minutes until soft. Set aside.
  6. When the dough has risen, turn it out onto a work surface and knead gently for 5 seconds to distribute the air. Carefully lift the dough into a 20cm x 30cm high-sided rectangular baking tin. Don’t stretch and pull the dough to fit the tin – instead, gently push it to the sides using your fingertips. Don’t worry if it doesn’t reach the edges – it will puff up and fill out as it proves.
  7. Arrange the spring onions on top and dot with the rosemary sprigs. Sprinkle generously with sea salt flakes and drizzle with oil. Create dimples all over the surface of the dough by pressing deep down with your fingertips, then leave it to prove in a warm place for at least an hour or until nearly doubled in size. Check it’s ready by pressing your finger gently on the surface – if the indent stays, it’s ready to bake.
  8. Heat the oven to 220°C/ 200°C fan/gas 7. Bake the focaccia for 10-15 minutes until golden, then lower the heat to 200°C/180°C fan/ gas 6 and cook for 20 minutes more.
  9. Take the foccacia out of the oven and drizzle with more oil, then leave it to sit in the tin for 5 minutes. Carefully remove the bread from the tin, then cut or tear it into thick slices