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Tuesday, March 1, 2011

MarieH's Whole Wheat Focaccia with Garlic

MarieH's Whole Wheat Focaccia with Garlic

We made a straight-dough focaccia at the bread making course the other day, and we both agreed that it was a bit starchy and way too salty for our taste.  That is the way focaccia is supposed to be, of course.  But my wife had an idea that we could put garlic with it and make it taste okay; and I had an idea that I could make it with whole wheat and make it more interesting to me. 

That is why I was happy to find Marie H's Whole Wheat Focaccia recipe posted on the Fresh Loaf Blogs, right about the time we were discussing ways to improve the focaccia we had made in our bread course.  I have translated her oz measurements to grams.  Other than omitting the salt on top of the loaf, and substituting a vegetable salt-free substitute, and adding garlic, the recipe is pretty much the same as hers.  Oh, and I didn't use a mixer, I just used my hands to knead it.  And I didn't bake on a stone, I kept it on the parchment lined pan.

  • 113g wwflour
  • 113g water
  • scant pinch of yeast

Mix the Biga ingredients.  Cover and let stand at room temperature for 12-16 hours. (mine sat 16 hours).
Biga at 16 hours

  • all the biga
  • 255g water
  • 28g orange juice
  • 340g wwflour
  • 32g vital wheat gluten
  • pinch ascorbic acid
  • 6g kosher salt
  • 2g instant yeast

Mix the dough to a wet, slack dough.
Add water to your hands and knead for 4-6 minutes until dough is soft.

before kneading
after about 6 minutes of kneading

Cover and rest 30 minutes,then stretch and fold in the bowl, and turn it over.

After kneading, just before covering and putting in my Excalibur Dehydrator to Proof

After the first 30 minutes, before folding 'in the bowl'

Repeat this cycle of resting, stretch and folding, a total of 3 times.

after folding the first time

thirty minutes later

second folding 'in the bowl'

thirty minutes later
 Then turn out onto a baking sheet lined with parchment.

I fold it a third time and turn it out onto some parchment


  • garlic cloves, peeled and cut into rough pieces
  • some Club House 'la grille' vegetable seasoning

Press with oiled hands, let rest 10 minutes, then continue pressing the dough out to a 10"x13" oval.  Cover and let rise 30 minutes while preheating the oven to 500 degrees F.  Drizzle olive oil over the dough, gently dimple the dough with greased fingers, sprinkle on garlic pieces and salt-free vegetable seasoning, and bake 18-20 minutes with steam.


This dough didn't show a wonderful rise in the oven - I wonder if docking it might have helped.  If it isn't going to rise that much, what is the point of adding the vital wheat gluten?

The finished bread smells great, and it tastes okay with the garlic, too (although roasting the garlic and incorporating it into the dough probably would have been a better idea).  Does the dough really need to have a biga, I wonder, or could it be made with a straight-dough method and still taste pretty much the same?

The vegetable seasoning on top burned a bit: maybe it could be put into some olive oil and brushed on before the final 30 minute proof, instead of just sprinkling on a drizzled dough.

Notes to Myself
  • Try a straight-dough method for whole wheat focaccia and compare the taste to this one.
  • Roast the garlic and incorporate it into the dough when kneading.
  • Brush on some olive oil with vegetable seasoning prior to the final proof.
  • Try it without adding vital wheat gluten, to see if it makes a difference.

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