Focaccia is an oven baked Italian flat-bread that is topped with herbs and various other toppings. Focaccia dough is similar to pizza dough just that the amount of leavening agent (yeast) used in focaccia is slightly more than that of pizza. This gives the focaccia a slightly thicker base in comparison to the flat and flexible pizza base. I love baking breads and Focaccia was on my list for long. Herb Focaccia is the most popular one but the taste and texture caramelized onions give to focaccia or for that matter to any recipe is delicious. Hence thought of baking Caramelized Onion and Rosemary Focaccia this time and we all absolutely loved it.
Focaccia dough is really easy to make. I know the feeling of making bread can be intimidating but honestly its super easy and a fun experience to bake breads. Would encourage everyone to try it at least once. Focaccia dough requires simple ingredients like flour, olive oil, salt and leavening agent (yeast). Knead, Rise, punch, arrange and bake. Its that simple. Herbs and toppings can be added per taste and liking. Use this bread for your sandwiches giving altogether a new flavor to your regular sandwich or serve them as appetizers with a dip/spread of your choice. Focaccia taste best when served warm.
Now to the recipe...
For the focaccia:
4 cups of all purpose flour
2 tsp kosher salt (or regular salt)
4-5 tbsp of olive oil
1 envelope (2 & ¼ tsp)of instant Rapidrise dry yeast
1 tbsp of sugar
1 and ¾ cups of luke-warm water
1 large onion chopped
1 tbsp butter
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp dry rosemary
Mix the yeast and sugar in the bowl of lukewarm water and keep it aside for 10 mins or until this mixture turns frothy.
In a large bowl combine the flour, kosher salt and 2 tbsp of olive oil. Mix these together and then add the frothy yeast mixture to it.
Knead either using a wooden spatula or with your hands until a sticky dough is formed. Now transfer the dough on to a clean surface and knead until you get a smooth elastic dough. Grease a large bowl with 1 tbsp of olive oil and transfer the dough ball in it. Apply 1 tbsp of olive oil to the dough and coat it completely. Cover with a plastic wrap and let it sit in a warm place for about 30-40 minutes or until this dough has doubled.
Preheat the oven to 400F. While the dough is resting, chop the onions in juliennes. Heat a large pan and once hot add the butter and olive oil followed by onions. Once the onions start turning translucent add salt and pepper to taste. Keep stirring occasionally on medium to high heat until all the onions have caramelized i.e. turned golden brown. Remove from the pan and keep aside to cool.
Drizzle 1 tbsp of olive oil onto the baking sheet/tray and spread it well covering the bottom and sides. Once the dough has risen to double, punch the dough and transfer it into a baking sheet.Using you fingertips, stretch the dough to cover the entire sheet. Spread some olive oil using a pastry brush or your hand to coat the entire dough. Cover with a clean cloth and let it rest in a warm place for another 30-40 minutes.
When focaccia has puffed up in the pan, using your fingertips create dimples (indentations) all over the surface of focaccia. Drizzle/brush some more olive oil if required and sprinkle the rosemary followed by caramelized onion covering the entire dough evenly. Bake the focaccia in the preheated oven for 20-30 minutes (check after every 15 minutes)or until the top starts turning light golden-brown. Remove from the oven and allow it to cool in the pan for 5 minutes before transferring it onto a cooling rack/dish.
- You can use fresh rosemary or any herb like thyme, oregano of your choice instead of dry version just use more quantity when using the fresh herb. May be a couple of tbsps and roughly chop it before topping the dough.
- Add all fresh herbs before baking except basil. Preferably add basil after baking.
- You can prepare this dough in-advance and refrigerate it overnight. Refrigeration will slow the rising process of the dough so when you want to bake it first spread in on the tray, coat with olive oil and give it some extra time to rise before adding the toppings and baking.
- I've baked this focaccia in 9"X13" baking pan to get a thicker bread but you can always divide the dough in two parts and bake each part in 9"X 13" pan or use a large baking tray may be 16"X12" and bake the entire dough together to cater to a larger audience.
That's it our Caramelized Onion and Rosemary Focaccia is ready. Serve this bread warm just on its own or with a spread of your choice or use it as a bread for your sandwiches. Enjoy!