Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Whole Wheat Herb-Focaccia with Bistro Oil

Every year for Thanksgiving I serve a Herb-Focaccia & Roasted Chestnut Stuffing.  I usually purchase the focaccia already made, but this year I decided to make my own from scratch and wanted to test out a whole wheat version.  After two experimental tries the focaccia came out great and so I will definitely be using this recipe for my Thanksgiving Stuffing and will post the entire recipe next week.  In the meantime, I had to put the focaccia to good use and so I made a Bistro Oil for dipping...really delish!



1 medium russet potato, about 9 oz, boiled, peeled and grated
1 package of instant dry yeast
1 3/4 cups white whole wheat flour
1 1/2 cups unbleached white flour
1 1/2 tsp kosher salt
1 cup warm water (110 degrees), divided
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, plus more for the bowl
Note:  Because of the whole wheat four, this focaccia when cooked is not as thick as regular focaccia made with only white flour.  The dough will be about 3/4"-1" in thickness.  However, the texture and flavor is amazing.


1 tbsp fresh rosemary leaves
1 tbsp fresh thyme leaves
1 tbsp minced fresh sage leaves or 2 tsp dried sage
1 tbsp course sea salt
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

  • Boil the potato in plenty of water until tender, about 30 minutes.
  • Remove potato and let cool slightly, peel and then grate on a box grater.  You should have 1 1/3 cups grated potato.  Set aside.
  • In the bowl of a stand up mixer, add 1/2 cup flour, 1/2 cup warm water (110 degrees) and 1 pk of yeast.  Mix well and cover for 30 minutes while potato is cooking.
  • Add to the proofed yeast mixture the olive oil, the remaining 1/2 cup warm water, the grated potato, the remaining 1 cup of white flour, all the wheat flour and the kosher salt.
  • Using the paddle attachment, mix until combined and then switch to the dough hook.
  • Knead on medium speed for about 15-20 minutes until smooth.  Using whole wheat flour requires a longer kneading time and it will take some time for the dough to come together.
  • Remove dough, form into a ball and place in a lightly oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap and let rise until doubled in size about one hour.

  • Generously oil a 15x10 baking sheet will olive oil and press the dough evenly into the pan.  If the dough has a hard time going into the corners, let it rest (covered with plastic wrap) for a few minutes and then continue.
  • Lightly oil plastic wrap and drape lightly over the dough/baking sheet and let rise until doubled in volume and puffy, about 1 to 1-1/2 hours.
  • Meanwhile, preheat oven to 425 degrees and position oven rack in the lower-middle position of the oven.
  • Using your fingers, create evenly spaced dimples in the dough.
  • Drizzle with olive oil and spread lightly with your fingertips.
  • Sprinkle with herbs and sea salt and bake in the oven for 15-18 minutes, turning once half way through the cooking time until lightly golden brown.
  • Transfer to a wire rack to cool slightly and then remove focaccia from baking tray and cut into desired shapes.
Bistro Oil:

1/4-1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp finely minced garlic
2 tsp minced fresh rosemary
1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1 tbsp minced fresh parsley
Kosher salt and black pepper to taste
Note:  This recipe is just a guideline.  You can add whatever amounts of ingredients and switch up the herbs by adding fresh basil instead of rosemary.  Also, I like a more acidic dipping oil and so I add a little more balsamic, but you may like more olive oil. 

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