Black Olive, Onion, and Rosemary Focaccia

1/2 cup onion, finely diced
3 tablespoons Rosemary and Garlic Infused Oil
2 tablespoons freshly chopped rosemary
1 tablespoon garlic, minced
1/2 cup black olives, pitted, and roughly chopped
1 1/4 cups warm water
1 package (1/4 ounce) {active dry yeast}
1 teaspoon unbleached cane {sugar}
3 to 3 1/2 cups unbleached flour
1 teaspoon {salt}, divided
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground {black pepper}, divided
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 cup cornmeal, divided
Rosemary and Garlic Infused Oil
1 1/2 cups olive oil or safflower oil
1/4 cup freshly chopped rosemary
3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
In a non-stick skillet, cook the onion in 1 tablespoon Rosemary and Garlic Infused Oil over low heat for 5 minutes, to soften. Add 1 tablespoon chopped rosemary and garlic and continue to cook the mixture an additional 2 minutes. Remove the skillet from the heat, add the black olives, and set aside to cool.

In a small bowl or measuring cup, combine the warm water, yeast, and sugar. Stir to dissolve the yeast and sugar, and set aside until bubbly, about 10 to 15 minutes.

In a large bowl, combine the 3 cups flour, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon black pepper, and crushed red pepper flakes, and stir well to combine. Add the yeast mixture and cooled onion mixture and stir well to form a soft dough.

Turn the dough out onto a floured work surface and knead, adding additional flour if needed, until smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes. Place a little of the remaining Rosemary and Garlic Infused Oil in a bowl, place dough in the bowl, give it a twist, and turn the ball over to coat the other side. Cover, place the bowl in a warm place, and let rise for 1 hour or until doubled. Using a little of the remaining Rosemary and Garlic Infused Oil, lightly oil a 15 1/2 x 10 1/2-inch pan, sprinkle with 3 tablespoons cornmeal, and set aside.

When the dough has doubled, punch it down and transfer it to a floured work surface. Knead the dough a few times. Sprinkle the work surface with the remaining cornmeal and roll the dough in it to coat the surface. Transfer dough to the oiled pan, and stretch it, as needed, to fit the pan. Using your fingertips, make "dimples" across the top of the dough. Brush remaining Rosemary and Garlic Infused Oil over the top of the dough, then sprinkle with the remaining chopped rosemary, salt, and black pepper. Allow to rise uncovered for 45 minutes.

Bake at 425 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes or until slightly golden brown. Transfer the focaccia to a rack to cool. Serve warm or at room temperature and cut as desired.

For Rosemary and Garlic Infused Oil
In a small saucepan, combine all of the ingredients, place over low heat, and simmer for 5 minutes. Remove the saucepan from the heat and set aside to cool completely. When the oil has cooled completely, strain it through an unbleached coffee filter or cheesecloth-lined sieve. Transfer the infused oil to a glass airtight container and store in the refrigerator for up to a week. Use to add flavor to marinades, sauces, salad dressings, or sandwiches, or in place of other oils in sautéing or grilling foods.

Ease of Preparation: Moderate

Preparation Time: 45 min
total rising time 1 hr 45 min

Cook Time: 30-35 min

Servings: One 15 1/2 x 10 1/2-inch focaccia

Recipe By: Beverly Lynn Bennett

From:  The Vegan Chef
Used with permission of Beverly Lynn Bennett