Focaccia with Roasted Tomatoes and Onions
Recipe Servings: 15 portions
Recipe Preparation Time: 60 minutes
Recipe Cook Time: 30 minute
1 cup warm (105-115 degrees F) water
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/4 ounce active dry yeast
1/4 cup Lucini® Premium Select Extra Virgin Olive Oil®
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
3 cups unbleached flour
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
2 tablespoons Lucini® Premium Select Extra Virgin Olive Oil®
3 medium onions, cut into 1/4 inch thick half-moons
Salt and freshly ground pepper
2 cups oven roasted tomatoes
1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
To make the dough: Pour 1/2 cup of the water into the bowl of a heavy-duty mixer and add the sugar. Sprinkle the yeast on top. Let stand until the yeast softens, about 5 minutes. Stir to dissolve. Stir in the remaining 1/2 cup of water, the oil, and salt. Attach the paddle blade and mix on low speed. Gradually add enough of the flour to make a soft dough. Change to the dough hook and increase the speed to medium. Knead until the dough is smooth and supple, about 10 minutes. During the last few minutes, add the basil.
Lightly oil a large bowl. Turn the dough out onto a clean work surface, knead briefly, and shape into a ball. Place the dough in the bowl and turn to coat on all sides. Cover tightly with plastic wrap. Let stand in a warm place, until doubled in volume, about an hour.
To make topping: Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until they turn golden, about 10 minutes. Season lightly with salt and pepper and cool.
Lightly oil a 17 x 11-inch jelly-roll pan. Punch down the dough and place in the pan. Pat and pull the dough to spread it evenly in the pan. ( If the dough pulls back, cover loosely with plastic wrap, let stand for 5 minutes, then try again.) Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let stand in warm place until puffy, about 30 minutes.
Position a rack in the lower third of the oven, place a baking stone on the rack, and preheat the oven to 425 F.
Arrange the tomatoes over the top of the dough, then the onions. Sprinkle with the cheese and grind pepper over all. Bake until the focaccia is golden brown, about 30 minutes. Cool slightly, then cut into pieces to serve.
Art Smith is the 2002 James Beard Award winner for his first cookbook, Back to the Table: The Reunion of Food and Family , Chef Art Smith is the personal chef of Ms. Oprah Winfrey and is also a contributing editor to O magazine.