The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Whole Wheat Sourdough Focaccia

wassisname's picture
wassisname

Whole Wheat Sourdough Focaccia

 

That fits into my after-work-weeknight schedule?  And is almost impossible to mess-up?  Sure, why not?

My daughter of nine calls this, "The best bread in the whole world... mmmm!"  That's compared, I should note, to the crusty whole grain hearth loaves I usually try to force on her.  She is not a fan of the crusty bread.  Maybe someday. 

 Until then, this is the opposite of that... but still in keeping with my fascination with whole grains and sourdough. 

 Anyway, here's a pic:

 

And here's a recipe:

Based on the Focaccia recipe in Reinhart's Whole Grain Breads that I originally only used for pizza.

Day 1 - make the dough

350g WW Flour

200g WW starter (mine is 75% hydration)

300g water

1 tsp salt

Up to 1 tsp instant yeast (Not necessary, but if it makes you feel better...)

2 Tbsp Olive Oil

 

-Mix everything except the oil, knead for 3-4 min

-Add the oil - knead 15 seconds

-Rest 5 min

-Knead 1 min

-Put in an oiled container, cover and refrigerate.

 

Day 2 - make the Focaccia

About ¼ cup olive oil

Corn meal (optional)

Toppings

 

-Generously oil a 8x12 Pyrex pan with about half the olive oil.  Sprinkle a little corn meal in the pan.

-Take dough out of refrigerator and put it in the pan.

-With oiled fingertips slowly press the dough out to fill the pan (it will be slack so this is usually pretty easy).

-Pour remaining oil over dough, or don't if you're not as big a fan of olive oil as I am.

-Let rise 45 min. if pressed for time, or longer if you can (90 min. is the most time I've ever had).

-Add toppings (I like fresh rosemary, a few shreds of parmesan and mozzarella, and a bit of coarse salt.  The one in the pic has cheese, oregano, corn, coarse salt)

-Place pan on middle rack of cold oven.  Start oven for 500 F.  Bake about 15 min. (depending on how fast your oven heats up).

-Reduce heat to 350 F and bake another 10 min.

-Remove from oven, let cool on rack for a few minutes.  I like to throw a little extra mozzarella on to melt as it cools.

 

The best part?  Change almost anything in this recipe and it still works.

I've tried:

-Substituting half whole spelt flour, half whole white wheat flour, half 85% flour, all WW bread flour.

-Preheating a stone and baking just above it at 425 F for 15-20 min.

-Various amounts of instant yeast.

-Various rising times

-Recently refreshed starter, starter that's been in the refrigerator for 3-4 days.

-A little sweetener in the dough

It may not come out exactly the same each time, but it's always tasty! 

Enjoy

-Marcus

fishers's picture
fishers

Hey all!

I'd never had focaccia before eating at a little restaurant in Aiken, SC a couple of weeks ago.  My husband and I looked at each other in amazement as we devoured the organic WW, flax seed and currant treat.  I've never been interested in focaccia because I linked it to thick, doughy pizza and I'm a thin crust person.  So I did what any other TFL member would do and searched our website for the perfect recipe where I found Marcus.  I've made this twice.  Once, replicating our restaurant experience - I eliminated the corn meal, substituted canola for the olive oil, and worked 2-tbl flax seed and 2-tbl currants into the dough before putting in refrigerator.  Otherwise, follow Marcus' directions.  Today, I again eliminated the corn meal, substituted canola for the olive oil, and worked 1/2 cup dried cherries and 1/2 cup chocolate chips into the dough.  I didn't use quite as much oil by not pouring more over the dough before baking.  About 1/8 of a cup in the bottom of the pan was the only additional oil that I used.  This is a very versatile recipe and I love the crumb.  Not doughy.  Just a nice soft crumb as you see pictured in Marcus' post.  I didn't take any pictures - what you see in Marcus' shot is what you get.  Just work outside the box! 

I agree with your daughter Marcus - this is the best!  And so easy ....

Thanks Marcus,

Sharon

wassisname's picture
wassisname

Thanks Sharon, currants sound like a wonderful addition!  I haven't made this in a while (too obsessed with pizza lately) but I think it's going to have to come back into the rotation.

Marcus

Mebake's picture
Mebake

This is very tempting, Marcus! I wonder how sour it would be considering the immediate retadation of the dough. But if you say its tasty, then i believe you!

 

wassisname's picture
wassisname

Thanks, Khalid, it's been a while since Ive baked this but I don't remember much sourness.  I think the olive oil and toppings overpower any really distinct sourdough flavor, depending on how you make it , of course.  I'll have to try again and refresh my memory. 

Marcus

fishers's picture
fishers

Khalid,

I think it would depend on your starter.  My starter is WW - 100% hydration that I made from dried Northwest Sourdough starter.  It is a nice, very active starter that to me, smells like walking into a beer pub (not that I frequent pubs).  When I made focaccia the first time, I retarded the dough as Marcus does.  My husband liked it, although a little too sour for me when mixed with flax seed and currants.  But I think it had more to do with the starter than the recipe.  When I made focaccia the second time, I did not retard the dough and baked the same day.  No strong sour taste this time and no change in the rise or baking results as I made the dough several hours after feeding and my starter was very active.  With "my" starter I don't need to develop additional flavor and I didn't feel sour (beer), chocolate, and cherries were a good mix.  Additional sour would probably be good for a pizza though.  I think you'll just need to experiment.  But the recipe is super easy and well worth trying ...

Sharon

wanda Heather's picture
wanda Heather

This was the first time making WW focaccia.  I used generic whole wheat flour and triple checked all the ingredients.  I used a 100% starter in good shape.  The dough was super loose given the measurements.  I had to add more WW flour (teaspoons at a time) until it had the consistency that was acceptable.  After autolysing, some slap and folds (4-5 hours total), I put it in the fridge overnight.  It had gluten structure but still high moisture.  Since it was in a pan, shaping didn't matter.  Garlic slivers and red pepper flakes.  The only change I would have made....use 80% of the water (not in the starter) and add more as needed when mixing the dough in the very beginning.