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Whole Wheat Focaccia

by Emma on April 16, 2012

in Bread

Yesterday was one of those days where you realize you studied the wrong chapters for your online quiz. You had high hopes of building your back yard fire pit but now it’s pouring rain (and lightning—pouring lightning. ok maybe not pouring). You know you should probably cook something/baking something/do something with your life but you just don’t know what.

I think we all have those moments—where nothing is really wrong but everything feels just a tiny bit over-the-top. It sucks, but it’s just one of those things I guess. I have a few “cures” that I usually turn to on annoying days like this:

-Eat an ice cream cone. Not just ice cream in a bowl from your freezer. No. Go somewhere, get a cone, take a picture, eat it. It does wonders. (You can skip the picture part if you’re not a weirdo like me.)

-Make a giant to-do list for your week/month/year/life. Dreaming up things you want to do, or making note of the things you’ve been putting off but ought to do is somehow very liberating for me. Lists set me free. I know it should probably feel like the opposite, but like I said, I’m a weirdo.

-Do something you’ve never done before. Like make Focaccia. Or run 3 miles. Or organize your closet by color. Or climb a mountain. You can go crazy with this one or you can work with the time you have that day.

So for me, as I read the correct chapters for my online quiz I also waited for my Focaccia to rise. This was my first focaccia, ever. And it was marvelous. And it reminded me that I can, indeed, do new things. And that made me feel better.

Plus I got an “A” on my quiz later that day. (Boom.)

Whole Wheat Focaccia, makes one giant loaf (you can turn it into croutons if it’s too much), adapted from here.

Needed: 2 heaping teaspoons active dry yeast, 1 cup warm water, 2 tablespoons sugar, 3 cups all-purpose flour, 1/2 cup whole wheat flour, 1 tablespoon salt, 1/3 cup olive oil (plus more for the top), cornmeal for the pan, spices for the top (I used: caraway seeds, dry oregano, coarse sea salt, and sprinkle of chili powder).

In the bowl of your mixer (fitted with the dough hook) combine the warm water and sugar until it dissolves. Add the yeast and let it bubble up, about 3 minutes. Turn the mixer on low and start adding in the flours, then the salt. Scrap down the sides of the bowl and then continue mixing, add in the oil. Now turn the mixer on medium and let it knead the dough for 8-10 minutes; until the dough is very elastic. If you don’t have a mixer you can totally do this by hand, it will just take longer but you will get some pretty sweet arm muscles. Cover the dough and allow it to rise for 1 hour. Turn out onto a flour surface and punch the dough down. Roll or stretch the dough so it’s about 1/2 inch thick and roughly a large rectangle. Place on a lightly oiled and covered in cornmeal baking sheet, cover, and allow to rise for another 15-20 minutes.

Dimple the dough, brush with a generous amount of olive oil and sprinkle on your spices (or add toppings like olives, caramelized onions, etc.). Bake at 400 F for 18-20 minutes. Enjoy with soup, or warm with butter. These are just suggestions. You could just stare at it; but that seems like such a waste, no? xo. Emma


The PvdH Journal April 16, 2012 at 2:28 pm

Oh I simply just adooooore focaccia, and living in Mexico (as of two weeks ago!) there is nowhere to find a proper one so this will def come in handy! Thanks a bunch


teddi April 16, 2012 at 2:48 pm

emma, this post is why i read your blog, funny girl, with style, & mad cooking skills. i think if i made a todo list for anything, i’d feel worse instead of better :P the ice cream thing would work though. :) fresh bread & soup. i am so down. hope you’re having fun on your trip.

Heather April 16, 2012 at 3:20 pm

This looks yummy! Can’t wait to try it.

Hannah April 16, 2012 at 7:15 pm

I’m loving this Focaccia recipe. I’ve always been reluctant to try it because I hear it’s notoriously difficult but, I think I might have to give this one a go.

danielle April 16, 2012 at 9:06 pm
Kacie April 16, 2012 at 9:52 pm

I love it! My husband is cooking bread every single weekend now. It’s amazing.


becca Letteer April 17, 2012 at 12:41 am

This sounds so delicious! I made foccacia one time because I didn’t want to wait for my pizza dough to rise, and I pressed grapes into it, and put a little parrmesan cheese on right as it had about 5 minutes left to bake.

it was divine. Just so you know.

Bec April 17, 2012 at 1:24 am

This looks delish Emma! My mum used to make foccacia too, with black olives and rosemary on top :)

Rachel April 17, 2012 at 2:16 am

This looks amazing! Is there a technique to dimpling, or do you just poke it with something?


Emma April 17, 2012 at 1:26 pm

There are different techniques but I simply dimpled, or poked, it with my finger tips. :)

Allison April 17, 2012 at 3:41 am

Yumm! Focaccia is one of my favourite breads. I love that you’ve made a whole wheat version! Thanks for sharing.

Chelseabird April 17, 2012 at 6:56 am

I know EXACTLY what you mean when you’re just having one of those days. Lately my grad work has been piling up and any kind of slip-up can make me feel emotional and over-the-top (more things than I would like to admit.) I really enjoy and appreciate the things you suggested to turn these feelings around. I usually go out and get a coffee, take a walk around the lake, participate in mindless shopping (oh so bad, but oh so good as well), and watch makeup tutorial videos on youtube. It’s amazing what a little treat, or walk around town can do for your body and soul! Also, I need a piece of that bread. It looks AMAZING!

Zoe April 17, 2012 at 6:58 am

yum its one of my fave breads ever.


Natalie April 17, 2012 at 8:03 pm

Mmmmm, this picture drives me crazy! – check also my fashionblog, currently i have a competition!

kate April 19, 2012 at 2:36 pm

so having that WEEK! and you reminded me that lists make me free too. thank you for that! now if only I could steal a big chunk of that Focaccia and eat it! off to list making instead…

Taylor April 19, 2012 at 9:34 pm

I made this the other day and it turned out lovely and delicious although mine doesn’t look the same. Probably because I’m impatient when it comes to kneading. My oven is super finicky with bread but it managaged to actually bake this properly. I love that it’s whole wheat and that you can taste the olive oil. I would totally make this again!

You can see mine here!

Laura May 5, 2012 at 12:47 pm

Yummy – I love homemade focaccia :) I top mine with sun-dried tomatoes, and use the olive oil from the tomatoes to brush the top of the bread, so the amazing flavour penetrates the bread.