Bread, in all its forms, excites me.
My husband had no appreciation for bread when we met.
His exposure to bread was limited to white sliced sandwich bread.
(How that happened still boggles my mind!)
Initially he humoured me as I dragged him around bakeries.
I’d buy loaves of crusty bread and break off chunks to snack on as we walked.
He thought I was weird.
(He told me this much later btw!)
It shocked me.
I thought everyone did that!
Over time he accepted the little chunks I offered.
Slowly, he developed a taste and appreciation for bread.
Today I can proudly report he even has a favourite crusty bread, sourdough.
Our children are all bread lovers.
Our local bakery is very much a part of their lives.
On weekdays, we walk up to the bakery for coffee, bread and cheese & bacon rolls.
On weekends, the kids in the neighbourhood make their way there for lunch after running around all morning.
They pull up some crates at the front of the shop and plan the rest of the day over some meat pies and sausage rolls.
So this week’s Tuesdays with Dorie: Baking with Julia recipe had me excited!
And, if I’m to be honest, a little apprehensive.
Eating bread is one thing.
Making it is another!
My expectations were low, so to see the golden, crispy focaccia come together was incredibly satisfying!
I halved the recipe and then divided the dough I had, into two equal balls.
The first one I topped with olive oil, salt and a sprinkling of thyme and rosemary.
With the second one I got more adventurous…
I found a recipe for Cheesy Focaccia with Caramelised Onions and Sauteed Spinach in my copy of Baked: Elements.
I decided to try a somewhat modified version of their topping…
This was absolutely delicious!
The plain focaccia was crisp and crusty.
Best eaten fresh out of the oven.
The second one however was softer, the topping gave it a moistness that made it delicious warm and cold.
The recipe for this week’s Tuesdays with Dorie dish can be found at our host’s site, Wandering Through…
The recipe for the topping follows..
Caramelised Onions with Sauteed Spinach and Goat’s Feta
(adapted from Baked: Elements)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 red onion, thinly sliced
3 cups loosely packed baby spinach leaves
1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
goat’s feta, enough to crumble on top
1. Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a pan over medium-low heat, add the onion and saute until soft and translucent. Set the onion aside when finished.
2. Add the spinach to the pan and cook until spinach is soft. Set aside to cool and squeeze the spinach dry when cool enough to handle.
3. When the focaccia is almost cooked (about 15 minutes), pull out of oven and brush with remaining olive oil.
4. Sprinkle with chopped herbs and salt.
5. Top with onion, spinach and crumble goat’s feta cheese.
6. Place focaccia back in oven and continue baking until the cheese starts to brown.
February 6, 2013 at 12:37 am
I wanted to make the BAKED Elements focaccia this weekend, but just didn’t get to it. Great idea to use their toppings with the second ball of dough. Both versions look wonderful.
February 6, 2013 at 12:44 am
That looks absolutely delicious! Thanks for baking along – glad you enjoyed it.
February 6, 2013 at 3:03 am
Awesome! Your focaccia looks so wonderful! I had low expectations (but high hopes!) for this recipe myself, and mine came out nowhere near as good as yours did! Well done!
February 6, 2013 at 3:51 am
Yum! I think I would have liked mine better if I made a topping like you did. Looks beautiful and sounds delicious!
February 6, 2013 at 6:00 am
ooh, that onion one looks fantastic!
February 6, 2013 at 7:48 am
Your foccacia looks delicious!!!
I love your onion topping, sounds yummy!!! It gives me idea for the next time!!!
February 6, 2013 at 11:42 am
Your adventurous bread looks delicious.
I would take a good spot of bread over dessert any day. I was in Manhattan on Friday and it totally stressed me out that I could not bring home any of the amazing looking loaves that I kept passing by in the bakeries. But, alas, I don’t know how I would have explained walking into a business meeting with a loaf of bread hanging out of my attache case 🙂
February 6, 2013 at 1:53 pm
I love all the extras you added on top! Delicious!
February 6, 2013 at 10:49 pm
I love your toppings! I also walk along while smacking on chunks of freshly baked bread. Sometimes I even do that in the office.
February 7, 2013 at 1:32 am
Perfect looking crust. My mouth is watering…..
February 7, 2013 at 8:32 am
Loved your blog post! Really a great read. I too am a bread lover that has a husband who grew up on white bread! (now he never buys the stuff!)
Your focaccias look great too!
February 7, 2013 at 3:18 pm
Another fun post to read, Sanya. Love your tasty variations on the second batch.
February 7, 2013 at 3:47 pm
I will have to try your version for sure! Sounds wonderful and some of my favorite flavors!
February 8, 2013 at 10:55 am
They both look delicious! My husband comes from a bread loving family – the bread was always devoured before dinner time – chunks would be torn off before even getting through the check-out counter at the store! Especially if it was still warm. 🙂
March 19, 2013 at 9:26 pm
This looks incredible! I’ve always been a little intimidated by making focaccia but you’ve made it look effortless