Italian Snacking Bread

This is a version of Focaccia alla Barese, an Italian flatbread topped with anchovies, olives, and onions. Mine is a softer, moister bread due to the addition of egg and a quicker rise. Cut it in small pieces and pack it for a ride or simply enjoy it on the deck with a lovely glass of wine. (And for those of you who think you don’t like anchovies, you’ll probably never even realize that they’re there!) —inpatskitchen


WHO: Coming in at fifty-three Community Picks and four contest wins, inpatskitchen is a champion Food52 heavyweight. 
WHAT: A soft bread with a salty topping that’ll have you coming back for seconds.
HOW: Mix up a quick focaccia dough, top it with sautéed onions, anchovies, and olives, and bake until golden brown. Cut into small pieces and start snacking.
WHY WE LOVE IT: This focaccia has it covered in both the texture and the flavor departments: soft, buttery bread with crispy edges and a savory, oniony topping. The only place where this bread falls short? It doesn’t come with a ticket to Italy.  —The Editors

  • For the bread:
  • 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast
  • 1 cup warm water (100 to 120° F)
  • egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 to 3 cups bread flour
  • For the topping and baking:
  • one 2-ounce tin of anchovies packed in oil
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • very large sweet onion, halved and thinly sliced
  • 25 to 30 oil-cured black olives, pitted and roughly chopped
  1. For the bread:
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine the yeast with the warm water and let the mixture rest for about 5 minutes. Stir in the egg, oregano, basil, olive oil, and salt.
  3. Start by slowly stirring 2 cups of the flour into the liquid mixture, then add more as needed to form a soft yet somewhat sticky dough. Cover and let rest for about 20 minutes.
  4. After the 20-minute rest, turn the dough out into an oiled 9- by 13-inch baking pan. Since the dough is sticky, use wet hands to press it into the pan evenly. Let this rest while you make the topping.
  1. For the topping and baking:
  2. Drain the oil from the anchovies into a large sauté pan and add the tablespoon of olive oil. Turn the heat to medium, add the onions, and sauté.
  3. Once the onions have barely started to soften, mince the anchovies and add them to the pan. Continue to sauté until the onions just barely begin caramelize and the anchovies “disappear.” Stir in the chopped olives and let the mixture cool.
  4. Once cooled, spread the onion, anchovy, and olive mixture over the bread dough and let rise another 30 minutes or so.
  5. Heat your oven to 400° F and bake the bread for 25 to 30 minutes until lightly browned. Remove from the oven and let rest in the pan for about 10 minutes. Use 2 spatulas to lift from the pan and let the bread cool to room temperature. Cut into small pieces to serve.

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