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Focaccia with Caramelized Onions

1 package ( 1/4 oz/7 g) active dry yeast
1 1/3 cup warm water (see tip, below) (325 ml)
1 tsp granulated sugar (5 ml)
3 1/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour (approx.) (800 ml)
3 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil (45 ml)
1 1/2 tsp salt (7 ml)
2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil, divided (25 ml)
2 large onions, sliced into 1/4-inch (0.5 cm) slices
Coarse sea salt
Flat beater
Dough hook
13- by 9-inch (3 l) baking pan, generously greased
Baking stone (optional)


Prepare the dough: In the mixer bowl, stir together yeast, water and sugar. let stand until yeast begins to foam, about 5 minutes. Add flour, oil and salt. Attach the flat beater and mixer bowl to the mixer. Set to speed 2 and mix until a dough forms. Remove the flat beater and attach the dough hook. Set to speed 4 and knead until dough is soft, smooth and slightly sticky, about 3 to 4 minutes. If dough is sticking to the bottom of the bowl, add flour 1 tbsp (15 ml) at a time. Using your hands, form dough into a ball. Place back in the mixer bowl, brush with olive oil and cover with a towel. let rise in a warm, draft-free place for 1 to 1 1/2 hours, or until doubled in bulk. Press dough evenly into prepared baking pan and cover with a towel. let rise until again doubled in bulk, about 1 hour. Meanwhile, prepare the topping: In a large skillet, heat 1 tbsp (15 ml) of the olive oil over medium heat. Add onions and cook, stirring frequently, for 15 to 20 minutes, or until golden brown. Meanwhile, place oven rack in the middle position, add a baking stone if you have one and preheat oven to 425F (220C). Using your fingertips, make shallow indentations all over dough. Brush with the remaining 1 tbsp (15 ml) oil, letting it pool in the indentations. Arrange caramelized onions on top and gently press into dough. Sprinkle lightly with sea salt. Place pan on baking stone, if using, and bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until focaccia is golden and reaches an internal temperature of 200F (100C). Using a large spatula, slip focaccia off pan and onto a rack to cool. Cut into large squares and serve warm or at room temperature.

Source: www.cookstr.com