Niall McKenna's Red Onion Focaccia


  • 300ml tepid water
  • 3 tsp fresh yeast
  • 500g Italian type ‘00′ strong flour, plus extra for rolling and dusting
  • 1 tsp fine salt
  • 4 tbsp olive oil, plus extra for greasing
  • A glug of extra virgin olive oil for drizzling
  • 15g coarse sea salt flakes
  • 1 red onion, thinly sliced


  • To begin, mix the tepid water and yeast in a small bowl until dissolved.
  • Sieve the flour and salt in a large bowl, making a well in the centre. Pour in half of the liquid and the olive oil, mixing together. When it begins to come together, add in the remaining liquid to form a sticky dough.
  • Sprinkle some flour onto a clean surface and knead the dough for 10 minutes, using more flour if necessary. The dough should not be sticky, but smooth and elasticated.
  • Next, oil a bowl and place the dough in, then oil some cling film to cover the bowl. Leave for up to 90 minutes in a warm, dry place to allow it to rise until doubled in size.
  • While the dough is proving, caramelise the red onions in a pot with olive oil, cooking until soft. Remember not to let the onions burn or overcook. Remove from the heat to leave to the side.
  • When the dough has risen, knock out the air with your fist while it remains in the bowl, leaving for a further 15-20 minutes, still covering in clingfilm.
  • Then oil the baking tray with olive oil, placing the dough onto the tray. There is no need to manipulate the dough as it will naturally cook into the shape of the tray.
  • Using your finger, gently prong the dough evenly, drizzling olive oil over evenly and scattering with sea salt and caramelised onions.
  • Place into a 180C preheated oven and bake for 25-35 minutes until crusty and hollow sounding when tapped underneath. Remove and place onto a cooling tray.
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