Eclectic Herb Focaccia

Yield: 16 servings
Source: Kitchenaid Recipes Online
Comments: It's amazing what yeast, flour and special ingredients turn into.
Amy's Comments: Ok, so as many of you know, I have a serious fear of yeast. This recipe is good for even a yeast-a-phobe! It was YUMMY!!! I added some chopped kalamata olives with the tomatoes. I found the recipe wording a bit confusing (Sorry, I didnt write it!) but it works out ok!

INGREDIENTS:

1 cup (250 ml) warm tap water (about 100°F) (43°C)
2-1/2 tsp. (12 ml) (1 envelope) active dry yeast
9 tbsp. (135 ml) olive oil
5 cups (1250 ml) unbleached all-purpose flour
2 tsp. (10 ml) salt
2 tbsp. (30 ml) chopped fresh rosemary or 1 tbsp. (15 ml) dried, plus rosemary sprigs (optional)
1 cup (250 ml) milk
2 medium yellow onions (about 4 - 5 oz.) (115 g - 140 g) each
1/2 tsp. (2 ml) oregano
1 cup (250 ml) canned plum tomatoes, drained, seeded, and chopped (optional)
2 tbsp. (30 ml) chopped thyme or sage
1 tsp. (5 ml) kosher or coarse salt

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. One 11" x 17" (279 mm x 432 mm) jelly roll pan, plus a second pan of the same size or larger to insulate the first pan, if the bottom of the focaccia begins to brown too quickly.
  2. Measure the water into a bowl, and whisk in the yeast, then 3 tbsp. (45 ml) oil. Measure the flour, 2 tsp. (10 ml) salt, and chopped or dried rosemary into a mixing bowl and stir well to combine. With a spatula or wooden spoon, stir the yeast mixture and the milk into the flour mixture until all the flour is evenly moistened, then beat vigorously for a minute. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and allow the dough to rise until it has doubled in bulk, about 1 hour.
  3. Peel and thinly slice the onions. Cook them, covered, in 3 tbsp. (45 ml) olive oil [note: I only used 1 tbsp and it turned out fine and reduces the HU] in a sauté pan for about 20 minutes, until they just begin to color slightly. Season the onions with salt, pepper, 1/2 tsp. (2 ml) oregano, and cool.
  4. Spread 1-1/2 tbsp. (23 ml) of the oil on the baking pan. Turn the dough out of the bowl onto the pan. Pat and press it to fill the pan completely. If the dough resists, let it rest for a few minutes, then continue. Allow the dough to rise again until doubled in bulk, about an hour.
  5. About 20 minutes before baking, set a rack at the lower third of the oven and preheat to 450°F (230°C).
  6. Dimple the surface of the focaccia, using your fingertip to poke cavities in the dough at 2" (50.8 mm) intervals. Spread the onions and scatter chopped tomatoes on the risen focaccia. Immediately before baking, sprinkle the top of the focaccia with 2 or 3 tbsp. (30 - 45 ml) of such coarsely chopped fresh herbs as rosemary, thyme, or sage. Drizzle with 1-1/2 tbsp. (23 ml) of olive oil, rosemary sprigs, and kosher or coarse salt.
  7. Bake the focaccia for about 25 minutes, until a deep golden color. Lift the side of the focaccia with a spatula or pancake turner to check the bottom about halfway through the baking time. If it is coloring too quickly, slide the pan onto another pan to insulate the bottom.
  8. If you are serving immediately, slide the focaccia from the pan onto a cutting board. If you will be serving later, slide the focaccia off the pan to a rack to cool.

Serving: Cut narrow slices, or squares to split horizontally for sandwiches

Storage: Keep the focaccia loosely covered at room temperature if it will be served on the day it is made. For longer storage, wrap in plastic and freeze. Unwrap and reheat the focaccia on the pan used to bake it for about 7 minutes at 375°F (190°C).

NUTRITIONAL INFO:

H.U: 4 per serving
(this is using only 7 tbsp of olive oil)
194 Calories; 6g Fat (27.8% calories from fat); 5g Protein; 31g Carbohydrate; 1g Dietary Fiber; trace Cholesterol; 394mg Sodium.

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