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Cooking with Beer: Beer-Glazed Focaccia Recipe

This recipe makes the chewiest, fullest-flavored focaccia around, made just for beer lovers. You can follow the first five steps to prepare dough, or buy frozen bread dough, thaw it, pat it into a 1/2-inch-thick circle, and start with Step 6.

Prep time: About 2 hr (includes 90 min for rising

Cook time: About 20 min

Yield: One 14- to 16-inch focaccia (4 servings)

2/3 cup water

3-1/2 to 4 cups bread flour, divided

1 tablespoon yeast

1 tablespoon sugar

2/3 cup Hefeweizen (room temperature)

1 tablespoon dried basil

1/2tablespoon kosher salt

1/4 cup grated Romano or Parmesan cheese

6 tablespoons olive oil

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1/2 cup cornmeal

2 large yellow onions, sliced thin

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1/2 tablespoon dried marjoram

1/3 cup Scottish Ale

Suggested toppings: 1/2 cup roasted red pepper strips, 1/2 cup minced Canadian bacon, 1/3 cup crumbled feta cheese, and 2 slices smoked provolone cheese cut into strips.

  1. Heat the water to 110 degrees.

  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine 1/2 cup bread flour with the yeast and sugar. Pour in water and whisk thoroughly. Let set for at least 15 minutes; it should become foamy and form a head to prove your yeast is alive.

  3. Stir in the Hefeweizen, 1/2 tablespoon of the basil, salt, cheese, 2 tablespoons of the oil, black pepper, and cornmeal; beat thoroughly. Stir in more flour, 1 cup at a time, until the dough is too stiff to stir.

  4. Turn dough onto counter and knead for 8 to 10 minutes, adding just enough flour to keep dough from sticking to the counter and your hands. The dough should be smooth and elastic after kneading.

  5. Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let rise until doubled — approximately 1 hour.

  6. While dough is rising, heat 1-1/2 tablespoons of the olive oil in a heavy skillet over medium heat. When hot, add onions and cook, stirring frequently until translucent, about 3 to 4 minutes. Add salt, black pepper, remaining basil, and marjoram and cook until mixture is golden, about 4 to 5 more minutes.

  7. Add Scottish Ale to the onion mixture and raise the heat to medium-high. Continue to stir and cook until liquid is evaporated, about 2 minutes.

  8. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees; if you’re using a pizza stone, place it on the bottom rack for preheating. While the oven is heating, punch dough down and let rest, covered, for 15 minutes.

  9. Using fingertips and a lightly oiled surface, stretch and pat the dough into a 10-inch circle for a thick-crusted focaccia or a 14-inch circle for a thinner-crusted version. Place on a cornmeal dusted pizza peel if using a pizza stone; if you’re not using a stone, use a cornmeal-dusted baking sheet.

  10. Rub dough with enough olive oil to coat (about 1 tablespoon) and spread with glazed onions. Top with peppers, bacon, feta, and provolone, or toppings of your choice. Slide the dough onto the hot stone or place baking sheet in the oven on lowest shelf; bake until top is bubbly and bottom is golden — check after 15 minutes.

Per serving: Calories 736 (From Fat 221); Fat 25g (Saturated 4g); Cholesterol 4mg; Sodium 666mg; Carbohydrate 109g (Dietary Fiber 7g); Protein 20g.

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