I got into a focaccia kick and started making it just about every other day, topping it with vegetables and sometimes filling it with them. I mean, Stuffed Whole Wheat Focaccia with Arugula, Feta and Sun-Dried Tomatoes or Whole Wheat Focaccia With Cherry Tomatoes and Oregano, anyone?
Focaccia is a great vehicle for all kinds of veggies (and cured meats), just as pizza is. A square of foccacia makes a great snack, two squares make a perfect lunch, and it’s good lunchbox fare.
Topping focaccia with onions makes it much like an onion tart, just better. I believe the start of the summer is the perfect time of the year to make it. Think about a lazy afternoon spent with your friends at the park, if you bring this whole wheat focaccia with caramelized onions...well...sure your day will get better, a lot.
I like to make the dough from scratch, but you might as well buy fresh whole wheat pizza dough and start from there. If so, all you need to do is to knead ¼ cup olive oil into the pre-made dough before making the focaccia. That simple.
Makes 16 focaccia squares
1 ½ cup / 400 ml warm water (between 105°F and 115°F)
4 ½ cups / 21.1 oz / 600 gr whole wheat flour
2 teaspoons / 8 gr active dry yeast
¼ cup / 50 ml extra-virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons sugar
3 teaspoons fine grain sea salt
3 large white onions, chopped
2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoons capers, rinsed and coarsely chopped (optional)
3 garlic cloves, minced (optional)
2 tablespoons water
1 tablespoon olive oil
½ teaspoon fine grain sea salt
Place warm water in a large bowl and add dry yeast, sugar and salt. Let stand until yeast dissolves. After 5 to 7 minutes, it should be a bit foamy. If it’s not, you might have some bad yeast (or the water was too warm) and should start again with another packet.
Add whole wheat flour and olive oil to yeast mixture and stir to blend well (the dough will be sticky).
Drop the dough onto a floured surface (or leave it in the bowl) and knead it until it becomes smooth and elastic, adding more flour by tablespoonfuls if the dough is too sticky.
The dough will be soft and pliable and extremely easy to work with.
Form dough into a ball and coat with a bit of olive oil. Place it in a bowl, cover with plastic wrap and let raise in a draft-free place until doubled (it should take about 1 hour).
While the dough is rising, heat the olive oil over medium heat in a large, heavy lidded skillet. Add the onions and cook, stirring until they soften, about 5 minutes. Add a generous pinch of salt, thyme, capers (if using) and garlic (if using), and turn the heat to low. Cover and simmer gently, stirring often, for 30 minutes, until the onions have cooked down and are soft and lightly colored but not browned. They should taste sweet. Season to taste with salt and pepper and remove from the heat.
Make the focaccia
Coat a 15x10-inch baking sheet with 1 tablespoon of olive oil.
Punch the dough down. Using your fingertips press out the dough to a rectangle filling the baking sheet.
Cover with a kitchen towel and let rise for further 30 minutes while the oven preheats to 425°F (220°C).
When the focaccia dough has risen, dimple the dough with your fingertips and spread the onion mixture over the top in an even layer.
In a small bowl combine 2 tablespoons of water, 1 tablespoon olive oil and ½ teaspoon of salt.
Drizzle the dough with this olive oil brine.
Bake in the oven for 20 minutes or the crust is golden brown and bits of the onion are well browned.
One square (note I said square) has 176 calories, 5 grams of fat, 24.1 grams of carbs and 4.9 grams of protein.