Try this super simple and easy recipe to make garlic herb whole wheat focaccia bread at home. This delicious bread with a moist and airy texture will tempt you to prepare it again and again.
If you are a cooking enthusiast like me then I am sure you are adventurous in baking different kinds of bread at home.
A big advantage of making homemade bread is that you have control over the ingredients that would go in it. Usually, store-bought bread is loaded with excess sugar, all-purpose flour, and unnecessary preservatives. And these culprit ingredients turn this bread into empty calories. Moreover, eating freshly baked bread always makes our gut dance with happiness.
- Flour blend – I use a blend of white whole wheat flour and all-purpose flour
- Yeast – use rapid rise or instant rise yeast for proofing the dough in less time
- Sugar – it helps to activate the yeast
- Garlic – peel and chop it finely
- Fresh Rosemary – also chop it finely
- Warm water – to help yeast to do their job quicker
- Olive oil – use extra virgin olive oil for kneading the dough and topping the bread
- Parmesan cheese – use finely grated parmesan cheese for topping the bread before baking
How to make healthy focaccia bread at home?
Make the dough- In a large mixing bowl combine flour, yeast, salt, and sugar. You can also add fresh rosemary and chopped garlic into it. Reserve some chopped garlic and rosemary for adding as toppings later on. Then combine the flour with other ingredients. Gradually add warm water and mix with the flour either using your hands or a wooden spatula. Once the water is well incorporated into the flour transfer the mixture to a flat surface and knead it to form a dough. Keep adding little olive oil to avoid the dough sticking to the surface and hands. Knead the dough for at least 8-10 minutes.
Let the dough rise – Once the kneading is done transfer the dough back to the mixing bowl. Cover the bowl and keep it in a warm place for the dough to rise. I usually put it in the oven without turning on any settings.
Preheat the oven – Preheat the oven to 400F. DO NOT forget to take the dough out if you are keeping it inside the oven for proofing before turning it on.
Prepare baking sheet – Spread or brush the olive oil on a baking sheet and transfer the dough to it. Using hands spread the dough evenly to form a uniform layer.
Topping the focaccia – Using fingers or the round back of a wood spatula create random but close dimples all over the flat dough. Then generously brush or drizzle olive oil. Sprinkle some finely chopped fresh rosemary and garlic. Finally, top with some finely grated parmesan cheese.
Bake – Transfer the garlic herb focaccia bread to the preheated oven and bake until well done. It will take around 15-20 min to get the bread done. Detailed Ingredients list and instructions are given below (see the Recipe Card below)
- For an appetizer or starter, serve this freshly baked whole wheat focaccia bread with seasoned extra virgin olive oil.
- Serve warm bread on the side of homemade soups like creamy tomato soup, golden cauliflower soup, vegetarian lentil soup, etc., for a wholesome meal.
- You can also use this bread to prepare a sandwich in the recipes like Italian veggie sandwich or shredded chicken sandwich.
- Flour – Use white whole wheat flour for making this homemade focaccia. Using 100% whole wheat flour in making this bread will give a slightly dense texture. Therefore I prefer using a 1:1 ratio of whole wheat and all-purpose flour.
- Warm water – Make sure to use very warm water. If you are able to touch the water without feeling a burning sensation then that’s the perfect temperature you can use. It will help to grow the yeast and dough will rise easily in a short time.
- Rapid rise yeast – it helps to raise the dough quickly compared to regular yeast. And you can add it directly into the flour and start kneading the dough without soaking it in warm water to activate. However, you can use regular active dry yeast, just make sure to soak it in warm water with some sugar for 15-20 min before adding into the flour.
- Amount of water – The wetter the dough the more soft and moist the bread will be. If you are comfortable adding little more water and kneading the dough, give it a try. Stop adding water if the dough starts to become sticky.
- Season generously – Focaccia bread is a classic Italian bread made with flour, herbs, and yeast. So be generous in using herbs, garlic, salt and olive oil for a richer taste.
- Dough proofing time – If you are using instant yeast or rapid rise yeast then allow at least 1 ½ hours for the dough rise. You can also prepare the dough in advance and keep it in the refrigerator for up to 12 hours or overnight before baking the focaccia.
- Toppings – In this recipe, I use parmesan cheese, fresh rosemary and chopped garlic for topping the bread. You can add your favorite toppings if you want to make it with different flavors. In restaurants or store-bought focaccia, I have noticed that they add sliced tomatoes, sun-dried tomatoes, sliced onion, cheese or even pieces of meat. So be creative in topping up the bread and create your favorite combination of flavors.
After baking focaccia bread it stays good for 1-2 days. I would not recommend storing and consuming it beyond 2 days.
Store all leftover bread in an airtight glass container or ziplock bag in the refrigerator for up to 1-2 days.
Simply put the bread in a microwave-safe bowl or container and microwave it for 30-40 seconds just before serving. And serve while it is warm.
More whole wheat recipes to try
Love this recipe? Please leave a 5-star ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ rating in the recipe card below & a review in the comments if you REALLY like this recipe. Thank You!
Garlic Rosemary Whole Wheat Focaccia Bread
- ½ tablespoon olive oil
- 1-2 garlic cloves finely chopped
- ½ tablespoon fresh rosemary
- 1 tablespoon parmesan cheese finely grated
- Making the dough: In a large mixing bowl combine flour, yeast, sugar, and salt. Also, add some chopped garlic and chopped fresh rosemary. Mix everything well. Gradually add warm water and mix the flour with wooden spatula or hands. Then transfer the mixture to a flat surface and knead it for 8-10 mins to form a soft supple dough. Keep adding olive oil bit by bit while kneading the dough to avoid sticking to the hands and the kneading surface. (See notes if you want to use a stand mixer for making this dough)
- Once the kneading is done transfer the dough to the mixing bowl, cover and keep it in a warm place for at least 1 – 1.5 hrs.
- Lightly oil a baking sheet pan (mine is 10×15"). Transfer the dough to the pan and stretch it gently across the length and width of the pan to form an even layer of the focaccia dough. Let the dough rise until the oven is preheated.
- Once the sheet pan with dough is ready, preheat the oven to 400F
- After the oven is preheated using the round back of a wooden spatula or fingertips poke the dough and make dimples all over it.
- Then drizzle or brush some olive oil over the dough. Also, spread chopped garlic and fresh rosemary. And finally, top with some finely grated parmesan cheese.
- Place the pan on the middle rack of the oven and bake the dough for 18 min or until well done.
- Let the bread cool down slightly and then cut into small pieces. Serve warm.
- Dough In a Stand Mixer – Add flour, yeast, sugar, salt, chopped garlic, and fresh rosemary into the mixing bowl of the mixer. Also, drizzle half of the olive oil (around 1 tbsp) into the mixture. Start the machine with the dough hook attached. Gradually add warm water and let the machine mix everything well. Once all the water is well incorporated continue kneading the dough for about 5 mins. I use the KitchenAid Stand Mixer in my kitchen. For making the dough I always run the machine on its No.2 setting with the dough hook attached.
- Want to make 100% whole wheat focaccia bread? – simply use 3 cups white whole wheat flour plus 1 ½ cup water in the above recipe. All other ingredients and recipe instructions will remain the same.
- Proofing the dough – I usually place dough in a closed oven to rise. It gives a perfect warm environment for the proofing. Do not turn on the oven though. Also, remember to take out the dough bowl before hitting the preheat button. Otherwise, you will get a rustic bread loaf instead of flat focaccia bread. Just kidding! But, seriously don’t forget!
- This recipe is inspired by Herb Foacaccia Bread from our local grocery store.