I am not against experimenting with flavour combinations.
At times I have been extremely and pleasantly surprised by the daring offerings of Chefs like Tetsuya, although I must admit , when I am cooking I remain loyal to more traditional food marriages.
Nothing can beat the marry union of Tomatoes and Basil, Lemon and Vanilla, or the more wintry Taleggio and Caramelized Onion, which I made yesterday.
First off, you need to make a Focaccia dough.
I am in a habit of using my own sourdough yeast, but I don’t expect you would all be making it from scratch (although I will be posting my recipe for it very soon), so it’s just as good to use fresh or dried yeast.
In a large bowl, mix 400 gr of plain 00 flour and 100 gr of wholemeal flour with 325 ml of lukewarm water, 20 gr of fresh yeast (or 1 sachet of dried yeast) and 1 table spoon of EV olive oil. Combine the ingredients using your hands or a wooden spoon.
Add half a table spoon of salt *and knead for about 6 to 7 minutes, ot until the dough is smooth and elastic.
Feel free to let your Kitchen Aid do the hard work, if you have one.
Leave to prove covered with cling wrap in a warm place for 1 hour after which time
Using your hands (easier if you rub them with olive oil), flatten the ball of dough and leave to rest for 20 minutes.
In the meantime, turn the oven on to 220 degrees. If you have a pizza stone, leave it in the oven to heat up.
Slice up some onion (I used 1 brown onion, 1 red onion and 2 French shallots) and cook gently in a frying pan with a drizzle of olive oil, a pinch of salt, and a splash of water, lid on. It will take around 20 minutes to go soft and smell delicious. I added a little aged balsamic vinegar at the end , to balance the sweetness of the sugars released by the onion.
Place the cooked onion on your Focaccia dough, add some thyme leaves and place in the hot oven. If you have a pizza stone, carefully slide the Focaccia onto it, making sure you have dusted it with semolina or polenta flour to prevent the focaccia from sticking. After about 15 minutes, add your taleggio.
Bake for a further 10 minutes.
You can serve straight out of the oven with a rocket salad.
It also very nice at room temperature…if there is any left, that is!
* Only add your salt after the yeast has been incorporated into the flour mix.
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