Wholemeal spelt focaccia with olives and tomatoes is a great alternative to regular focaccia. Wholesome and delicious, this focaccia is light, crispy on the edges, and soft inside. I topped it with sun dried black olives and roasted tomatoes. A lovely accompaniment to a meal or appetizer night.
Song of the day: Squeeze Me - Diana Krall
I find making focaccia to be extremely rewarding. Even if between the start and the finish there is quite some time. Non active time, that is, mostly rising time, and you get to attend to other businesses while the dough works its magic.
Wholemeal Spelt Focaccia - the preparation
I usually use a stand mixer to make the dough, but it also works well in a food processor, or simply in a large bowl, following the same order below and then finishing kneading it on a lightly floured surface.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook, add the spelt flour, the crumbled fresh yeast or active dry yeast, and some of the water. Mix on low speed and when the dough starts to form, add the salt, the oil, and the remaining water. Mix on medium speed for at least 5-6 minutes, or until the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl and looks and feels smooth.
- Place the dough into an oiled bowl, oil the top, cover it with plastic wrap, and let it rise for 2 hours at room temperature, away from cool air.
- After this time, place the dough on a work surface and with a knife or bench scraper divide it into 2.
- Gently, shape them into 2 balls.
- Then, place each into an oiled bowl, oil the top, and let rise for 2 more hours.
- After that, grease two 9-inch round pans with oil.
- Place one dough inside each pan, gently streatching it to the edges with your fingertips, creating little dimples on the top. Pay attention not to break the dough.
- Drizzle more evo oil on top, add chopped sundried olives and roasted tomatoes.
- Bake in the preheated oven at 425°F/250°C for about 15-18 minutes.
And there you have it, a wonderful wholemeal spelt focaccia, with lovely pockets of tasty olives and tomatoes. I usually brush the top with evo oil, it gives a nice shine and an additional flavor.
I like my focaccia to be more crispy than soft so I make sure to make it fairly thin. A perfect example is the classic Italian Focaccia Genovese.
If you like your focaccia to be tall and soft, you can use all the dough for a rectangular 9x13 inch pan. In this case, after the first two hours rise, stretch the dough in the pan, add the oil and toppings and let rise again for about 45 minutes before baking. Also, I often halve the recipe to make just one focaccia and bake it in an 8 or 9 inch round or square pan. Same as above, in the case of just one dough, I stretch the dough in the pan, add the oil and toppings and let rise for about 45 minutes before baking.
- Instead of wholemeal spelt flour you can use light spelt.
- Also, the toppings are only a suggestion. You could use different olives, or omit; cherry tomatoes, or sundried tomatoes instead of roasted tomatoes. Or, you can simply sprinkle the top with herbs, evo oil, and coarse sea salt. Be creative in your kitchen.
You are going to love this Wholemeal spelt focaccia with olives and tomatoes. There is this wonderful crisped edge and the crust has a lovely nuttiness to it, also very airy and soft inside. The big bang comes with the intense flavor of the tomatoes, olives and the olive oil. The crust offer the perfect bed for these ingredients. Whether an accompaniment, or as a snack or appetizer, this focaccia is a win win in my books!