Monday, 17 December 2012

Caramelised Onion and Blue Cheese Focaccia

Shall we just get down to the nitty gritty? I made my upgraded focaccia a week ago and seem to have been struggling to get it on the table (metaphorically speaking of course, believe me, it's been eaten). As I mentioned, we went out for dinner recently with the KR family and had this amazing bread that inspired me to try making focaccia, in the hopes that I could replicate it.

The restaurant was El Matador, an Argentinean/Spanish place on Cuba St, and I have done my research. I'm afraid the Argentinian version wasn't focaccia at all (surprise surprise) but fugazza, which is a South American pizza usually topped with onions and without tomato sauce. El Matador's version was a particularly fat base, hence my desire to try it with focaccia, and while my version was simply a stealing of flavour of ideas, I wasn't complaining and neither will you.

I wanted a fatter, squishier bread than last time when I made plain focaccia, so I increased the amounts, and then added more oil - I am told you can really just keep adding oil to bread to make it more moist and stodgy (in a good way). I also wanted just a bare touch of wholemeal, which I remembered after measuring out my flour(!) so removed about 1/4 cup of the white and replaced with wholemeal. Hence my awkward measurements below - and just a reminder that this is the blog of a total amateur. The tray that I used is 26 x 38cm and has edges, but if you only have bigger, the dough is solid enough that you can just make it the right size and it will stay roughly where you want it. Despite making a larger quantity, I baked this bread for the same amount of time, and the end result was just right: moist and stodgy (in a good way)!

I also worked on getting the right amount of salt here, looking at other bread recipes to help me out. The Marie Claire focaccia recipe I used last time simply said "a good pinch of salt" which I found far from helpful. I believe you have to get the amount of salt just right in bread - too much OR too little is a very bad thing. I think I have it about right here, though any mistakes are disguised by the strongly flavoured toppings. I will certainly be adding more than "a good pinch" next time I make plain focaccia.

To caramelise onions, slice two onions thinly and sit over a low heat in butter or oil for 45 - 60 minutes, stirring only occasionally (ensure they don't turn brown). Or buy some in a jar.

Caramelised Onion and Blue Cheese Focaccia

675g flour (minus about 1/4 cup and replace with wholemeal flour)
3 teaspoons salt
3 teaspoons dried yeast (or 23g fresh yeast)
1 1/2 teaspoon sugar
375ml (1 1/2 cups) warm water
6 tablespoons oil (olive, or I use grapeseed)

2 onions
Blue cheese
Grated cheddar

Put the yeast and sugar in to the warm water and set aside for 10 minutes for it to start frothing.
Measure out the flour and add salt, then stir in the yeasty water and oil. Work the ingredients together then move to a floured surface. 

Knead the dough until it is smooth and elastic. Place in to an oiled bowl, cover with a teatowel, and leave in a warm place for 1 hour.

Caramelise onions (see above).

Turn oven on to 200 degrees. Put the dough on to an oiled 38 x 26 cm tray and press it out until it covers the tray.

Leave to rise for a further 20 minutes. Top with caramelised onions, slices of blue cheese and grated cheddar (as much or little as you like), then bake for 20 minutes. 

Slice in to big squares and eat without any additions.

This post is for the KR family for taking me out to dinner, for Basil and Nana who painted my front fence on baking day and helped out with the eating, and to Ann, the only one waiting on the edge of her seat for this installment.


  1. It all looks completely and utterly delicious. No wonder it barely made it to the table. Must try.
    . . . and thanks for this latest piece - I was waiting for it impatiently even if I didn't comment as such on your FB post :)

  2. Huzzah!

    So exciting to a) see this amazing bread (making me HUNGRY) and b) have a post dedicated to us in such good company :)

    Well done!

    1. Perhaps we should go out every week for inspiration.

  3. Within what radius would you consider home delivery? Do you offer "fries with that?" if I place a phone order?

  4. Definitely do home deliveries and definitely no fries with this!

  5. Oh wow that looks amazing! Bugger I'm on a no carbs diet at the moment. Will keep it for future reference!

  6. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.


Note: only a member of this blog may post a comment.