Nov 17th, 2004
Along with the minestrone soup that I detailed below, we had Focaccia Bread made with half whole wheat flour. I love making soup and bread to go with it on a weekend when you have the time to do both. Usually I pick a quick bread, because I'm too lazy to do the whole add yeast, let it rise thing, but this recipe only requires one rather brief rising, so it fits into the soup making timeframe quite well.
I was somewhat hesitant to use a whole wheat recipe the first time I tried Focaccia - it seems to me you should make the standard recipe first and then start trying variations, but it sounded easy and good and even semi-healthy so I went for it.
This is a difficult recipe to make on a cold day in a drafty house though - the darn dough would just not rise until I practically bundled it in swaddling cloths and sang to it (well okay, I put it on top of the warm oven and covered it with a dishtowel). But the dough was really easy to mix and knead - not sticky at all.
I highly recommend this bread, especially if you have a 6 foot tall rosemary plant out back that will give up some twigs to decorate the top.
Focaccia Bread1 package active dry yeast
1 cup warm water
1 tbsp light brown sugar
1/4 cup olive oil, divided
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1 cup unbleached white flour
1 tsp salt
Fresh or dried rosemary
Pour the yeast into the warm water and let stand to dissolve for 5 to 10 minutes. Stir in the brown sugar and half of the olive oil.
In a large mixing bowl, combine the flours and salt. Work the yeast mixture in, using your hands, then turn out onto a well-floured board. Knead for 5 minutes, adding additional flour if the dough is too sticky. Shape into a round and roll out into a circle with a 12-inch diameter.
Cover with a tea towel and let rise in a warm place for 30 to 40 minutes.
With your fingers, poke shallow holes all over the top at even intervals. Pour the remaining olive oil over the top evenly, then sprinkle with the garlic powder, coarse salt, and herbs.
Bake in a preheated 400° oven for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the bread is golden on top and sounds hollow when tapped. Cut into wedges to serve, or just break pieces off. Serve warm.
-Nava Atlas, Soups for All Seasons: Bountiful Vegetarian Soups