Combine ¼ tsp yeast and 2 tbsp warm water in a bowl, stand for 10 minutes or until foamy, add 165ml warm water and 250gm flour and stir for 2 minutes or until smooth and shiny. Cover and stand for 3 hours or until doubled in size. Starter can be refrigerated at this stage and brought to room temperature before using.
Combine remaining yeast and ¼ cup warm water in the bowl of an electric mixer and stand for 10 minutes or until foamy, add starter and beat for 4-5 minutes or until smooth. Add butter and combine. Add onion, sopressa and herbs and beat for 2-3 minutes or until well combined. Add remaining flour, combine and season to taste. Change to a dough hook attachment and knead for 3 minutes or until shiny and elastic. Transfer to a lightly oiled bowl, turn to coat, cover with a tea towel and stand for 1 hour or until doubled in size.
Preheat oven to 220C. Knock back dough, turn onto a floured surface and roll out dough to a 35cm x 60cm rectangle, scatter stracchino along long edge, then roll lengthways into a cylinder. Cut into 12 pieces and place, cut-side down, onto a lightly oiled oven tray. Cover with a tea towel, stand for 30 minutes, then bake for 12-15 minutes or until golden. Serve warm, spread with ricotta.
Note Pickled cippoline onions are available
from Simon Johnson and select delicatessens. Small pickled onions
can be substituted. Stracchino is a fresh cow's milk cheese
available from select delicatessens.