Rosemary Focaccia with Pizza Toppings
Want something quite substantial to kick off your evening of Kamado Joe grilling? Then chunks of focaccia with your beer will tide you over to the main course meatfest writes Sandra Tate…
I make a basic pizza dough but incorporated a sprig of finely chopped rosemary to make my focaccia, and find that it requires more salt than a normal bread dough to give it an authentic flavour. Make your dough before lighting up the charcoal as it needs a good hour in a warm place to rise.
For the focaccia dough:
Place 10g dried yeast in a large bowl, pour over 350ml warm water and 30ml olive oil and leave to stand for 10 minutes. Now add 500g strong white bread flour, 2tsp finely chopped fresh rosemary and 15g salt (3 tsp) and bring the mixture together with a dough scraper. Once mixed turn out onto a clean surface (do not add more flour) and lift, stretch & knead for 8-10 minutes until smooth and elastic. Bring together in a ball and place back in its bowl. Cover with a damp cloth or cling film and leave to double in size – about and hour.
It is now time to get your charcoal lit and the Kamado Joe arranged with heat deflector at a low level and pizza stone at normal height above. Aim for a temperature of 180°C-200°C – focaccia is much thicker than a pizza base and we don’t want it blackened on the base before the interior is baked.
For the baking:
Once up to temperature sprinkle the pizza stone with semolina flour to prevent sticking. Turn the focaccia dough out onto a floured surface; bring together in a tidy ball and allow it to relax for a few minutes before stretching it into a large circle to fit comfortably onto the pizza stone. Press dimples into the surface of the dough with the knuckle of your forefinger in traditional focaccia fashion and drizzle with a small amount of olive oil. Using a pizza peel transfer it to the hot stone and put the lid down with the top vent completely open.
For the topping:
In a large frying pan add 2tbsp olive oil and a large red onion, finely sliced. As it gently fries, thinly slice 250g large chestnut mushrooms, add to the pan together with a heaped tsp crushed coriander seeds, 1tsp salt and black pepper – continue to fry. Have halved cherry tomatoes at the ready and a mozzarella cheese, dried with kitchen paper and torn into pieces.
Take a peek through the top vent and as soon as the top of the focaccia is beginning to colour lift the lid and scatter the surface with young spinach leaves (if you like it!) and spoon over the seasoned onion and mushrooms. Follow with halved cherry tomatoes and the shreds of mozzarella cheese. Once tinged with colour your focaccia is ready to roll — remove carefully to a board and cut into 3-5cm chunks for easy eating.