Caramelized onion focaccia

p1190620Focaccia is the “fast food” of breads:  near instant gratification.  Well, as instant as yeast baking gets, anyway.  Combine 3 1/4 cups of all-purpose flour, 1  tsp instant yeast, 1/3 cup olive oil, 1/2 tsp salt, 1 1/4 cups water:  knead in a kitchen-aid mixer with a dough hook for 10-12 minutes, until the sticky dough develops enough gluten to pass the windowpane test.  Scrape into an oiled bowl; rise until doubled, about 1.5 hours at 70 degrees.  Lightly oil a half sheet pan; dump the dough onto the pan.  Spread and stretch the dough to evenly cover the pan, then dimple deeply, poking all over, with your fingertips.  Allow to rise for 30-45 minutes more, then bake at 375 for 25-30 minutes.

Toppings are great on focaccia; I used leftover caramelized onions, scattering them atop the dough before the second rise.  Chopped fresh rosemary, seedless grapes, pitted olives, sundried tomatoes:  all are great choices, but show some restrain and use one at a time!

4 thoughts on “Caramelized onion focaccia

    • Of course you don’t need a stand mixer–it just makes the work a whole lot easier! Kneading very wet doughs (ciabatta, focaccia, pizza bianca, etc) is quite difficult by hand; if you’re a bread novice, I wouldn’t recommend hand-kneading, as it can be an exercise in frustration even if you’ve done it before. Nick Malgieri has a nice no-knead focaccia sheet in his “How to Bake” book. I don’t know the proportions off the top of my head, but I’ll send them to you. His recipe calls for yeast, flour, water, salt, and olive oil, stirred together in a large bowl for a few minutes. It goes into the fridge for a long, slow, overnight ferment/rise, then you pour the dough out onto an oiled baking sheet, rise for a bit more, and bake. It’s even easier than the focaccia I posted, but it does require that overnight fridge rise.

      But if you’re looking for an excuse to buy a stand mixer, bread baking is the perfect one!

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