Caramelized onion focaccia (dairy and gluten free!)

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This recipe was inspired by some gorgeous purple onions (complete with lovely green leaves) that I found at the farmer’s market. There are few things that make your kitchen smell more mouth-wateringly delicious than onions caramelizing on the stove, and I think I have found one of them: the smell of fresh bread baking WITH caramelized onions on top of it! I have great news for you: this is one recipe where you will definitely not miss the gluten at all – this easily rivals any regular focaccia I have had. It takes a little bit of advance planning so the dough can rise, but this recipe is overall pretty easy and very well worth the impressive and delectable result. The trick to a very fluffy dough is the use of both yeast AND vinegar + baking soda for double rising power.

Makes one 9×13″ dish of focaccia (at least 4 servings). Recipe adapted from GreatBritishChefs.com. 

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Ingredients:

  • 3 cups gluten free flour
  • 1 packet active dry yeast
  • 1 cup warm (not hot – I took it out of the fridge and microwaved for 30 sec) non-dairy milk (I used my usual, TJ’s unsweetened coconut beverage)
  • 1 tsp honey
  • 1 egg
  • about 1/3 cup of extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 2 tsp vinegar (I used a red wine vinegar)
  •  3 small (or 2 medium) onions
  • 1 Tbsp dried thyme (or about 1/2 Tbsp fresh)
  • 1 tsp sea salt, plus more for sprinkling on top

To make the dough: open the yeast packet into a coffee mug. Add the honey and then about half of the warm milk, and give it a little stir. Let that sit for about 10 min so the little yeasties foam it up.

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Meanwhile, in a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, egg, salt, olive oil, and remainder of the milk and mix.

When ready, add in the foamy yeasty milk and mix until the ingredients are well combined. Finally, in that mug, combine your vinegar and baking soda (science fair volcano memories, anyone?) and add that to the dough, again mixing until well combined.

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Generously oil a 9×13″ baking dish with olive oil and then transfer the dough into it, smoothing the top until you get an even layer, and drizzle with some more olive oil.

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Cover with saran wrap or a plastic bag, and leave in a warm place to rise for 1-2 hours (if it looks like a thin layer, don’t worry – it should nearly double in thickness!).

When the dough has risen, preheat your oven to 350F.

Slice up the onions (I used the bulbs and the leaves that came with them in this case – the leaves taste just like scallions, only sweeter!) and saute in a generous amount of olive oil over medium -low heat, stirring periodically. When the onions are nearly fully cooked, add the thyme and stir.

The onions are done cooking when they are translucent and turning golden but not dark brown (remember they still have to be baked in the oven).

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Poke even finger holes along the dough and drizzle with more olive oil.

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Evenly distribute the onions across the top and then sprinkle generously with sea salt.

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Bake for about 30 min, then increase the oven temp to 375 for the last 5-10 min so the edges brown.

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Serve hot. Buon appetito!

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