Friday, September 30, 2011

Baking with the Worthless Sous Chef

Because every great meal needs a great bread (well, that's what I say anyway) I decided to whip up something really yummy to go with the Boeuf Bourgignon. Being a pizza-making house we always have lots of flour and yeast on hand so making homemade bread was no more difficult than lugging out the ol' granddaddy in the kitchen, my Kitchenaid.

While I assembled my equipment and ingredients I realized that somehow I had acquired a sous chef......but in this case, she really wasn't all that helpful. Actually, she pretty much just talked to me while I worked, and gave me a "hungry" look every once in a while.

F.C., the worthless sous chef. But she is awfully cute anyway. I love the way she drapes herself over the edge of the cabinet.....So back to the bread.....

Caramelized Onion and Rosemary Focaccia

2 1/2 cups flour, plus more for kneading
1 packet yeast
1/2 cup warm water plus more
2 tb crushed dried rosemary
2 tb olive oil plus more for bowl
1 large onion, thinly sliced
2 tb butter

Combine flour and half the dried rosemary in a large bowl.

 In small bowl dissolve the yeast in 1/2 cup warm water. Stir well, add olive oil.

Mix into flour in large bowl adding more water or flour as necessary to get a soft and smooth dough (the dough hook on the Kitchenaid does a fabulous job here but if you are working by hand, knead dough until it is no longer sticky but NOT stiff). Place dough in clean bowl that's been brushed with olive oil, turn dough over, cover and let rise in warm place about 30-45 minutes or until almost doubled.

Meanwhile, melt butter in small skillet and add sliced onion and pinch of salt. Cook over medium low heat until onion is very golden brown and caramelized, at least 20-30 minutes. Set aside to cool slightly.

Turn dough out onto oiled baking sheet.

Stretch/press out into rectangle that almost covers sheet pan. With fingers, "poke" dough all over to make dents but not holes. Evenly distribute the onions over the dough, sprinkle with reserved rosemary and coarse sea salt, if desired.

Bake at 425 degrees about 15-20 minutes or until edges brown. Brush finished bread with melted butter for serving, if desired.

That's it !!  Super easy, alot like pizza dough.....comes together really fast and goes great with all sorts of food. It's also very flexible, you can top the dough with whatever you like, sliced veggies, herbs, olives, you are only limited by your imagination.


  1. Looks great Monica :)) Always love a good flat bread recipe !

  2. Looks fantastic! My sous chef is also equally as worthless. Actually, he's a good floor cleaner. That big lab tongue can really make the floor spotless...