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Saturday, April 30, 2011

Green Onion Focaccia



This focaccia is perfection! Light, tender, and flavored with the first green onions of the season.
Here's how to make it.


Since the snow has finally receded, we took a walk to inspect the vegetable garden, and make the "to-do" list.  And there's quite a bit to do. But my bunching green onions have made it through the Vermont winter again, and are growing well! I grabbed a big handful, and thought about ways to use these delicate, fresh onions.



I decided to make a green onion focaccia, topped with olive oil, herbs and garlic. The moist bread would not dry out the onions, and would pick up their subtle early-Spring flavor.  

It's always fun to go to restaurants that provide fresh focaccia and olive oil for dipping; lamentably, they are rare in Vermont. And so, rugged individualist that I am, I've learned how to make my own very good focaccia. The surprise has been that it is really not difficult! Try it and see.  --Sue

Green Onion Focaccia


Makes one large focaccia, 12" x 16".

In Preparation: rub 1 tablespoon olive oil in 12"x16" jelly roll pan, set aside.

Ingredients

Group I:
3 cups (dip and scrape off excess) all-purpose flour (I use King Arthur unbleached flour)
1 and 1/2 cups water, room temperature
1/2 cup active Sourdough Starter (optional but Highly recommended)

Group II:
3 teaspoons sea salt, dissolved in 1/2 cup water
1 tablespoon instant yeast
2 tablespoons best quality olive oil

Other:
2/3 cup thinly sliced green onions
1 tablespoon mixed dry herbs (example: garlic flakes, rosemary, dried bell pepper, sesame seeds)
    or 2 teaspoons fresh rosemary leaves and 1/4 teaspoon minced fresh garlic
1/3 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 cup olive oil in a small bowl




Method:

1. In an electric mixer bowl with dough hook attached, mix the Group 1 ingredients for 30 seconds on low speed. The mixture will be shaggy and rough.

2. Wait 10 minutes. Then mix at medium speed for 5 minutes. The dough will be very smooth and elastic. Cover the bowl with plastic and allow to rise in an 80F location for 15 minutes.



3. Add the Group II ingredients to the bowl. Mix slowly to combine, and then turn up the speed to medium and mix for 3 minutes more. the dough will be very sticky.  Cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a 90F spot for 15 minutes.

4. Mix in the green onions until evenly combined.  Turn the dough out on a floured countertop; fold the dough into the center from the edges until it forms a soft loaf.


Place this in the prepared pan and press down lightly, filling 2/3 of the pan.  Allow to rise in 90F location for 15 minutes and then, with heavily oiled fingers, press and slide gently from the center out to the corners of the pan.



5.  Sprinkle salt and the herb mixture evenly over the surface.  Allow to rise 20 minutes. This will allow the herbs to rehydrate somewhat.


6. Dip fingertips in the oil, then poke all the way down through the dough to the pan. Repeat by dipping and poking, making oil-filled dimples about 3 inches apart across the surface. You may not use all of the oil in the bowl, that is fine. Allow to rise 15 to 20 minutes while heating the oven to 450F.  Some large bubbles should now be visible here and there; this is good, do not remove them.



7. Bake at 450F for 20 to 25 minutes or until it looks golden brown all over, and is done through:



8.  Remove from pan and cool on a board. Serve pieces with more oil for dipping if desired, or cut into squares and slice horizontally for sandwiches. Everyone will be amazed at how great your focaccia is; don't tell them how easy it was to make!







3 comments:

  1. I too just love some nice focaccia and dipping sauce, infact I often eat to much of it before a dinner

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hi Jennifurla! I know...and also, I love roasted garlic smeared on before dipping in olive oil. Then have some linguini with calamari in a spicy red sauce.....

    ReplyDelete

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