Think baking with yeast takes forever? Think again! This whole wheat focaccia bread is ready in a half hour!
Ready in 30 minutes
I can’t believe I haven’t shared this recipe with you guys yet. I’ve been making this hearty, crazy easy, whole wheat focaccia bread for years and years and years. It’s a staple in our house because it comes together so darn quickly! If you think all yeast breads must take forever, then this focaccia is here to prove you wrong. It’s ready start-to-finish in a half hour. Making it a bread that is quick enough to bake to go along with even the quickest of weeknight meals.
This original recipes comes from my sister, and I believe she got it from a magazine (I actually think this recipe from Fleischmann’s Yeast may be the original). But like everything in my kitchen, I’ve tweaked and adjusted it to make to something all mine own. I wanted something that was 100% whole grain, used a touch less oil, and really packed in the garlic-herb flavor.
Oh, and something that came together quicker! The original directions call for 45 minutes of rising time. Pssssh, ain’t nobody got time for that. I figured out pretty quickly that you could get by with much less rising time, and still get an incredibly delicious bread. Yes, you could let it rise longer and get a taller, fluffier bread, but I think the short rise time is perfect for busy folks—and it’s still super yummy!
The key to getting whole wheat focaccia bread that doesn’t taste like cardboard is all in the flour you choose. Poke around the baking aisle of your grocery store and you’ll probably find something called white whole wheat flour (we actually order ours online). It’s still 100% whole grain, but it’s ground from a different variety of wheat berries that are much milder in flavor and texture. It’s a bit more pricey, but I think the flavor difference is worth the few extra bucks.
If you can’t track down white whole wheat flour, you can try using regular whole wheat flour in the amount listed, but the end result will be much heartier. My recommendation is to use half all-purpose flour and half whole wheat in place of the white whole wheat flour.
This recipe makes a decent amount of bread (about eight servings), so feel free to stash the extras in the freezer. Once the bread has cooled and is sliced, store it in a ziptop freezer bag, and then just defrost pieces as you need them. Or, you could leave the bread unsliced, and cut as you need it. This stuff makes for crazy good sandwich bread!
- 1⅔ cup warm water
- 2¼ teaspoon (1 packet) dry active yeast
- 1 tablespoon honey
- ¼ cup olive oil, divided
- 3⅓ cups white whole wheat flour (recommended: King Arthur Flour)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
- 2 tablespoons shredded Parmesan cheese
- Spray a 13 x 9 baking pan, set aside. In the basin of a mixer fitted with a dough hook or a large mixing bowl, combine the warm water, yeast, honey, and two tablespoons of olive oil. Stir or mix until just combined. Let bloom for 1-2 minutes, or until a little foamy.
- Add in the flour, salt, and minced garlic. Mix until it forms a sticky dough. If using a mixer, knead on low using the dough hook for 3-4 minutes, or until it starts to lose some of its stickiness. If mixing by hand, dump onto a floured surface and knead for 5-7 minutes.
- Spread the dough in an even layer in the prepared baking pan. Cover with plastic wrap, and let rise in a warm place (I like in the oven under the oven light or on a heating pad) for 10-15 minutes, or until noticeably puffy.
- Once the dough is risen, preheat the oven to 375° (make sure to remove your dough first if you're rising under the oven light!). Remove the plastic wrap, and using the end of a wooden spoon, press indentations in the dough every 1-2 inches. Drizzle over the remaining olive oil, and sprinkle on Italian seasoning and cheese.
- Bake in preheated oven for 10-12 minutes, or until the top is just golden brown. Remove from pan, and slice into 16 even pieces.
To get a light and fluffy bread, while still keeping in 100% whole grain, use white whole wheat flour.