Focaccia Rustica with Mastiha

  • 2 garlic cloves, smashed

  • 2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil

  • 1 envelope of powdered yeast

  • 1 1/3 cups warm water

  • 1 ½ tsp. salt

  • 1 tsp. Mastiha crystals

  • 3 red or yellow roasted peppers, peeled and cut into thin strips (or fine quality, ready-made roasted peppers)

  • 3 medium onions, cut into thin slices

  • ½ cup extra virgin olive oil

  • 1/3 cup fresh rosemary or 3 tsp. dried

  • 1 - 1 ½ tsp. coarse sea salt

  1. In a skillet, heat half of the oil over low heat and sauté the garlic until lightly golden. Remove from the skillet and let the oil cool.

  2. Combine the yeast and water and let the mixture stand for10 minutes. Pound the salt and Mastiha together in a mortar witha pestle. Add the flour, Mastiha salt and rosemary and knead untila dough mass forms. The dough will be sticky and elastic.

  3. Form a ball with the dough and let it stand in an oiled bowl covered with plastic wrap for 1 hour.

  4. Heat the olive oil and sauté the onions over very low heat for 25-30 minutes, until soft.

  5. Divide the dough into two balls and place each in an oiled pan, about10 inches (25 cm) in diameter. Roll out each of the balls to a circlethe size of the pan. Cover with a cloth and let it stand for 15 minutes. Using the tips of your fingers, create an uneven surface on the dough. Let it stand for a second time inside the pan for about 50 minutes.

  6. Preheat the oven to 375˚F (190˚C). Dip the tips of your fingers in there maining oil and press into the surface of the dough, creating smallwells. Spread the peppers in equal amounts over the surface, sprinkle with rosemary and salt and drizzle with the remaining oil. Bake for about 25-30 minutes, or until the bread is golden. Serve either cool or warm.