Monday, October 8, 2012

Carmelized Onion Focaccia

Who doesn't love Focaccia!?!?  There are many different versions out there, I'm sure...but here's a simple one to start with.  If you can't find Tuscan Herbs, substitute your favorites---a classic is rosemary in this bread.  When it's done, eat it as an appetizer OR do as I do and substitute for boring bread when making a sandwich----takes it to a whole new level!

Carmelized Onion Focaccia

1/4 C. canola oil, divided
2 C chopped onion
1/4 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. ground black pepper
5 Tbsp. water, divided
1 Tsp. yellow cornmeal
1 (16 oz.) pkg. hot roll mix *I recommend Pillsbury Hot Roll Mix
1 1/4 C hot water (120 to 130 degrees)
2 tsp. dried Tuscan seasoning *McCormick makes a Tuscan Seasoning Blend

In a medium skillet, heat 1 Tbsp. oil over medium high heat.  Add onion; cook for 4 minutes, or until lightly browned, stirring occasionally.  Reduce heat to medium-low; sprinkle with salt and pepper, and slowly stir in 2 Tbsp. water.  Cook, stirring occasionally, until deep golden brown and tender, about 15 minutees.  (Stir in remaining 3 Tbsp. water, 1 Tbsp. at a time, occasionally, to prevent onions from sticking to the pan, if necessary.)  Cool completely.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Spray a large baking sheet with nonstick cooking spray; sprinkle with cornmeal.  In a large bowl, combine contents of hot roll mix and yeast packet included in the mix, hot water, 2 Tbsp. oil, and Tuscan seasoning.  Stir until dough pulls away from sides of bowl.  With greased or floured hands, shape dough into a ball.  Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface.  Knead dough for 5 minutes, or until smooth.  Cover dough with a large bowl; let stand for 5 minutes.

Using hands, pat dough into a 12-inch circle on prepared pan (a pizza pan would work FAB for this)
Loosely cover; let rise in a warm place (80 to 85 degrees) free from drafts, for 20 minutes, or until puffy.  Uncover dough; brush with remaining 1 Tbsp. oil.  Sprinkle with caramelized onions.  Gently press surface of dough with fingertips at intervals to create indentations. 

Bake for 25 minutes, or until lightly browned.  Let cool completely on a wire rack, about 1 hour.

Makes 8 servings

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