By Jodee Weiland
Being Italian and loving Italian food makes me want to know how to cook all types of Italian dishes, not just the ones I grew up eating in our family home. We did have a wide variety of family recipes for everyday meals, as well as holidays and special occasions, but there were a few I had when out to eat at a favorite Italian restaurant or when we toured Italy several years ago. One side to any Italian meal that I enjoy is Focaccia Bread.
It is almost like pizza because you can make it so many different ways. The bread itself is crusty on the outside and like thick crust pizza dough on the inside. I especially love rosemary and olive oil with focaccia or any Italian loaf bread. That’s why I decided to make my own version of focaccia. After trying different recipes, I made my own recipe for focaccia adding on what I thought would be delicious, and it is. I made Rosemary Olive Oil Focaccia with Caramelized Onions.
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Prepare parchment paper for baking sheet by brushing it lightly with a touch of olive oil.
In a small mixing bowl, mix 1 tablespoon of active dry yeast and a pinch of sugar with 1/2 cup of warm water, that is water that is warm to the touch, about 100 degrees. Stir this and let it rest for about 10 minutes until it becomes foamy.
Once done, place your ball of dough into a bowl, smoothing a touch of olive oil over the dough. Cover the bowl loosely with plastic wrap for about 20 to 30 minutes and let it rest. It should double in size.
While the dough is resting, brown and sauté to taste the onion slices in 1 tablespoon of olive oil to caramelized your onions. Remove fresh rosemary leaves from stems and finely chop, about 1 and 1/2 to 2 teaspoons.
When the dough is ready, turn it out on to the prepared parchment covered baking sheet. Press into an oval or rectangle, whichever you prefer, to about one inch thick. With oiled fingertips, make indentations all over the top of the bread, each about one inch apart. Using your fingers again, brush the entire surface lightly with olive oil. At this point very lightly sprinkle coarse sea salt across the bread top, if you want. Cover loosely with plastic once again and let rest for an additional 30 minutes.
Place the bread in the oven and bake until lightly brown at 425 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes.