I recently decided that I was going to limit my bread consumption. At least on a trial basis. For health reasons. Right. So what did I immediately do? I pulled out the bread machine and cranked out several loaves. Telling myself I can’t have something to eat is always a guaranteed fail because I will inevitably immediately want whatever that is.
Last week I was looking through bread recipes and for some reason recalled this small bakery that operated out of an old movie theater that I would patronize during college. I would stop by in the mornings on my way to class and buy day old scones and bread. I remember they had amazing foccacia bread. I would take it home and devour it in a single sitting, savoring every bit.
This recipe reminds me of that bread. Instead of topping the bread with olives, I’ve incorporated them into the dough. They add a nice salty bite that goes well with the sweetness of the caramelized onions on top. This bread is great on it’s own but pairs nicely with soups and stews – I ate mine with a creamy tomato soup.
Peel and halve your onion. Slice into thin strips. I used a mandoline on its thickest setting to get a nice even slice. In a frying pan, bring vegan butter and olive oil to a medium heat. Add onions, salt and stir to combine. You can also add a pinch of sugar to assist with the caramelization. Stir the onions occasionally. Leave them alone long enough to brown but not so long that they burn. This took me upwards of 15-20 minutes. Remove from pan and set aside once they’ve got a nice brown on them.
Mix together the warm water, active dry yeast and agave while onions are cooking. Set aside for 10 minutes.
Combine the flour, salt, Italian seasoning, garlic powder and pepper in a large bowl. Pour in the yeast mixture and stir until a dough ball forms. I used a 5 quart KitchenAid stand mixer with the dough hook attachment. The dough formed a nice ball after a few minutes on the lowest setting.
Transfer dough to a lightly greased bowl, giving it a few turns to coat it with olive oil. Cover with a towel and allow to rise in a warm area for 30-45 minutes. The dough should easily double in size during this time.
Preheat oven to 450° and lightly grease a baking or cookie sheet. Punch the dough back down and move to a lightly floured surface. knead olives into dough until they’re evenly distributed. I had to add a little flour to compensate for the liquid from the olives.
Roll the dough out on the baking sheet using a rolling pin or your fingers. Roughly form it into a 1/2 inch thick rectangle. Use knuckles or fingers to create depressions 1 inch apart across the top of the dough then top with caramelized onions.
Reduce oven temperature to 375° before placing dough into the oven. Bake for 17-20 minutes until focaccia bread is golden brown. Remove and let cool slightly before serving. Enjoy.
- 1 large onion
- 2 tablespoons vegan butter plus 1 tablespoon olive oil
- pinch of salt
- since of sugar (optional)
- 1 cup warm water
- 1 teaspoon agave
- 1 packet of active dry yeast (2-1/4 teaspoons)
- 2-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2-1/2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1/4 cup kalamata olives, roughly chopped
- Peel and half onion. Slice into thin strips. I used a mandoline on its thickest setting to get an even cut.
- Over medium heat, add the vegan butter and olive oil. Add sliced onions and sprinkle with a pinch of salt. You optionally add a pinch a sugar to assist with the caramelizing. Stir occasionally but allow onions to sit long enough to brown. Remove from pan and set aside.
- While the onions are caramelizing, mix together the warm water, yeast and agave. Allow to sit for 10 minutes.
- In a large bowl, mix together the dry dough ingredients. Add in the yeast mixture and combine until the dough forms a ball.
- Lightly grease a bowl with olive oil. Transfer dough ball to bowl and roll to coat with oil. Cover and let rise for 30-45 minutes in a warm spot. Dough should easily double in size.
- Preheat oven to 450° and lightly grease a baking or cookie sheet.
- Punch dough back down and move to a lightly floured surface. Add olives and knead until evenly distributed.
- Use a rolling pin or fingers to spread dough out into a rectangular shape on the baking sheet.
- Use knuckles or fingers to make indentations roughly 1 inch apart across the top of the dough and top with caramelized onions.
- Reduce oven temperature to 375° and bake for 17-20 minutes until focaccia bread is golden brown.
- Let cool slightly before serving.