Thursday, April 21, 2011

Focaccia with Goat Cheese, Caramelized Onions & Rosemary

1 cup warm water (105 to 115 degrees F)
1 package (1/4-ounce) active dry yeast
1/2 teaspoon honey
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, plus more for greasing
1 teaspoon sea salt
3 cups bread flour, plus more for dusting
2 T unsalted butter
3 medium yellow onions, halved and cut into 1/4-inch thick slices
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1/2 cup crumbled goat cheese
2 T coarsely chopped fresh rosemary (or 1 T dried)
extra virgin olive oil, for drizzling

Preparing the dough:
In a large bowl with a wooden spoon, or in the bowl of a heavy-duty mixer, combine water, yeast, and honey; stir to dissolve. Let stand until foamy, about 5 minutes.

Add oil and salt to yeast mixture. With spoon, or with mixer on low speed, gradually add 2 1/2 cups flour until a soft dough forms. Slowly add remaining flour until dough just begins to pull away from sides of bowl. Remove dough from bowl and knead by hand on a lightly floured surface until smooth and elastic, about 8 minutes; add more flour as needed to keep dough from sticking. Or keep dough in bowl, change to a dough hook, and increase speed to medium; knead until smooth and supple, about 5 minutes.

Form dough into a ball and place in a large, lightly greased bowl; turn to coat. Cover bowl tightly with plastic wrap and let dough rise in a warm place until doubled in volume, about 1 hour.

* * * * * *

Preparing the topping:
In a large skillet, melt butter over medium heat. Add onions, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/8 teaspoon pepper and cook, stirring frequently, until onions are golden brown, about 20 minutes. Cool.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Lightly grease an 11-inch x 17-inch jellyroll pan; punch down dough and pat it into pan. (If dough pulls back from edges, cover loosely with greased plastic wrap, let stand for 5 minutes, then pat out again.) Cover loosely with greased plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place until almost doubled, about 30 minutes.

Using fingertips, dimple surface of dough. Arrange onions over top, then sprinkle with goat cheese, rosemary, and remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon pepper. Lightly drizzle with olive oil. Bake in lower third of oven until golden brown, about 25 minutes. Cool before serving.

Serves 12


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