Beetroot & Vegan Feta Cheese Fugazza (Focaccia)

Good afternoon all! Today is a very special day, it's the biannual Vegan Virtual Potluck! It's so much fun to see what everyone has brought to the potluck, even though it takes me a good couple of hours to sit down and go through all the blogs that participate each time. A big shout out to all the great bloggers, especially Lidia & Annie, who work really hard behind the scenes to get such a huge logistical event working! I'm happy to be a volunteer on this potluck, doing my little bit to get it all together.

A quick note before I get onto potluck business! If you're new to my blog - welcome! I hope you'll really enjoy yourself, there are more than 200 recipes to browse through. You can use the recipe index above, or the labels on the side to look for particular ingredients or ethnic cuisines. You can also follow me on Twitter, or on Pinterest or by liking my page on Facebook. Today I'm starting to share with you a special "12 Days of Easy Edible Xmas Gifts" series on my facbook page, each day will be a new & interesting idea for a vegan home made edible gift and I promise you that there will be some you've never through of before :)

Enough of that though! On with the potluck. The potluck is split into categories, and I've been trying to go in a new category every time. This is my third potluck, my first potluck I went in 'Desserts' and made this Choc Banana Ice Cream Pie (Vegan & Sugar Free!). My second potluck I thought I'd try my hand at 'Beverages' so I made a Turkish Delight Martini.  For my third time around I've signed up for 'Breads'.

In hindsight I don't know why I signed up for breads, because I've been recently eating a lot less bread and have managed to lose 3kg because of my healthy kick. So, I realised that if I was going to make a bread-y thing for this potluck I would have to invite some friends over to help me eat it! I did, and they loved it!

This recipe was inspired by the Argentinian Caramelised Onion Fugazza which I made for Argentina Month on the blog. It's a symbol of the strong Italian influence on Argentinian cuisine, because it's essentially a focaccia. I was so happy with how my Caramelised Onion Fugazza turned out that I knew I would be experimenting with in the future. For this special Virtual Vegan Potluck Version, I've used marinated beetroot and my special home made Vegan Feta Cheese.

Beetroot & Vegan Feta Cheese Focaccia

1 cup warm water
2 tsp yeast
2 tsp sugar
2 2/3 cup plain flour
1 tsp salt
8 tbsp olive oil, divided
2 large beetroot, peeled and chopped into wedges
2 tsp wholegrain mustard
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 onion, peeled and sliced
1 tbsp brown sugar
1 tbsp white wine vinegar
3-4 sundried tomatoes, cut into strips
1 cup Vegan Feta Cheese cubes (unbaked)

To Make:
1. Combine the warm water, sugar and yeast in a bowl and set aside for 5-10 minutes, until the mixture is frothy on top.
2. Combine the flour and salt in a mixing bowl. Add 5 tbsp olive oil and the yeast mixture and mix to form a dough. It should be soft and pliable, but not sticking to your fingers. If it's too wet add a bit more flour, if it's too dry to hold together add a little more water.
3. Turn the dough out onto a floured benchspace and knead for 10 minutes (set your oven timer and put on some good music to sing along to).
4. Lightly oil the mixing bowl and return the ball of dough to it. Cover with cling wrap or a tea towel and leave in a warm place to rise for 45 minutes (or until doubled in size). In the meantime you can preheat your oven to 180 degrees.
7. While the dough is rising, boil the beetroot slices until just tender, and place in a bowl with the mustard and balsamic vinegar. Toss well and set aside until you need them.
6. Once risen turn the dough out and punch down into a smooth ball. Oil a round pan with 2 tbsp olive oil and place your ball of dough in the centre. Gently flatten the ball out into a disc with your fingers. You'll get to a point where you can't stretch it any further without it springing back. When you get to this stage just set is aside and let it rest for 10 minutes (while it's resting you can chop up your onions).
7. After 10 minutes the dough should have relaxed, allowing you to spread it out further. Keep doing this until the dough covers the whole pan and reaches the edges (you may have to rest it again before you can get it the full diameter).
8. Heat 1 tbsp olive oil in a fry pan and saute the onions until softened. Add the sugar and vinegar and cook for about 5 minutes.
9. Spread the onions over the the base and top with the beetroot slices, sundried tomatoes and the cubes of Vegan Feta Cheese. Drizzle with a bit of the oil from the jar of sundried tomatoes.
10. Bake for 15 minutes, or until the edges become golden brown. Remove from the oven, slice and serve up.

This is the virtual vegan potluck, which is so much fun so make sure you check out everyone else's posts too!

To start from the beginning and work your way through head to the very first blog in the chain by clicking right....... here. If you've already worked your way through all the recipes before me then I hope you're enjoying all the dishes. I can't wait to sit down with a cup of tea and go through them all!

What's next in breads? Time to move on to the next Potluck Offering. 

Hit this button to go to the previous post by Bite Me, I'm Vegan, or click here:

Hit this button to go to the next post by In Pursuit of More, or click here:

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