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this easy recipe from Elizabeth W. Gift Baskets!
I used to be intimidated by the idea of making yeast breads, yet I’d whip up pizza dough in a heartbeat. Then I had a “duh” moment and realized that focaccia dough is really just pizza dough, only thicker. So here’s my super easy recipe for focaccia. Want to make it even easier? Buy a wad of prepared pizza dough at the grocery store and skip to step 4. Want to make pizza instead? Just roll the dough thinner and add more toppings.
(Makes one 15-by-10-inch focaccia)
1 large onion
1 tablespoon butter
3 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for brushing
1 teaspoon sugar, divided
1 (1/4-ounce) envelope active dry yeast
3 ½ cups flour
1 ½ teaspoons salt
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh sage leaves, plus whole leaves for garnish
1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh rosemary
1. Peel the onion and slice it in half lengthwise. Cut the halves crosswise into thin slices. Heat the butter and 1 tablespoon of oil over medium heat in a skillet. Add the onions and salt and pepper to taste. Cook, stirring often, until the onions are very soft and golden, about 25 minutes. Stir in ½ teaspoon of the sugar and remove from heat. Let cool.
2. Meanwhile, stir the yeast and the other half-teaspoon of the sugar into a measuring cup filled with 1-1/3 cups warm water. Let mixture stand for 5 minutes, then stir to make sure the yeast has dissolved. Stir in the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil.
3. Combine the flour, salt and chopped herbs in a large bowl. Pour in the yeast mixture and stir until a slightly sticky dough forms. With lightly oiled hands, knead the dough a few times in the bowl and then form it into a rough ball. Spray the inside of the bowl with cooking spray and return the ball to the bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise until doubled in size, about 45 minutes.
4. Coat a large baking sheet with cooking spray. Punch down the dough, then spread and press it into the pan to form an irregular oval about 1 inch thick. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rise until puffy and doubled in size, about 30 minutes.
5. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Lightly brush the dough with olive oil. Bake for 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and spoon on the caramelized onions. Add the sage leaves and drizzle with more olive oil. Return to the oven and bake for 8 to 10 minutes more, until bread is golden brown. Serve warm.
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