Many moons ago I came to realize that I have certain food phases; periods of time when I make variations of a particular dish. The phases come and go, sometimes quarterly and annually. I made this Caramelized Onion Flatbread when I was going through one of my flatbread phases a few years ago. I went through another intense flatbread phase last year and will post those other flatbreads in due time.
Caramelized onions – onions sliced and cooked until they soften releasing their natural sugars, browning – are slow food and a labour of love. I do not like to add sugar to my onions to sweeten them or hurry along the process. If you're going to make caramelized onions, give yourself at least an hour. You do not have to stand and watch over the pan, just check on it at varying intervals.
This recipe calls for yellow/brown onions but use whatever you can find. Some onions are sweeter than others, hence the recommendation for the yellow/brown onions.
Caramelized Onion Flat Bread
1 large flat frying pan
1 wooden spoon or rubber spatula
1 (18- x 13-inch) sheet pan
For the caramelized onions:
4 tablespoons Canola, vegetable or peanut oil
1 pound yellow (Spanish onions), peeled and sliced into 1⁄4-inch thickness
Salt and pepper to taste
For the flat bread:
1-1⁄2 cups all-purpose flour
1-1⁄2 teaspoons baking powder
3⁄4 teaspoon instant yeast
1 tablespoon sugar
1⁄4 teaspoon fine (table) salt
Warm water (110 – 115 degrees F.)
1 tablespoon finely minced fresh thyme
1 cup cubed sharp cheddar cheese
1. Add the oil to a pan and place on medium heat until oil shimmers.
2. Add onions, toss to coat with oil and cook until onions are caramelized. You will need to lower the heat so that the onions cook low and slow. It should take anywhere from 45 minutes to 1 hour. The cooking time will vary depending on the thickness of the onions, heat and type/size of pan used.
3. Turn the onions every 5 – 10 minutes and scrape the bottom of the pan to remove the fond and mix it into the onions.
4. Season the onions with salt and pepper just as they are about to finish cooking.
5. Let onions cool in pan to room temperature.
For flat bread:
1. While the onions are cooking, make the dough for the bread. Add the flour, baking powder, yeast, sugar and salt to a bowl and mix well.
2. Add 2 tablespoons of oil along with enough water to make a soft dough. When the dough comes together, knead for 3 minutes. Rub dough and bowl with oil, cover and let rest for at least 45 minutes.
Assembling flat bread:
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
2. Drizzle oil onto the sheet pan and rub it all over the surface.
3. Transfer the dough to the pan and using your hands, stretch and spread the dough to the length and breath of the pan making it as thin as possible.
4. Sprinkle the dough with the minced thyme.
5. Litter the dough with the caramelized onions.
6. Scatter the cheese all over the dough.
7. Transfer pan to oven and bake for 18 – 20 minutes or until cheese is melted and the edges of the bread are brown and crisp.
8. Remove from oven, cut and serve hot.
Related post on Tastes Like Home: My Way: Flatbread & Naan