Roasted Utah Onion and Rosemary Focaccia

From Chef Scott Blackerby at Bambara Restaurant in downtown Salt Lake City

2 cups tepid water
2 packets dry yeast
1 tablespoon sugar
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus additional for cooking and greasing pans
5 1/2 cups flour
1 tablespoon sea salt, divided
2 Spanish sweet onions
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon fresh rosemary
2 tablespoons brown sugar

In a mixing bowl, add water and dissolve yeast, sugar and 1/4 cup olive oil. Let site for 5 minutes. Turn mixer on low with bread hook attachment and add 2/3 of the flour. Mix until well incorporated. Add the remaining flour and 1 teaspoon of the salt, mix on medium speed for 10 minutes. Dough should not stick to the bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and let double. Punch dough down and place on wooden board. Divide dough into eight equal portions and mash down to make eight flat circles. Place each piece of dough on a sheet pan that has been liberally brushed with olive oil and sprinkel with a little cornmeal, if desired. Cover the pans with plastic wrap and let the dough double in size again.

While the dough is proofing, make the roasted onion topping by placing the onions in a mixing bowl, toss liberally with additional olive oil, balsamic vinegar and rosemary. Heat oven to 400 degrees. Spread the onions evenly on sheet pan and place in a pre-heated oven for 20-30 minutes. Onions should caramelize somewhat. Remove from oven and let cool to room temperature.

When the dough has doubled, use your fingertips and punch each piece of dough down to almost the bottom. Brush each piece with a little olive oil and spread the onion mixture over the top evenly, all the way to the edges. Sprinkle the brown sugar and remaining salt on top. Bake in the 400 degree oven for 18-24 minutes or until edges are golden brown. Remove from pan and let sit 5 minutes before serving. Can be made several hours in advance. Makes 8 servings.