Apple, Rosemary, and Sweet Onion Focaccia
Makes 24 slices
Focaccia is one of the easiest artisanal breads you can make at home. Once you’ve made the basic dough a few times, you can let your imagination run wild with toppings. Just remember not to load the bread down, or the dough won’t be able to rise as much and the texture will be tougher.
- 1 0.25-oz. pkg. active dry yeast
- 3 cups bread flour, divided
- 1 tsp. sugar or agave nectar
- 1 tsp. salt
- 2 Tbs. olive oil, plus more for brushing pan and dough
- 2 Tbs. olive oil
- 1 large sweet onion, halved and
- thinly sliced
- 1 Tbs. chopped fresh rosemary, divided
- 2 small tart cooking apples,
- cored and thinly sliced
- 2 Tbs. sugar or agave nectar
1. To make Dough: Stir yeast into 1/4 cup warm (105°–115°F) water until dissolved. Let stand 10 minutes. Stir 3/4 cup flour, sugar, and 1/2 cup warm water into yeast. Cover, and let stand 30 to 45 minutes, or until very bubbly and fragrant.
2. Combine remaining 21/4 cups flour and salt in bowl of food processor, stand mixer, or regular bowl. (Reserve 1/3 cup flour if kneading by hand.) Stir oil and 1/2 cup warm water into yeast mixture. Stir yeast mixture into flour mixture. (If using food processor, add liquids through feeding tube with processor running. If using stand mixer with dough hook, add liquids in steady stream with mixer on low speed.) Follow kneading below.
3. Place Dough in lightly oiled bowl. Cover, and let rise in warm place 45 minutes to 1 hour, or until doubled in size. Lightly oil 15- x 10-inch jelly-roll pan or rimmed baking sheet. Gently stretch or press Dough into pan as evenly as possible with fingers; brush with oil. Make indentations with fingertips all over Dough. Cover, and set aside 30 minutes, or until doubled in size.
4. To make Topping: Preheat oven to 425°F. Heat 1 Tbs. oil in large skillet over medium heat. Add onion, and sauté 3 to 4 minutes, or until soft. Stir in 11/2 tsp. rosemary, and season with salt and pepper, if desired. Reduce heat to medium-low, and cook 4 minutes more, or until tender and translucent. Transfer to plate. Add remaining 1 Tbs. oil to same skillet, and sauté apples and remaining 11/2 tsp. rosemary 6 to 8 minutes, or until softened. Stir onion and sugar into apple mixture.
5. Sprinkle apple-onion mixture evenly over Dough. Bake in upper one-third of oven 20 minutes, or until edges are golden and bottom of focaccia is golden brown.
3 ways to knead
By Hand Best for cooks who want to “feel” when dough is ready and desire more control.
1. Combine all but 1/3 cup of flour (reserve this for kneading) with dry ingredients in bowl. Stir in yeast and liquids until a shaggy dough forms. Turn dough onto work surface dusted with reserved flour. Gather the edges of dough into center to make a tight ball, and press with heel of hand several times to remove air from dough. Let dough rest 4 to 5 minutes so it will be less sticky when you knead.
2. Flatten dough ball by pushing down and away from you with the heel of your hand (dough will be an oval-shaped blob). Pull and fold far edge back over dough. Turn dough a quarter turn. Repeat. Kneading can take 2 to 10 minutes. Fully kneaded dough will be smooth and won’t stick to your hands.
Stand Mixer (with hook attachment) Best for traditionalists who don’t like to get their hands sticky. This method comes closest to hand kneading without the effort.
Place dry ingredients in mixer bowl, and fit mixer with dough hook. Mix on low speed 1 minute to combine. With mixer running at low speed, add yeast and liquids by pouring them down the inside of the bowl. Increase speed to medium-low, and mix 2 minutes. Let dough rest 5 minutes. Mix at medium-low speed 5 minutes, or until dough is smooth. Increase speed to medium, and mix 2 minutes. Kneading is done when dough makes a slapping sound as it hits the side of the bowl. Dough temperature should be close to 90°F.
Food Processor (with regular or dough blade) Best for bakers in a hurry. The blade kneads dough in under 90 seconds.
November 2011 p.48
Pulse dry ingredients in food processor fitted with dough blade to combine. With processor running, add yeast and liquids through feed tube. Stop once liquids have been added. Pulse on and off 8 to 10 times until dough comes together in a ball and no dry ingredients remain. Dough temperature will be about 90°F.