Recipe

Freshly Milled Wheat Flour Focaccia with Rosemary, Fennel, and Sea Salt

By Andrew Janjigian

This focaccia serves as an addictive introduction to the flavorful punch that using freshly milled flour can give to a bread recipe. To provide the requisite light, open, and airy crumb—the hallmark of any good focaccia—I used sifted wheat flour, along with some King Arthur all-purpose flour (which is closer to a bread flour than most other all-purpose flours) as a gluten booster.

Another key to this bread’s delicate texture is its high hydration (read: the large percentage of water in the dough). It makes for a somewhat sticky dough but have no fear: It’s easy to handle during folding as long as you keep your hands moist (have a bowl of water nearby to dip them in as you work), and it is easily stretched in the pan, thanks to a generous coating of olive oil on both sides.

It also uses a focaccia technique I picked up from Nancy Silverton in which you bury the toppings (in this case rosemary sprigs) in the dough, both to protect them from burning during baking and to help stretch the dough toward the edges of the baking sheet. 

Yield
Makes one 16 by 12-inch focaccia; serves 4 to 6
SFS_Wheat_20Flour_20Foccacia_049.jpg
Ingredients
450 g freshly milled whole-wheat flour
260 g King Arthur all-purpose flour
2.6 g instant or rapid-rise yeast
500 g water, room temperature
42 g plus 56 g plus 56 g extra-virgin olive oil, divided
13 g kosher salt
  Vegetable oil spray
1 bunch fresh rosemary, picked into small tufts of 3 to 5 needles
7 g fennel seeds
3 g flake sea salt
2¾ cups plus 2 tablespoons (15¾ ounces) freshly milled whole-wheat flour
1¾ cups plus 1 tablespoon (9⅛ ounces) King Arthur all-purpose flour
½ plus 1⅛ teaspoon instant or rapid-rise yeast
2 cups plus 2 tablespoons water, room temperature
3 tablespoons plus ¼ cup plus ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil, divided
4 teaspoons kosher salt
  Vegetable oil spray
1 bunch fresh rosemary, picked into small tufts of 3 to 5 needles
1 teaspoon fennel seeds
2 teaspoons flake sea salt
Essential Equipment
Instructions
  1. 450 g freshly milled whole-wheat flour
    260 g King Arthur all-purpose flour
    2.6 g instant or rapid-rise yeast
    500 g water, room temperature
    42 g extra-virgin olive oil

    Sift whole-wheat flour through 50-mesh flour sifter into large bowl and discard bran remaining in sieve (or save for another use). Add all-purpose flour and yeast and whisk to combine. Make well in center of dry ingredients and pour in water and oil. Using wooden spoon, stir until combined and no dry flour remains. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and let rest for 15 minutes.
    • 13 g kosher salt

    Sprinkle salt over dough and, using your hands, knead in bowl until incorporated and dough is smooth. Re-cover bowl and let rest for 30 minutes.
  2. Holding edge of dough with your fingertips, fold dough over itself by gently lifting and folding edge of dough toward center. Turn bowl 45 degrees; fold again. Turn bowl and fold dough 6 more times (total of 8 folds). Re-cover bowl and let rise for 30 minutes. Repeat folding and rising every 30 minutes, 2 more times. After final set of folds, cover bowl tightly with plastic and refrigerate for at least 24 hours or up to 72 hours. 
    • Vegetable oil spray
    • 56 g extra-virgin olive oil

    At least 1 hour before baking, place baking stone on upper-middle rack and heat oven to 450 degrees F/230 degrees C. Meanwhile, spray rimmed baking sheet with oil spray, then coat bottom of sheet with oil. Remove dough from refrigerator and transfer to center of sheet. Using your wet hands (to prevent sticking), gently press dough into 12 by 9-inch rectangle. Spray top of dough with oil spray, cover loosely with plastic, and let rest for 30 minutes. 
    • 1 bunch fresh rosemary, picked into small tufts of 3 to 5 needles

    Using your wet hands, gently stretch and pull dough to edges of sheet. Press rosemary sprigs deep into dough at 1-inch intervals. Spray top of dough with oil spray, cover loosely with plastic, and let stand until puffy and doubled in volume, 45 minutes to 1¼ hours.
    • 56 g extra-virgin olive oil
    • 7 g fennel seeds
    • 3 g flake sea salt

    Brush top of dough with oil and sprinkle evenly with fennel seeds and salt. Place sheet on stone and bake until bottom crust is evenly browned, 20 to 25 minutes, rotating sheet halfway through baking. Remove sheet from oven and let cool on wire rack for 5 minutes. Transfer focaccia from sheet to rack. Drizzle top of focaccia with any oil remaining in sheet. Let cool for 30 minutes, then slice and serve.
Instructions
    • 2¾ cups plus 2 tablespoons (15¾ ounces) freshly milled whole-wheat flour
    • 1 ¾ cups plus 1 tablespoon (9⅛ ounces) King Arthur all-purpose flour
    • ½ plus ⅛ teaspoon instant or rapid-rise yeast
    • 2 cups plus 2 tablespoons water, room temperature
    • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

    Sift whole-wheat flour through 50-mesh flour sifter into large bowl and discard bran remaining in sieve (or save for another use). Add all-purpose flour and yeast and whisk to combine. Make well in center of dry ingredients and pour in water and oil. Using wooden spoon, stir until combined and no dry flour remains. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and let rest for 15 minutes.
    • 4 teaspoons kosher salt

    Sprinkle salt over dough and, using your hands, knead in bowl until incorporated and dough is smooth. Re-cover bowl and let rest for 30 minutes.
  1. Holding edge of dough with your fingertips, fold dough over itself by gently lifting and folding edge of dough toward center. Turn bowl 45 degrees; fold again. Turn bowl and fold dough 6 more times (total of 8 folds). Re-cover bowl and let rise for 30 minutes. Repeat folding and rising every 30 minutes, 2 more times. After final set of folds, cover bowl tightly with plastic and refrigerate for at least 24 hours or up to 72 hours
    • Vegetable oil spray
    • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil

    At least 1 hour before baking, place baking stone on upper-middle rack and heat oven to 450 degrees F/230 degrees C. Meanwhile, spray rimmed baking sheet with oil spray, then coat bottom of sheet with oil. Remove dough from refrigerator and transfer to center of sheet. Using your wet hands (to prevent sticking), gently press dough into 12 by 9-inch rectangle. Spray top of dough with oil spray, cover loosely with plastic, and let rest for 30 minutes. 
    • 1 bunch fresh rosemary, picked into small tufts of 3 to 5 needles

    Using your wet hands, gently stretch and pull dough to edges of sheet. Press rosemary sprigs deep into dough at 1-inch intervals. Spray top of dough with oil spray, cover loosely with plastic, and let stand until puffy and doubled in volume, 45 minutes to 1¼ hours.
    • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
    • 1 teaspoon fennel seeds
    • 2 teaspoons flake sea salt

    Brush top of dough with oil and sprinkle evenly with fennel seeds and salt. Place sheet on stone and bake until bottom crust is evenly browned, 20 to 25 minutes, rotating sheet halfway through baking. Remove sheet from oven and let cool on wire rack for 5 minutes. Transfer focaccia from sheet to rack. Drizzle top of focaccia with any oil remaining in sheet. Let cool for 30 minutes, then slice and serve.
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