Eggplant Rosemary Focaccia Bread

by Erin, The $5 Dinner Mom on June 22, 2010

I mentioned yesterday that we had an impromptu Italian dinner feast with Tricia and her family. And I might have mentioned that I made some Eggplant Focaccia bread.

Turned out to be quite good…a little tough on the edges…but what a yummy combination of flavors!

It was only after about 5 seconds that Tyler and Tessa were holding hands. (They are less than 1 month apart in age.)

And it was only 30 seconds after that when the footsy began.

Uh. Huh. Uh. Huh. These babies didn’t waste anytime getting acquainted.

We had a lovely dinner and a lovely “adult” conversation. I’m sorry I didn’t get any photos from our feast…I was too busy watching Tyler…making sure he kept his paws off Tessa. ;)

On to the Focaccia…

But be forewarned. Photo deluge coming.

Ingredients

1 1/2 cup warm water…not hot, not lukewarm…warm
1 package active dry yeast ($.25)

5 1/2 cups flour (I used 5 cups white, then 1/2 cup wheat…I ran out of white…I recommend all white flour.)
1 tsp salt
1/3 cup olive oil ($.50)
About 3/4 more cup of water

1/2 white onion, sliced into circles ($.15)
1 tsp olive oil ($.03)
1 tsp sugar ($.05)

1 eggplant ($1.12) $.99/lb from the market on Saturday
2 sprigs of fresh rosemary from the garden
1 garlic clove ($.05)

Kosher salt
Olive oil for drizzling ($.25)

Directions

Let’s start with the dough. Since it takes a while to rise…and stuff.

Place the warm water in a bowl and stir in the yeast. A tablespoon of yeast from the jar, if you don’t do the packets. Let sit while you get the flour going and get out the other ingredients, 5 to 10 minutes.

Place the flour and salt into a stand mixer or bowl where you will make the dough.

Toss the flour and salt together, then stream in the olive oil.

Pour in the yeast and water and let the dough hook works its magic. Stream in some more warm water (I did about 3/4 cups), until dough ball forms. Let knead for about 10 minutes.

Don’t have a stand mixer and dough hook. Use a wooden spoon and then knead the dough yourself…and get a nice forearm workout in the process.

Dough ball will form…keep kneading until smooth.

Meanwhile, wash the rosemary and the eggplant. Pat dry.

Thinly slice the eggplant. Then place into a strainer.

Sprinkle the eggplant pieces with salt and set in the kitchen sink.  The salt will draw out the bitter eggplant juices and they can drain into the sink.

While the eggplant is draining and the dough is kneading, slice the onions.  Caramelize them.

Place the olive oil and sugar into a small skillet.  Let the oil and sugar heat up, then toss in the onion slices.  Cook on high until they look like this…then reduce heat to low and simmer for 20-30 minutes.

Once cooked, chop up the caramelized onions and set aside.

Take the rosemary leaves of the sprig.

Chop away.

Peel a garlic clove and mash it with the side of the knife.

Rub the garlic along the inside of the bowls that will hold your dough, as it rises.  Add a little olive oil to the bowl to prevent sticking. Then mince the garlic to add to the dough after it rises.

Add smooth dough.

Cover and let rise about an hour.

Once rise, add the chopped rosemary and minced garlic to the risen dough.  Work the spices into the dough and then begins kneading the dough and stretching it out.

Let gravity help you stretch the dough out. Do NOT ROLL OUT focaccia dough. I repeat. Do NOT ROLL OUT focaccia dough!

Pull and knead the dough and place on a greased baking sheet. (Here is where I wished I’d have used my pizza stone.  I think the edges would have turned out better if I had used it.)

Dimple option #1.

Dimple option #2.


Dimple #3. Use whatever you like. Make dimples all over your dough.  Cover and let rise about 30 minutes to an hour.

Preheat the oven to 400 as the dough is rising again.


Once risen again…add the sliced eggplants, the chopped caramelized onions, some kosher salt and some drizzles of olive oil.

Brush the olive oil around.

Bake at 400 for 20-25 minutes.

Remove from oven, slice with pizza cutter.

Consume.

Cost $2.40

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{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

Kira June 22, 2010 at 5:39 pm

That looks yummy! But I’m confused – twice in the instructions, you say to knead the dough, but in one step you’re adamant that we DON’T knead the dough. I’ve never made foccacia before, so help!

Reply

Erin, The $5 Dinner Mom June 22, 2010 at 7:03 pm

@Kira,

Should read “roll out”…I edited. Thanks! :)

Reply

Tricia (Once A Month Mom) June 22, 2010 at 5:49 pm

So cute! Look at those toes, I love baby toes!

And the eggplant focaccia was very yummy.

Reply

Karen June 22, 2010 at 7:13 pm

@Tricia (Once A Month Mom),
want it! but don’t have the appropriate tools. probably better than any pizza out there- I bet the boboli crust would be working wonders! :)

Reply

Sarah June 22, 2010 at 6:07 pm

That focaccia looks delicious! Thanks for all the beautiful photos. They have convinced me that I MUST make this.

And those babies are too cute!

Reply

Wendy June 22, 2010 at 6:31 pm

I made pesto focaccia over the weekend . . .will have to give this flavor profile a try. I think I’m addicted!

Reply

susan June 22, 2010 at 7:25 pm

i love the pics of Tyler & Theresa. I have a few friends that have children i’ve already “married’ my kids to. I can’t wait to see my youngest grow with my friends son. they’re both 3 months old (a week apart in age to the minute). I’m sure at some point i’ll notice the same “shinanigans” between my marielle & james.

Reply

Sarah (Frontier Kitchen) June 22, 2010 at 8:20 pm

This is such a great idea! I love caramelized onions so I’m going to have to try this soon.

Reply

Debbi Does Dinner Healthy June 22, 2010 at 8:57 pm

I seriously want to crawl into the computer and start eating! It looks SO GOOD! Thanks!

Reply

ATL Cook June 22, 2010 at 9:16 pm

Egg plant is $1lb at Publix and I have enough rosemary for an army. I love caramelized onions. As hot as it is, won’t take long for dough to rise. I shop Kroger and Publix on Wednesday for the extra 5% Senior Citizens discount. It all helps.

Reply

Chef Dennis June 23, 2010 at 5:39 pm

your focaccia looks incredible!~
thanks for sharing such a great recipe!
Cheers
Dennis

Reply

Heather June 29, 2010 at 12:35 pm

This recipe was crazy good! I think I’ll cut back on the yeast a bit next time–I did the tbsp. out of the jar. It rose to epic proportions! But it was delish. Thanks for the recipe. :)

Reply

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