1 to 2 hours
Hairy Bikers recipes
From The Hairy Bikers' Comfort Food
For the dough
- 250g/9oz plain flour
- 1 tsp salt
- 5g instant yeast
- 1 tbsp honey
- 50ml/2fl oz olive oil
- 125ml/4fl oz warm water
For the topping
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- knob of butter
- 1.25kg/2 lb 12 oz onions, thinly sliced
- few thyme leaves (optional)
- 2 100g/4oz jars anchovies
- 1 small jar black pitted olives, drained
For the dough, put the flour in a bowl and stir in the salt. Add the yeast. Mix the honey with the oil and water, then pour this over the flour.
Mix until you have a sticky dough, then turn out the dough and knead until soft and passes the windowpane test (stretch a small piece out until you can see through it – gluten is developed enough if it allows you do this). Return to the bowl and cover with a damp tea towel. Leave to double in size – at least an hour.
Meanwhile make the topping. Heat the olive oil and butter in a very large frying pan. When the butter has melted and is foaming, add the onions and thyme leaves (if using). Season with salt. Stir carefully until they reduce in volume – there will seem almost too much for the pan to start with, but they will collapse quite quickly. Continue to cook on a low to medium heat for at least 45 minutes to an hour, stirring regularly. The onions will lightly caramelise on the base – scrape this up regularly when you stir.
Eventually you will have very soft, almost puréed, golden brown onions. You can instead cover the pan and let the onions sweat for a similar amount of time – they will collapse in a similar way but be lighter in colour.
Preheat the oven to 230C/210C Fan/Gas 8.
Knock the dough back and shape to fill a large baking tray – around 40x20cm/16x8in. Spread the onions over the dough, leaving a narrow border, then add the anchovies in a lattice pattern – or more free-form if you prefer (I often do a small amount without as there’s always someone who doesn’t like anchovies!). Add the olives at intervals. Drizzle with a little more olive oil, if you like. Bake in the preheated oven for around 20-25 minutes, or until the dough is cooked through.
Cool, cut into slices and serve.