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Whole Wheat Rosemary Focaccia Bread Recipe

Updated on July 12, 2017

Rosemary focaccia is as lovely as it is delicious, and it makes the kitchen smell heavenly. This bread compliments soups and Italian dishes. The recipe is simple, and can easily be doubled (freeze the extra loaf for another day.)

For this recipe, I have substituted part of the all purpose flour for whole wheat flour as a more healthful alternative to white bread. Vital wheat gluten is added to give the bread a lighter constitution. An unusual ingredient, liquid whey, also improves the texture of the bread. Both ingredients are optional, and the bread is perfectly delicious without them.

Feel free to get creative with this recipe. Substitute chopped sage for the rosemary. Add garlic or Parmesan cheese to the toppings. Spread olives, thinly sliced zucchini, sun dried tomatoes or sliced onions on top, or any ingredients you like!

Whey that is leftover from making cheese can be saved for several days in the fridge or several months in the freezer.
Whey that is leftover from making cheese can be saved for several days in the fridge or several months in the freezer.

Ingredients

1 package active dry yeast

½ teaspoon sugar

¾ cup warm water and ¼ cup liquid whey (or 1 cup warm water)

2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour

1 cup whole wheat flour

1 tablespoon vital wheat gluten (optional)

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon Herbes de Provence or Italian herbs

6 tablespoons olive oil

2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary

Sprinkle of kosher salt

Note that the recipe calls for liquid whey, which is the by-product of making cheese. If you make your own mozzarella or ricotta cheese, save the whey for baking bread. You can also use the liquid that forms on top of yogurt or sour cream for this recipe. The protein in whey gives the bread a delightful texture. However, it is optional, and plain water works just fine.

Ingredient Sources

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Flours

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If yeast is live and active, liquid will become bubbly.
If yeast is live and active, liquid will become bubbly.

The MOST Important Step

In order for your bread to rise to lovely heights, you must have live, active yeast. Any yeast that has been stored too long may have lost its efficacy, so check it first for signs of life by using a technique called "proofing." This is done by placing yeast in warm water with a little bit of sugar. Make certain that water is slightly warm to the touch, but not too hot to kill the yeast. Let it sit for about 10 minutes to see if yeast begins to rise to the top and become bubbly. If it is alive, it will actually appear to be moving! On the other hand, if there is not activity, purchase fresh yeast and start over.

Yeast

Choose the right size yeast package for your needs; select larger packages if you make a lot of bread or individual packages is you are an occasional baker.

Dimple the dough, and drizzle olive oil over the top so that it drips down into the holes.
Dimple the dough, and drizzle olive oil over the top so that it drips down into the holes.

Directions

1. Dissolve the sugar and yeast in 1/2 cup of the warm water. Let sit 10 minutes until bubbly. (Note: if yeast does not become bubbly, it may not be active. Start over with fresh yeast.)

2. In a large bowl, combine the flours, herbs, salt, yeast mixture and remaining water and whey.

3. Mix thoroughly with a spoon and then your hands. If the dough is too dry, add water 1 tablespoon at a time. As you knead the bread, it will become more elastic.

4. Transfer to a floured work surface and knead until smooth.

5. Place in an oiled bowl covered with plastic wrap or a damp towel. Let rise until doubled, about 1 1/2 hours.

6. Punch down and place on an oiled baking sheet, forming dough into an oval or circle.

7. Dimple the top surface with your finger tips or the end of a spoon. Drizzle with the oil so that it runs down into the dimples. Sprinkle with kosher salt and rosemary.

8. Cover with plastic wrap sprayed with cooking oil. Let rise 30 minutes.

9. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Bake about 20 minutes or until golden.

10. Serve warm or at room temperature. Slice in squares or wedges (like a pizza.)

Olive Oil for Baking and Dipping Your Bread

Quality olive oil makes this bread even more delicious. Use it to spread on top of the bread for baking.

When the bread has finished baking, slice it warm and dip it in more olive oil. Sprinkle salt, pepper, or herbs into your olive oil for even more layers of flavor!

Printable Version of the Recipe

Whole Wheat Rosemary Focaccia Bread

Ingredients

1 package active dry yeast

½ teaspoon sugar

¾ cup warm water and ¼ cup whey (or 1 cup warm water)

2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour

1 cup whole wheat flour

1 tablespoon vital wheat gluten

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspon Herbes de Provence or Italian herbs

6 tablespoons olive oil

2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary

Sprinkle of kosher salt

Directions

1. Dissolve the sugar and yeast in 1/2 cup of the warm water. Let sit 10 minutes until bubbly.

2. In a large bowl, combine the flours, herbs, salt, yeast mixture and remaining water and whey.

3. Mix thoroughly with a spoon and then your hands. If the dough is too dry, add water 1 tablespoon at a time. As you knead the bread, it will become more elastic.

4. Transfer to a floured work surface and knead until smooth.

5. Place in an oiled bowl covered with plastic wrap or a damp towel. Let rise until doubled, about 1 1/2 hours.

6. Punch down and place on an oiled baking sheet, forming dough into an oval or circle.

7. Dimple the top surface with your finger tips or the end of a spoon. Drizzle with the oil so that it runs down into the dimples. Sprinkle with kosher salt and rosemary.

8. Cover with plastic wrap sprayed with cooking oil. Let rise 30 minutes.

9. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Bake about 20 minutes or until golden.

10. Serve warm or at room temperature. Slice in squares or wedges (like a pizza.)

I would love to hear from you! Leave me your tips, comments or questions.

Thanks for stopping by!

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    • Elsie Hagley profile image

      Elsie Hagley 5 years ago from New Zealand

      Nice lens. I do make my own bread, must try this recipe, looks interesting, thanks for sharing with us.

    • delia-delia profile image

      Delia 5 years ago

      Oh Yummy Yummy, great recipe and lens!

    • besttechgadgets profile image

      besttechgadgets 5 years ago

      Nice!

    • Spiderlily321 profile image

      Spiderlily321 5 years ago

      Great recipe. I would love to try this. Thanks for sharing!

    • LittleLindaPinda profile image

      Little Linda Pinda 5 years ago from Florida

      This looks so yummy. Thank you for sharing your recipe.

    • natashaely profile image

      natashaely 5 years ago

      My husband was asking me to make this and I said that I would if I found a recipe, guess I have to keep my word. This is so nicely explained and easy to follow. Have written it down for now but will be back to print it if it goes onto a recipe module. Excellent page, liked :)