I am trying out a lot of whole wheat baking for my little family. I did not get around to take pictures of most of it, but from now onward I promise you that I will try to keep a record of recipe and pictures to share with you all. I really enjoyed baking this bread and sharing with my family.They even commented that this tastes better than this classic Focaccia I often bake.The lil guy was keeping on coming back to kitchen to snack on this. I must tell you that he is such a picky eater when it comes to cakes and bakes !
It has been a while since I wrote about my lil monster here. He is learning a lot everyday and growing up in all ways and learning new words and sayings-some really hysterical! He is learning about emotions and to be precise, emotional blackmailing ,these days. A few days back he was shooed away by all the three of us and he started crying ,saying that "nobody loves me". Maybe he is learning it all from his big sister, but he got the context right. Also he is able to express his disappointment and disapproval a lot more than he used to before.Another thing he is doing these days is giving his weirdest smile when he looks at the camera ! I know this is just an age thing, but I'm so disappointed that, I am not able to capture his naughtiest smiles and the twinkle in his eyes when he naturally smiles.
I love Peter Reinhart's recipes, mostly for their authenticity.He explains everything so well, making it hard to make any mistakes even for a beginner. I have tried several of his bread recipes and I am always satisfied with the results.I learned a lot of basics in bread baking from his books. I take his books form our local library, but I would love to buy all of his books. I have baked this beautiful Buttermilk White Bread and couple of recipes I never blogged about, from 'Bread Baker's Apprentice'.This whole wheat Focaccia is from 'Whole Grain Breads'. I highly recommend this book, if you are planning to do some whole grain bread baking. Most of his recipes calls for starters like biga or poolish, which is the traditional way of making a bread. And usually it doesn't take much time to make the dough. You just need to be patient to do all the proofing that takes a few hours.I must tell you that it is all worth it.
This recipe requires you to make the dough and refrigerate it overnight. But the preparation of the dough takes less than 10 minutes.Although for proofing, you need to take the dough from the fridge at least 3 hours before you want to bake the bread.Proofing is also very easy, just press the dough 2-3 times after 20 minute intervals.If you decide to make herb oil, that is also super easy. Just like any other Focaccia recipe, this can also be used to make pizza. I have to try that next time.You can make any other rustic bread you can think, with the same dough.I just love this rustic looking bread with the intense flavor from whole wheat !
PS: This is our little pear tree ! It survived last week's snow. Thanks for your concerns and wishes . Hope some of these will turn into beautiful Pears,just like last year !
Sending this to this week's Yeast Spotting
Preparation Time: 2 Days (10 minutes to prepare dough,overnight proofing in refrigerator and 3 hours proofing before baking at room temperature)
Cooking Time- 30 min
Adapted From : Peter Reinhart's Whole Grain Breads
Whole Wheat Flour- 4 cups
Salt- 1 1/4 tsp
Active Dry Yeast- 1 1/2 tsp
Water,lukewarm- 2 cups plus 2 Tbsp
Honey/Agave nectar- 1/2 tsp (can replace with 2 tsp sugar or brown sugar)- optional
Olive Oil- 1 1/2 Tbsp
1. Proof the dry yeast by mixing the yeast with a few tablespoons of lukewarm water and a pinch of sugar.
2.Place the flour and salt in the mixing bowl of a stand mixer and mix at low speed (use paddle attachment)
3.Add the yeast mixture,honey and remaining water and mix until everything comes together.This takes about 2 minutes. the dough is sticky but fairly smooth.
4.Add the olive oil and mix at low speed for 15 seconds.
5.Let the dough rest in the mixer for 5 minutes.
6.Mix again on low speed for about a minute.
7.Prepare a 17 by 12 inch sheet pan, by lining with parchment paper and brushing with olive oil.
8.Transfer the dough to the pan. Rub your palms with olive oil and flatten the dough.The dough will cover only about half of the pan.
9.Cover with a plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight or up to 3 days.
10.The day you are planning to bake, take out the dough at least three hours before you are planning to bake.
11.Remove the plastic wrap and press the dough after drizzling a spoon of olive oil on top..When the dough starts shrinking back, stop pressing..
12. Cover with plastic wrap and let it rest at room temperature for 20 minutes.
13.Repeat the above step, cover and rest again for 20 minutes.
14.Prepare the herb oil by mixing (2 cups olive oil, 1/4 cup dried herbs,2 tsp paprika,1 tsp kosher salt,1/2 tsp coarsely ground black pepper,1 Tbsp granulated dried garlic) these in a sauce pan and warming it a bit.
15.Spread the oil on top of the dough,starting at the center and working towards the edges.
16.Press and dimple the dough,until it is only half inch thick. Cover loosely and let rise at room temperature until the dough comes just to the top of the pan.
17.This take about 2 to 3 hours depending on the room temperature.
18.Prepare your toppings if you are adding any.
19.Preheat the oven at 500 degree F (this may take half an hour).
20.Place Focaccia in the oven, reduce the temperature to 450 and bake for 15 minutes.
21.Rotate the pan 180 degrees and bake for another 12-15 minutes or until it is caramelized to a light brown color on top and bottom.
22.If you like a crunchy outside, cool the bread on a wire rack, for at least 10 minutes before cutting and serving.
23.If you like it to be chewy, leave the bread in the pan to cool down.