Friday, June 25, 2010

Summer Oven Challenge: Foccacia on the Grill

The contest is still running. Just leave a comment on any Hearth Cricket post to enter.

You can win a copy of Something Borrowed, Something Bleu and an assortment of gourmet cheeses from or a copy of Something Borrowed, Something Bleu along with a copy of Making Cheese, Butter & Yogurt, a Storey Country Wisdom Bulletin by Ricki Carroll.


Summer is heating up and so are the grills. We cook outside a lot this time of year anyway, and I decided to set myself a challenge. For the next thirty days the oven stays off, and cooking on top of the stove will be kept to the bare minimum. That means cooking things on the grill that I normally wouldn't.

A couple of years ago I discovered the joys of grilled pizza. But we were having a friend over to share a slab of Copper River salmon (grilled in a foil packet with butter, lemon and dill) and a salad from the garden. Focaccia would round things out nicely.

For the dough I used the master recipe from Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day that I posted about here. The suggestion for grilled breads in the cookbook was to stick to flat breads and use a baking stone. Since the regular focaccia recipe also called for a cookie sheet, I decided to use an old pie tin on a baking stone.

After pressing the dough into the bottom of the pan, it was about 1/2 inch thick. I sliced leftover grilled onions and sprinkled them along with rosemary, kosher salt and cracked pepper over the top. The prepared dough then rested on the counter for 20 minutes before baking.

This was the set up on the grill. Luckily I had an old broken baking stone that fit perfectly on the top rack. I poured water into the pie pan on the bottom to produce the steam to crisp up the crust.

My first attempt failed semi-miserably. The grill got kiln-hot (only a slight exaggeration), and since I wanted to keep the lid shut I didn't realize how badly the bread was burning. And that stone? It cracked again.

The second time I dug out my oven thermometer (which I should have used from the beginning) and was less religious about keeping the lid shut. Fussing with the temperature meant turning the gas up and down a bit, moving the bread around to brown evenly, but also allowed me to add water to the pie tin on the bottom rack three times.

This was the final result, and it was delish. I'll definitely be doing this again, and can't wait to try making pita bread.

It's going to be an interesting month -- any tips or tricks for cooking outside would be much appreciated!

By the way, today I'm also posting over at Inkspot about gratitude.


  1. This sounds delicious. I've never tried any kind of bread on the grill, but I really want to this summer. I'm wondering what it would taste like if you added some smoke to the mix with soaked wood chips?

  2. This looks really yummy!! I think I'll give it a shot. Also, wanted to let you know that I finished SOMETHING BORROWED, SOMETHING BLEU Wednesday night and think it's the best of all the Home Crafting books, so far! Thanks for a great escape!

  3. After heating up the kitchen once again this evening, even though I cooked on top of the stove, I'm thinking your idea is excellent. Tomorrow I'm cleaning up the grill (the old-fashioned uses charcoal and wood chips kind), checking my supplies, and making a plan. I'll be stalking your blog even more than usual, looking for advice and ideas.

  4. Janel, I imagine it would add a nice smoky flavor to the bread. You'll have to let me know if you try it.

    Melodie, thanks for the feedback! I'm so glad you had fun with Sophie Mae.

    Pat, I love that you're a purist when it comes to grilling. I'm going to be posting my no-oven menus each week for the next month.

  5. P.S. Can't remember if I told you about my Indiana friend's daughter's blog (she and her hubby live in Colorado and they are food and garden people, creating recipes and winning cooking contests). Here's the blog: The recent post about creating yuppie recipes over a campfire is interesting and funny.

  6. Pat, I finally made it over to foodieroadshow -- it's a great blog! Thanks for letting me know about it.