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Nothing beats the taste and aroma of freshly baked bread – especially when it’s this amazing basil-flavoured focaccia!

Serves: 6 – 8

Ingredients

    • 500g (1lb) strong plain white flour7g sachet fast-action dried yeast
    • 1 level tsp salt
    • 2 level tbsp green pesto
    • 125g (4oz) sun-dried tomatoes in oil (drained weight)

For the topping:

    • 4 tbsp light olive oil
    • 2 red onion, peeled and cut into thin wedges
    • 2 level tbsp caster sugar
    • 2-3 level tbsp sliced, pitted black olives

Method

    1. Sift the flour into a bowl and stir in the yeast and salt. Mix the pesto with 300ml (½ pint) warm water, then add to the flour and mix to form a soft dough.
    1. Turn the dough out on to a lightly floured work surface, and knead for 5 – 8 minutes, or until it’s smooth and elastic. Cut the sun-dried tomatoes into strips and knead them into the dough.
    1. Roll or stretch the dough out to a rectangle, about 25 x 20cm (10 x 8in). Transfer dough to the baking sheet and cover with oiled cling film; leave in a warm place until it has doubled in size.
    1. Set the oven to 220°C/ Gas Mark 7. Meanwhile, prepare the topping: Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a frying pan and add the onion. Sprinkle the sugar over. Cook over a low to medium heat for about 10 minutes, stirring it regularly, so that it caramelises lightly but doesn’t burn. Remove pan from the heat and leave onion to cool.
    1. Remove the cling film from the dough and spread the caramelised onion over the top and scatter over the olives. Use your fingertips to press down into the dough to form dimples. Drizzle over the rest of the oil. Bake it in the centre of the oven for about 20 – 25 minutes, until it’s golden brown in colour and sounds hollow when tapped on the base.

Feature: Sue McMahon. Photos: Chris Alack. Props stylist: Sue Radcliffe

Nutritional information per portion

fat 11.0g calories 350(kcal)

This nutritional information is only a guide and is based on 2,000 calories per day. For more information on eating a healthy diet, please visit the Food Standards Agency website.

Guideline Daily Amount for 2,000 calories per day are: 70g fat, 20g saturated fat, 90g sugar, 6g salt.