Caramelized Onion Skillet Focaccia

Warm pillowy focaccia with sweet caramelized onions and chunky salt flakes = bread perfection!

focaccia2.jpeg

To dip or not to dip - that's the question! Me - I’m a major dipper, I mean how can you eat focaccia without balsamic and olive oil? I seriously don’t understand when restaurants bring this style of bread with nothing to dip it in - butter doesn’t work for focaccia, and that is coming from a butter lover.

So if you are on team no dip you are in luck with this one. Since it has the caramelized onions on top it has so much flavour you almost don’t need the balsamic - almost.

Now if you are not a big bread maker this is a great one to get you started. It’s super easy and if you have a stand mixer, it doesn't require you to do all that much work. If you have made bread in the past but not focaccia the biggest thing that may seem unusual is that finger poking that you do before you put it in the oven. This is what gives it it’s traditional look and it's a must. Don't be afraid to poke it too much - you want to do it a lot and you want to press your fingers all the way down to the bottom of the pan - trust me.

This bread is also best served warm and the day that you make it. While you can certainly store it in a ziplock bag you will lose that good crust that makes this bread so delicious. So whip this up mid-afternoon and treat your friends and family to this bread for dinner tonight!

focaccia3.jpg

prep time 1 hour 40 minutes

cook time 40 minutes

total time 2 hours 2 minutes

servings 8 pieces

Ingredients

1 1/3 cup warm water

2 tsp sugar

1 pkg active dry yeast

3 1/2 cups flour

1/4 cup olive oil + more for for the top

2 tsp coarse sea salt + more for the top

2 sprigs rosemary

1/2 white onion

2 tbsp butter

Instructions

In the bowl of your stand mixer pour warm water and sugar then stir until the sugar is dissolved. Sprinkle yeast on top and let sit for 10 minutes or until mixture is frothy.

To the yeast mixture add in flour, olive oil, and sea salt. Mix on low/medium for 5 minutes or until the dough has come away from the sides and is forming a ball (adding more flour if needed). Remove the dough from the bowl and form into a ball then place in a clean greased bowl and cover for 45 -60 minutes or until the dough has doubled in size.

Preheat oven of 400. Once the dough has doubled remove from the bowl and place in a cast iron skillet - pressing dough into the pan so that it is evenly distributed. Cover again and allow to rest for another 20 minutes.

While the bread is resting place butter into a medium frying pan and allow to melt. Add in the sliced onions and cook over low heat for 20 minutes or until onions are golden brown and caramelized (being sure to stir often so they do not burn).

Remove the towel and press your fingers firmly into the dough - being sure to press all the way to the bottom of the pan. Top with caramelized onions, a generous sprinkle of sea salt, rosemary and a drizzle of olive oil. Bake for 20 minutes or until bread is light golden brown.

Remove from oven and give another small drizzle of olive oil. Allow to cool before removing from the cast iron skillet.

focaccia.jpeg

Garlic Rosemary "Quick" Bread

This easy no knead bread has a wonderful rich flavour from the sautéed garlic! With such little effort it’s hard to believe you can whipped this up in just a few hours.

Bread.jpeg

Bread is one of those things that I really want to be a master at, I think there is just something so lovely about the whole process. And while I can make a pretty decent loaf, I certainly would not call myself an expert.

My first bread making experience was at age 13. My mom was always making homemade buns, but never bread, so we decided that we were going to attempt to make a loaf. The first couple of tries were terrible. They either didn’t rise, or they were shaped really weird. Finally, one day we made the most perfectly looking loaves - we had finally done it!

Fast forward a few hours to a very sad sight - rock hard, charred loaves. Apparently in all of our excitement we had forgotten to set the timer. Needless to say on that very day our bread dreams died.

Since then I have been experimenting off and on with making bread - mostly more artisan rustic loaves (probably from the trauma of my childhood). One of my favourites is a rosemary garlic loaf. In the past I have always used raw garlic and just let it cook in the bread, but this time I sautéed it in advance and let me tell you, it kicked it up a notch and i’m never going back!

Bread+1.jpg

prep time 10 minutes + 1 hour 45 min rising time

cook time 40 minutes

total time approx 3 hours

servings 1 large or 2 small loaves

Ingredients

1 1/3 cup warm water

2 1/4 cup instant dry yeast

1 1/2 tsp salt

1 tbsp sugar

3 tbsp olive oil

1 tbsp finally chopped rosemary

5 cloves thinly sliced garlic

3 1/3 cups all purpose flour (more if needed)

Instructions

In a large bowl add yeast and sugar. Add in warm water and stir until combined. Allow to sit 4-5 minutes until mixture begins to get foamy.

In a small frying pan add olive oil and thinly sliced garlic. Sauté until garlic gets slightly browned and very fragrant.

Once yeast mixture is foamy add in salt, olive oil, rosemary, garlic and flour. Stir with a wooden spoon until fully combined and begins to form a dough - approximately 2 minutes.

Cover bowl loosely with a tea towel and allow to sit in a warm place for 45 min to 1 hour - or until the dough has roughly doubled in size.

Turn your dough onto a floured workspace and being to shape your loaves by stretching the surface of the dough and tucking it underneath. Once you dough is formed place on a parchment lined baking pan and cover with tea towel.

Allow to rise another 30-40 minutes or until it has again doubled in size. If you like you can use a sharp knife and make cuts into the top of your loaf.

Preheat oven to 400. Transfer loaf to oven and bake 40-45 minutes until it is golden brown.

Bread 3.jpeg