Easy Peasy Whole Wheat Olive Focaccia
My apologies for being a bit tardy in posting last week. Work got in the way and I didn’t have enough time to blog. I promise to do better this week.
Last night, I was mentally prepping menu’s for weekend and the week so I can shop accordingly. A fried egg sandwich came to my mind. Hmmm…that with coffee would be a good strat to the weekend. While thinking about bread, focaccia came to my mind. Only problem – I haven’t found focaccia in the supermarkets or even in a bakery here in Hyderabad. I needed a hearty bread for brunch.
So I looked up online to find an easy focaccia recipe and found one that needs minimal effort. Just mix all the ingredients up and let yeast do its work. The dough rises and flavours meld. A few hours later with minimal effort we had a chewy focaccia. It was denser due to whole wheat flour but I am sure half all-purpose flour and half whole wheat flour would result in a lighter bread while still being healthy. Olives added saltiness to the bread. Herbs in the bread enhanced its flavour so we could eat it as is. Which is exactly what Varun did after removing olives.
The recipe is very simple and requires very little effort beyond the initial kneading. If you have a food processor or a stand mixer then even that is minimal. Also, it is very versatile. Change the herbs – lemon – cilantro, roasted garlic, smoked paprika – sun-dried tomatoes per your mood. Play with toppings, mushrooms, fresh mozzarella, red onions. Its bound to surprise you with its flavour.
Give it a try this weekend. It can be dressed up into an elegant brunch with salad and wine or into a memorable breakfast with fried eggs and bacon.
Easy Peasy Whole Wheat Olive Focaccia Recipe
- 1/4 cup warm water
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 2 teaspoons dry active yeast
- 3 cups whole wheat flour
- 1 cup water
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons rosemary
- 1 teaspoon parsley
- 1 teaspoon oregano
- 1 tablespoon olive oil for topping + 1 tablespoon to grease the pan
- 1/2 cup olives
1. In a large bowl, mix sugar in the water and add then add yeast. Set aside for 10 minutes till the yeast proofs.
2. Once proofed, add all the ingredients listed (other than olives) and knead for about 10 minutes. It will be sticky which is fine. Cover with a plastic wrap and set aside in a warm place to double. It takes about 3- 4 hours here but can take longer. Have patience with the first rise. Else the bread will not be soft.
3. Punch down the dough, and knead for 30 seconds again. Oil a baking pan well and spread the dough in this pan. You can leave this free form. Using your fingers, make dimples in the dough. Insert an olive in each dimple. Brush with olive oil.
Set aside for another 45 minutes to rise.
4. Pre-heat oven to 180F/350 C and bake the bread for 30 – 35 minutes till golden brown.
Remove from oven and let cool in pan.
Cut and serve warm. It goes well with salads, soups, or in an open faced sandwiches.