Caramelized onion focaccia - super fluffy focaccia topped with caramelized onions, fresh thyme, and garlic. This easy no-knead yeast bread makes a delicious appetizer or as a side dish to your favorite meal!
Homemade focaccia is great...but focaccia with caramelized onions? It is out of this world delicious! This caramelized onion focaccia bread is a tweaked version of my easy pizza dough but with more hydration to make it super soft and fluffy.
It's topped with garlic oil, fresh thyme, and plenty of caramelized onions. It is a perfect crust for focaccia crust pizza, a holiday appetizer, or as a side dish!
Why You'll Love This Recipe
- This onion focaccia bread has a super soft and fluffy texture and is packed with tons of flavor.
- You can make the focaccia dough in one bowl with simple ingredients with no kneading, making it easy to make even for beginners!
- Each piece is smothered with sweet caramelized onions; you can even add some cheese to the top for French onion focaccia!
- This caramelized onion focaccia makes a delicious appetizer or side dish to vodka pasta or your favorite meal.
Ingredient Notes and Substitutions
Yellow onions: This type of onion has more sugar in them, making them perfect for caramelizing! I also do this in my deep-dish quiche!
Olive oil: I tested this caramelied onion focaccia with other oil variations but found that olive oil or extra virgin olive oil gives it the best flavor!
Thyme: You can substitute it with fresh rosemary, chives, or any other fresh herbs. I don't recommend using dried herbs as the flavor is not the same!
Garlic: Fresh garlic only - no garlic powder! You can leave it out if desired.
Find the full list of ingredients, measurements, and instructions in the recipe card below!
How to Make Caramelized Onion Focaccia
Step 1: Make the caramelized onions. Saute the diced (or sliced) onions in a large skillet for 1 hour over medium-low heat, stirring frequently, until the onions are deeply golden brown and caramelized. Stir in the fresh thyme and set aside.
Step 2: Combine the dough ingredients. In a large bowl, stir the all-purpose flour, sugar, salt, yeast, parmesan cheese (optional), and lukewarm water together with a wooden spoon until a shaggy dough forms.
If you prefer this can also be done in the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment.
Step 3: First rise. Using well-oiled hands, transfer the dough to a lightly oiled bowl. Cover the top with plastic wrap and place it in a warm spot to rise until doubled - about 60 minutes.
Step 4: Make the garlic oil. Heat the olive oil in a small pan and add the sliced garlic; cook for 5 minutes until fragrant. Discard the garlic and set the oil aside until ready to use.
Step 5: Stretch the dough. Deflate the dough with lightly oiled hands. Grab the top portion and stretch it up and then down into the center.
Repeat with the other three sides, for a total of 4 stretches and folds.
Step 6: Second rise. Transfer the focaccia to an oiled 9x9 baking pan seam side down. Set it in a warm place to rise again for 60 minutes.
It should have large bubbles, jiggle, and fill almost the entire pan when it's ready!
Step 7: Bake! Pour the rest of the garlic oil over the top of the dough, and using your fingers, press straight down into it to create deep dimples. Sprinkle with the fresh thyme.
Transfer to the oven and bake immediately for 12-18 minutes.
Expert Baking Tips
- Use a kitchen scale. Baking with a scale is much more accurate than cup measurements. To convert this recipe, click the "metric" button next to the ingredients title on the recipe card. If you do not have a scale, use a spoon to fluff the flour first, then spoon it into your measuring cup.
- Always work with oiled hands. Focaccia bread is a very sticky dough and it WILL stick to your hands!
- Use a different pan. For thinner focaccia, bake it in a 9x13 baking pan. For thicker focaccia, bake it in an 8x8 baking pan.
- Serve warm! Caramelized onion focaccia is best served warm the day of, but can easily be stored and warmed the next day.
Focaccia bread is a thick and fluffy olive oil-rich Italian bread. It also contains more yeast than regular bread, which contributes to its airy texture!
Yes; be aware though that changing the size of the pan will affect the baking time and thickness of the focaccia so it's important to watch it in the oven! You can bake it in a spring-form pan or as a cast iron skillet pizza.
This recipe is best served the day of but can be stored in the fridge in an airtight container or ziplock bag for 2-3 days.
Yes! Microwave it for 30-60 seconds or place it in a toaster oven on low heat for a few minutes until warmed through.
Focaccia pairs well with any meal! Use it to replace your normal loaf of bread alongside baked mac and cheese or alone and dipped in homemade ranch!
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Caramelized Onion Focaccia
For the Caramelized Onions
- 2 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon salted butter
- 4 cups diced yellow onions
- ¼ cup water
- 2 tablespoon fresh thyme chopped
For the Dough
- 2 ½ cups all purpose flour *see notes below for measuring*
- 1 ¼ cup lukewarm water
- ¼ cup parmesan cheese finely shredded
- 2 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoon instant yeast
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- 1-2 tablespoon fresh thyme
For the Garlic Oil
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 3 whole garlic cloves crushed
- Melt the butter and olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat, then stir in the onions. Add the water and cover until the onions have softened, about 5 minutes. Remove the cover and reduce the heat to medium-low. Stir the onions frequently, (you don't want them to burn!) for about 1 hour, or until the onions are deeply caramelized. When ready, scrape them into a bowl and stir in the fresh thyme.2 tablespoon olive oil, 1 tablespoon salted butter, 4 cups diced yellow onions, ¼ cup water, 2 tablespoon fresh thyme
- In a large bowl, combine the flour, water, parmesan cheese, olive oil, sugar, yeast, and salt. Use a wooden spoon to mix everything together until completely combined.2 ½ cups all purpose flour, 1 ¼ cup lukewarm water, ¼ cup parmesan cheese, 2 tablespoon olive oil, 1 tablespoon granulated sugar, 2 teaspoon instant yeast, ¾ teaspoon salt
- Lightly oil your hands and a separate large bowl. Place the dough into the bowl and cover the top with plastic wrap. Set it in a warm place to rise until doubled in size, about 1 hour.
- Meanwhile, make the garlic oil. Heat the olive oil in a skillet, then stir in the garlic. Cook for 5 minutes; until the garlic is fragrant and starting to brown. Then remove the garlic and discard. Set the oil aside to cool before using.¼ cup olive oil, 3 whole garlic cloves
- Preheat the oven to 425 F/220 C. Pour half of the garlic oil into an unlined metal 9x9 baking pan and set it aside.
- Once the dough has doubled, lightly oil your hands. Grab the top section of the dough and stretch it upwards, then fold it toward the center onto itself. Repeat with the other 3 sides of the dough, pulling and stretching the dough up and over itself. Transfer the dough seam side down into the oiled baking pan. Cover the top of the pan with plastic wrap and set it another warm place to rise again for 1 hour, or until doubled in size.
- After 1 hour, the focaccia should be jiggly, have large bubbles, and should almost fill the pan when it's ready.
- Pour the rest of the garlic oil over the top of the dough, and using your fingers, press straight down into it to create deep dimples. Sprinkle with the fresh thyme, then transfer the pan to the oven and bake immediately for 12-18 minutes. You'll know it's ready when the top is golden brown and the internal temperature will be at least 190 F/88 C.1-2 tablespoon fresh thyme
- Once out of the oven, spoon the caramelized onions on top of the bread then let the pan cool on a wire cooling rack. Once cool, sprinkle with flaky sea salt and extra fresh thyme if desired, cut into servings and enjoy!
- Focaccia is definitely best served the day it's made. However, you can store any leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge. You can also wrap it tightly in plastic wrap, then in foil and freeze it for about a month. To reheat it, warm it in the microwave or oven until warmed through.
The calorie information provided for the recipe is an estimate. The accuracy of the calories listed is not guaranteed.