The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Focaccia/Rustic bread from PR's WGB

DanOMite's picture

Focaccia/Rustic bread from PR's WGB


Hey guys, last weekend I made the whole wheat focaccia rustic bread from Peter Reinharts Whole Grain Breads.

here is the recipe...

4 cups whole wheat flour
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
1 1/4 teaspoons of yeast
2 cups plus 2 tablesppons of water at room temp.
1 1/2 teaspoons honey agave nectar sugar or brown sugar (optional)
1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
extra flour for adjustments

1 If mixing by hand place all of the ingredients except the extra flour and the olive oil in a bowl and mix for 2-3 minutes. Keep a bowl of water hand and dip the mixing spoon in the water from time to time to keep the dough from sticking. Use a plastic bowl scraper, also dip it in water, to continually scrape down the bowl. You can also use wet hands to mix the dough. The dough will be sticky but fairly smooth; adjust the water or flour as needed. dd the olive oil and mix for another 14 seconds, long enough only to coat the dough. Let the dough rest in the bowl for 5 minutes, uncovered, and then mix again for 1 minute. the dough will be smooth and stronger, but it will still be sticky. If it is too wet, meaning it won't hold shape, add some additional flour.
Place the dough in a oiled bowl and and allow it to ferment for 8-12  hours or within 3 days. The next day pull the dough out of the fridge and allow it to thaw for 4 hours before turning out onto a heavily flour work surface for shaping.

I choose Ciabatta shape and it makes 2 ciabatta, although I made 4 mini ones. (if anyone wants shaping instructions just ask and i'll type them up too.) After shaping allow them to rise for about 45 minutes or 1 1/2 times its original size.

Prehead your oven to 500 and put them in on a peel or using parchment paper onto a baking stone or an upside down baking sheet. I used a upside baking sheet with parchment. Once the loaves are in drop the temperature down to 450 and steam the oven using a spray mister or 1 cup of hot water.

bake it for 20 minutes and rotate the bread 180degrees and then allow to bake for another 15 to 30 minutes unitl its golden brown on all sides and sounds hollow when thumped and registers atleast 200F in the center and pulls away clean.

Cool for 1 hour....thats if you can handle it...

There were a few things I had to alter and did differently  in this and i'll list it for you.

I was short of flour for this ( I weighed by grams) So I ended up using maybe 20 grams worth or handful or two of all purpose flour for adjustment. I also added some vital wheat gluten and ascorbic acid as well. I figured hey its so wet its not like this is gonna dry it up at all. I'd say a few grams of each for the AA and VW.

Also....I did 3 stretch and folds before putting it in the fridge for the overnight fermentation. I did them at 20 minute intervals after the first 45 minutes of the initial mixing, although i'm sure after 20-30 would be just fine. I did it on a watered surface rather than using flour.

I hope that covers it guys....the ciabatta tasted great the crust was nutty and the inside was just sweet enough but not too sweet for a hearth bread. Great taste and wonderful texture...

Oh Another note...I did use some agave nectar it recommends 10 grams worth but I only used half so 5 grams. I'm not sure how much that would equal to in terms of teaspoons...I'm thinking maybe half a teaspoon. It wasn't all that strong in the final product just sweet enough to take off the somewhat bland or bitter edge of whole wheat

oh yeah....








althetrainer's picture

Looking mighty good!  YUM!

Aprea's picture

That looks very good - this will have to be the next whole wheat recipe that I try on my quest for a nutritious and tasty sandwich bread.


Thank you - Anna