Feb 18
2011

Focaccia with Caramelized Onion, Tomato & Rosemary Recipe

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Focaccia with Caramelized Onions, Tomatoes & Rosemary Recipe

I learned many years ago not to question Italian grandmothers when it comes to matters of the kitchen, particularly when these matters involve focaccia and gnocchi. When I was in my early twenties, making an epic backpacking trip around Europe (well, it was epic to me anyways), my friend and I stayed at a charming pensione, named Chicco di Grano, in the heart of Tuscany.

While the family-run inn was not the luxurious Italian villa that regularly stars in my daydreams, it was many steps above the bunk-sleeping, shower-sharing youth hostels of our travels to that point. Nestled at the top of a long driveway lined by prolific olive trees and host to an expansive view of the surrounding vineyards and groves, Chicco di Grano was the destination of many Italian travelers. Perhaps our very limited handle of the Italian language (counting from one to ten doesn’t count) was why we got off on the wrong foot with the proprietor’s elderly mother.

Dinners at Chicco di Grano were enjoyed at the long wooden table set on the stone patio. If you were the newcomers, as we were the first night, you were seated at the end of the table furthest away from the hosts, Paolo and Jean – and Paolo’s mother (we’ll call her Nonna). As guests departed on subsequent nights, the newcomers became old-timers and moved up the table. It was that first night that we were under the intense scrutiny of Nonna. Each time I looked up the table, she was studying us, never sparing a smile for either my friend or me. What had we done to offend her? Had we broken some cardinal rule of Italian dining?

With some trepidation, we arrived at the breakfast table the next morning. When Nonna came into the room, she shuffled over to us, wished us a hearty “Buongiorno”, pulled each of us down to her, and planted kisses on our cheeks. Besides being effusive in our compliments of the dinner and throwing a wild party in our room, we had no idea how we made our way into her good graces overnight. It was not to be questioned.

As the days went by, we spent many hours around that table on the patio, diving into the wonderful meals, sipping wine, and dancing under the stars with Paolo and the other guests. The day before we departed Chicco di Grano, Nonna beckoned us into the kitchen. Through hand gestures and patient demonstration, she taught us to make her rosemary-infused focaccia and pillowy gnocchi. Those couple of hours lit a culinary fire in me and taught me about the importance of taking care in preparing meals for those you love. My notes from that lesson were tucked away in my travel journal that my parents found recently. Unfortunately, I was missing the amounts for a couple of the focaccia ingredients. So, the basic focaccia recipe is from Food & Wine Magazine. The toppings, however, are Nonna-inspired. I think she would have approved.

The recipe:

In a medium bowl, stir together yeast, warm water, and honey. Let rest until yeast blooms and bubbles form on top, about 10 minutes. Stir in flour, 1/4 cup olive oil and 1 teaspoon kosher salt.

Turn the dough onto a well-floured surface and knead until dough is smooth, 5 to 10 minutes.

Place dough in a lightly oiled bowl, cover with a kitchen towel or plastic wrap, and let rest in a warm place until dough doubles in size, about 1 hour.

Onion Tomato Focaccia Collage

Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.

Remove dough from bowl and press it into a lightly oiled 9- by 13-inch baking sheet until it touches the edges. Using your finger, poke holes all over the dough. Drizzle the dough with 2 tablespoons olive oil. Let rest until the dough becomes puffy, about 20 minutes.

OnionTomatoFocaccia3

Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large skillet set over medium heat. Add onion slices, cover and cook until onion is golden brown, stirring occasionally, about 20 minutes.

Top the dough with tomato slices, caramelized onions, rosemary, Parmesan cheese, and salt. Drizzle with remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil.

OnionTomatoFocaccia4

Bake until the focaccia is golden brown, about 20 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool on a rack. Cut into pieces and serve.

Other focaccia recipes:

Cookin’ Canuck’s Soft Chickpea Focaccia (Farinata) with Zucchini, Rosemary & Roasted Red Peppers
Gluten-Free Goddess’ Gluten-Free Focaccia with Tomato & Garlic
Smitten Kitchen’s Grape Focaccia with Rosemary
Local Lemons’ Homemade Focaccia with Figs & Goat Camembert

Focaccia with Caramelized Onion, Tomato & Rosemary Recipe

Prep Time: 2 hours, 20 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 2 hours, 40 minutes

Yield: Serves 8

Serving Size: 1 piece

Focaccia with Caramelized Onion, Tomato & Rosemary Recipe

From the kitchen of Cookin Canuck. www.cookincanuck.com

Ingredients

  • 1 package dry yeast
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 1 tsp honey
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp kosher salt, divided
  • 1/2 cup plus 1 tbsp olive oil, divided
  • 1 large onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 medium tomato, cut into 1/4-inch slices
  • 2 sprigs fresh rosemary, needles removed from stem
  • 1/3 cup (packed) finely grated Parmesan cheese

Instructions

  1. In a medium bowl, stir together yeast, warm water, and honey. Let rest until yeast blooms and bubbles form on top, about 10 minutes.
  2. Stir in flour, 1/4 cup olive oil and 1 teaspoon kosher salt. Turn the dough onto a well-floured surface and knead until dough is smooth, 5 to 10 minutes.
  3. Place dough in a lightly oiled bowl, cover with a kitchen towel or plastic wrap, and let rest in a warm place until dough doubles in size, about 1 hour.
  4. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.
  5. Remove dough from bowl and press it into a lightly oiled 9- by 13-inch baking sheet until it touches the edges. Using your finger, poke holes all over the dough. Drizzle the dough with 2 tablespoons olive oil. Let rest until the dough becomes puffy, about 20 minutes.
  6. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large skillet set over medium heat. Add onion slices, cover and cook until onion is golden brown, stirring occasionally, about 20 minutes.
  7. Top the dough with tomato slices, caramelized onions, rosemary, Parmesan cheese, and salt. Drizzle with remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil.
  8. Bake until the focaccia is golden brown, about 20 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool on a rack. Cut into pieces and serve.

Notes

Basic focaccia recipe adapted from Food & Wine Magazine.

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{ 87 comments… read them below or add one }

1 RecipeGirl February 18, 2011 at 5:16 am

This looks just totally and completely delicious. Want! Big time!

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2 Jessica February 18, 2011 at 6:45 am

Oh man this looks phenomenal! Beautiful photo too!

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3 Blog is the New Black February 18, 2011 at 10:49 am

Gorgeous and delicious! I want this for breakfast!

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4 warmvanillasugar February 18, 2011 at 12:32 pm

This sounds perfect! When I was in Riomaggiorre, Italy, they made the BEST focaccia. It was this little towns specialty, and I haven't been able to find anything that even comes close to the amazing-ness of this food. This recipe looks close enough! I'm so trying it today.

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5 Pretend Chef February 18, 2011 at 1:04 pm

I love the story and would like to hear more from your travel journal. Sounds like such an amazing experience. This looks so delicious. Yummy!

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6 Heather (Heather's Dish) February 18, 2011 at 1:50 pm

holy heaven this sounds amazing! I have GOT to try homemade focaccia again…

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7 Tricia @ Saving room for dessert February 18, 2011 at 1:55 pm

I wish I could express what a wonderful story that is. I've dreamed of going to Italy and learning to make Italian food with a little old Italian grandma. You took me there this morning. Thank you. Thanks for sharing the trip and the recipe. I can't wait to make it. I think I'm going to have to buy bigger pants.

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8 Pegasuslegend February 18, 2011 at 2:10 pm

wow this looks fantastic! Nice Job Dara! Great photo's as usual!

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9 Candy Girl February 18, 2011 at 2:33 pm

Great story! I love focaccia and have yet to make a version at home that lives up to the handfuls I ate while in Italy. I'm going to make this this weekend!

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10 Kalyn February 18, 2011 at 2:53 pm

Oh my! What a beautiful post and this looks like a fantastic recipe.

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11 Stefania February 18, 2011 at 4:28 pm

Deliziosa ♥

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12 Soma February 18, 2011 at 4:43 pm

Memories always make beautiful posts. Dara is this my favorite kind of focaccia.. fresh tomatoes, sweet caram. onions and my fav. herb rosemary. The photographs are warm and inviting calling me…

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13 Michelle @ Brown Eyed Baker February 18, 2011 at 4:53 pm

Gorgeous focaccia! I still need to get my butt in gear and make it!

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14 Georgia (The Comfort of Cooking) February 18, 2011 at 5:37 pm

This is such a beautiful focaccia, and one of my favorite breads to make seeing as it's one of the simplest. Thank you for sharing this recipe and your talents in the kitchen! I'll have to try this soon!

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15 Tiffany February 18, 2011 at 5:38 pm

This looks great (and super pretty!)

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16 ravienomnoms February 18, 2011 at 5:41 pm

That looks SO delicious! What a great meal or an appetizer for a party!

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17 Lindsay @Eat, Knit, Grow February 18, 2011 at 5:47 pm

This looks so delicious! I was looking for a simple bread to make!

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18 www.kevinandamanda.com February 18, 2011 at 6:00 pm

Stunning! This looks absolutely incredible!

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19 Delishhh February 18, 2011 at 7:15 pm

I am having a dinner party this weekend and i was just thinking of appetizers to make. . .i guess i do not have to look any further!

Awesome recipe!

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20 Now Serving February 18, 2011 at 7:24 pm

Rosemary is my Absolute favorite herb – I found in just a few months before I started blogging and use it a lot in all my recipes – The bread looks totally EDIBLE

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21 Jodi@garlic girl February 18, 2011 at 7:32 pm

Looks so light and flavorful. I love that you can use the dough immediately! Hopefully I can try this over the weekend.

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22 Belinda @zomppa February 18, 2011 at 7:37 pm

Bet she's be pretty darn proud. Gorgeous.

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23 theFromagette February 18, 2011 at 7:48 pm

Now THIS is how I'd like to start the weekend, YUM.

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24 Debs @ Acquiredish February 18, 2011 at 7:56 pm

Fab recipe and a brilliant story too!

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25 The Food Hunter February 18, 2011 at 8:02 pm

I agree…I think Nonna would have approved for sure.

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26 doughmesstic February 18, 2011 at 8:09 pm

I've yet to make foccacia. But I will now! This look incredible.

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27 Tia February 18, 2011 at 8:40 pm

this looks so absolutely delicious!

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28 Cheryl and Adam February 18, 2011 at 8:44 pm

Italian and Southern grandmothers seem to both have unassailable authority in the kitchen! Belle cose a la tua nonna! This is wonderful!

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29 Isabelle February 18, 2011 at 9:22 pm

You must've read my mind, because I've been craving focaccia in the worst possible way for the past couple of days.
I was planning on making some this weekend, and now I absolutely will have to use this lovely combination of toppings… the smell while it's baking must be indescribably good.

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30 Lauren's Latest February 18, 2011 at 9:28 pm

OH MY……this looks absolutely delicious.

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31 Cookin' Canuck February 18, 2011 at 9:59 pm

Thank you for all of your comments. We finished up the leftovers today. Just wrap the focaccia in foil and heat in a 350 degree oven for about 5 minutes.

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32 marla February 18, 2011 at 10:37 pm

This recipe goes so far beyond the gorgeous Focaccia. For a moment there I was in Italy with you – moving around that dining table, trying to understand Italian. So awesome that Nonna shared some kitchen secrets with you gals :) xo

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33 Frank February 18, 2011 at 11:27 pm

Yes, I'm sure nonna would approve. This looks lovely and delicious!

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34 Tracy February 19, 2011 at 12:18 am

What a fun story! The focaccia looks amazing and the toppings sound wonderfully savory!

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35 Torviewtoronto February 19, 2011 at 1:09 am

delicious focaccia pictures look fabulous

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36 Anonymous February 19, 2011 at 2:35 am

This looks toooo enticing. Perfect for having guests and for lunch with a big salad. You make it look so easy! Gorgeous pictures!

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37 Melissa @IWasBornToCook February 19, 2011 at 2:47 am

Love the bread and LOVE the story behind it! That's what it's all about.

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38 Monet February 19, 2011 at 4:53 am

Your focaccia looks amazing…those tomatoes and garlic are just perfect. But I loved hearing the story behind this recipe even more. Thank you for sharing your heart and these eats. I hope you have a blessed Saturday!

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39 chefandsteward.com February 19, 2011 at 7:54 am

Another amazing recipe from your kitchen! It is officially on our list of things to try!

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40 chefandsteward.com February 19, 2011 at 7:54 am

Another amazing recipe from your kitchen! It is officially on our list of things to try!

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41 miss February 19, 2011 at 4:18 pm

This is the best looking focaccia I have ever seen!

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42 Marly February 19, 2011 at 5:43 pm

I sound like I'm just repeating what everyone else has said here, but you know what? Some things bear repeating. This recipe looks amazing! I can't wait to try it myself!

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43 briarrose February 19, 2011 at 6:53 pm

Beautiful and delicious.

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44 Angela @ Mind Over Batter February 19, 2011 at 7:52 pm

What a beatuful story! Your focaccia looks so yum!

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45 Lana @ Never Enough Thyme February 19, 2011 at 8:12 pm

What a lovely story, Dara! And the focaccia…wow! That looks scrumptious.

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46 Chef E February 19, 2011 at 8:13 pm

This looks great, many of my favorite ingredients here!

I am looking for weekend things to make and this is on my list!

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47 Feast on the Cheap February 19, 2011 at 9:23 pm

I feel like this was tailor-made just for me! Am printing this out and plan on making it this week!

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48 Letizia Golosa February 19, 2011 at 10:44 pm

This focaccia recipe is making my mouth water. The photos are great…I want to take a bite!

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49 Cake Duchess February 19, 2011 at 11:07 pm

Love the nonna story. I'm sure it was an epic trip. Sounds like it was fabulous. How sweet that she taught you this great recipe. It looks fantastica!;)xx

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50 Sylvie @ Gourmande in the Kitchen February 19, 2011 at 11:33 pm

Such a classic! Focaccia is so much fun to make, and the toppings sound amazing.

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51 Amanda February 20, 2011 at 12:28 am

This looks amazing Dara!

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52 Eliana February 20, 2011 at 3:15 pm

I haven't seen foccacia look this good. Ever!

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53 Carolyn February 20, 2011 at 6:59 pm

Gorgeous foccacia and equally gorgeous story of the nonna at the villa, it all sounds so charming!

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54 s stockwell February 21, 2011 at 3:11 am

This one would put a smile on the family faces for sure! Best from Santa Barbara.

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55 danasfoodforthought February 21, 2011 at 3:37 am

You are so lucky to have had such a special culinary experience. It looks like it paid off, because this foccacia looks delicious!

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56 megan @ whatmegansmaking February 21, 2011 at 1:40 pm

Foccaccia is one of those things that's on my list to make soon! This looks incredible, wonderful pictures too!

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57 Chris February 21, 2011 at 8:51 pm

I love foccaccia and this looks delicious. Superb presentation too

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58 Megan February 22, 2011 at 4:37 pm

Looks like a must try kind of recipe! Delicious!!

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59 Lindsey February 22, 2011 at 7:25 pm

This looks amazingly delicious! Cannot wait to try this recipe. :)

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60 Dani February 23, 2011 at 10:56 pm

just made this for my dad – it looks so yummy I'll have to make it again so that I can review your recipe on yelleBELLYboo!

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61 diamond rings February 24, 2011 at 2:17 am

This looks incredible… Italian is my favorite and I've never met a pizza I didn't like! This is just perfect, thank you : P

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62 oneordinaryday February 24, 2011 at 2:45 pm

This looks incredible.

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63 Cooking Creation February 25, 2011 at 1:18 pm

Oh, this looks heavenly! I'm making this today… tanks for sharing!! :)

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64 JoyceLYH February 25, 2011 at 3:08 pm

Scrumptious-looking! I've got a question — why do we poke holes in the dough?

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65 Cookin' Canuck February 25, 2011 at 3:15 pm

Joyce – Great question. I meant to write something in the post about that. The holes allow for olive oil pool slightly, giving the focaccia its classic taste and texture when it bakes.

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66 JoyceLYH March 1, 2011 at 3:11 am

I see.. thanks for answering my q!

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67 Bet March 23, 2011 at 9:03 pm

This was delicious!! I found your recipe on Tasty Kitchen and loved reading the whole story on this post. Thanks for sharing!

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68 Dara (Cookin' Canuck) March 23, 2011 at 9:13 pm

Bet, thanks for letting me know. I’m thrilled that you enjoyed this.

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69 Lynnette June 17, 2011 at 12:21 pm

I am making this for Father’s Day, thank you!!

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70 Dara (Cookin' Canuck) June 17, 2011 at 1:16 pm

Lynnette, that is one of our favorites. I hope you enjoy it!

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71 Kim at 4virtu August 31, 2011 at 8:21 am

Another winner and inspiration for Tasty Tuesday! Thanks, Dara! YOU ROCK!

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72 GREENfatima January 18, 2012 at 5:26 pm

Fun recipe- although I must have spread mine too thin, because its quite thin crunchy. huhh.. still tastey just not the dense fluffy bread i was hoping for.

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73 Swiss Municipal April 24, 2012 at 8:30 am

I’ve made this twice now and it has been absolutely delicious both times. :) Thank you for posting this!

I’m planning on making it again but I’m thinking of freezing it in advance a few days early and then baking it the day of. Any advice on doing that? Things I should watch out for?

Thanks again!

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74 Aleksandra May 11, 2012 at 5:33 am

We have just had it, and Oh-My-God!, it was beyond delicious! Thank you!
Greetings from Vienna, Austria

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75 Dara (Cookin' Canuck) May 11, 2012 at 8:52 am

I’m so glad, Alekhsandra! Thank you for letting me know.

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76 Karielyn January 22, 2013 at 5:31 pm

Hi….was wondering if there is any other sugar substitute for the honey when making the dough. Thanks so much! :)

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77 Ada February 27, 2013 at 12:25 am

Great info. Lucky me I ran across your site by chance (stumbleupon).
I’ve saved it for later!
See this: Ada, http://abash.warszawa.pl

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78 Ashley March 6, 2013 at 3:34 pm

I’ve made this twice now and I must say it’s DELISH. Thank you SO much for sharing. It’s so easy and the flavors are just scrumptious :)

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79 Tracey Steele March 10, 2013 at 1:09 pm

I found this recipe via Pinterest. I have made it a few times now. It is consistently good, and always a hit.

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82 Amanda September 27, 2013 at 3:46 pm

Sounds and looks positively fabulous Dara! I shared this on my FB page :) https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10151837661328070&set=a.174654903069.124188.163690253069&type=1

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83 tori October 2, 2013 at 2:27 am

I really want to make this recipe tomorrow, but I have a couple questions about it.

1. how much yeast do I use? How much is one package of dry yeast? I’m new to cooking and just have a jar of yeast in my fridge. Can I use that? If so, how much?

2. It says to cook this on a baking sheet. Could I cook it on a pizza stone? Would that ruin it?

3. Are carmelized onions just onions cooked in oil in a frying pan? Or do I need to add anything to them?

Thanks so much!

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84 Dara (Cookin' Canuck) October 2, 2013 at 9:37 am

Hi Tori, let’s see if I can answer your questions:

1) One package of dry yeast holds 2 1/4 teaspoons. If you ever forget that, it is usually printed on the side of the jar. :)
2) Honestly, I have never tried baking this on a pizza stone, but I would imagine it would be fine. The texture of the bottom of the bed might be a little different than on a baking sheet, and you won’t get a crust around the edge.
3) You can use the recipe for caramelized onions in this post: http://www.cookincanuck.com/2013/05/caramelized-onion-chive-cream-cheese-recipe/

I hope that helps!

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85 Andi May 13, 2014 at 9:30 am

Made this for Mother’s Day and it was the perfect side. Thank-you for sharing this.

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86 Andrea July 20, 2014 at 9:14 pm

Made this today and it was fantastic! Beautiful presentation and spectacular taste. One of my favorite bread recipes I’ve made so far. The most time consuming part is caramelizing the onions, but it’s worth it.

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87 Dara July 21, 2014 at 11:32 am

I’m so glad that you loved it as much as I do, Andrea! Now you’ve inspired me to make it again sometime this week.

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