Today is Saturday, I spent the morning making homemade focaccia while my husband did the laundry and the floors. We had the amazingly delicious focaccia with garlic-olive oil dipping sauce, and a Greek salad for lunch, after which I did the dishes and put the clothes on the line. Sounds pretty normal so far, right? And then my husband went absolutely freaking nuts. He is having something resembling epileptic fits. It’s because Greece is playing their first game in the World Cup 2010 in South Africa, against South Korea.
I knew he would watch the game – he even watched the Mexico/South Africa and Uruguay/Somebody Else games last night – but I didn’t realize he would take it all so seriously! This only happens every four years, and four years ago, Greece wasn’t in the World Cup, so this is the first time I’m seeing this reaction.
I’m going to post the focaccia recipe, because we thought it was really delicious. This is not a food blog, and I’m not going to start taking photos of everything I cook, but it’s something to do instead of pretending to follow the game.
Caramelized Onion and Olive Focaccia
I got the original idea from here and also here, but after reading this article, I decided to use this recipe here and alter it as seemed appropriate.
240 gr (2 cups) white all-purpose flour
1 cup warm water, divided
1 packet (7-8 gr) active dry yeast
1 tsp white sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1 tbsp and 1 tsp olive oil, divided
5 whole Kalamata olives
2 tbsp dried rosemary
1 tbsp dried thyme
2 medium red onions
1. Heat the water very briefly in a tea kettle (or, if not using bottled water, just use warm tap water) and pour 1/2 cup water into a mixing bowl.
2. Sprinkle the yeast over the top of the water, followed by the sugar. Let sit for 10 minutes. The yeast should foam up. If it doesn’t, throw it away and buy fresh yeast.
3. Add the flour to the water and mix well; start adding the water bit by bit as you mix it until it reaches a moist but not overly sticky consistency.
4. Flour your kneading surface. Put the dough onto the surface and start kneading it. It doesn’t need to be kneaded very long. I usually knead bread dough for 10 minutes, and the recipe called for 1 minute; I did it for more like 5 minutes and it came out great. I ended up having to add a bit more flour as it was too wet; the original recipe never specifies how much water the recipe is supposed to use, so I overestimated.
5. Shape into a ball. Wash and dry your mixing bowl well. Put 1 tsp of olive oil into the bowl and coat the sides well. Put the dough ball into the bowl, rolling it around so it is coated lightly in oil on all sides. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and then drape a kitchen towel over the top. Leave the bowl in a warm spot. Note the time, because in 45 minutes, we will come back to the dough. Preheat your oven to 245 degrees Celsius.
6. Turn on your burner to medium heat with a largish saucepan on it. Clean and slice two medium red onions. The slices should be about 1/8″ thick (normal onion slices) and all about the same thickness. At this point, add 1 tbsp olive oil to the saucepan. Separate the rings. Once the oil is hot enough to make a piece of onion sizzle, add all the onions to the saucepan.
7. Stir the onions well so that they are all coated in olive oil. Stir slowly but more or less continuously for a few minutes. Then you can stir every 30 seconds or so (but for 10-20 seconds each time) until the onions turn golden.
8. Lower the heat a little to one tick below medium, and continue stirring the onions. It took mine about 25 minutes to caramelize so don’t rush them – it’s worth the wait. Withdraw them from the heat when they are brown but not burned. Put them on a plate, so they don’t continue to cook in the pot.
6. 45 minutes after the dough started rising, check on it: it should have doubled. Mine more than doubled, but it had a much wetter consistency than bread dough; it turned out great so I guess that’s how it’s supposed to be.
7. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Put the doubled dough ball onto the cookie sheet. Gently press out the air while also pushing the dough so that it spreads over the cookie sheet. Mine ended up pretty thin (about 1/4″). All the recipes say to brush with olive oil at this point – I didn’t, and it was great, and it saved some calories, but I suspect it would be worth doing, and next time I probably will. Cover with plastic wrap and wait 15 minutes.
8. Slice the Kalamata olives, removing the pit, into small pieces (about 8 pieces per olive).
9. After 15 minutes, uncover the cookie sheet and, using your fingertip, press “dimples” into the dough every inch or so over its surface.
10. Sprinkle the rosemary and thyme over the dough. Then spread the onions and sprinkle the olive pieces over the dough.
11. Put the cookie sheet on a low rack in the oven and bake for 15 minutes.
12. To serve, cut into long, slender pieces. I made a garlic olive oil dipping sauce which went perfectly with it.
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