When life gives you lemons, make apple juice! I have somehow always lived by this motto. Sometimes, it is just not possible to make this anomaly work but most of the time there is always a work around. It makes life more interesting and definitely more fun. So when The Good Guys sent me the final appliance - a spunky looking compact George Forman grill as part of Kidspot's VOICES of 2013 Food & Wellbeing Challenge, I decided to bake a bread in it.
Our secret ingredient to accompany the grill challenge was herbs. I knew what I wanted to make the day the grill arrived on my doorstep. It was an idea I had been toying with in my mind for a while. But life and work took over and it took me until the last day of the challenge to perfect the recipe for your viewing pleasure.
I mixed a simple bread dough with polenta for crunch. I let it rise for half an hour. I whipped up a fresh batch of pesto using a handful of lovely herbs from my garden. I spread the pesto and some cheese on the dough and folded it over. I topped it with lots of fresh rosemary and olives. I grilled it for 20 minutes and we had a delicious hot pre dinner snack.
HERB PESTO STUFFED GRILLED FLATBREAD
An easy and quick flatbread stuffed with beautiful herb pesto and grilled on a simple electric grill becomes a hot crunchy barbecue side.
Makes - To Serve 4
1 teaspoon dried instant yeast
1 teaspoon raw sugar
3/4 cup warm water
1 1/2 cups strong white flour
1/4 cup polenta
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil plus extra for greasing
extra flour for dusting
3 tablespoons herb pesto (see note)
handful of shredded mozzarella cheese
12 pitted Kalamata olives
handful of fresh rosemary leaves
olive oil spray
Place yeast, sugar and water in a small bowl. Stir and set aside for 10 minutes until the mixture is frothy with bubbles.
Place flour, polenta, salt and olive oil in a large bowl. Mix lightly with a fork. Make a well in the centre and pour in the yeast mixture. Mix lightly with your hand and bring together to form a dough. Using a mix of extra flour and olive oil, knead the dough for 5 minutes until it is smooth and elastic. Cover with a tea towel and set aside to rise in a warm spot for 30 minutes.
Turn on the George Foreman grill. Spray both surfaces with olive oil. Stretch the dough into a rectangular shape. Along the shorter edge, place pesto and sprinkle some cheese. Fold the dough over and shape the dough into a rectangle shape 20cm x 15cm. Press down the edges to seal. Place on the flat grill surface. Scatter the top of the dough with fresh rosemary leaves. Make 12 indents on the dough surface by pressing lightly with your finger. Place an olive in each indent. Drizzle some extra olive oil on top, pull the top of the grill down and grill covered for 10 minutes. Open the lid, using a wooden spatula, gently turn the bread back to front and grill for another 10 minutes until evenly cooked and browned. Serve hot.
Place a large handful of fresh basil leaves, few sprigs of thyme, handful of pine nuts, one garlic clove, 1/4 of shredded parmesan, a pinch of salt and generous glugs of olive oil in the bowl of a food processor and process to a coarse paste. Voila pesto!
ooh i love this! pesto is always featuring in my mid week "5pm panic" dinners!
Looks so damn great! Would you please give me the recipe in grams? You rock 🙂 !
Definitely making this tonight! I've always dreaded making breads at home because a) you can easily buy it at your closest store (an excuse I always use!) and b) I feel I'm just not intelligent enough to understand the chemical reaction between the yeast, temperature, gluten and atmosphere involved in bread making. But lately looks like I'm starting to get it. This definitely sounds simple enough for me to try. Thanks!
This looks delish. I never thought of using my grill this way. Wow. Cant wait to try it
Aren't you in love with the grill? I am.
Absolutely love the idea, I have to try it.
Looks amazing! What about adding some sliced tomatoes or sun-dried tomatoes?
Huuuuge fan of this! I love it at first sight and then saw how you cooked it in George 🙂 now I'm in heaven!
How good does this look? Just perfect and with a cold beer too..... Love the photographs, action shots as it were, of you making it!
Awesome idea, great recipe for snacks with drinks.
OMG. i need this.
Love the fresh herb and pesto stuffed into grilled flatbread. Yum!
Oh this would have made your house smell sooooo amazing! Love cooking things other than toasted sandwiches in those grills.
Love that this can be made on the BBQ! A great alternative to the overdone garlic bread, thanks for posting! x
This looks incredible! Never thought about cooking dough in a grill like that before! Looks so simple too! Can't wait to try it out on my Italian friends!
A tasty idea to stuff the flatbread with pesto and use one of those grill machines. A good snack to go with a summer al fresco vino.
Can you also cook this in a normal flat sandwich press?
I've got an electric grill I haven't used for a while. (I was in love with it when I first got it) so I'll have to try flat bread in it to give it a work out again. Thre is nothing like freshly baked flat bread and it helps if you don't have turn on the oven to bake it.
Love this recipe eventough I don't each much bread, but the herb pesto and olives would make it worthwhile. And the beer! Oh yes!
This is a clever idea and I love anything with fresh pesto in it. I make a similar bread except I don't wrap it, instead apply the spread on top and bake. Definitely going to try yours next time.
A great idea! I really like your choice of stuffing.
I love the herbs and pesto stuffing!
What a simple yet stunning idea for a side! Just love the photos! xxx
I can only imagine how crusty this bread will be. Also cooking it in a grill? Genuis!