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Making whole wheat focaccia with a poolish (a pre-ferment) adds depth of flavor and improves the texture of the bread. Poolish is a wet sponge (pre-fermentation) typically made with equal weights of flour and water plus a small amount of yeast. It’s allowed to ferment for a period before being incorporated into the final dough. Here’s how to make whole wheat focaccia using the poolish method.

Poolish Ingredients:

  • 100gms whole wheat flour
  • 100ml water
  • 1/4 teaspoon Instant yeast

Focaccia Dough Ingredients:

  • All of the poolish
  • 200gms whole wheat flour 
  • 200ml room temperature water
  • 1 teaspoon yeast
  • 4 tablespoons  olive oil, plus more for drizzling
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2  tablespoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon yeast

Toppings:

  • Coarse sea salt
  • Fresh rosemary leaves, chopped
  • Olive oil, for drizzling

Instructions:

1. Prepare the Poolish:

  • The night before you plan to make your focaccia, combine whole wheat flour, water, and 1/4 teaspoon of instant yeast in a large bowl. Stir until all the flour is hydrated.
  • Cover the bowl with plastic wrap or a damp cloth and let the poolish sit at room temperature for 6 to 12 hours. It should become bubbly and active.

2. Make the Focaccia Dough:

  • To the poolish, add an additional  whole wheat flour,  water, 3 tablespoons of olive oil,yeast, salt, and sugar. Mix until a rough dough forms.
  • Rest aside the dough for 15 minutes.
  • Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl, turning it to coat all sides with oil. Use the remaining oil from the recipe.
  • Now gently perform 4-fold, 4 to 5 times.
  • Cover and rest aside for 40 min or until double volume.
  • Lightly oil a baking sheet or a large rectangular baking pan. Transfer the risen dough to the pan and gently stretch it to fit the pan. If the dough resists, let it rest for a few minutes before continuing.
  • Cover and let the dough rise for another 30 to 45 minutes, or until puffy.
  • Preheat your oven to 425°F (220°C).
  • Use your fingertips to dimple the surface of the dough. Drizzle generously with olive oil, allowing it to pool in the dimples. Sprinkle with coarse sea salt and chopped rosemary.
  • Rest in for 10 min 
  • Bake the focaccia in the preheated oven for 20 to 25 minutes, or until golden brown on top and the edges are crispy.
  • Remove from the oven and let cool on a wire rack for a few minutes before slicing.
  • Focaccia is best enjoyed warm but can also be served at room temperature. It’s perfect as a side dish, for sandwiches, or simply enjoyed on its own.

Using the poolish method for whole wheat focaccia not only enhances the flavor but also improves the texture, making for a delicious and satisfying bread. Enjoy your baking!

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