Friday, May 6, 2011

Sun Dried Tomato and Olive Focaccia Bread

I love Focaccia Bread, I've been searching for a recipe for a good Focaccia Bread for quite some time. We used to make it at the bakery I worked in when I was in my 20's, that was back when they still made most everything from scratch. They made the best onion Focaccia Bread there, and when it came out of the oven, you can bet we would purposely damage one loaf so we could eat it! YUM. I ran across this recipe on http://thepioneerwoman.com/, she used straight olives in hers, but I had to tweak mine to my craving, and added sundried tomatoes, cheese, and sauteed onions... This goes great with a pasta dish, or on the side with a salad, or just by itself.... escpecially straight from the oven. Enjoy!!!

Sun Dried Tomato and Olive Focaccia Bread

1 envelope Active Dry Yeast
1-1/2 cup Warm water
4 cups all-purpose flour
1 Tablespoon granulated sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup olive oil
1/4 cup sliced sundried tomatoes (I used the dried kind, and sliced them with scissors, then let sit in the olive oil to re-hydrate a bit while I let the yeast bubble) or you can use the kind that comes already in olive oil.
1/2 cup sliced olives (or more if desired)
1/2 of a medium onion, chopped
1 cup grated cheese (I used cheddar, but any kind is good)
1 tablespoon sundried tomato pesto
Olive oil for drizzling
kosher salt for sprinkling

In bowl of mixer, place water with yeast (be careful that your water isn't too warm or it will kill the yeast, just about lukewarm is good) add the tablespoon of sugar, and whisk to combine. Let the yeast mixture rest for about 5 minutes or until it starts to bubble and gets foamy on the top.
In another bowl, whisk together the flour and salt. When yeast is foamy add half the flour, sundried tomato pesto, and grated cheese, mix to combine. Then add the rest of the flour, olive oil and sun dried tomatoes and mix on low until just combined and the dough comes together in a sticky mass.
Coat a large glass bowl with a thin layer of olive oil, and form your dough into a ball and place dough in the bowl, turn dough over once so the top has olive oil on it and cover tightly with plastic  wrap and set aside for about an hour, or until dough is doubled in size.
While dough is raising, saute your chopped onions in a little olive oil in a small skillet for about 5 minutes, or until translucent, then let cool.
To make your focaccia, blot the olives with a paper towel to remove excess moisture.
Remove your dough from the bowl, and place on a lightly floured surface. Place chopped olives and onions on top of the dough, then very gently knead them into the dough.

 Don't over knead your dough, and don't worry if some of the olives and onions fall out of the dough, you can always place them on top of your focaccia when it's on the cookie sheets. Cut dough in half, and roll each half into a rectangle or oval shape. Place on separate cookies sheets that have been sprayed with a non-stick cooking spray.

Drizzle a little olive oil over the top of each rectangle. Cover with more plastic wrap and let raise for another 45 minutes to an hour (or until nice and poofy).
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.
Remove the plastic wrap from your focaccia dough, and using your fingertips, press dimples all over the surface of the dough. Sprinkle with a little kosher salt, and a little more cheese if desired. Bake for about 25 to 30 minutes or until the focaccia is golden brown.
Cut into pieces with a pizza cutter or sharp knife and serve immediately! MMMMMMMMM......

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