These non-authentic focaccie make a tender-hearted snack …
- For the dough: 10oz/285g plain flour, one sachet of dried yeast (7g), 150ml crème fraîche, about 30ml/2Tbsp olive oil, a little salt and some warm water.
- For the toppings: half a small pumpkin, one yellow pepper, one large red onion, one beefy tomato, balsamic vinegar, 75g/3oz feta cheese, black pepper, one small can of anchovies. Fresh thyme, sage, rosemary. Olive oil.
- First put the yeast in a little bowl with a teaspoonful of flour and the same of sugar. Add warm water, stir and leave until foamy. Meanwhile measure out the flour and put about three quarters of it in a mixing bowl with the salt, crème fraîche and olive oil. Mix it roughly with your hands before pouring in the foamy yeast. Clump everything into a bell and turn out onto a floured surface.
- Knead* for longer than you thought possible, all the while adding more flour and water at intervals to keep the dough supple. After 10 minutes or so it should be shiny and elastic. Put back in the bowl, cover and leave at room temperature for an hour or two until doubled in size.
- Dice a large red onion and cook on a medium heat with olive oil, black pepper, fresh thyme leaves and a few tinned anchovies (and their oil). No need for salt if you are using anchovies but a glug of balsamic vinegar can go in now too. When it has become an unctuous goo remove half to a plate. Then add a segmented beefy tomato or handful of cherry tomatoes. Cook until they are softened. Take out and leave to cool.
- Halve a pumpkin (carefully) and quarter one half. Place it on a baking tray along with a yellow pepper, drizzle with olive oil and roast in a medium oven until it is softish. Remove and cut the pumpkin (skin off) into cubes. Cube the pepper too. Turn them into the empty onion pan to sizzle for a bit.
- When the dough has doubled, turn it out and flatten. Then spoon on the onion mix – the first half. Spend one minute kneading it all together, divide in two and spread each half out onto a baking sheet. For the first focaccia, spread the onion/tomato mix, maybe adding a few black olives – press these in. For the second focaccia, cut cubes of feta cheese and put these along with the squares of pumpkin and pepper, again pressing slightly. Add a few sage leaves and a sprig or two of rosemary.
- Leave to rise for 20-30 minutes before placing in the oven and cooking for another 20-25 minutes at 200°C. Do check on them and make adjustments to time and temperature.
Good hot or cold, as a snack or a side …
*And some music to knead to? What about Leaving Trunk : Sleepy John Estes/Taj Mahal 1968?