basil focaccia recipe – focaccia made with whole wheat flour and herb (basil) oil. full recipe details at: http://www.vegrecipesofindia.com/basil-focaccia-bread/
for the focaccia dough:
4 cups whole wheat flour
2 cups water
1 tsp sugar
1.5 tsp dry active yeast
1 tsp salt or as required
for the herb oil:
2 tbsp chopped basil or any fresh herb or a mix of herbs
4-5 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1/4 or 1/2 tsp red chili powder or paprika
preparing the herb oil:
rinse, dry and chop the basil leaves.
warm the olive oil in a bowl.
add the basil leaves, red chili powder or paprika.
stir well and let the basil leaves steep in the warm oil for atleast 30 minutes.
preparing the focaccia bread:
warm the 2 cups water in a bowl.
dissolve the sugar in the water.
add the active dry yeast and stir.
allow this mixture to sit at room temperature for 10-12 minutes or till the mixture becomes frothy and bubbles up.
if kneading in a stand mixer – in a mixer bowl fitted with a dough hook attachment, add the flour, salt and oil.
mix with a spoon or mix at the lower speed of the mixer.
add the yeast solution.
then with the speed level mentioned on your mixer, knead the dough for some minutes, till its smooth, elastic, soft and slightly sticky.
if kneading by hands, then first add about 2 cups flour, salt and oil in the bowl.
mix with a wooden spoon.
then add 1/2 of the yeast solution and mix again.
add 1 cup flour and remaining half of the yeast mixture.
continue to mix and stir.
add the last 1 cup flour and stir till the mixture begins to hold itself.
remove from the bowl and on a smooth work surface, knead the dough till its smooth, elastic, soft and slightly sticky.
keep the dough in a greased deep bowl.
cover the bowl with a kitchen towel or lid or plastic wrap.
you can also lightly coat the dough with olive oil or water and then keep in a deep bowl and cover the bowl.
allow the dough to leaven for 1:30 mins or 2 hours.
when the dough is leavened and doubled, remove from the bowl.
flatten the dough on your work surface.
divide into two equal parts for making two large focaccia.
grease the pan with olive oil.
flatten one part of the dough lightly and place on the pan.
flatten the dough a little on the pan.
now pour 1/4 or 1/2 of the herb oil on the dough.
with your fingers, indent or dimple the flour keeping approx 1/2 inch width in the bread and continue to flatten as you do so.
cover with a lid or kitchen towel and allow to leaven again for 30-40 minutes.
preheat the oven to at least 20 minutes before you bake the focaccia.
preheat to 200 degrees C.
after 25-30 minutes, you can add 1/4 of the oil again and dimple lightly.
if you have added 1/2 of the oil before, then no need to add oil again.
the remaining 1/2 of the oil you will use for the second focaccia loaf.
sprinkle some salt on the bread.
now bake the bread in the hot oven for 20-30 minutes or till the surface has become golden.
remove from the pan and allow the bread to cool on wired racks.
slice the basil focaccia when warm or cooled down and serve immediately.
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