Showing posts with label Focaccia. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Focaccia. Show all posts

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Zucchini and Caramelized Onion Focaccia

When it comes to baking breads, rolls, and other baked goods with yeast...I don't do much of that. I've been spoiled, growing up as a child with all the amazing homemade breads and and sweet pastries made by my mother, grandmother, and aunts. When my children were little, we still had my sweet Hungarian (aunt) Mariska néni who made all the wonderful treats for us, not just for the holidays, but every week something different. She is no longer with us but we still have the fond memories of all the yeasted treats she baked with so much 'pride and joy'...but seriously, we are the ones that was given so much joy and happiness. That's what home baking does; honest!
 
This is my favorite topping; paper thin sliced zucchini, and sweet-crunchy caramelized sliced onions. Focaccia and pizza dough is so easy to make, just pop the ingredients in the standing mixer with the dough hook and the machine does all the work for you. The only dry yeast I trust is RED STAR. It is fail-proof rapid-rising dry yeast...never have to worry about the dough not rising.
 
 
To make a single focaccia, you need at least 3 1/2 to 4 cups of flour. I highly recommend bread flour. Some recipes do not use olive oil in the dough, but I prefer to add olive oil in the dough, and brush some on the top...as well!
 
Zucchini and Caramelized Onion Focaccia
recipe by; Elisabeth
 
3 1/2 to 4 cups bread flour
1/4 cup olive oil
1 cup of warm water
2 teaspoon RED STAR or your favorite rapid
rising yeast
1 tablespoon sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons coarse salt
corn meal for dusting
 
Topping:
 
2 medium zucchini, sliced thin with mandolin slicer
1 medium onion, sliced into thin circles
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 teaspoon coarse salt
freshly ground pepper
3 tablespoons olive oil
 
In a bowl of a standing mixer fitted with a dough hook, proof the yeast by combining it with the warm water and sugar. Stir gently to dissolve. Let stand for 3 minutes until foam appears. Turn the mixer on low, and slowly add the flour to the bowl. Dissolve the salt in 2 tablespoons of water and add it to the mixture. Pour in the 1/4 cup olive oil. When the dough starts to come together, increase the speed to medium. Stop the machine from time-to-time to scrape dough off the hook. Mix the dough until smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes, adding flour as necessary. (I added another 1/2 cup more.)
 
Turn the dough onto a work surface and form into a round. Place in a large oiled bowl. Turn to coat the entire ball with oil. Cover with plastic wrap and a towel. Let rise on a draft-free place, until doubled in size, for about 45 minutes.
 
You could coat a baking sheet pan with olive oil, or just use a large parchment paper, and directly coat the parchment paper with corn meal. When dough is doubled in size, punch down the dough and turn directly onto the cornmeal lined parchment paper. Pat the dough into an oblong shape but do not force dough to make it thin. Cover with a tea towel and let the dough rest for about 20 minutes so you can stretch it and shape it again. (In the meantime you could make the topping)
 
With your thumb, make indentations in the dough and brush with 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. and pre-bake for about 10 minutes without the topping. Spoon topping over the pre-baked focaccia; don't worry about having neat slices if zucchini is paper thin. Finish baking for an additional 10 more minutes, until focaccia is light brown, and vegetables are caramelized.
 
For the topping: Use remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil and in a large skillet sauté onion and garlic first... adding salt, pepper, and brown sugar. When onion mixture gets nice and caramelized add the thin zucchini slices and just mix all together...no need to cook zucchini; it will finish cooking in the last baking process. 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 


Friday, June 21, 2013

For the 'Love of Foods' in Italy

I did not take a lot of photos of 'foods' ...simply, because the second week when I met up with my daughter. I was the official 'food photographer'...I became the 'annoying paparazzi, and tried to limit my food photos~

nothing like a casual morning walk to the local outdoor market...the freshest fruits and vegetables
grown locally!
Another fruit and vegetable stand at the outdoor market!
This is the local supermarket which is in a mall, and has other great shops as well.
You can try, and win this car while you're vacationing there!
These little mini pull baskets were very convenient!
Awesome seafood section...although I was asked not to take any photos...as in Whole Foods in the U.S. ...so, my store photos ended in the seafood isle; sad to say!
Just look at these lovely fish...all saying "hello"
Wow! Just look at the size of this octopus!
Outside the mall...all cloudy, and later in the afternoon...pouring rain. You can see the mountains in the background!
 

The first day for lunch I just opted for the baked fish and mixed salad...(no pasta for me)
Hard to resist a fresh homemade focaccia...right out of the oven.
Homemade olives from their farm in Calabria...just can't stop eating this, sooo incredibly good!
preparation for the next lunch...fresh farm grown arugula pesto for pasta!
Lots of freshly grated ParmigianaReggiana cheese

See what I mean?...you can't just eat salad? You go to Italy to eat pasta, pizza, and gelato!
...and don't skip dessert. Homemade crostata (tart) filled with homemade apricot jam...yumm!

After a great lunch a 'walk to the playground-park'...reading my novel. Park was empty, kids still in school!

Thank you for all your good wishes for speedy recovery!
Have a wonderful weekend, everyone! xo

Monday, May 7, 2012

Whole Wheat Focaccia...for #Breaking Bread

I love to bake a nice focaccia every now-and-then; but this time I was eager to bake an entirely different one than my usual simple rosemary focaccia. Just did not have my own recipe for a different focaccia, and I'm sure you are the same way as I am, that at that very moment, you are not going to go through all your cookbooks to look for a certain recipe...so in my case...just go to the "heart of the matter" which is get a trusty library book on the certain item you want to make. Internet is always helpful, but borrowing a beautiful book with pictures and plenty of recipes is much more helpful!
Linking to: Full Plate Thursday @ Miz Helen's Country Cottage 

Now that I finally baked this delicious and healthy whole wheat focaccia, Lora formed the group Breaking Bread Society with her friends Shulie, from Food Wanderings and Marnely from Cooking with Books. What a fun baking with yeast ventures! I'm proud and happy to link it to the
#Breaking Bread to Lora (daughter) @Cake Duchess who is this month's hostess.
Just look at this lovely coarsely chopped walnut, and caramelized onion infusion with fresh rosemary nestled in the little pockets along with the extra virgin olive oil, bake to a crispy-crunchy top, and a soft delicious texture on the inside!
As you know, focaccia is associate with Liguria, Italy and its capital city of Genoa. There are many ways to top focaccia, as there are to top pizza...but because focaccia takes (to bake than pizza, it is important to follow the topping guidelines to protect against burning.

Whole Wheat Focaccia
adapted from;Whole Grain Breads by: Peter Reinhart

4 cups (510g.) whole wheat flour (I used King Arthur)
1 1/4 teaspoons salt (I used 1 1/2)
1 1/4 teaspoons (4 g.) instant yeast (I used 1 envelope)
2 cups +2 Tbsp. (482 g) water. at room temperature
1 1/1 teaspoons honey, or agave nectar or brown sugar
(I used 2 teaspoons dark brown sugar)
1 1/2 Tbsp. olive oil  (I used 2 teaspoons)
extra whole wheat flour for adjustments



If using the stand mixer, use the paddle attachment.
Place all of the ingredients except the extra flour and the olive oil in the mixing bowl of your mixer, on low speed for 2 minutes. With the machine off, drizzle the olive oil over the dough for another 30 seconds.

Turn of mixer and let the dough rest for 5 minutes. Mix again, on medium speed for another 30 seconds. The dough will be smoother and stronger, but it will be sticky. If it is too wet and not enough structure, add a little flour.



This method is the standard method I used, rather than the overnight method that the book recommends.

In an oil lined glass bowl place the dough ball, turn over to get it oiled on the opposite side, cover with plastic wrap and a clean dish towel, and let it rise double for about 1 hr.- 1 1/2 hrs.








On a parchment lined baking sheet, carefully shape the dough to a rectangle. Cover loosely with a clean dishtowel, and let it rest for another 30-35 minutes.











In a large skillet, with 2 Tbsp olive oil, start sauteing one sweet onion, sliced. About halfway through, add 2 teaspoons light, or dark brown sugar, and keep sauteing until it gets nicely caramelized. Add about 1 cup of coarsely chopped walnuts and fold it in.









After about 45 minutes, you can start poking the dimples in the dough with your thumb. It's ready to top when you see the indentations stay down.












In a small bowl, pour about 1/2 of olive oil, and brush lightly with a pastry brush, making sure you fill the indentation, and you can add some fresh rosemary right into the holes. You can sprinkle coarse salt over the top, and also add the walnut-onion mixture into the indentations.






Bake in a preheated 450 degree F. (232 C.) oven bake for about 10 minutes, and lower the temperature to 425 degrees F. (200 C.) for another 20 minutes; being careful
not to burn the topping. (If any burns a little bit, you can just scrape the charred layers off. I added too much topping, but you don't have to!)







The result...a perfect crunchy, and golden brown top, ready to transfer to a cutting board, after cooling on a metal rack.









Now, you see what I mean? Look at the little pockets of the filled walnut-caramelized onion, the fresh rosemary, and the light sprinkling of the coarse sea salt I used!
Superb! Whole Wheat Focaccia that is amazingly healthy, and delicious. Using my method, I promise you will not go wrong!

Buon Appetito!





Last year's mangoes...star fruit is also home grown, as well!

Aren't these mangoes gorgeous?...from my daughter's mango tree! They will be fully ripe in another month for sure!
Hugs,
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