I return to this recipe for herb-cheezy focaccia again and again. One of the great things about focaccia is that kneading isn’t required (though stirring is), yet you get an airy, chewy, flavorful bread. It’s fairly quick to mix together, too, so you can have fresh homemade bread on the table without a lot of fuss. The original recipe called for garlic olive oil and Asiago cheese. I’ve omitted the oil and replaced the cheese with nutritional yeast, which is optional if you are not a fan of the flavor. I also bumped up the quantity of whole wheat flour. Dried thyme in addition to or instead of the oregano would work really well, too. This makes a wonderful sandwich bread as well as a straight-up munching bread to pair with soups, stews and salads.
Easy Herb Focaccia
Makes 8 Large Chunks
1 large head garlic, roasted (Cut off top of head, wrap in foil and roast at 425F until soft, about 35-45 minutes. You can do this a day or two ahead.)
In a large bowl, whisk together the water, yeast, agave nectar and salt. Stir in the flours, oregano and squeeze in the cloves out of the roasted garlic. Stir the dough – adding water if needed to create a wet, sticky dough – for a couple of minutes so that all the ingredients are well-combined.
Transfer dough to another large bowl that has been sprayed lightly with cooking oil. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and allow to rise for about 1 1/2 hours, or until doubled in bulk. Meanwhile, lightly spray a 9″ x 13″ baking pan, line with parchment paper and lightly spray with oil again.
When the dough has risen, stir and knead in the 1/4 cup nutritional yeast, if using – and then scrape dough into the baking pan, using wet fingers to spread the dough to the edges. Cover with plastic wrap and allow to rise again for another hour. Preheat oven to 450F.
Bake the focaccia for 20-25 minutes. The bread should be a deep brown on top and sound hollow when tapped. Carefully remove from pan and let cool on a wire rack before cutting and serving.
(The original recipe with lots of oil and cheese, came from Vegetarian Times.)