Friday, 12 August 2011

Grilled Herb Focaccia

Focaccia is one of my favorites.  It’s so simple and rustic, yet very versatile. It can be made with whatever ingredients you have on hand. Focaccia can be flat, raised, round, oblong or freeform. It can be made with plain dough or dough with added oil and herbs. You can keep it simple and only add herbs and kosher salt on top or you can use any combination of cheeses, meats, fruits, vegetables, oils and herbs -– the choice is yours.

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This simple Grilled Herb Focaccia is made with Jeffrey Hammelman’s  Ciabatta dough.  The dough can be spread (or rolled) out flat or baked in a round baking pan. As hot as it’s been lately, I wanted to avoid heating up the kitchen so instead of baking the focaccia in the oven, I opted to grill it on my gas grill.

I got the idea to use a cast iron skillet from Beau’s Grilled Three Herb Focaccia on Something Edible. I like this method. It makes the dough really easy to handle.


Grilled Herb Focaccia

Makes: 1 Focaccia




Lightly preshape the dough into a round and place it seam side down on a floured work surface.  Cover the dough ball lightly with baker’s linen or plastic. Pour 2 tablespoons of good-quality extra-virgin olive oil into the cast iron skillet.

I had more than 1 1/2 pounds of dough so I made 3 dough balls. I placed one ball seam side down in the greased cast iron skillet and wrapped the other balls in plastic wrap and placed them in a Ziploc bag.  The two remaining dough balls went in the refrigerator to be used another day.

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After a 20-minute rest, begin to stretch the dough into a disk.  Try to maintain an even thickness.  If the dough doesn’t want to stretch fully, let it rest for a few more minutes. I just spread it out in the pan rather than spreading it out on the counter and transferring it to the pan.  The oil in the pan helped the process

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Let the dough rise in the pan about an hour or so. While the dough is rising preheat your gas grill.  I grilled some lemon cherry tomatoes in another cast iron skillet so my grill was all set to go when the focaccia dough was ready.  I have a 3-burner grill so I adjusted the outside burners to medium-high and turned the middle burner off.

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When the dough had risen sufficiently, I used the tips of my fingers to make indentions throughout the dough.  Then I sprinkled the top with dried rosemary, thyme and oregano and some kosher salt.  I forgot to take photo of this part.  I was too anxious to get it on the grill.


Place the cast iron skillet on the middle burner and bake the focaccia for about 20 to 25 minutes. Keep the heat at about 450 – 500 degrees throughout the baking process. You may need to adjust the burners to keep the heat consistent.

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When the focaccia is done, it will be nicely browned on top and the dough will have pulled in from the sides of the skillet.  I checked it by lifting it with a spatula.  The side and bottom should be brown, fragrant, and crusty due to the olive oil.

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As Jeffrey Hammelman so aptly put it, “the bright crust and lovely dough, combined with the flavors of the toppings, will be irresistible”.   He was so right!

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This bread made a great accompaniment to roasted lemon cherry tomatoes (from my garden) served over pasta.  The juices from the roasted tomatoes provide the sauce.  So yummy and so easy! 

This was great way to have our bread and eat it too without heating up the kitchen.


Mellow Bakers was started by Paul at Yumarama. We’ve been baking breads from Bread: A Baker’s Book of Techniques and Recipes by Jeffrey Hamelman.


Thanks for visiting the Bread Experience blog.  I hope you’ll join me again soon.

Happy Baking!

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