Home baked bread is one of my most favorite things in the world and the process of bread baking is one of the kitchen activities that I enjoy most of all. Proofing the yeast, kneading the dough, watching the rising and, of course, the heavenly smell of the bread itself baking. It’s one of those simple things that just makes me happy.
When this month’s #TwelveLoaves theme was announced, Olives, my thinking immediately turned toward Italian and one of my favorite Italian breads is focaccia. Focaccia is a flat oven-baked bread similar to a thick pizza dough. In its simplest form, it’s topped simply with oil and salt. Other versions are topped with herbs and there are even sweet versions that incorporate dried fruits. I decided to do a version with olives and sundried tomatoes in the dough and well as the topping. I also sprinkled over some chopped fresh rosemary for an additional flavor. Oh, and I also used part whole wheat flour in the dough just for a bit of a healthier option. All things considered, I think this Olive and Tomato Whole Wheat Focaccia turned out fantastically! BeeBop and I enjoyed it along with spaghetti and a big tossed salad.
Combine the water, yeast, and sugar in a small bowl. Stir together and let the mixture sit for 10-15 minutes or until yeast is bubbly and frothy.
While the yeast is proofing, pit and chop the olives and sun-dried tomatoes.
Place the flours, olives, tomatoes, 1/2 cup olive oil, kosher salt, and proofed yeast mixture in the bowl of a stand mixer with the dough hook attached. Turn the mixer on low speed until the mixture just comes together. Increase the mixer speed to medium and knead for 5-6 minutes or until smooth and soft.
Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead by hand 3 or 4 times adding just a sprinkle of additional flour if the dough is too sticky.
Clean the mixer bowl. Coat the inside of the bowl with 1 tablespoon olive oil. Place the kneaded dough in the bowl and turn it so that both top and bottom are coated with olive oil. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let it sit in a warm place until doubled in volume – approximately 1 hour.
Pour the remaining 1/2 cup olive oil onto a baking sheet. Put the dough onto the baking sheet and start pressing it out to fit the pan. Turn the dough over so that both sides are nicely coated with oil. As you are pressing the dough out, use your fingers to create holes or pockets all throughout the dough. This gives the focaccia its characteristically rough texture.
Place additional whole olives and slices of sun-dried tomato on top of the dough. Sprinkle with the chopped rosemary.
Cover and allow to rise again until doubled in size – about 1 hour. While the dough is rising, preheat the oven to 425 degrees. When ready to bake, sprinkle the top of the dough with kosher or coarse salt.
Bake until nicely browned – about 20-25 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool completely before serving.
More focaccia recipes you might enjoy from around the internet:
- Focaccia Bread from Handle the Heat
- Easy Focaccia Bread Recipe with Herbs from Inspired Taste
- Roasted Garlic and Olive Focaccia from A Spicy Perspective
- Raspberry Focaccia from Crunchy Creamy Sweet
- Bacon and Cheese Focaccia Bread from My Baking Addiction
- Raisin Focaccia from Shutterbean
What I was up to…
- One year ago: Raspberry Filled Jelly Roll
- Two years ago: Cheddar-Pecan Cheese Ring with Strawberry Preserves
- Three years ago: Sausage Swirls
- Four years ago: Baked Rice Pudding
- Five years ago: Cheesy Beefy Mac
- Six years ago: A blog…hmmm
Twelve Loaves February 2015: Olives
Our host this month is Karen from Karen’s Kitchen Stories, and our theme is Olives. For more bread recipes, visit the #TwelveLoaves Pinterest board, or check out last month’s mouthwatering selection of #TwelveLoaves New Year Challenge Breads!
- Black Olive Focaccia from Baking in Pyjamas
- Eliopsomo (Greek Olive Bread) from A Shaggy Dough Story
- Greek Bread from NinjaBaker.com
- No-Knead Green Olive and Feta Flatbread from Rhubarb and Honey
- No Knead Olive Bread from Cake Duchess
- Olive and Tomato Focaccia from Never Enough Thyme
- Olive Campagne Boule from Karen’s Kitchen Stories
- Olive Oil Crackers from Ma Che Ti Sei Mangiato
- Olive Tapenade Focaccia from girlichef
- Rosemary Olive Bread from That Skinny Chick Can Bake
- Sun Dried Tomato and Olive Bread from A Baker’s House
If you’d like to bake along with us this month, share your Olive Bread using hashtag #TwelveLoaves!