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Italian Focaccia Bread (50% Whole Wheat Flour, Vegan) – Perfect for Beginners

Italian Focaccia Bread (50% Whole Wheat Flour, Vegan) – Perfect for Beginners

This Italian Focaccia bread is a show-stopper. It looks so gorgeous that it will make you drool and tempt you to take a bite. It is soft and fluffy from the inside but has a slightly crusty exterior. Focaccia Bread tastes so amazing that it should be the KING of all breads. Literally! Making it is so much fun and you can even involve your kids to decorate with different toppings.

This recipe is inspired by the Focaccia bread made by the legendary Gordon Ramsay. His bread is pretty simple and once I mastered that, I decided to make it with whole wheat flour. After trying a couple of times, I finally have the recipe for Focaccia bread which is very easy to make and contains 50% less refined flour 🙂 The best thing is that you do not need any stand mixer or any machine to make this delicious bread at home.

Story Time

Jatin and I both love bread a lot. We are crazy fans of bread. And when we bought a microwave, the main purpose of it was to start baking bread at home. And while I was searching for an easy bread, I landed on this Focaccia bread which we never heard of. It looked beautiful and seemed pretty simple to make. That is why I decided to make it first. My first try was not the best one but it still tastes really good. The flavors of different veggies and garlic and the aroma of herbs made it feel like you are having a pizza 🙂

It took me a couple of tries to figure out all the techniques for making bread. Even when you follow the exact same recipe, the results vary. It happens mostly because of changes in the flour, temperature, proofing, kneading, timing, and many other different reasons. So, when I mastered the Focaccia bread recipe that needed 100% all-purpose flour (maida), my goal was to make it using whole wheat flour. I started by mixing 50% whole wheat flour (how daredevil I am) and it took me months to figure out the best possible recipe. As soon as you start adding whole wheat flour, things start to change 🙂 And when Jatin had it, he was amazed. Whenever I make this bread, it goes within minutes. Doesn’t last a day.

I even have the recipe now for 100% whole wheat flour Focaccia Bread that is again very light, airy, and fluffy. Try that, after mastering this recipe.

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Tips to bake it right

  1. Room Temperature: Make sure that all the ingredients are at room temperature. It is very important in baking.
  2. Measure Accurately: Correctly measuring the ingredients is very important. Adding extra flour is one common mistake. Just fill your measuring cup with the flour and then level it off with a knife.
  3. Sifting: Sift the flour. This ensures that there are no lumps in the dough.
  4. Overmixing: This is something that happens accidentally. Over-mixing the dough makes the bread hard. If you are kneading by hand, knead until it becomes soft and smooth. If you are using a stand mixer, knead till it starts to leave the sides (not completely though). Touch the dough with your finger. If it doesn’t stick, that’s your clue to stop kneading.
  5. Temperature: Make sure the water is lukewarm – neither hot nor cold. If it is too hot, it will kill the yeast. If it is cold, it won’t activate the yeast. You should be able to put your finger in the water. That’s another clue!

How to store homemade Focaccia Bread?

You can store this bread in an air-tight container and leave them on the countertop for at least 2 to 3 days (depending on the temperature at your place). Although, since it is homemade with no chemicals or preservatives, it might be stale after 2 days. Rehea while serving. It tastes absolutely good.

You can easily refrigerate it for a week. Put it in an airtight container otherwise, it might become dry. Reheat it in the microwave and it will be soft and perfect for the evening snack with some tea or coffee.

You can even put it in the freezer for up to a month. I haven’t tried this method because ours don’t last that long and we like to bake fresh. But you can pack it well, either with the cling wrap or in an air-tight container, and freeze them. Before serving, just reheat or toast.

Having said that, they won’t last for more than a day. Trust me on this 😀

Focaccia Bread

How to Re-heat Focaccia Bread?

My preferred way is to heat them in the microwave for a few seconds. It becomes soft and feels fresh. I love it. But if you like slightly toasted and crispy bread, reheat them in the oven. Preheat oven to 175 degrees Celsius and bake them for around 5 to 7 minutes. They might over-bake and become dry & hard too. So, keep an eye on them.

You can simply toast them also on a pan or a toaster. This is the easiest way of all.

Is this recipe Vegan?

Yes. It is a 100% vegan and plant-based recipe. All the ingredients used in this recipe are vegan and plant-based.

If you want more vegan recipes, here are a few options: Banana Walnut Muffins, Mini Mango Cheesecake, Vegan Fudgy Brownie.

Now you are all ready to make this vegan, soft, and crusty focaccia bread at home, with full confidence. It is perfect for evening snacks, mid-night cravings or even to serve your guests at your next house party. Just cut it into cubes and it makes a perfect party snack. So, grab all the ingredients, and let’s get baking.

Focaccia Bread

If you like the recipe, please share the photo on Instagram and tag us @thefearlesscooking. We love to see your recreation of our recipes.

Happy Baking 🙂

Love from us

Richa

Italian Focaccia Bread (50% Whole Wheat Flour, Vegan) – Perfect for Beginners

Soft. Crusty. Gorgeous.

Soft from the inside and crusty from the outside, this bread should be the KING of all breads. It is so tasty and beautiful that you would want to bake it again and again. 

Try this whole wheat focaccia bread and thank me later :)

4

Servings

30 min

Prep Time

30 min

Cook Time

1 hr

Total Time


Ingredients

Dry Ingredients

Wet Ingredients

Toppings

Steps

Knead
  1. In a bowl, add all the dry ingredients (except yeast) and mix well.
  2. Once everything is well mixed, add yeast and mix again. 
  3. Yeast should not come in direct contact of salt. Salt kills the yeast.
  4. In a bowl, mix together lukewarm water and olive oil. 
  5. You should be able to put your finger in water and not feel much of a difference. Hot water kills the yeast. And yeast doesn't rise in cold water.
  6. Make a well at the center of the flour mixture and gradually add the liquid. Mix using the back of a spatula until it just starts to come together.
  7. Once it starts to come together, mix and make it into a ball.
  8. The yeast will start to activate and the dough will become slightly wet and sticky. To test, hold the dough in your fist and it will drop downwards. 
  9. If the dough is dry and doesn't have enough water, it will not drop downwards.
  10. Time to do the dirty work. Dust some flour on the surface and start kneading your dough. The dough will be very sticky but keep kneading until it becomes smooth, elastic, and springy to the touch. It takes around 10 minutes. 
  11. Do not add extra flour to avoid stickiness. The bread will become dry.
Proof
  1. Once the dough becomes smooth, let it rest and proof it. For that, grease a large bowl and place your dough in it. Cover it with a plate or a cling wrap and keep it in a warm place. 
  2. Let it rest and proof until it doubles. It may take 1 to 2 hours. Meanwhile, prepare your veggies for the toppings. 
Bake
  1. Preheat the Oven to 200 °C.
  2. Grease a baking tray with some olive oil and sprinkle some salt on it. 
  3. Place your proofed dough on it and start spreading it on the tray using your hands. 
  4. Thickness of the spread dough - 1 to 2 inches.
  5. Apply oil on your fingers. Poke your dough with your fingers and make dimples (small dents) on it. This feels fun and satisfying. 
  6. Place chopped garlic cloves in these small dents. Top it up with other toppings. Sprinkle herbs and black pepper on top. Drizzle some more olive oil. 
  7. Bake at 200°C for 25 to 30 minutes or until the top surface is golden brown. 
  8. Once baked, take it out and apply butter on top while it is still warm. 
  9. Transfer to the cooling rack and let it cool completely. 
  10. Slice and enjoy :)
  11. It should have a crispy top and softer inside.

FAQs

What is Focaccia Bread?
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Focaccia Bread is a flat, oven-baked, soft, and crusty bread that is very popular in Italy. It is similar in taste and texture to Pizza and in some places, it is even called Pizza Bianca. It is topped with different veggies, garlic, olives, and herbs and tastes flavorful and so good on its own. You do not need anything (butter or jam) with it except for a cup of coffee. You can even make sandwiches from it. They taste extra flavorful.

One important feature of this bread is that it is loaded with a lot of good-quality olive oil. That makes all the difference.


Why my whole wheat bread is so dry and hard?
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Whole wheat bread is generally dry and hard compared to what is made with bread flour or refined flour. Whole wheat flour absorbs more water and when you follow the recipe which used refined flour or bread flour and use the same amount of liquid, the whole wheat flour bread would be dry and hard. Another reason for the bread to become dry is adding more flour while kneading to avoid stickiness. One most common reasons for the bread to become hard is over-kneading. Knead only until the dough becomes soft and smooth.


Why did my bread dough did not proof and double in size?
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The reason for the bread dough not proof well and becoming double in size are as follows:

  1. Expired or bad quality Yeast.
  2. Hot liquid – It kills the yeast and it doesn’t help in the rising of the dough.
  3. Cold Liquid – Cold liquid doesn’t activate the yeast.
  4. Temperature – If the temperature of the place where you kept the dough for proofing is not enough (or cold), it may not rise. You can put it in a switched-off microwave or oven. If it is too hot in your region, the yeast acts quickly and releases all the air. The dough starts to behave weird in that case.

Bread is very sensitive to bake. They start behaving differently because of so many different factors that you can not even figure that out. But do not worry. You can learn the art to bake perfect bread at home. Just start slow and follow the recipe well.


What kind of whole wheat flour is good for the focaccia bread?
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Flour plays a very important role in baking a loaf of bread. Different flours result in different kinds of textures of the bread. Even when you follow the exact recipe and use the same flour, your bread may perform differently depending on the temperature in your region. The whole wheat flour which I use is the one with no bran because bran makes the bread hard and dry. Every whole wheat flour is different and is milled differently. So, your result may differ from mine. But do not worry. Follow the exact recipe and then start making changes as needed.

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