How to Make an Onion Focaccia
Italian focaccia is one of the most impressive breads to make for others. When you take it out of the oven, it looks beautiful. When you break it apart, its texture is somehow both dense and fluffy. Of course, we haven't even mentioned its deliciousness yet. And with the ability to add practically any topping, they are also one of the most versatile dishes. While you can get busy discovering new ingredients to put on top, you might want to start with a classic. Onion focaccia is one of the most popular for a reason. Caramelized onion takes this classic to the next level.
At oneHOWTO, find out how to make an onion focaccia with our easy caramelized onion focaccia recipe. See how easy it is to get started and then get inventive by adding your own custom flavors.
In a large mixing bowl, sift the flour and mix in the salt. Ensure there is enough space left in the bowl to comfortably work your dough.
Place the water in a saucepan and heat until it is warm. Do not boil.
Dilute the dried yeast in about 75 ml of the warm water, along with the sugar. Keep the rest of the water to the side.
In the bowl with the salted flour, make a crater in the center. It should look like a little flour volcano. Pour the yeast mixture into the crater and start stirring with a wooden spoon as you do. One it has started to incorporate, add the remaining water. Then add a generous splash of olive oil.
You now have all the basic ingredients to start making the dough. Mix all the ingredients in the same bowl with your hands. Ideally, you should fold the dough on itself repeatedly for approximately 10 minutes. If it sticks to your hands, put a few drops of oil on your palms to be able to knead better.
After this first kneading, remove the mixture. Dust a clean work surface with some flour and continue kneading. Make envelope movements with the dough by folding it on itself. Do so until the dough is compact, but still elastic. You may need to add more flour dusting as you continue as the dough will be sticky at the beginning. If you notice it becomes too dry, add a little more oil or stub some on your hands. For a good focaccia dough, it has to be a little damp.
Once the kneading is finished, put the dough in a floured bowl and cover it with a clean cloth or film. You should let it proof for about an hour until you see it has doubled its volume. Put it in a dry and warm place (room temperature), never in the fridge.
While your dough increases in size, prepare the onion by cutting it into julienne strips. You can use these onions raw if you want a little crunchy texture. However, for caramelized onion focaccia, you need to cook them in shallow pan with a good splash of olive oil. Sauté on low heat until they are soft, which can take up to 20 minutes. Add more oil if they become too dry and turn the heat right down if they start to burn.
You can add some sugar if you want them to be extra sweet. However, the natural sugars of the onion will come out and sweeten them as you cook.
After this time, grease an oven-safe container with olive oil and spread out the focaccia dough. The dough should be about 2-3 cm thick. Make dimples with your fingers all over the surface and sprinkle with more oil. If you like, sprinkle with a little more of your preferred type of salt (fine, coarse, or flaky).
Finally, add the chopped or caramelized onion, spreading it over the entire surface. It's also time to add any herbs or spices you prefer. Thyme, oregano, basil or rosemary go great with this dish, but you can even add a little fresh chili if you want to spice it up. If you want to make it extra decadent, add some cheese, but do these 5-7 minutes before the end of cooking.
When you have it ready, let the dough rest for 10 minutes again and preheat the oven to about 250 ºC/482ºF. Once at the right temperature, add the focaccia and let it cook for about 15 minutes. Take it out and wait a few minutes for it to be warm.
Now your focaccia is ready, you can enjoy it as a as a replacement for bread with a larger meal, as a starter in itself or as a perfect lunchtime eat.
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- Remember that you can add whatever ingredients you prefer to the focaccia: peppers, dried tomatoes, anchovies, ham... The possibilities are endless and only depend on your tastes and your imagination.
- A good idea is to provide an extra drizzle of virgin olive oil as soon as the focaccia comes out of the oven.
- The focaccia dough can also be made with fresh yeast, always dissolving it in warm water beforehand.