I recently discovered that there are finally new seasons of the Great British Bake Off on Netflix! Naturally, I began binge watching it shortly after this realization. While watching the bread episode, I was inspired to make a loaf of bread.
It all started out with great promise. I had fresh yeast from the pizzeria around the corner, Italian 00 flour, and lots of time. The dough was smooth and it rose beautifully. I inaugurated my new brotform (bread-shaping basket), then plopped the risen loaf on my baking sheet and put it in the oven. I returned to the couch to finish the episode.
Then the fire alarm went off.
The fire alarm in our new apartment goes off all the time, making an earsplitting, panic-inducing sound. When frantically waving my arms at the fire alarm and telling it to shut up failed, I did the unthinkable and took the bread out of the oven, like a premature baby yanked from the womb.
It was pale, thick crusted and what Paul and Mary from GBBO would have called “close structured”, meaning dense af.
Anyways, all that is just to explain that I used up all of the white flour that I had for that failed bread, and was left with only whole wheat flour when the desire to bake hit again. This focaccia has a very wholesome, wheaty taste which I quite like, but with whole wheat flour comes a less fluffy focaccia, as the bran interferes with the dough’s ability to rise.
100% Whole Wheat Focaccia
500 g whole wheat flour
350 ml warm water
1/2 cube of fresh yeast, or 1 packet of fast rising yeast
1/2 tsp of sugar
9 g salt, plus more for the top
lots of olive oil
In a small bowl, dissolve the yeast in 100ml of the water and the sugar. In a large bowl, add your flour and salt, then pour in the yeast-water and the rest of the water. Knead until you have a smooth dough, adding more flour or water if necessary.
Form the dough into a ball and let it rise in a lightly greased bowl, covered in plastic wrap, until it doubles in size.
Generously oil a cookie sheet with olive oil, then roll out your dough and put it on the sheet. Let it rise until doubled in size once more. Sprinkle the top with sea salt, drizzle with olive oil and add whatever toppings you want. Bake at about 450 degrees for 20 minutes or so.