Sunday, January 20, 2008

Garlic & Onion Focaccia

I made the mistake of taking out some of my Italian cookbooks while Luke was watching the patriots game today. The result was his burning desire to have fresh focaccia. This was in addition to the game day chili and cornbake we already had started for dinner. Thus it became dessert, although not in any sense of the sweet or creamy things that I think of for that particular course.

The recipe came from the book "Rustico" by Micol Negrin. However, that was a very basic focaccia recipe, and this has been altered to the point that it is unrecognizable. The result was a chewy, crispy edged, deliciously salty and garlicky round bread.

3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, unbleached
1 tsp instant yeast
1/4 cup olive oil
1 head garlic, roasted in olive oil and a little salt
3/4 cup grated parmagiano reggiano
2 1/2 Tbsp. dried crushed rosemary
3 Tbsp oregano
2 tsp. salt
1/2 head red onion, sliced into thin rings

Combine flour and yeast in the bowl of a stand mixer. Add 3/4 cup warm water and blend with a dough hook. Add 2 Tbsp. of oil and enough warm water to make a soft ball of dough (between 1/2 and 2/3 cup). Add in whole roasted garlic cloves, parmesan and herbs. Kneed for one minute, cover with a dishtowel and let rise in a warm place until doubled in size.

Split dough in two and transfer it into 2 9-inch round cake pans, pushing and stretching dough to the edges of the pans. the dough may take 5 minutes in between to relax.

Combine 2 Tbsp. olive oil and 2 Tbsp. warm water with the salt and pour the mixture over the dough. Press down in the dough to create dimples that the olive oil mixture will sit in. Let the dough rise at room temperature for 45 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 475.

Top bread with onion slices before baking. Bake for 20-30 minutes in the upper third of the oven or until golden and crisp on the edges and on top.

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