About the recipe
This is by far one of the easiest breads to make. I started making focaccia at the beginning of COVID. Thankfully I have a lot of chef friends who kept my pantry stocked with flour and yeast. While I’ve made a similar one before, this was the first time I’d made a whole-wheat focaccia. I chose the Silver Bread Flour from Deep Roots Milling in Lowesville, VA. It’s their organic redeemer hard red winter wheat. It baked up really nicely, with a slighly tighter crumb than I usually get when using a white bread flour.
This recipe is by chef Chris Spear of Perfect Little Bites personal chef service.
550g bread flour (whole wheat, white or a blend)
5.5 g (1 ½ tsp) kosher salt
6 g (2 tsp) instant yeast
5 g (1 tsp) granulated sugar
410 g (420ml) lukewarm liquid (1 bottle pilsner beer + 52 g filtered water- see notes)
4 T olive oil, divided
1 ½ T Everything Spice (such as the one from Spiceology)
1/4 tsp smoked paprika
fleu de sel salt
olive oil pan spray
Heat the water and beer to 110 degrees F. Place the flour, salt, yeast, and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment. Slowly add the warm liquid. Knead for 5 minutes on medium. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise for 1 hour on the counter, then move to the refrigerator and let it sit overnight.
Remove the dough from the fridge. Spray a 1/4 baking sheet with pan spray, then rub 2 T olive oil on the pan, making sure to get the sides coated too. Add the dough to the pan, and stretch it gently with your fingers. Allow it to come to room temp, rest and rise for an hour. Then stretch it again and let it rest for another hour.
Preheat the oven to 425 F. Pour 1 T olive oil on top of the dough and spread it all over the top. Sprinkle smoked paprika on top. Top the dough evenly with the everything spice. Using your fingers, press about 20 indentations evenly into the dough. Drizzle with the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Top with fleur de sel or Maldon salt.
Bake until golden brown, around 30 minutes. Let cool just slightly before transferring the focaccia to a wire rack to cool.
Notes- I used 1 standard bottle of beer. It should give you 358 grams, which is why I added the very specific 52 grams of water, to bring it up to a total of 410. For this bread, I used a pilsner, but feel free to use a pale ale, wheat beer or even use all water if you prefer.