Sunday, November 1, 2009

Onion Foccacia and Apple-Cinnamon Crumb Coffee Cake

October 31, 2009

I had been out and about most of the week so I hadn’t baked anything and now it was Saturday, it was gloomy outside and I wasn’t going anywhere so I was itching to bake something, but what? I’d been thinking about pizza but I didn’t want pizza for dinner, I had already taken out some chicken breast from the freezer. An onion foccacia is similar to pizza, and it would make a nice accompaniment to dinner. I had also received my copy of the Heavenly Cakes this week and really wanted to make the Apple-Cinnamon Crumb Coffee Cake as I had plenty of apples from a recent visit to the orchard even if I only needed one. I would make both.

I mixed up my regular pizza dough recipe which is really a fougasse recipe but makes a great base for either pizza or foccacia. As a matter of fact I use this recipe to make baguettes also. When you find a winner you stick with it. Once the dough was mixed and in my makeshift bread rising container (a large plastic tub, that had originally contained bread crumbs, just the right size for 1-1/2 pounds of dough) I thinly sliced four onions and threw them into a fry pan with some olive oil and a few sprigs of rosemary, freshly cut from my rosemary plant, and a sprinkling of salt and pepper. I turned down the heat and let the onions cook slowly until translucent without browning so they would be sweet and delicious.

Assembly was easy enough – stretch out the dough on a large sheet pan, top with onions and let it rise for about half an hour. Bake at 400 F for about 20 minutes and it’s done.

While the dough was rising I made the cake. I assembled the crumb topping, reserving part of it. I made a small mistake here, when I read the ingredients I failed to see “melted” next to butter and used soft butter instead. Oops. When I make mistakes I feel like I’m in a classroom and I’m being docked marks for carelessness. Next time I will read carefully – lesson learned. Next I sliced the apple and added the lemon juice and set it aside. Mixing the cake was easy, though not creaming the butter with sugar etc, throws me for a loop. The mixed batter was light and lovely and ready for the pan. I scraped some batter in the pan, sprinkled in the reserved crumb topping, added the apple slices, overlapping them slightly and topped with the remaining batter. I then partially baked the cake, added the crumb topping, this steps prevents it from sinking into the batter, and finished baking the cake.

The kitchen smelled divine. With the onion slowly cooking on the stove top and the cake in the oven it was like it was Thanksgiving again.

The cake was ready and it looked just like the picture in the book, and it tasted wonderful, not too sweet and the cake was tender and the crumb topping didn’t suffer much from my error, it was lovely.

Basic Bread Dough for Fougasse
By Patricia Wells

Makes 1 ½ pounds of dough

1 tsp. Active dry yeast
1 tsp. Sugar
1 1/3 cups Lukewarm water (about 105 degrees_
2 tbsp. Olive oil
1 tsp. Sea salt
3 ½ cups Flour, plus more if necessary

In the bowl of a heavy-duty electric mixer fitted with a dough-hook attachment, combine yeast, sugar, and water, and stir to blend. Let stand until foamy, about 5 minutes. Stir in the oil and salt.

Add the flour, a little at a time, mixing at the lowest speed until most of the flour has been absorbed, and the dough forms a ball. Continue to mix at the lowest speed until soft and satiny but still firm, 4 to 5 minutes. Add additional flour, if necessary, to keep the dough from sticking. The dough will be quite soft.

Transfer the dough to a bowl, cover tightly with plastic wrap, and place in the refrigerator. You may also let dough rise at room temperature until doubled. Simply punch down the dough as it doubles or triples. Use to make one large or several small fougasse.
In a large baking sheet with sides stretch dough out to cover the pan and cover to rise 45 minutes to 1 hour.

Onion Topping

¼ cup olive oil
4 yellow onions sliced 1/8 to 14 inch.
2 sprigs of rosemary
Salt and pepper to taste

In a fry pan add oil, heat and add onions, rosemary and season with salt and pepper. Cook for about 20 minutes on low heat until the onions are soft and translucent without turning brown.

Scatter onions over risen dough and bake on a pizza stone in a 400 F. oven for about 20 minutes or until edges are golden.


Melinda said...

Both of these look delectable!
I still have apples coming out the ying-yang too.
I love the onion rosemary foccacia.

doughadear said...

Hello Melinda
Sorry it took so long to answer back. I'm still not use to being on this side of the blogging fence.

The onion rosemary foccacia is always a hit with my family and I really liked the cake quite a lot and would definitely make it again.

breadbasketcase said...

For someone who's new to your side of the blogging fence, you're doing a great job! Your pictures make both the focaccia and the coffee cake look mouth-wateringly good.

doughadear said...

Thank you!