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How to make onion focaccia

A delicious Italian bread that's perfect for sharing - and once you've mastered this simple onion version, there are plenty of variations to try. Don't forget to screenshot the handy ingredients list at the bottom ready for your next trip to store.

  1. Make the dough

    Put 500g strong white flour, 1 tsp salt and (not touching the salt) 7g fast-action dried yeast in a mixing bowl. Add 300ml lukewarm water and 2 tbsp olive oil oil and mix, using a wooden spoon, to form a firm, slightly sticky dough. If needed, add more water to work in any flour left in the bowl.

    Make the dough
  2. Knead

    Tip the dough onto a clean, lightly floured surface. Using the heel of your hand, squash the ball of dough and push it away from you to stretch it a little. Pull it back into a ball and give it a quarter turn. Repeat 10 times.

  3. Leave to rise

    Put the dough in an oiled mixing bowl and cover with clingfilm. After 10 mins, transfer the dough to a lightly oiled surface and knead a further 10 times, until smooth. Return to the bowl and cover. Leave to rise for 1 hr, or until doubled in size.

    Leave to rise
  4. Cook the onions

    Meanwhile, heat 1 tbsp oil and 15g butter in a frying pan. Add 1 thickly sliced red onion and cook, over a low heat, for 15 mins, or until just softened. Add 1 tbsp sherry vinegar and 1 tsp clear honey and continue cooking for 5-8 mins, until sticky and golden. Remove from the heat and set aside until needed.

    Cook the onions
  5. Prove

    Line a 30cm x 20cm baking tin with baking paper; brush with oil. On a lightly oiled surface, knock back the dough, roll it out using an oiled rolling pin, and then press into the tin. Put the tin in an oiled plastic bag and seal. Leave to prove for 1-2 hrs, or until risen and puffy.

  6. Bake

    Preheat the oven to gas 7, 220°C, fan 200°C. Make dimples in the dough and press into each 1 chopped clove of garlic and 1 tbsp fresh rosemary leaves. Cover; leave to rise for 10 mins. Drizzle over 1 tbsp oil mixed with 1 tbsp water and bake for 15 mins. Top with the onions and 1 tsp sea salt flakes; bake for 8 mins, or until risen and golden.

    Focaccia Step 6(H)

    Calories 296 (15%), sugar 1g (1%), fat 9g (12%), saturates 2g (10%), salt 0.8g (13%), based on 8 servings.

  7. Delicious spins

    Try mixing 2 tbsp crushed fennel seeds in with the flour, then press halved kalamata olives into the dimples and grate over pecorino cheese before baking.

    For a classic three-cheese combo, mix 3 tbsp grated Parmesan in with the flour, press 125g goat’s cheese into the dimples and bake for 15 mins; scatter over 100g sliced Taleggio and bake for a further 8 mins.

    Fancy a fruity spin? Fry a sliced red onion with a sliced apple and 1 tbsp rosemary, until softened. Press little spoonfuls of the mixture into the dimpled dough and bake for 20-25 mins.

  8. Ingredients

    We've prepared a simple shopping list so you can easily get all you need to make this delicious bread. Be sure to note down the ingredients or take a screenshot before heading to the shops.

    500g strong white flour
    1 tsp salt
    1 x 7g sachet fast-action dried yeast
    300ml water, lukewarm
    4 tbsp olive oil, plus extra for greasing
    15g butter
    1 red onion, thickly sliced
    1 tbsp sherry vinegar or red wine vinegar
    1 tsp clear honey
    1 garlic clove, chopped
    1 tbsp fresh rosemary leaves
    1 tsp sea salt flakes