When I made the Tomato Bisque soup from The Conscious Cook by Tal Ronnen I decided that his Foccacia bread with Caramelized Onions was a must try along side of the soup. It really is a delicious bread that that I could eat way to much of!
The first time I tried it with the soup I did not adjust the recipe to be lower fat as I usually do so I knew what I was working with. From there I did however lower the fat as much as I could to keep it tasting good but be a healthier version of the original. I am going to put the original recipe from his book below and you can then adjust it down to your tastes as well.
Here is what I did, I eliminated the Earth Balance and instead cooked the onions in a non stick pan occasionally adding water until they caramelized and then at the very end when I removed them from the heat and sprayed them with quick spray of coconut oil spray to give them the a good flavor along with the slight taste of oil without using a ton.
He does not say where the 1/4 cup of oil goes but I assume that is what he coats the bowl with and rolls the dough in, which is what I did the first time. I eliminated that 1/4 cup completely and just spray the bowl with cooking spray to make the dough not stick the bowl and lightly spray the top of the dough so it did not stick to the cloth. I did however use the 1/3 cup of oil in the recipe but the reduction I have done so far is very good and I will continue to try and lower the fat. I might try half applesauce and half oil for the 1/3 cup next time.
Foccacia with Caramelized Onions (Adapted from Tal Ronnen’s The Conscious Cook)
Makes 1 large loaf; 6 to 8 servings
1 Tablespoon sugar
1 1/2 cups warm water
1 packet active dry yeast
6 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1/3 cup plus 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 Tablespoon Earth Balance
2 red onions, thinly sliced
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon dried rosemary needles
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Place the sugar in a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook. Pour the warm water over the sugar and stir to dissolve. Sprinkle the yeast over the water and let it sit without stirring for 15 minutes so the yeast can activate (it should appear bubbly on the surface). If it does not bubble, the yeast is not viable; start again with new yeast.
In a separate bowl, mix the flour and 1 tablespoon salt. Add the flour mixture, about 1 cup at a time, and the 1/4 cup oil, a spoonful or two at a time, to the yeast mixture. Stir with a wooden spoon or mix on low speed to combine.
Turn the dough out onto a floured work surface and knead for 10 minutes (or continue to knead on low speed in the mixer for 10 minutes), or until firm, smooth dough forms. Place the dough in a oiled bowl, turning over to coat with oil. Cover with a damp cloth and let rise in a warm place for 1 1/2 hours.
Meanwhile, place a sauté pan over medium heat. Sprinkle the bottom with a pinch of salt and heat for 1 minute. Add 1 tablespoon of the remaining oil and the Earth Balance and heat for 30 seconds, being careful not to let it smoke. This will create a nonstick effect. Add the onions to the pan and sauté, stirring frequently, until very soft and browned, 20 to 25 minutes. Set aside.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Brush or spray the parchment with oil. Turn the dough out onto the parchment and pull and stretch it with your hands to fill the pan. The dough should stretch to the edge of the pan and be about 1/4 inch thick. Use your fingertips to make dimples all over the dough, about 1 inch apart. Do not otherwise press the dough. Let rise, covered, for another 20 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 400° F. In a small bowl, stir together the remaining 3 tablespoons oil, the red pepper flakes, rosemary, 2 teaspoons salt, and the black pepper. Brush the top of the dough with the oil mixture. Bake for 7 minutes, then rotate the pan front to back, spread the onions over the top, and bake for another 8 to 10 minutes, or until golden and crusty. Remove the dough to a cutting board, let cook for at least 10 minutes, then cut into squares.