Summery Tomato and Onion Focaccia

(It’s been almost exactly one year since I first posted this and tomatoes are ripe again. So here it is, a wonderful side dish, and this time you will be happy to note that I used spell check!)

This turned out to be easier than I thought. I have made focaccia before when you have to start the dough the day before and the dough is real wet and hard to handle. You need a wet dough to get the nice holes in your dough for breads like focaccia or ciabatta. But this was a kind of easier version, perfect for dinner the other night.

Focaccia with home-grown tomatoes and onions

There are really only 3 steps. Mix the dough and set aside. Spread the dough into the pans and set aside. Bake the dough. This made 2 pans full. Next time I might freeze half the dough for another meal.

  • 1 1/4 cup warm bottle water
  • 1 Tbsp yeast
  • 1 Tbsp sugar
  • 1 3/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 cups bread flour

Topping

  • More Olive Oil
  • about 6 medium tomatoes, ripe and cut into thick slices, then quartered.
  • 1 1/2 cups diced onions
  • chopped fresh oregano for dusting (I used fresh basil, it’s what I had)
  • salt and pepper (S&P)
  • hot sauce (optional)
  • fresh herbs, cheeses

prepare 2 9″ round cake pans with some oil.

hand mix water and yeast. Make sure the water is not too hot, not over 110 degrees. (are you using your instant read thermometer yet?) Let stand 2-3 minutes. Add the all purpose flour and blend well. Add the sugar, salt, oil and mix well. Fold in the bread flour. Either knead with a dough hook on lowest speed 5-8 minutes or knead by hand on a floured mat or board, adding flour if needed to make a soft, tacky dough. A little more sticky than a post-it note. It should stick to your hands a bit, but not like some kind of monster that wont let go. Spray dough with cooking spray. Cover bowl with  plastic wrap and let rise 60-90 minutes.

After it has puffed up and 60-90 minutes has gone by and you walked the dog, checked your email and painted your toes, it is time to shape it. Cut the dough in half more or less. My pans were 2 different sizes, so more went into one pan than the other. Press the dough around to reach the edges. If it resists and keeps pulling back, let it rest a minute. It will relax and cooperate more after that. Spread to edges. Smear top with olive oil, put chopped tomatoes and onions over it. Sprinkle with oregano. (Original recipe called for slice olives as well if you want, I did not). add some S&P.

cover loosely with plastic wrap and set aside for about 45 minutes.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Remove plastic wrap and pop into the warm oven for about 20-25 minutes or until golden or medium brown. As bread comes out of the oven, drizzle some more olive oil, hot sauce if you want, fresh herbs, like basil, maybe some parmesan shavings. (prosciutto anyone?) Best when still a little warm.

See the bread there, around 11 o’clock on the plate. Its half eaten
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