Caramelized Onion and Garlic Butter Grilled Focaccia.
I’m capping off this rather carb heavy week with a grilled focaccia bread that will make your heart sing!
It really just might. It’s THAT good.
May not be much to look at but this bread baby is deceiving. The flavor level is off the charts.
Okay so you know how sometimes, you make a classic or rather traditional recipe, and it’s so easy and so… REGULAR, but just tastes incredible? Sort of like when you make a tomato basil salad in the summer and it’s seasoned to perfection, with excellent olive oil and a great balsamic and it tastes SO good? But it’s really only five or so ingredients?
That’s what this recipe is like. That’s what it reminds me of.
It’s easy. Fairly classic. Common. Kind of even boring if you ask me.
BUT TASTES LIKE HEAVEN.
The key is allowing the onions to caramelize forever. Really, FOR-EV-ERRR, sandlot style.
Like for at least an hour, but more like two or three if you can. And not adding any additional sugar – let them do their thing and get super caramely and golden.
Throwing the focaccia on the grill makes it a little more pizza-like than usual. One of the reasons I love focaccia is because of the crunchy edges (you know what I mean, right?) from all of that olive oil. You do lose a little bit of that with this method, obviously, since we’re grilling it free-form.
But the copious amounts of garlic butter and fresh herbs more than make up for it. Of course, you could stop there and just do all garlic butter, a sprinkle of herbs and a toss of flaked salt.
Speaking of, if you haven’t grilled pizza (or other dough) before, it might take a few times to really get the hang of this. You have to work quickly in transferring your dough from a floured pizza peel to the grill before it starts to stick. Practice (aka, making this a bunch of times, yum) makes perfect.
Adding on the caramelized onions on top of the grilled focaccia takes it to another level.
Truly another level.
I like to serve this as a side dish – it’s perfect with a big spring or summer meal. A hearty salad, maybe some roasted vegetables, grilled shrimp or chicken, making a bean salad too. But if I’m being real… I want to eat this and only this. Only! With a chilled glass of rosé. Maybe some Southern Charm on in the background.
It’s seriously everything.
Caramelized Onion Grilled Focaccia Bread
- 2 sweet onions, thinly sliced
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 3/4 cups warm water
- 2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 5 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for your workspace
- 2 teaspoons garlic powder
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- ¼ cup your favorite chopped fresh herbs, like chives, dill, basil, oregano, thyme
- 1/2 tablespoon flaked sea salt
- Heat a large skillet or pot over low heat and add the 4 tablespoons butter and 1 tablespoon olive oil. Once melted, stir in the sliced onions and salt. Cook over low heat, stirring often, until the onions deeply caramelize, about 1 to 2 hours. Be sure to consistently check them and stir! While the onions are caramelizing, work on the dough.
- In a bowl, stir together the water, yeast and honey. Let it sit for 10 to 15 minutes until foamy.
- In the bowl of your stand mixer, add the flour, garlic powder, 1 tablespoon of salt, 1/2 cup of olive oil and the yeast mixture. Stir, using the dough hook, until the mixture comes together. Knead it on medium-low speed for 5 to 6 minutes. If it's super sticky, sprinkle in a bit of extra flour. You want it to be silky!
- Put the dough in an oiled bowl and cover it. Place it in a warm spot and let it rise for 1 hour, or until it's doubled in size.
- Once the dough has doubled, remove it from the bowl and divide it into 4 equal pieces. Roll and press the dough out until it’s about 6 to 8 inches in length and 4 or so inches in width. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Sprinkle the parchment paper liberally with flour so the dough doesn’t stick too much. Place the dough pieces on the baking sheets. Press the dough to make finger marks so it looks like traditional focaccia. Place the sheets in a warm spot and to rise again for 20 to 30 minutes.
- After 30 minutes, heat your grill over medium heat – around 450 degrees F. Melt your remaining 4 tablespoons of butter and stir in the garlic cloves. Chop your favorite fresh herbs.
- Flour a pizza peel or cutting board very well (or something where you can easily slide the dough from the peel to the grill). Transfer the dough pieces one at a time to the floured peel, moving quickly so they don’t stick. Press to make more finger marks and brush with olive oil.
- Quickly transfer the dough by sliding it from the floured peel to the hot grill. Once it hits the grill, you can’t really move it without tearing the dough. Grill for 1 to 2 minutes, until the dough begins to bubble up and char. The dough can be flipped once it easily lifts from the grill. Flip the dough and grill for 1 to 2 minutes more, or again, until golden and puffed and brown. Remove the dough and place it on a baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining focaccia.
- Brush the hot focaccia with the garlic butter. Sprinkle with the herbs. Sprinkle with the flaked sea salt. Cover with the caramelized onions. Slice and serve!
I mean, that golden, caramely flavor though!