Focaccia bread is one of my favorite breads. Actually, now that I think about it, each and every bread is my favorite! Focaccia bread is similar to pizza, the main difference being focaccia having a thicker crust than pizza. I had so much fun baking my first focaccia that I had to make a whole wheat version of it.
After reading a lot of posts on whole wheat breads from Peter Reinhart’s Whole Grain Breads, I had to buy the book. I am an avid baker, but not by any chance a pro. So this book was a big help in understanding the science behind baking using whole grains. If you are really interested in whole grain bread baking, this book is definitely for you.
I adapted the focaccia recipe from the book. The book calls for a 17 x 12 inch focaccia. However, this being my first time with whole grains, I halved the recipe. The final product was a crunchy yet chewy warm focaccia. J had his with some asiago cheese spread whereas I was quite content with the plain focaccia dipped in olive oil!
Recipe: 100% Whole Wheat Focaccia
(Adapted from Peter Reinhart’s Whole Grain Breads)
(Makes 13 x 9 inch focaccia)
2 cups whole wheat flour (preferably fine grind)
1/2 + 1/8 tsp salt
1/2 + 1/8 tsp dry yeast
1 cup + 1 Tbsp water (room temperature)
3/4 tsp agave nectar
3/4 Tbsp olive oil
For Olive oil topping
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 tsp dried parsley
1/4 tsp dried basil
1/4 tsp dried oregano
1/4 tsp dried rosemary
1/4 tsp sea salt
In a bowl, mix flour, salt, yeast, water and agave nectar for about 2 mins.The dough will be sticky, but smooth. Add olive oil to the dough and mix for another 15 sec. Let the dough rest, uncovered for 5 mins and then mix again for 2 mins. If the dough is too wet, add a small amount of flour.
Line a sheet pan with parchment paper and add 1/2 Tbsp olive oil to grease the parchment paper including the side walls. Place the dough on the sheet pan. Rub the top of the dough with 1 tsp of olive oil. Flatten the dough using the palms of your hands. The dough might not cover the entire pan. Cover the pan tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate it overnight.
The next day remove the dough from the refrigerator and let it sit out for 4 hours. While the dough is resting, pour 1/4 cup of olive oil in a pan. Add all the dried herbs mentioned in the ingredients. Heat the oil for 3 mins. Let the oil sit at room temperature.
Remove the plastic wrap covering the dough and drizzle 1 tsp of olive over it. Using your fingertips, starting in the middle, press the dough so as to fill out the pan. The pressed dough may still not fill the pan. Loosely cover the pan and let it sit for 20 mins. Repeat this procedure again. The third time, pour the herbed oil and using your fingertips again press the dough. You will see air pockets as you press. This time the dough should fill most of the pan. Cover the pan and let the dough sit for 2 hours.
Preheat the oven at 500 degrees F. Add sea salt on top of the dough and place it in the oven. Reduce the oven temperatutre to 450 degrees F and bake for 15 mins. Rotate the pan 180 degrees and let it bake for another 11 mins.
Remove it from the oven and let focaccia cool on a wire rack. After 10 mins. slice it and serve with some olive oil.