Thursday, November 12, 2020

Easy Rosemary and Onion Focaccia (knead by hand or with a stand mixer)

Easy Rosemary and Onion Focaccia (healthy, vegan)

*This post is sponsored by Idaho-Eastern Oregon Spanish Sweet Onions. All opinions are authentic and my own. Thank you for supporting the awesome companies that partner with Woman in Real Life.*

If you sometimes put off making certain recipes because they seem intimidating, then this easy focaccia bread recipe is for you! I didn't make focaccia for a long time simply because I thought it would be difficult. It's a recipe that my Italian mother-in-law makes and she's somebody who doesn't mind spending all day in the kitchen to make a great meal. (As much as I love to eat a great meal, I get agitated if I'm in the kitchen cooking for more than an hour.) Turns out, focaccia is super easy to make - no fuss at all! And you can make this simple focaccia recipe with a stand mixer or knead the dough by hand for about 5 minutes.

This recipe makes one good-sized focaccia. Focaccia is best eaten fresh in the first day or two, so I prefer to make a small amount. And it's also less work to make one at a time. Remember less work is what we're going for. I have topped this focaccia with traditional rosemary, but to make it extra delicious I have also added Idaho-Eastern Oregon Spanish Sweet Onions. They bring so much flavour to this focaccia recipe and they are quick to prepare. Simply sauté Spanish Sweets in a small amount of oil with a pinch of salt for a few minutes and they are ready to be oven-baked on top of this naturally vegan focaccia.


Easy Rosemary and Onion Focaccia (healthy, vegan)

You never know what strange ingredients or preservatives go into a store-bought bread or dough. When you take a bit of extra time to prepare your own focaccia at home, you know that you're using fresh, natural ingredients. 

If you don't have a stand mixer with a dough hook, please know that I actual prefer making this focaccia recipe by hand - it comes together easily, doesn't require tons of muscle power and it's actually kind of a soothing process. Put on some good music, set your timer for 5 minutes and you'll have a beautiful ball of focaccia dough before you know it!

Easy Rosemary and Onion Focaccia (healthy, vegan)

Focaccia is a flat, oven-baked Italian bread that's quite similar to white pizza. You can use it as an appetizer, meal or side dish or even as sandwich bread! Yum! Traditional focaccia is made with flour, olive oil, salt and rosemary. I have reduced the amount of olive oil in this focaccia recipe to keep it on the healthier side.  I think my mother-in-law would approve, because she's actually cutting back on her oil usage these days.


Easy Rosemary and Onion Focaccia (healthy, vegan)

Even without so much olive oil, this easy rosemary and onion focaccia has a beautiful pizza-like texture with a firm, chewy outside and a softer middle. The fresh rosemary and onion combination, plus some fresh minced garlic on the top, makes a pleasing savoury contrast to the bread base.

Easy Rosemary and Onion Focaccia (healthy, vegan)

Steps to make this easy rosemary and onion focaccia (full recipe below):


Proof the yeast: Stir warm water and sugar together in a bowl. Sprinkle on the yeast and stir. Allow to sit for 5 minutes or so until the yeast gets foamy.

Add flour, olive oil and salt to the proofed yeast: Add these ingredients to the bowl gradually, mixing (either by hand or with the mixer) as you go, until the dough begins to form a ball. Add more flour if the mix is too sticky. Continue mixing with the stand mixer until a dough ball is fully formed. If kneading by hand, turn dough onto a floured surface and knead until smooth (about 5 minutes).

Let it rise: Add the dough ball into a bowl coated with olive oil and cover with a damp towel. Set in a warm location to rise for about an hour or until dough ball has nearly doubled in size.

Roll it: Move the dough to a floured surface, and roll out to fit a 9” x 13” baking dish or sheet pan. Transfer to greased pan.  Cover with a damp towel and let the dough rise again for 20 minutes.

Prepare toppings: Saute Spanish Sweet onions in olive oil with a pinch of salt for a few minutes until translucent.

Poke dough: With your fingers, poke several good-sized dimples across the surface of the dough. Drizzle with two teaspoons (or more if you wish) of olive oil.

Add toppings: Top focaccia with minced garlic and cooked onions and sprinkle with the needles of a fresh rosemary sprig.

Bake: Bake for 20 minutes, or until the dough is slightly golden and cooked through. Garnish with more fresh rosemary needles.

To enjoy this easy rosemary and onion focaccia at its prime, serve it straight out of the oven (okay, let it cool slightly).

 


More about Spanish Sweets

Idaho-Eastern Oregon Spanish Sweet Onions have never been recalled, so look for them when you shop. These farmers have some of the most stringent growing and storage practices around. 

Spanish Sweets are a perfect pantry staple, a long-lasting vegetable that you can always have on hand to complement rather than overwhelm your dinner creations. They are available in stores from mid-October to March or April.

Idaho-Eastern Oregon growers plant yellow, red and white varieties. Yellow onions are best for cooking; reds are ideal for salads and white onions are usually served diced and uncooked. Store in a basket or mesh bag with good air circulation—this way they can last up to 4 weeks at home.

Get more recipes and information at usaonions.com


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Questions for you

Have you made focaccia? Are there any recipes you hesitate to make because they seem overwhelming?



Easy Rosemary and Onion Focaccia


Easy Rosemary and Onion Focaccia (healthy, vegan)


Ingredients
  • 1 cup warm water (about 110°F)
    1 teaspoon sugar
    1 package active dry yeast
    2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
    1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    For the toppings:
    2 Idaho-Eastern Oregon Spanish Sweet Onions
    1 tablespoon olive oil (more for drizzling)
    pinch of salt
    1 clove garlic, minced
    1 sprig fresh rosemary (more for garnish if desired)

Instructions

Stir warm water and sugar together in the bowl of a stand mixer (or in a large mixing bowl if you aren't using a stand mixer). Sprinkle on the yeast and stir. Allow to sit for 5 minutes or so until the yeast gets foamy.


For the stand mixer: Using the dough attachment, with the mixer on low, add flour, olive oil and salt gradually to the proofed yeast. Increase speed to medium and mix for about 5 minutes. If the dough is sticky, add more flour a tablespoon at a time until dough forms a tidy ball.


To knead by hand: Add flour, olive oil and salt gradually into the large mixing bowl where you have proofed the yeast, stirring until dough begins to form. Move to a floured surface and knead until smooth (about 5 minutes), adding extra flour if the dough feels too sticky. Shape dough into a ball.  


Put the dough ball into a bowl coated with olive oil and cover with a damp towel.  Set in a warm location to rise for about an hour or until dough ball has nearly doubled in size.


Move the dough to a floured surface, and roll out to fit a 9” x 13” baking dish or sheet pan. Transfer the dough to a parchment-lined or greased (with olive oil, vegan butter or shortening) sheet pan or baking dish. Cover with a damp towel and let the dough rise again for 20 minutes.


In the meantime, preheat the oven to 400°F.


For the toppings:


Thinly slice onions. In a large frying pan over medium-high heat, add olive oil, sliced onions and a pinch of salt. Cook until onions are soft and translucent.


Poke several good-sized dimples across the surface of the dough. Drizzle with two teaspoons (or more if you wish) of olive oil. 


Top focaccia dough with minced garlic and cooked onions and sprinkle with the needles of the fresh rosemary sprig.


Bake for 20 minutes, or until the dough is slightly golden and cooked through. Garnish with more fresh rosemary needles.










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