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Focaccia Genovese with Onions

Monday, May 2, 2011
Focaccia Genovese with Onions

Abbiamo già tutto quello che ci serve per vivere meglio. Basta sceglierlo.

We already have everything we need to live better. You just need to choose it.

(R. Arbore, Focaccia Blues)

Round, rectangular, from Bari, from Genoa, from Recco, but also from Cerveteri, Villorba and - why not? - San Francisco, tall, thin, with cheese, with rosemary, with onion, without onion, warm, cold, dipped in a latte, with beer, on the beach, at the park, on the Golden Gate or on a bike, copied from the Simili sisters (see below), stolen from your mother-in-law, wrapped in newspaper or nibbled with oily hands, there is a whole world of focaccia out there waiting for us. The choice is yours.
Me? I choose focaccia.

Focaccia Genovese
with Red Onions

for a 12 x 15 inches pan*

type O flour 500 gr
lukewarm water approx. 275 gr
fresh yeast 10 gr
salt 10 gr
extra virgin olive oil 1 tablespoon
red onions 3
olive oil and water for brushing, salt, pepper as needed

In a bowl combine the yeast with some water, then add a little flour, 1 tablespoon of olive oil, salt, and yet the remaining flour and water in two times, alternating them and always beating the dough. Place the dough on the table and knead it for 7-8 minutes, then put it in a oiled bowl, and let it double in size (it will take about two hours, ed).
Place it back on the table and form a loaf, which will be transferred on to the baking pan. Let it rest for 15 minutes, and then flatten it with a short rolling pin and with the palm of your hand, until it covers the bottom of the pan almost entirely. If you want, you could flatten the loaf right after it's been placed on the baking pan, but this will require more effort, because gluten is livelier and offers greater resistance when the dough has just been kneaded. Finally, let it rise for 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, peel the onions, slice them thin and sauté them in a pan with a little olive oil, salt, pepper, and a clove of garlic if you wish. Allow them to cool down, and then sprinkle them on top of focaccia. Press your finger into the dough, creating on the entire surface deep imprints down to the bottom of the pan; cover focaccia with 3 tablespoons of olive oil mixed with 3 tablespoons of water and salt, and allow it plenty of time to double in size (this will require about one hour and a half). Bake at 390 for 25-30 minutes.

*I halved the quantity of the original Simili's recipe. The explanation, as usual, is copied from their book.

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