Focaccia Making

Making bread is something I don’t do often, they always managed to intimidate me. And bread making are relatively easy to screw up especially the kneading part! Thank goodness I have my trusty KitchenAid and the dough hook has been kind to me. I can’t recommend it enough, it makes kneading such a breeze.

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Last week, I attempted to make focaccia, reason being it is the easiest bread to make imo and the flavor options are endless, you can top it with just about anything! There are plenty of recipes to choose from but I always opt for the easiest ones. I am not being lazy, but being smart :p

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The first that I made was caramelized onion with sundried tomato focaccia which turned out to be fantastic. I did not expect it to be so good. So credit to The Culinary Chronicles for sharing her recipe. The bread was soft and fluffy with a crispy crust which tasted just like Pizza Hut’s pizza. Do you hear pizza’s calling? Watch this space! đŸ™‚

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Few days ago, I made another batch of focaccia, this time with just sundried tomato. Using the same recipe, I substituted olive oil with the oil from the sundried tomato. And I think I left it in the oven a few minutes too long (mistakes!) thus resulted in a drier crust, but still maintained a soft and fluffy interior.

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The next time if I make focaccia again, I would make a pot of stew to go along. The bread makes a good plate cleaning tool :p

Caramelized Onion and Sundried Tomato Focaccia
adapted from The Culinary Chronicles

1 Package Dry Yeast
1 Cup Warm Water
1 Teaspoon Honey
2 1/2 Cups All-Purpose Flour
2 Teaspoon Kosher Salt, divided
1/2 Cup plus 1 Tablespoon Olive Oil, divided
1 Large Onion, thinly sliced
1/2 Cup Sundried Tomatoes, sliced
2 Sprigs Fresh Rosemary, needles removed from stem (I used thyme as I do not have any rosemary in hand)
1/3 Cup (packed) Parmesan Cheese, finely grated

1. In a medium bowl, stir together yeast, warm water, and honey. Let rest until yeast blooms and bubbles form on top, about 10 minutes.
2. Stir in flour, 1/4 cup olive oil and 1 teaspoon kosher salt. Transfer to the mixing bowl and knead for 5-10 minutes using the dough hook attachment. ( Or Turn the dough onto a well-floured surface and knead until dough is smooth, 5 to 10 minutes)
3. Place dough in a lightly oiled bowl, cover with a kitchen towel or plastic wrap, and let rest in a warm place until dough doubles in size, about 1 hour.
4. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F (230 degrees C)
5. Remove dough from bowl and press it into a lightly oiled 9- by 13-inch baking sheet until it touches the edges.
6. Using your finger, poke holes all over the dough. Drizzle the dough with 2 tablespoons olive oil. Let rest until the dough becomes puffy, about 20 minutes.
7. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large skillet set over medium heat. Add onion slices, cover and cook until onion is golden brown, stirring occasionally, about 20 minutes.
8. Top the dough with caramelized onions, rosemary, Parmesan cheese, and salt. Drizzle with remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil.
9. Bake for about 10-15 minutes and add sundried tomatoes. Return to the oven and continue baking until the focaccia is golden brown, about another 5 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool on a rack. Cut into pieces and serve.

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* For sundried tomato version, you can either use olive oil or the soaking oil from the sundried tomatoes. Cut the tomatoes into small pieces, I used about 10-12 pieces of them, feel free to add more. Incorporate them into step 2 and the rest is as per the recipe.

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