Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Caramelized Onion Focaccia

I really wanted to make this recipe for Focaccia de Patate from the Wednesday Chef. But alas, no tomatoes, no potatoes, no fresh yeast, and I just was too lazy to go to the store! But the idea of using potato to make focaccia sounded like a good idea, and I had some delicious potato flakes in the pantry! Actually, I have used the instant potato flakes in other bread recipes, so I thought maybe I could substitute. Hmmmm.

Now, I make frequently make focaccia with another favorite recipe, but this bread had a totally different taste and texture, and it was amazing! I confess, I ate almost half the pan while it was warm, it was that good! It was quite soft and crusty and quite thick - next time I would make it a 9 x 13 pan to get it a bit thinner. The topping of caramelized onions with a touch of fig and a dotting of Boursin herb cheese was the perfect combination. I definitely will be experimenting with this recipe, so stay tuned for some more variations.

Caramelized Onion Focaccia

for the dough:

1/2 cup water
1/2 cup instant potato flakes
2 cups all purpose flour
2 Tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt
2 Tablespoons olive oil
2/3 cups water
1 1/2 teaspoons bread machine yeast

Heat the 1/2 cup water until boiling. Remove from heat and stir in the 1/2 cup potato flakes until combined. In your bread machine bowl, combine flour, sugar, salt, olive oil, and 2/3 cup water along with the potato mixture. Put the yeast in the yeast dispenser and mix using the dough setting on your bread machine. (If you don't have a bread machine, you could knead by hand or in a food processor.) Let rise for a couple of hours.

For the topping:

1 yellow onion
2 Tablespoons olive oil
2 Tablespoons fig jam
1 Tablespoon brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
4 ounces Boursin garlic and herb cheese
fresh rosemary
fresh cracked pepper

Cut the onions into slices and cut the slices into quarters. Heat a large shallow pan with the olive oil and add the onions. Cook over medium heat, stirring every 5 minutes or so, until the onions are brown and caramelized, about 3o - 40 minutes. Add the brown sugar, fig jam, and balsamic vinegar and combine. (Note: I seldom measure these ingredients, just dump a bit in!) Remove from heat.

To make the focaccia:

Take a 9 x 13 pan and pour in about 2 tablespoons more of olive oil. Brush the pan with the oil until well coated. Dump the dough from the bread machine into the pan - it will be very soft and a bit sticky. Push it out with your fingers to fit the pan, then turn it over, and continue to stretch it until it almost fits the pan.

Top the focaccia with the onion mixture and dot with crumbled Boursin cheese. Sprinkle with fresh rosemary and cracked pepper. Let it rise for about another hour.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Drizzle the focaccia with a bit more olive oil before putting in the oven. Bake for about 20 minutes, or until golden brown. Let cool for 5 minutes before slicing and removing from the pan with a spatula. You will want to eat it warm!

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