Whole Wheat Focaccia Bread with herbs is a simple and easy bread that is perfect for any occasion be it a game night or family dinner or good for a lunchbox or after school snacks.
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What is Focaccia?
Focaccia is a flat oven-baked Italian bread similar in style and texture to the pizza. It is generally ½ to 1 inch thick and typically seasoned with olive oil and salt. It may be topped with herbs, veggies and fruits. A savoury and sweet version exists. It is typical of Liguria but is popular throughout Italy.
What is Focaccia made of?
Focaccia uses similar ingredients to that of bread dough. Flour, salt, yeast, oil and water is used to make this easy bread. Rising time varies and if one wants light and fragrant bread it is best to ferment it for more than a day.
Once the bread is fermented it is by hand and shaped. Indentations are made on the top with fingers and a generous amount of olive oil is spread on it. It is then seasoned with salt and herbs and then baked in an oven.
The flour used in Focaccia
Typically strong flour which has high gluten is used in focaccia bread. It gives the bread a nice, light and airy texture. I wanted to see the difference and hence I made 2 loaves of bread simultaneously. One with whole wheat flour and one with all-purpose flour or maida.
Whole Wheat Focaccia bread had a little coarse texture than the plain flour focaccia. The taste for both of the bread was good, but of course, there is a difference in the texture of bread differs with different flours.
I used exactly the same recipe for both and you can see the difference for yourself. Both the bread had a wonderful rise and both were soft and with the perfect crumb and texture.
Toppings on Focaccia / What goes well on Focaccia
The traditional way is to just use a generous amount of olive oil and salt. Fresh or dried herbs like rosemary and basil can be added, topped up with parmesan or mozzarella cheese.
Most of the common toppings include cherry tomatoes. One can even top it up with some caramelized onions or peppers.
Sweet focaccia has a topping of raisins, nuts and different kinds of fruits. The possibilities are endless and one can simply experiment.
How to serve focaccia
This is best served warmed. Focaccia goes perfect as an appetizer or your breakfast with or without dips. They go best as a side with a hot bowl of soup. They are best with hot curries and pasta.
Afterschool Snack / Lunchbox / Picnic Food Idea
Focaccia bread is the perfect afterschool snacks or lunchbox idea for your kids or adults. As they are thick, they can be served as a sandwich too. Simply cut open and spread with some jam, pesto or cheese. This bread can be stuffed with salads or meats and serve as the perfect grab and go food. They make excellent picnic food.
A few similar afterschool or lunch box recipes that kids enjoy is this, Swirl Sourdough Whole Wheat Bread which has either herbs or chocolate as its stuffing. This Barley Flour Vegetarian Pizza is also a great hit with kids and is the perfect idea for kids parties.
Recipes with leftover focaccia
Leftover focaccia bread can be made into croutons. Croutons can be added to salads and soups. Focaccia french toast is another way to use leftover bread.
Breadcrumbs can be made with leftover focaccia and can be added to different patties or can be used as a part of a stuffing. Sweet focaccia can be turned into a delicious pudding.
How to store Focaccia
Focaccia is best served warm, however, you can store this in the fridge for up to 2 days. One can even store it in the freezer. For storing let it cool down completely. Slice and store it into an air-tight container or a ziplock. It should be heated in a microwave or an oven before serving. When heating in a microwave keep a small glass of water on the side or else your focaccia will turn hard.
If you are looking for a few more bread recipes that can be served as a side, then try our most popular recipe Eggless Challah Bread, which is also Vegan. It is an easy bread that can be served as a side to any curries or dips.
Recipe process of Whole Wheat Focaccia Bread
The process is pretty much similar to any other bread. First, you let the yeast activate in sweetened lukewarm water. Flour, Salt and oil are added to the dough. An activated yeast mixture is added and the dough kneaded. I am using a stand mixer, one can use hands to knead the dough as well.
After about 5-6 minutes the dough should be well kneaded. Let it rest for at least an hour. For more flavour and light texture it is best to let it rise overnight or 8-10 hours.
Once the dough has well risen and you are ready to bake, spread oil on a rectangular sheet or a round baking tray as required. With a lightly oiled finger spread out the dough on the sheet. Cover and let it rise for 30-50 minutes.
Once risen, make the classic holes in focaccia with the help of your fingers. Drizzle generously with oil and salt. Sprinkle with herbs of your choice. I have added rosemary, oil and salt to my whole wheat focaccia. Caramelized onion, cherry tomatoes and parmesan cheese go in the all-purpose focaccia.
It is then baked in a preheated oven for 20-30 minutes.
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Recipe of Whole Wheat Focaccia Bread
Whole Wheat Focaccia Bread
- 2.5 Cups 420 grams – 14.8 Oz Whole Wheat Flour (Same cup measurement used for flour/All-Purpose Flour/Plain Flour/Maida – weight measurement might differ depending on flour)
- 1 teaspoon dry yeast
- 1 teaspoon salt -or to taste
- 1 teaspoon Honey/Maple Syrup – or Sweetener of your choice
- 1 tablespoon of Olive oil for dough
- 1 Cup – 235 ml lukewarm water
- 2 tablespoons of Olive oil for topping
- Sea salt for topping
- Few sprigs of Rosemary or oregano – Herbs of your choice
- Tomatoes -onions or veggies as preferred.
- In a bowl add in the lukewarm water, sweetener and yeast.1 teaspoon Honey/Maple Syrup, 1 Cup – 235 ml lukewarm water, 1 teaspoon dry yeast
- Let the yeast bloom. It should take around 5-10 minutes.
- Once done, in a bowl of your stand mixer and in the flour, salt, olive oil and mix.2.5 Cups 420 grams – 14.8 Oz Whole Wheat Flour, 1 teaspoon salt, 1 tablespoon of Olive oil for dough
- Now add the bloomed yeast mixture and knead the dough on slow initially.
- Once the mixture is completely mixed, increase the speed and knead for 8-10 minutes until the dough comes together.
- It is done when the dough is smooth and elastic.
- Remove it on a surface top and form a ball shape.
- Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl.
- Cover and let it rise for 1.5-2 hours or overnight.
- Once done, Oil the baking sheet.
- Using your hands shape the dough into a rectangular to fit the pan.
- Try to be as even as possible. That is maintain the thickness throughout.
- Let the dough rest again for 30-60 minutes or until double in size.
- Once it is double in size, poke the dough with your fingers.
- Drizzle a generous amount of oil and salt on it.2 tablespoons of Olive oil for topping, Sea salt for topping
- Top it up with a topping of your choice.Few sprigs of Rosemary or oregano, Tomatoes
- Bake it in a preheated oven (200 Deg C/390 Deg F) for 20-30 minutes
- Once done, remove and lightly brush it again with olive oil for better taste.
- Cut and serve warm.
Flour weight can be slightly up and down depending on the flour used.
Toppings of your choice can be used.
The dough can be kept in the fridge for a slow rise for up to 2 days.
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