Baking | Easy Same Day Focaccia … with some wholewheat too #comfortfood

“Good bread is the most fundamentally satisfying of all foods; and good bread with fresh butter, the greatest of feasts.”
James Beard

Whole wheat foccaciaFocaccia … bread that comforts. Just simple bread is good enough sometimes. I am constantly torn between my two crusty favourites, the fougasse and the focaccia, both flatbreads that are hearty, chewy, flavourful and earthy. Breads that bring alive words by Robert Browning “If thou tastest a crust of bread, thou tastest all the stars and all the heavens.Ottolenghis foccacia is one of my all time faves.

Whole wheat foccacia I needed to bake something soothing, something therapeutic. I lost a very dear maternal uncle over the weekend. He was the glue that held my mothers side of the family together. Intelligent, largehearted, a disciplinarian, always there, often intimidating, brutally honest, sometimes scathing, but a place we happily headed to year after year to spend two months of the summer vacations. It was routine, and we loved it as kids.

Lucknow mainHe passed away in Lucknow, the city of the Nawabs, over the weekend. That left a deep void, and restlessness. I knew I had to bake bread. I find comfort in food. It gives me an escape. Bread especially. Getting the dough going, seeing it rise, punching it down and then popping it into a hot oven. Always comforting and therapeutic.

 Whole wheat foccacia

Focaccia is a flat oven-baked Italian bread, which may be topped with herbs or other ingredients. Focaccia is popular in Italy and is usually seasoned with olive oil and salt, and sometimes herbs, and may be topped with onion, cheese and meat, or flavored with a number of vegetables.

 Whole wheat foccaciaI remember making a similar focaccia when the tsunami struck Japan. Roasted Garlic Focaccia for the Fukushima 50‘. Those days were devastating even though we were miles away from Japan. The images that rolled over and over again made life look so vulnerable. I had a helpless feeling then and yes, I baked bread.

Whole wheat foccacia I added a little whole wheat to the dough this time. The recipe yields two loaves, or two round breads. I baked one for lunch and left the other to slow rise in the fridge. Baked it the next day. Worked fine. I like to flavour the dough. Garlic and herbs are normally part of my dough as I love the depth they lend.

 Whole wheat focacciaDepending on time on hand, roasted garlic is my first choice. If not, then I throw in some garlic cloves and the Thermomix blends them in with the flour. You can add minced garlic instead. If you love garlic like we do I mean! Else just skip it!!

whole wheat foccaciaThe rest is pretty much your palette to play with. Once dimpled and looking pretty, give it a glug of extra virgin olive oil. Then dress it up! You can either sprinkle on some fresh herbs and sea salt, or like me, load the bread a wee bit more. I like to add sliced red onions, olives, jalapenos, pickled peppers, cherry tomatoes, even nuts.

whole wheat focacciaI have two Victoria sandwich tins which are perfect for my bread. It’s a nice accommodative dough and the end result is always rewarding. A focaccia sandwich is the perfect answer for any left over bread.  Stuff it with balsamic roasted veggies, a relish, cheese, slices of salami. I sometimes grill it too.

 

Don’t miss a post Also find me on The Rabid Baker, The Times of India

 

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Comments

  1. Looks super super yumm. Love the pics of the ingridients and kinves etc… you take , you take care of all unlike me i just click few pics of the end result of the dishes I make.

  2. A beautiful focaccia! Fresh homemade bread makes me happy…

    Lovely clicks! You live in such a wonderful place.

    Cheers,

    Rosa

  3. I love all the different flavours you added to the focaccia, D.
    I’d get so stuffed on this. I should make a batch, just to test myself. ;)

  4. Amy Brant says:

    One of our favorites as well. Your photos and collages are . We like home made focaccia topped with walnut halves, whole pitted Kalamata olives, and sprinkles of fresh chopped rosemary, freshly ground black pepper – or a pepper blend, and sea salt.

  5. sorry to hear about your loss. The foccaccia looks comforting and a winner.

  6. This focaccia looks filling, flavorful and comforting. I love the quote at the beginning of your post. I make a garlic bread that has the same meaning for me.

  7. I’m very sorry to hear about your unlcle… This focaccia looks so beautiful!! Together with a nice glass of red wine? Perfect!! Many thanks for this great recipe!

  8. I love focaccia, yours looks amazing!

  9. Hi Deeba
    Can we skip vital gluten????

  10. Hi,
    Where can I get vital gluten in Delhi ?

  11. Oh, Deeba, I am so sorry for your and your family’s loss. And maybe that is why food is such a central part of funerals and mourning: we need the comfort. This gorgeous focaccia will help. Much love to you, sistrah! xoxo

  12. Deeba I am sorry for your loss… =(
    Your focaccia looks like a bread that can heal wounds and sooth the soul, a perfect remedy for a sad heart.

  13. Manishaa Agarwal says:

    Can we skip Vital Gluten or is there a substitute which is easily available.
    Thanks

  14. Mohit Mendiratta says:

    Deeba,
    Which yeast you use for this recipe? The reason I ask is we have fresh yeast from Modern Bazaar. And I suspect the quantities will be different depending upon Active dry, instant dry or fresh yeast.
    Incidentally I also have made my own sourdough starter for yeast (though not ready it)

    • Hi Mohit, I use a brand called Gloripan. It is available on Zansaar and at BakersMart too. I too have a 500g brick from MB in my freezer but find Gloripan very dependable. Yes the quantities for different yeast types are different. You could google for yeast conversions. How wonderful that you’ve begun your own starter. We got some sourdough starter from the pastry chef at the Hyatt last week. He was kind enough to part with some when we attended a chefs cookout. I am still quite intimidated by sourdough and hope mine survives.

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