Whole Wheat Focaccia with Peppers, Tomatoes, Olives and Fresh Rosemary
Hope all of you had great holi celebrations at home. I don’t play Holi, gave up long time ago, not that I was a big fan earlier but atleast, I used to attempt going out a little. I somehow, don’t like the idea of too many colours on the face and water wastage so I refrain but I love the music, fun and food that comes along with the festival.
This Holi I baked for a change, not that I need a reason to do that but I loved spending / sweating (yes the terrible heat) time in the kitchen with my pretty bread loaves / dough. As soon as I finished baking the sandwich loaf for the weekend breakfast, my husband reminded me that I had not baked a Focaccia since long. That doesn’t include baking for friends. Had baked couple of breads in the last few months as gifts to friends as I am normally expected to get a food item with me when I meet them. I certainly do that with a lot of joy and love. It enables me practice and keep in touch with baking.
Thankfully my trip to Natures Basket earlier that week led to me buying some fresh rosemary that I wanted to actually make a herb oil from but eventually thought that it would be a wonderful idea to add it to the whole wheat focaccia instead.
Anyone who loves this Italian bread knows that a good focaccia needs a good dose of rosemary, amongst other things. The flavor it imparts while baking in the oven is just beyond great! I love rosemary and baked potatoes too and while I am writing this, reminds me that I haven’t made that either in the longest time. I have a focaccia bread recipe on the blog that uses APF / Maida and mixed peppers with olives. This time I wanted to do a healthier version so tried the whole wheat focaccia instead. Since I don’t play Holi, doesn’t mean I cannot turn my food into looking like a celebratory piece. I used bright red peppers for the spiciness. My husband doesn’t like Jalapenos so avoided that and added loads of his favourite tomatoes and olives along with some green capsicum too. Colours on a plate!
The whole wheat focaccia was just in time for our evening tea and my husband by now knows that since I blog, the dish has to be first photographed, he happily volunteered to pose for the pic (the hand model in most of my pics) and then happily gobbled up the piece he held.
There is nothing in the world that I wouldn’t do for that man! He has the most simple requirements in life and expects nothing – Good Food being one of the most important one. Here’s to the man who has brought all the joyous colours to my life ever since I married him!
Do check out my other Bread Stories / Recipes on the blog, links given below –
- Whole Wheat Pull Apart Breads with Indian style Pesto
- Pull apart breads with Pizza stuffing
- Focaccia with Mixed Peppers and olives
Recipe for Whole Wheat Focaccia with Peppers, Tomatoes, Olives and Fresh Rosemary
Ingredients for the Bread
- Whole Wheat Flour – 1 cup
- ½ tsp instant dry yeast
- ½ tsp sugar
- ½ tsp salt
- 2 tblsp Milk
- Softened Butter – 1 tblsp & ¼ tsp for greasing the baking tin & ¼ tsp for brushing / glaze post baking
- Lukewarm water – ½ cup
Toppings (No specific quantity but I love a stuffed and loaded focaccia)
- Sliced Red Peppers, Olives, Green Capsicum, Tomatoes and Fresh Rosemary along with sea salt, oregano and red chilli flakes
Note – If you don’t have access to fresh rosemary, the dry herb will do perfectly fine.
- Olive Oil – 2 tblsp
- Step 1– In case you don’t have instant yeast, take active dry yeast of the same qty and proof it. Once yeast blooms, add the mixture to the flour. PS – I prefer using instant yeast in all my bakes.
- Step 2– Grease a big bowl enough to hold a risen dough with few drops of oil.
- In a separate bowl, add the flour, add salt, yeast (incase instant yeast), milk, sugar and knead the dough using lukewarm water. Add the water slowly and ensure the dough doesn’t get too sticky. Do not add the entire quantity of water while kneading, sometimes you won’t even need the mentioned quantity of water. Always feel the dough while kneading, your hands and eyes are the best judge.
- Now place the dough on the kitchen platform or a board and put 1 tblsp of butter and knead the dough for roughly 7-10 mins.
- During the 10 mins of kneading, keep incorporating butter slowly. The dough should be very soft to touch after kneading.
- Now carefully place the kneaded dough in a greased bowl / container for proofing (Step 2) in a warm place. Ensure you cover the dough either with a damp cloth (not wet) or keep the dough in a container with lid. I prefer the latter.
- The proofing takes about 1 hour to 1.5 hours depending on weather conditions. The dough should be double in size.
- Once the dough is proved, knock off the air by punching the dough few times. Now sprinkle some flour on the board / platform, knead the dough lightly for 5 mins and lift to place the dough in the greased tin. Now spread the dough gently into the corners evenly.
- Using your finger tips, make dimples in the bread dough, sprinkle the herbs and drizzle some olive oil and sea salt. (check herb ingredients for toppings above). Place the vegetables / toppings and slightly press it to the dough so that they don’t fall off while slicing / baking.
- Now place this greased tin for further proving in a warm place preferably for 20-30 mins.
- Preheat the oven before baking for atleast 10 mins (hot oven) at 200 degrees.
- Bake this beauty at 200 degrees for 20 – 30 mins or until golden brown.
- Once baked, brush a bit of butter on top or drizzle some extra virgin olive oil sprinkle some red chilli flakes (optional). Serve warm or cool.
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