By Mike Robinson
“Awesome dish. Simple to make.” That’s how Chef Mike Robinson describes his light and airy focaccia stuffed with creamy ricotta cheese and verdant pesto. You can use your own homemade or high-quality store-bought pesto, or—even better—make Mike’s which you can find in his Slow Braised Venison and Pesto Lasagna on this site.
|3 1/4 Cup
|(750g) warm water
|1 3/4 Pound
|(800g) bread flour (about 6 ½ cups), plus more as needed
|Sea salt, preferably smoked
|Freshly ground black pepper
|lightly packed wild garlic or fresh basil leaves
|extra-virgin olive oil
|roasted red peppers, cut into pieces
|homemade or store-bought pesto
|Fresh rosemary leaves (optional)
Mike Robinson Focaccia Recipe
Put the water in a medium bowl. Sprinkle the yeast over it, add the honey, and whisk to combine. Let sit for 5 minutes.
In a second medium bowl, stir together the flour, 1 tablespoon sea salt, and ½ teaspoon pepper. Cut the wild garlic or basil into a chiffonade, then add it to the flour stir to distribute it.
Heavily flour a clean work surface, then scrape the dough out onto the flour. Sprinkle a little flour on the surface of the dough, then use a bench scraper to lift an edge of the dough and fold it over onto itself. Do this two more times. With floured fingers fold the dough in half, press down on it, then lightly fold it in half again. The dough should feel soft and supple. You will not be kneading the dough.
Pour the ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil into the bowl used to make the dough; it’s ok if it’s not cleaned of excess dough. Put the dough in the bowl and turn it to coat all over. Cover the bowl and let the dough rise at room temperature until about 2½ times the original size, about 40 minutes. You should see air bubbles in the dough.
Preheat the Traeger with the lid closed to 400°F; this will take about 15 minutes. Line a deep-dish 9x13 baking pan with parchment to easily remove the bread. Then generously oil the paper.
400 ˚F / 204 ˚C
Turn the dough out onto a clean work surface and gently pat into a rectangle about 10 x 30 inches. Dot the right side of the dough all over with the roasted red pepper pieces, dollop with the pesto to cover, and then dot with the ricotta. Season lightly with salt and pepper.
Fold the left side of the dough over the right to cover and gently press the sides to keep the fillings in place. Transfer the dough to the prepared baking dish. Using your fingers, dimple the top of the dough all over. Drizzle with a generous amount of olive oil, season lightly with more salt and pepper, and sprinkle with rosemary leaves if desired.
Place the baking dish on the grill grate and bake until deep golden brown, about 1 hour.
400 ˚F / 204 ˚C
Let the focaccia cool a bit before slicing. Enjoy!
In order to add notes for this recipe, you must log in or create an account.