Homemade Focaccia with Caramelized Onions and Brie: Enjoy the Little Things

by simplylife on April 17, 2012

Have you read this blog, Enjoying the Small Things, yet?  Go ahead, click on over, and come back when you’re ready.  I’ll still be here.

If you’re like me, your eyes may stay glued to the screen for close to an hour while you absorb her gorgeous photos, captivating words and inspiring spirit.

I really can’t get enough of how she inspires me to truly embrace and celebrate the little things about life that too often seem mundane.  Going for a walk?  Be sure to jump in some puddles along the way.  Going to the yarn store and think of it as a boring trip?  Yup, even find a way to allow that experience to evoke good memories.

Now trust me, I’m not usually one to write an entire blog post about someone else’s blog (and no, we don’t know each other), but I am one for sharing a good thing and thought you might want to be reminded to find things each day to savor and enjoy.

While this bread may seem daunting and just another thing that takes-up way too much time, I like to think of it as a way to force myself to slow down on the weekend, to read a book while I wait for dough to rise, and to provide a flavorful dish to enjoy as my husband and I chat about our days and feel reminded of all that we have to be grateful for.

Homemade Focaccia with Caramelized Onions and Brie

Focaccia adapted from The Fundamental Techniques of Classic Bread Making
Makes 2 loaves (I used half for this recipe)

For the dough:

8 cups bread flour
1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
3 1/2 cups warm water
1 1/2 tbs. salt
1 tbs. active dry yeast
2 tbs. olive oil


1 tbs. olive oil
2 onions, sliced
5 button mushrooms, sliced
2 garlic cloves, diced
1/2 tsp. sugar
2 tsp. balsamic vinegar
Dash of salt and pepper
4 oz. brie, cut into small pieces
Thyme, to taste
Oregano, to taste

1.  Combine the flours, water, salt and yeast in mixer bowl and mix on low speed until blended, then increase speed to medium and mix for about 7 minutes, until dough is smooth.  Spray cooking spray on a sheet pan.

2.  Place dough on lightly floured surface and divide in half (I refrigerate half to use later in the week).

3.  Place remaining half of dough in center of prepared sheet pan.  Cover with plastic wrap and set aside for 3 hours.

4.  Uncover dough and carefully stretch it to the borders of the pan.  Using your fingertips, gently “dot” the top of the dough with shallow holes.  Lightly drizzle olive oil over dough.  Cover with plastic wrap and set aside for 30 minutes.

5.  Meanwhile, preheat oven to 450 degrees.  Prepare the topping:  Heat 1 tbs. ollive oil on small saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onions and cook about 5 minutes, until browned. Add in mushroom and cook additional 5 minutes. Add garlic, sprinkle with sugar and mix together. Stir in balsamic vinegar and cook about 5 additional minutes over medium heat. Set aside.

6.  Lightly sprinkle prepared dough with salt and pepper. Top evenly with brie.  Top with cooked onion and sprinkle with thyme and oregano.  Bake for about 20-25 minutes, or until crust is golden brown. Serve and enjoy!

~How have you enjoyed “the little things” lately?

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  • Belinda

    What a gorgeous bread!! Enjoy this? oh, yes!

  • Anonymous

    I think Kaylin has taught me to start (again) enjoying and noticing all the little things. I am going to go check out that blog now. There is something amazingly delicious about focaccia. I will have to give this a go

  • http://hotlyspiced.com/ Hotly Spiced

    That’s great looking focaccia. I love the mushrooms. I’m sure that would be really tasty. I’ll look forward to checking out the blog you recommended xx

  • http://www.confessionsofachocoholic.com/ Bianca Garcia

    Sometimes I get caught up with all my to-do’s that it IS really nice to get a reminder to enjoy the small things everyday… So thanks 🙂

    • http://www.simplylifeblog.com/ Simply Life

      Agreed! We can all use a little reminder every now and then, right?! 🙂

  • http://whatisbakinginthebarbershop.blogspot.com/ Colleen

    One of my all-time favorite quotes is “there’s nothing bigger than the little things.” Will def check out the other blog! Love the look of this focaccia!! Caramelized onions and brie = perfection.

    • http://www.simplylifeblog.com/ Simply Life

      Oh I LOVE that quote! Thanks for sharing! 🙂

  • http://livingthesweetlifeblog.wordpress.com/ Living The Sweet Life

    Mmm.. the smell of fresh baked bread, is my version of enjoying lives simple mericles 🙂 great post, amazing recipe

  • http://secondcityrandomness.wordpress.com/ Amy B @ Second City Randomness

    Lazy weekend days really help me do so. When I was on my walk to meet up with Sarena @ Non-Dairy Queen last Sunday, I just strolled for twice as long as planned afterwards because I could. It was a beautiful day…

    • http://www.simplylifeblog.com/ Simply Life

      I love that you did that!…it’s nice to be mindful of the times when we can take a walk without rushing anywhere and just enjoy a sunny day!

  • Junia Kim

    wow bread with caramelized onion and brie sounds DELICIOUS. i love how you whip out fresh bread every week….!

  • http://www.cookiesleuth.com/ Cookie Sleuth

    I can just imagine the wonderful smell filling the kitchen!

  • http://andreaoutloud.com/ Andrea @ Andrea Out Loud!

    this looks FABULOUS!

  • http://indulgeinspireimbibe.blogspot.com/ Daisy

    always a good reminder, lovely post!

  • http://www.teczcape.blogspot.com/ Tigerfish

    Woo, the sweet caramelized onions and salty brie, so perfect on homemade focaccia goodness.

  • http://yummychunklet.wordpress.com/ Yummychunklet

    What a great new inspirational blog! Thanks for the tip!

  • http://jojoshouse.com/ JoJo

    Constant reminder is needed when your life is so hectic!
    Thank you for a wonderful post!! …pizza looks amazing 🙂

  • Mom

    Your foccacia looks wonderful and this link to the blog about the author of Bloom was special and her pictures are nothing short of addicting…thanks for sharing this site.

  • http://gowiththedough.wordpress.com/ Hillary

    Now that it’s spring, I really am trying to appreciate the little things: blooming trees and plants, a warm breeze, sleeping with the windows open. I love it!

  • Emily @ A Cambridge Story

    Thanks for turning me on to Enjoying the Small Things. What a powerful story this woman has!! Also: I would like to have this flatbread for dinner. Now!

    • http://www.simplylifeblog.com/ Simply Life

      I know! It’s quite remarkable (the story…and the bread 🙂

  • http://www.mycolombianrecipes.com/ Erica

    What a delicious looking bread…I have to check that blog!

  • Jolene (www.everydayfoodie.ca)

    LOVE her blog. Her photos are ridiculously amazing. I always make sure to enjoy, and savour the little things. I was craving focaccia like crazy yesterday, but the grocery store didn’t have any. Didn’t even think to make my own!

  • Run Boise

    Brie & focaccia? Two of my favorite things/weaknesses. Yum!

  • http://bite-sized-thoughts.blogspot.com/ Kari

    What a perfect post for my current perspective on things! I can’t believe I hadn’t heard of that blog – thank you 🙂 And this focaccia looks beautiful, so very delicious.

  • http://www.bakingserendipity.com/ Baking Serendipity

    I’ve definitely needed a reminder to just slow down and take it all in lately. Somehow, I think I can handle making this bread as an excuse to do so 🙂 Love focaccia!

  • http://www.4seasonsoffood.com/ Ranjani

    mmmm…homemade focaccia is definitely one of life’s little pleasures that is worth appreciating

  • http://www.culinarycolleen.com/ Colleen

    I tend to get really impatient when making things like bread. I’m always in such a hurry! Great reminder to Slow. Down. and enjoy.

  • http://merigoesround.com/ meri

    oh my god this is making me so hungry- I swear onions are my favorite food!

  • Gina (Candid RD)

    Sounds amazing!! I love focaccia bread. It’s been a weakness of mine ever since the restaurant where I Worked in college had it free for waiters/waitresses all throughout our shift. Soooo yummy.

  • http://www.joanne-eatswellwithothers.com/ Joanne

    There’s something about bread baking that definitely evokes a sense of nostalgia and makes you want to just do peaceful things. I can’t quite put my finger on it. The toppings for this focaccia sound so good. Brie AND caramelized onions? Swoon.

  • http://www.bakebikeblog.com/ Bakebikeblog

    such gorgeous photos!!! and a delicious bread!

  • http://lifeafterswimming.com/ Nikki @ Life After Swimming

    Oh wow does that look tasty! 🙂

  • http://twitter.com/helenscooking Helen’s Cooking

    simply amazing! love brie! thank you for sharing this!!!

  • http://twitter.com/LittleFamBlog Holly Marie

    This looks fabulous! Can’t wait to try to make this tasty treat for my little family- thanks for sharing!!!

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