Caramelized Onions, Tomato and Herbs Focaccia Bread

This homemade recipe of Focaccia Bread is surprisingly simple but makes rich, flavorful, chewy yet soft bread that you are going to fall in LOVE with!!! 

If bread making scares you like it scares me, but you can’t resist a fresh and warm baked bread then Focaccia is the best way to begin with.

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Hello Lovely Readers,

If you wish to bake a bread from scratch at home and don’t know how to go about it..then Focaccia is the perfect choice. For all of you who do not know what Focaccia is:

Focaccia is a flat and oven baked Italian Bread similar to style and texture to a pizza. It is popular in Italy and is usually seasoned with salt, olive oil, herbs and may be topped with onion, tomatoes and any other topping of your choice. The best part about it is that this focaccia recipe is an absolute doodle and you can have great fun playing with the toppings 🙂

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Focaccia dough is really similar to a pizza dough in texture consisting of flour, oil, salt, water and yeast. If you are working with yeast do not worry at all. Just follow the recipe step by step and a perfect bread will be ready. I always feared working with yeast initially but not anymore. It an amazing thing to work with.

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The intoxicating smell of yeast, the wet stickiness between your fingers; the magical billowing quality of the dough when a warm spot turns it into a living thing.  These are the pleasures of bread making.  And these are the pleasures I was almost wholly unfamiliar with. Until now. I have tried making it long ago but the result wasn’t what i was looking for. This focaccia bread came like a real surprise as it looks amazing and tastes just like a bakery one.

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In this one, i have flavored the dough too with herbs, pepper, garlic powder and salt. Again the choice is entirely yours. Even for the topping. To begin with you may just top the bread with some herbs and olive oil. I have used caramelized onions, tomatoes, herbs and parmesan cheese. This takes the bread to a whole new level.

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Few important things that you need to keep in mind before beginning to make this bread is:

Yeast: The quality of yeast is really important while making the bread. I have used a yeast from SOLAR. You can use any brand from a grocery store near you. Make sure the yeast is not too old as it would not give you similar results. Also when you dissolve the yeast in water..the water should be just warm. Too hot water would kill the yeast and cold water would not activate the yeast.

Kneading the dough: Kneading the dough is the most important part in bread making. Once you have combined all the ingredients of the dough together you have to knead it for about 8 to 10 mins. This helps to form the gluten in the bread. If you knead the dough perfectly you get a really nice textured bread. You cannot skip this step.

Letting the dough rest: If kneading the dough is important then this step too is equally important. You need to let the dough rest for atleast 1 hour in a warm place which will help it rise. No matter how excited you are to start the baking immediately. Do not skip this step.

Measurement of Ingredients: I always keep on repeating this that when you are baking anything, measurement of the ingredients is very important. Do not add anything more or less. Follow the recipe to get perfection.

P.S- I am sure you will fall in love with this Focaccia Recipe.

Lets get started with the recipe now.

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RECIPE: CARAMELIZED ONIONS, TOMATOES & HERBS FOCACCIA BREAD

Makes- 1 ( 9 /12 ” bread)

Prep Time: 2 hours (Includes dough rising time)

Baking Time: 20 to 25 mins

INGREDIENTS:

For the Dough:

  • All purpose flour- 2 1/2 cups
  • Salt- 1 1/2 tsp
  • Sugar- 1 tsp
  • Dry Active Yeast- 2 1/2 tsp
  • Water- 1 cup (keep 1/4th cup aside to mix yeast)
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil- 1/2 cup (extra for drizzling)
  • Garlic Powder- 1 tsp
  • Ground Black Pepper- 1/2 tsp
  • Dried Mixed Herbs- 1/2 tsp

For the Toppings: 

  • Onion- 1 large thinly sliced
  • Honey- 1 tbsp
  • Tomatoes-2 medium sized (cut into 1/4th inch slices)
  • Mixed Herbs- 2 tsp
  • Salt- to taste
  • Parmesan Cheese- 1/4th cup grated

PROCESS:

Firstly, in a medium bowl stir together yeast, warm water and sugar. Let is rest until the yeast is bubbled up for about 10 mins.

In a separate bowl, mix together flour, 1/4th cup olive oil, salt, herbs, pepper, garlic powder. Pour in the yeast mixture along with the rest of the water and combine it together. The dough will be really sticky and wet at this stage. Turn the dough into a well floured surface and knead it until the dough is smooth. Knead for about 10 to 12 mins.

Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl, cover with a kitchen wrap and let the dough rest in a warm place until the dough doubles in size. This should take around an hour.

While the dough is resting, heat a tsp of oil and add onion slices over medium heat and add honey. Cook until the onions have turned light brown and caramelized..

Once the dough has doubled its size..punch it down to remove excess air. Press it into a lightly oiled baking tray and shape it to a rectangle or any other shape. It need not be too neat. Now poke holes using your fingers. Drizzle 2 tablespoons of olive oil and let the dough rest again until it puffs up for about 20 mins.

Top the dough with caramelized onions, tomatoes, herbs and cheese. Bake the focaccia in a pre-heated oven for about 20 to 25 mins at 180 degrees or until golden brown.

Cut into pieces and serve.

This bread is good upto 2 to 3 days.

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Whole Grain Rotini with Fresh Herbs & Vegetables

Looking for Comfort Food over the weekends? This one totally surpasses the weekend laziness and you wouldn’t mind making them for your Sunday Brunch or for Dinner along with your favorite Movie 🙂

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Pastas are my ultimate favorite and I can have them any time of the day. They never disappoint me. I look at them as comfort food. With a huge variety of whole grain pastas in the market these days you can very much eat them guilt free and as much quantity as you like. Yeah, when it comes to pastas I can actually hog on them very much. To make a guilt free pasta all you got to do is cook them without any sauce and with minimum flavoring. The best thing about  them is that with just a handful of ingredients too you can make them and they taste amazing. I mean i could just make them with 3 ingredients i.e Olive oil, Garlic and some chilli.

P.S- Pastas are my ultimate comfort food.

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I love my mushroom sauce pasta the most when it comes to my favorites but again there is no limits to how many ways you can make these in. I am definitely gonna do more recipes on these. However, when it comes to making them guilt free i prefer a whole grain pasta cooked in veggies without any sauce. You could go ahead with a red tomato sauce but only if you make them without cheese. 😛

This one is really easy to put together. I mean combine your favorite pasta with your choice of veggies and these are ready. It cant get easier than this..Can It? I dont think so. The variety of vegetables that can go in the pasta is amazing. You can combine them with anything and you are ready to put through. They suffice a perfect meal and my meal cant get better.

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I have used fresh Mushrooms, Broccoli, Zucchini and Bell Peppers. You can definitely go ahead and add corns, baby corns, spinach, carrots or anything you  prefer. So next time when you dont know what to eat or cook for yourself make these whole grain rotini and you wont be disappointed at all.

RECIPE: Whole Grain Rotini with Fresh Vegetables and Herbs

Serves- 2

Prep time: 5 mins

Cooking time: 10 mins

INGREDIENTS:

  • Whole Grain Pasta- 1 cup Boiled
  • Olive Oil- 2 Tbsp
  • Garlic- 3 to 4 Cloves finely chopped
  • Broccoli- 1/2 cup diced
  • Mushroom- 1/2 cup diced
  • Zucchini- 1/2 cup diced
  • Green Bellpeppers- 1/2 cup diced
  • Onion- 1 thinly sliced
  • Fresh Basil Leaves- Few
  • Salt- to taste
  • Pepper- to taste
  • Red Chilli Flakes- 1 tsp
  • Oregano- 1 tsp
  • Pasta Seasoning- Optional

PROCESS:

1. In a pan, heat some olive oil and add garlic and onions. You don’t need to overcook any of the vegetables as the bite to it tastes good.

2. Throw in all the other vegetables and saute for a few minutes.

3. Now add in the pasta and all other seasonings.

4. Cook for a few minutes and voila…your pasta is ready.

It really cant get simpler than this. Your Whole Grain Rotini with Fresh Vegetables and Herbs is now ready.

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If you cook or bake anything from Cooking Diary By Shruti…Please Share the Pictures on Instagram or Facebook and Tag @cookingdiarybyshruti. I would love to see them. Also I would feature it on my blog.

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