Onion and Thyme Focaccia Bread

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There’s nothing better than freshly baked bread, especially when it’s still warm and just out of the oven. So why not turn your kitchen into a classic bakery and make this onion and thyme focaccia bread. Add a pinch of crushed red pepper flakes for a kick of heat and serve with whipped ricotta cheese for a tasty appetizer guest will enjoy.

Onion and Thyme Focaccia Bread
Yield: about 10 servings

1 1/2 cups warm water
1 teaspoon granulated sugar
1, 1/4 ounce packet dry active yeast
4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting and kneading
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil, plus more for greasing and drizzling
1 tablespoon fresh thyme
1/4 small red onion, thinly sliced
Flaky sea salt, for sprinkling
Crushed red pepper flakes, for sprinkling (Optional)

Directions:
1) In a large bowl combine the warm water, granulated sugar and sprinkle on the dry active yeast. Allow the yeast to sit until it begins to bubble, about 5 minutes. In another large bowl, whisk together the flour and salt.

2) When the yeast is ready, add the flour mixture and extra virgin olive oil and stir together until a wet, shaggy dough forms. Transfer the dough to a flour-dusted work surface and knead until the dough becomes smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes. Transfer the dough to a large, oiled bowl and cover tightly with plastic wrap. Allow the dough to sit in a warm area until it almost doubles in size, about 1 hour.

3) Preheat an oven to 425 degrees and oil a 9 by 13 inch rimmed sheet tray. Next, punch the dough down and gently stretch it to fit into the oiled pan, making sure it reaches all of the edges. Use your fingers to gently dimple the dough, cover tightly with plastic wrap and allow the dough to proof again until it almost doubles in size, about 30 minutes more.

4) When the dough is ready, sprinkle the top with the fresh thyme, sliced red onion, a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil, a sprinkle of flaky sea salt and crushed red pepper flakes if using. Bake until the onions are tender and the top is golden brown, about 22 minutes. Serve and enjoy.

* Cook’s Note: Get creative and use your own favorite toppings to make this bread one-of-a-kind. Some of my favorite toppings include: fresh herbs, sun dried tomatoes, sliced shallots and parmesan cheese.

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