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Thursday, May 27, 2010

Whole Wheat Focaccia with Olives & Tomatoes

I had an inspiration for some focaccia with olives and tomatoes, but it was a Sunday afternoon and spending the afternoon baking bread did not sound appealing. I'm all about homemade bread, but this particular day I just wasn't feeling it. Lucky for me, I have a wonderful husband who agreed to make us some focaccia. I searched for a recipe that we could adapt to our tastes and emailed it to him before kissing him goodbye and heading to my kickboxing class. I returned home to a large pan of bread rising on the stove. Sigh. How excellent!

Now here's where the trouble started. I set about making the rest of our dinner which Ryan took to mean I was now taking over in the kitchen. It was a fair assumption, but one I wasn't aware of...and in that miscommunication the focaccia came out slightly burnt. It didn't stop us from digging in, but the bottoms were definitely a little crispier than anticipated. Still, another successful homemade bread, and one I can't wait to continue to improve and experiment with. We both decided that next time we'll add the herbs to the dough rather than just sprinkling on top. I'd also like to try different toppings.

I could eat pizza every day, but Ryan wouldn't be a fan. So now I can sneak focaccia into the mix, which I consider sauceless pizza ;)

Whole Wheat Focaccia with Olives & Tomatoes
recipe inspired by Whole Foods

-1 tsp maple syrup (or honey)
-1 package active dry yeast
-2 cups whole wheat flour
-1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
-2 1/2 tsp salt, divided
-1/4 cup plus 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
-1/4 cup onion, sliced
-1/2 can olives, sliced
-1 large tomato, sliced
-dried oregano, dried basil, parmesan cheese, as desired

1. In a large bowl, mix 1/2 cup warm water with maple syrup. Add yeast and let stand for 5 minutes, until foamy.
2. Stir in flour, 1 1/2 tsp salt, 1/4 cup olive oil, and 1 cup warm water.
3. Using a stand mixer and a dough hook (or your hands), knead dough until smooth and elastic. Place dough in a lightly oiled bowl, making sure dough is coated. Cover and let rise in a warm spot for 1 hour.
4. Saute onions in 1 tbsp olive oil until translucent.
5. Punch down dough before transferring to a large baking sheet and patting dough out into a large rectangle. Allow to rise for 45 minutes.
6. Press onions, olives, and tomatoes into the dough. Sprinkle with herbs and parmesan cheese. Allow to rise for 30 minutes (we were hungry & skipped this step and just put it in the oven here with no problems)
7. Bake at 425F for 20-25 minutes, until crust is golden brown (start checking after 15 minutes!) Slice & serve.