caramelized onion & rosemary focaccia bread

In my humble opinion, texture and flavor are paramount when it comes to bread. Maybe because I grew up in a household where homemade bread was the standard, but I have such a hard time really enjoying a sandwich if the bread is lackluster. Let’s look – you put in the time, effort and resources into what goes BETWEEN the bread; why should we not do the same with the bread? It is the foundation of the sandwich, after all!

This bread I’m sharing today, for example, is one of my absolute favorites. Thin, crispy, and overflowing with bold flavors…to me, it doesn’t get any better than focaccia bread. It’s a bit of a labor of love, if I’m being totally honest – this is not one of the breads where you can set a timer, leave for the day and expect to walk in the front door with a fresh loaf of bread awaiting you. This bread takes TIME and LOVE. Aside from a quick rise in the bread machine, the majority of the work is done with good old-fashioned elbow grease. But I daresay that this is what makes this focaccia so spectacular.





A generous helping of caramelized onions prepared low and slow on the stovetop, with lots of seasoning and oil, is the crowning glory. The bread itself is studded with notes of dried rosemary; the use of whole wheat flour {in addition to the regular bread flour} adds a nutty bite and gives it that extra crunch. I’ve even been known to fold a bit of kalamata olives into the topping – wow! No matter how you serve this {sliced in half as a sandwich, toasted and topped with a fried egg and avocado}, you’ll be a convert. Focaccia, the one to rule them all.



Caramelized Onion & Rosemary Focaccia Bread¬†{bread recipe from “The Bread Machine Cookbook III}

Ingredients {for a medium-sized dough}:

1 cup water

1-1/2 tbsp. olive oil

1-1/2 tbsp. honey

1/3 tsp. salt

3/4 tsp. dried rosemary

1-1/2 cups whole wheat flour

1-1/2 cups bread flour

1-1/2 tsp. yeast

*optional: 1 heaping tbsp. vital wheat gluten

*for the baking pan, you will need cornmeal {this will prevent the dough from sticking}

Ingredients {for topping}:

2 medium white onions, finely sliced

2 tbsp. dried rosemary

salt & pepper, to taste

olive oil, for drizzling

To Prepare:

Assemble your list of dough ingredients into the basin of your bread machine, and use the dough cycle according to your manufacturer’s directions. My dough cycle usually runs for 1 hr. and 50 minutes, but machines will vary slightly.

Prepare your rimmed baking sheet by sprinkling with cornmeal.

Once the dough cycle has run its course, turn it onto the prepared baking sheet. Using the tips of your fingers, gently press out the dough so that it stretches out slightly and reaches into the corners of the dish. Make sure you leave divets from your fingers, as this is what will hold in the olive oil and toppings while it bakes. 

Cover with a clean dish towel and set in a warm, dry place to rise. It will take about 45 minutes to an hour.

With about 30 minutes before your dough is done rising, preheat your oven to 375 degrees.

Heat a saute pan over medium heat, and drizzle with olive oil. Once the olive oil is nice and hot, add in your onions and season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring very infrequently, for at least 10-15 minutes or until the onions begin to turn a caramelized brown. Remove from heat and set aside.

Before placing the bread in the oven, cover with the caramelized onions and dried rosemary. Drizzle liberally with olive oil, and top with a dash of salt and pepper. Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until the top is starting to turn light brown and the edges are crisp. Cool completely, and store tightly covered. It will keep at room temperature for 3 days; any longer and it should be transferred to the refrigerator or frozen.


**to reheat: place in the center of the oven and bake at 425 degrees until warmed through.