Wednesday, April 11, 2012
Red Onion Focaccia
I've mentioned before that my Grandma Myrtle made most things from scratch. But I don't recall her making much bread. I think she enjoyed the convenience of bread from the market. My first recollection of homemade bread was on a vacation to Oregon with my other Grandparents, Ann and Bing. I was nine years old and we traveled by plane to visit Grandma Ann's brother John and his wife Doris, who was from England. This was also my first experience with someone with a thick English accent. I had such a good time on that trip. Aunt Doris made several loaves of whole wheat bread. She seemed so experienced. I had never seen anyone knead bread before. I must have been staring at her because she asked me if I'd like to make my own loaf. I remember my Grandpa Bing being so proud of my miniature loaf of bread that he had me hold it up and pose for a photo. He was always to one to brag about my accomplishments, no matter how small. I loved the aroma of fresh bread from that moment on. I'm sure that if Grandpa Bing were still with us, he'd want me to pose for photos with all of the bread I've been baking and all of you would grow quite tired of seeing me in every picture. And Aunt Doris would be shocked to see the creations coming out of my kitchen. It sure would be fun to travel back in time to that vacation and prepare an entire meal for the four of them. I'd love to hear their comments and see the look on their faces when they saw me all grown up. The strange things I think about sometimes....
This Foccacia was much easier than I originally thought it would be. For some reason, the idea of making this on my own, rather than buying it just scared me. Silly me, there really was no reason to shy away from making it myself. Now that I know the basics, I can add different herbs or maybe even serve it with a homemade marinara. The flavors of the red onion and the coarse salt went so good together as a topping. The dough was light and perfectly crunchy along the edges. So delicious.
Red Onion Focaccia
6 cups bread flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp sugar
1 tbs rapid rise yeast
4 tbs extra virgin olive oil
2 cups lukewarm water (I make sure the water is at least 101 degrees)
2 red onions, very thinly sliced
3 tbs extra virgin olive oil
1 tbs coarse salt
1. Sift the flour, salt and sugar into a large bowl. Stir in the yeast, oil and water, and mix to a dough using a blunt knife. Add a little extra water if the dough is dry.
2. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for about 10 minutes, until smooth and elastic. Put the dough in a clean, lightly oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Set aside to rise i a warm place until doubled in bulk.
3. Place two 10 inch plain metal flan rings on baking sheets. Oil the sides of the rings and the baking sheets.
4. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Halve the dough and roll each piece to a 10 inch round. Press into the rings, cover with a dampened dishcloth and let rise for 30 minutes.
5. Make deep holes, about 1 inch apart, in the dough. Cover and let sit for another 20 minutes.
6. Sprinkle the onion on top and drizzle with oil. Sprinkle with the salt, then a little cold water, to prevent a hard crust from forming.
7. Bake for about 25 minutes, sprinkling with water again during cooking. Cool on a wire rack.