My local Puglian bakery sells slices of freshly made focaccia with olives and onions. And it is hard to imagine a better midday “sandwich”.
Focaccia with olives and onions is related to pizza as original Italian fastfood. Yet I have never seen this particular version outside Puglia. And it is positively additive with the finger friendly cover and a moist filling that balances salt, sweet and savoury in one divine bite. It is heavenly.
I have therefore invested quite a lot of effort in developing a recipe for focaccia with olives and onions that comes close to the Puglian bakery version. And this does the trick.
For the pastry
400 g flour
25 g yeast
4 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp salt
200 ml tepid water
For the filling
4 red onions
100 g pitted black olives
1 tbsp sugar
3 tbsp balsamic vinegar
Dissolve yeast and salt in water
Stir in the olive oil
Gradually mix in the flour until you have a shiny, non-stick dough
Knead the dough thoroughly and leave to rise under a wet tea towel for 1 hour.
Meanwhile prepare the filling.
Peel and slice the onions finely.
Saute onions in olive oil over medium heat for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Add a little water if necessary.
Chop the olives and add them to the onion
When the onions have stated to disintegrate stir in sugar and balsamic vinegar
Heat the filling though and adjust the texture with water to increase moisture
Grease a metal focaccia tin or other round baking tin with olive oil
Roll out two-thirds of the dough in a circle and use it to line the baking tin.
Fill the dough with the onion-olive mixture
Roll out the rest of the dough and use it to cover the filling
Press the edges together, brush with olive oil, sprinkle with coarse salt and pick a few holes in the cover to let out steam.
Bake the focaccia with olives and onions in the oven at 180 C / 350 F for about 30 minutes.
Serve the focaccia with olives and onions while it is still warm.
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