We love bread (Who doesn't?). We love it plain. We love it salted. We love it with a million and one toppings.
We've always wanted to try our hand at Focaccia. So, this week, that's exactly what we did. And it turned out great on the first try (unlike the microwave fudge we attempted...ahem).
The great thing about focaccia is that it's flat, so it can be loaded with whatever ingredients suit your taste. Kind of like a barge. The barge of bread. Or, you can simply spritz it with olive oil and sprinkle with sea salt.
We simplified this from Tyler Florence's Fabulous Focaccia. It's crusty, chewy and cheesy, with a hint of mediterranean flavor.
Rating: Truly 1/2 hassed if you top with only salt. 3/4 assed if you add many toppings.
Here's what you need and how you do it
1 packet yeast
1 Tablespoon sugar
1 cup warm (not hot) water
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 Tablespoon salt
1/4 cup olive oil
1 large onion
1 Tablespoon balsamic vinaigrette
1/3 cup kalamata olives, pitted and chopped
2 to 3 Tablespoons fresh rosemary, chopped
1/4 cup parmesan cheese
Sprinkle of sea salt
Proof yeast by whisking it and sugar into the cup of warm water and letting it sit for 10 minutes. When it puffs, add to flour, salt and olive oil. Knead by hand or in a stand mixer with a dough hook.
Place in large, greased bowl covered with plastic wrap and let rise in warm place for 2 to 3 hours.
When dough has risen, punch down and push out into rectangle on ungreased cookie sheet. Let rise for another hour.
In the meantime, caramelize onions by sautéing in olive oil (without stirring much) over low heat for about an hour. When onions begin to turn golden, add balsamic vinaigrette and heat for another 15 minutes over low heat.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Leave dough on cookie sheet and dimple by poking your index finger in at regular intervals. Top dough with sea salt, caramelized onions, olives, rosemary and parmesan.
Bake for about 20 minutes.
For a printable version of this recipe, click here.