Grilled Rosemary & Onion Focaccia
There are two things I can’t get enough of. One is bread – I love every and all breads. The other is grilling and cooking over an open flame. Combining the two puts me in a sort of culinary heaven.
And that’s exactly what this loaf of focaccia is, culinary heaven. When you begin to mix the dough you will notice right off the bat that is is loaded with onion; you may even think there is too much onion for this to even work – don’t worry though; there’s no such thing as too many onions. Once you get this focaccia on the grill though you will begin to see how delightful this loaf is. Almost right away the smell of cooking onions and the caramelizing of the crust will linger around the grill.
Take this sucker off of the grill and you’ve got yourself a fresh, earthy loaf of bread that has a deliciously smokey flavor and wonderful caramelized, grilled crust. This may just be my new favorite bread.
Focaccia: Focaccia is characterized by a chewy crust and a tender, uneven crumb. To achieve this, focaccia dough is a very wet dough. While this makes it a little tricky to work with, it is definitely worth every bit of dough that will stick to your hands. Focaccia is also the perfect vessel for various flavorings and here I’ve included onion and rosemary. You can add flavorful ingredients to the dough before rising, on top of the dough just before baking (or in this case grilling) or even on top of the loaf after it is done. Serving focaccia with a little seasoned olive oil is never a bad idea either.
Grilled Rosemary Focaccia
Adapted from a Rose Levy Beranbaum recipe.
Yield: 1, 12″ loaf
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Rising Time: 2 hours
Cooking Time: 1o minutes
Peel or large spatula
1 tsp. active yeast
2/3 cup warm water (105-115°F)
1 tsp. honey
8-9 oz. all-purpose flour
2 tbsp. oil
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
4 oz. onion, finely julienned
1 tbsp. rosemary, finely chopped
1. Dissolve the the yeast in the warm water.
2. Add the honey to the yeast mixture and stir until the honey has dissolved.
3. Add 8 oz. flour and all of the oil, salt, pepper, onion, and rosemary. Mix together until a dough forms. The dough should be sticky but not wet. If needed, add a little more flour.
4. Oil the outside of the dough and place it in a covered bowl at room temperature until it has doubled in volume about 1 hour.
Note: The ideal temperature for rising dough is around 90°F. If your kitchen is much colder than this, you can set your oven to preheat at 400°F For 1 minute. After 1 minute, turn the oven off (it should feel barely warm inside) and place the dough inside to rise.
5. Once doubled, remove the dough from the bowl and onto a liberally oiled baking sheet. Spread the dough out until it forms a 1/2 inch to 1 inch tall oval or rectangle about 12″ long.
6. Let the dough rise another 30 to 45 minutes until it is slightly less than doubled in size.
7.In the meantime, preheat the grill. Set the grill up so one half is on high, and the other half is unheated. If using charcoals, arrange them on one half of the of the grill.
8. Once the bread has risen a second time, place the baking sheet with the focaccia over the heated section of the grill. Cover the grill and let the bread cook for 4-5 minutes or until the bottom of the bread is brown and solid enough to move.
Note: This initial step of baking the bread on the baking sheet is necessary to give the bread shape and rigidity. Baking the loaf straight on the grill grate could cause it break apart and fall through. Be sure the baking sheet is liberally oiled.
9. Using a large spatula or peel, slide the focaccia on to the unheated portion of the grill, brown side down (make sure you oil the grates first). Cover the grill and cook another 5-10 minutes or until the top begins to turn a golden brown. Depending on how hot your grill is, you may need to cook it longer.
10. Remove the focaccia loaf from the grill and let it cool a few minutes before serving. Drizzle the top with salt, olive oil, and extra rosemary if desired.[/print_this]
Have you ever grilled bread? Give it a try and share your results in the comments below!