Focaccia with shallots

Summer is HERE with its hellish heat, kids off school lazing around all day, envious me off to the lab where the ancient window Air Conditioners takes off every third day.  The kids would love interesting meals and I am loath to spend more than an hour in the kitchen.  Hubby has wisely chosen to eat at work this month. Meanwhile, I scrounge around for interesting recipes requiring minimal effort - the Perpetual Motion Machine of the cooking world.   This is my weekly schedule this summer - Cereal and Muffins/Quick breads or Cereal and Idlis for breakfast, rice + variety of lentils/beans/chickpeas+ vegetables+curds for lunch,

One of my staples is the Olive Oil dough from Artisan Bread in 5 minutes a day.  Nilgiris has stopped carrying Fresh Yeast in reasonable sized packages a.k.a. 100g.  I found Active Dry Yeast worked just as well!  Not just that, my Organic Atta produced no discernible change in flavour or texture, No More Maida in pizza! Yay!

I did knead the dough a fair bit, even though ABIFD says to just mix with a dough hook or wooden spoon, and not just because of an innate inability to follow instructions.  Whole wheat may need more water, I had to ensure I had a fairly moist dough to start with.


Olive oil dough
3 cups warm water
1.5 tbspoons active dry yeast
1 tbspoon sugar
1 tbspoon salt
6 1/2 cups flour
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tbspoon olive oil divided, preferably Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Add salt, sugar, yeas,t to the warm water in a largish, lidded, bowl (large enough to hold 15 cups).
Once the yeast is foamy, add the flour all at once.  Mix with a wooden spoon until it just comes together.
Knead it for a few minutes with your hands, add the oil and kind off clean the dough off your hands and the oil into the dough.
Let sit loosely covered for 1 - 2 hours until doubled in volume.
Refrigerate loosely covered.
Take out a medium  canataloupe size dough and let it sit on a bed of APF until it warms up to room temperature.
Meanwhile prepare the toppings
 Once the dough has warmed up, knead with addition of flour as necessary. 
Warm over to 250 deg C 
Oil a rectangular pan generously with EVOO, and pat the dough on the base of the pan to reach all the 4 sides.
If the dough springs back, just let it rest a little longer.
Make thumbprints in the dough.
Dimpled dough, if the dimples hold sufficient rising
Brush oil on the dough, generously.
Strew the toppings on the dough.
Bake at 250 def C for 10 - 12 minutes.

Toppings:
1 tbspoon oil
1/2 cup sliced shallots
1 tsp dry rosemary


Heat Oil, add shallots and fry until softened, add a pinch of salt and crumbled rosemary.
Let cool


I have tried various toppings on foccaccia, cheese+corn, greens+corn, Olives, Grapes.  Shallots RULE!




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