Focaccia with Red Onion and Kalamata Olives
Why I Love This Recipe
This is my favorite focaccia recipe, it is extremely versatile. I use Gold Medal Bread Flour (Sometimes called harvest King) because it is a "strong" flour meaning it is mostly hard wheat containing a higher gluten content, thus creating the harder european style crust and a soft but chewing interior. You may also replace 2 cups of the "Bread" flour with 2 cups of Spelt (The original wheat before hybridization) although the texture of the bread will be a little different, and the crust will be softer. If you are a Kamut fan, well, due to the low/no gluten content you can only replace 1 cup of the "Bread" flour. I have not tried experimenting with Barley and Oat flour with this recipe as to me, it would no longer be focaccia at that point. This will make makes either 8 small or 4 large. I tend towards the smaller size since its a little more manageable in a sandwich situation.
Ingredients You'll Need
6 cups of Bread Flour (Gold Medal Harsvet King - Bread flour, or equivelant, I think that a couple of flour companies even call it Artisan Flour to make it sound more Shee shee Poo poo)
1 tsp Kosher Salt
2 Packages Active Dry Yeast
1/4 cup olive oil
2 1/4 cups lukewarm water
2 cups Pitted Kalamata Olives (Cut in Half either lengthwise or across, whichever blows your hair back)
3 Red Onions, Sliced in half and then into wedges like you would an apple)
Olive oil for drizzling (About 1/4 cup)
2 TB Thyme leaves
2 tsp Pink Himalayan salt (Or Grey Sea Salt or Hawaiian Black Lava Salt or Red Coral Salt or Alder Smoked Salt, etc. -- Really any of the fancy salts available, whichever you like since it is for "Finishing")
Line baking sheets with parchment
Whisk flour salt and yeast together in a bowl.
Add olive oil and Warm water, then mix together to form a soft dough.
Knead for 10 minutes on a lightly floured board.
Place dough in an oiled bowl, cover and place in a warm place for 1 1/2 hours, until doubled in size.
Knead dough for a couple minutes to "Punch Down".
Knead 1 cup of the olives into the dough.
Divide into 8 pieces and place on baking sheets.
Poke dough with fingers to spread out and leave a dimpled effect.
Sprinkle top of rounds with onions and remaining olives.
Drizzle the tops with Olive oil.
Sprinkle with artisan salt and thyme.
Cover and let rise again for 30 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
Bake for 20-25 minutes, until golden.