Although this excellent, traditional Italian bread is yeasted, it does not take as long as other yeasted breads, since it requires only one simple rising. If you are in the kitchen making a nice simmering soup, this bread will fit right into the time frame. This recipe is adapted from Vegan Soups and Hearty Soups for All Seasons (Broadway Books, 2009) by one of my favorite vegan cookbook authors, Nava Atlas. In fact, I’d recommend one of her amazing vegan soup recipes to serve with the focaccia!
1 package active dry yeast
1 cup warm water
1 tablespoon natural granulated sugar
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1 cup unbleached white flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon minced fresh garlic
Dried rosemary or oregano
1. Pour the yeast into warm water and let stand to dissolve for 5 to 10 minutes. Stir in the sugar and 2 tablespoons of the oil.
2. Combine the flours and salt in a large mixing bowl. Work the yeast mixture in using your hands, then turn out onto a well-floured board. Knead for 5 minutes, adding additional flour if the dough gets too sticky. Shape into a round and roll out into a circle with a 12-inch diameter.
3. Place on an oiled and floured baking sheet, cover with a tea towel, and let rise in a warm place for 30 to 40 minutes.
4. Preheat oven to 400F degrees.
5. When the dough has risen, poke shallow holes into the surface with your fingers, at even intervals. Sprinkle the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil over the top evenly, followed by the garlic, salt and herb.
6. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the bread is golden on top and sounds hollow when tapped.
Nutrition per wedge (8 wedges per loaf):
Total fat: 7 g.
Protein: 5 g.
Fiber: 3 g.
Carbs: 31 g.
Cholesterol: 0 mg.
Sodium: 294 mg.