May 7, 2012

100% Whole Wheat Focaccia

Many, many years ago in Italy I experienced the lightest, most airy textured focaccia. It was hard not to stop at each little focacceria for a tasty bite. This recipe is a 100% whole wheat version of my favorite focaccia that I ate with olives and tomatoes. I added onion and pistachios for added crunch.

Whenever I can substitute whole wheat flour for all-purpose flour I do. It is healthier and has a much more distinct flavor. This focaccia has a nice chewy texture with a little bit of crunch around the edges.

This is the simplest recipe ever. It's not hard to make, just somewhat time consuming.

100% Whole Wheat Focaccia
3/4 c. water
1 1/2 - 2 1/2 c. 100% whole wheat flour
1 (.25 oz) pkg active dry yeast
1 t. salt
veggies and/or nuts
1/4 t. dried parsley, optional
1 t. olive oil, plus more for drizzling

In a microwave safe container heat water to 120-130 degrees F.

In a medium mixing bowl combine 1 1/2 c flour, yeast and salt. Add hot water and stir to combine. Add more flour 1 heaping tablespoon at a time until dough starts to pull away from the sides of the bowl.

Dump dough onto a lightly floured (still using whole wheat flour) surface and knead 8-10 minutes adding more flour as needed.

After 8-10 minutes do a 'windowpane test'. I learned this from Peter Reinhart's book Whole Grain Breads. Here's what to do - take a small piece of dough and stretch it to see if you can get it thin enough to see light through it without it tearing. If you can see light enough gluten has formed and you can stop kneading. If you can't see light continue kneading until you can.

Form a ball, roll in 1 t. olive oil, place in a bowl and cover. Let rise about 1 hour or until dough has doubled. This will greatly depend on what the temp and humidity is like in your kitchen.

Punch dough down and let rise again. 1 hour or until dough has doubled.

When the dough has risen the second time turn it out onto a cutting board and cut it into two equal pieces. Form into a rounded shape and place on a parchment lined baking sheet. Cover with a damp cloth and let rest 30 minutes.

Once 30 minutes has passed uncover dough and stretch slightly to make longer loaf-like shapes. Drizzle lightly with olive oil.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.

Cut veggies and/or nuts (you will only need a few tablespoons of each item) and press firmly into the dough. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese and dried parsley. (The parsley really adds no flavor it just makes the focaccia look nice!!) 

I used kalamata olives, grape tomatoes, onion, pistachios and shredded parmesan.
Bake approximately 15 minutes.

Cut into strips and serve warm.

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