Sake has a mellow, subtly fermented essence that makes this easy dough taste like it rose for hours instead of just 45 minutes. It received our Test Kitchens' top rating.
Cooking Light AUGUST 2007
Dissolve yeast and sugar in 3/4 cup warm water in a small bowl; let stand for 5 minutes.
Lightly spoon all-purpose flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine 2 1/2 cups flour, 1 tablespoon stone-ground cornmeal, and 1 teaspoon salt in a large bowl; stir well with a whisk. Set aside.
Stir 1/2 cup warm sake into yeast mixture; immediately add to flour mixture, and stir until a soft dough forms. Turn dough out onto a floured surface. Knead until smooth and elastic (about 8 minutes); add enough of the remaining flour, 1 tablespoon at a time, to prevent dough from sticking to hands (dough will feel sticky).
Place dough in a large bowl coated with cooking spray, turning to coat top. Cover and let rise in a warm place (85°), free from drafts, 30 minutes or until doubled in size. (Gently press two fingers into dough. If indentation remains, the dough has risen enough.)
Preheat oven to 400°.
Turn dough out onto a baking sheet evenly sprinkled with remaining 1 teaspoon cornmeal. Gently press dough into a 12-inch circle. Lightly spray surface of dough with cooking spray; cover and let rise in a warm place (85°), free from drafts, 15 minutes.
Combine red onion, 1/2 teaspoon sake, olive oil, and dash of black pepper; toss well to coat. Combine 1 teaspoon water and egg white in a small bowl. Gently brush dough with egg white mixture; discard any remaining egg white mixture. Sprinkle fontina cheese evenly over dough, and top with the onion mixture. Sprinkle with thyme and 1 teaspoon kosher salt.
Bake at 400° for 35 minutes or until focaccia is deep golden brown and cheese is bubbly.
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