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Cut wheat focaccia bread cooling on a wire rack.
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5 from 9 votes

Whole Wheat Herb Focaccia Bread

Our homemade Whole Wheat Herb Focaccia Bread has loads of nooks, crannies and fun toppings. The perfect culinary solution for back to school lunches and snacks.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Resting Time - Rise Time2 hrs
Total Time2 hrs 30 mins
Course: Breads
Cuisine: Italian
Servings: 12
Calories: 204kcal
Author: HWC Magazine


  • baking tray


  • 2.25 teaspoon yeast dry active (do not use rapid rise yeast) - 2 and ¼ teaspoon
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1.5 cups water warm (about 95-110 degrees F)
  • 2 tbsps olive oil
  • 2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 and ¾ cup white flour all purpose unbleached (and a little extra for kneading)
  • 1 and ¾ teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon Italian Seasoning or a mixture of basil, oregano, thyme


  • 2 tbsps olive oil EVOO
  • sea salt to taste to sprinkle on top (optional)
  • basil leaves handful of fresh leaves ( or rosemary, thyme, roasted garlic or any herbs your little heart desires)-optional
  • ½ cup olives kalmata, green with pimentos, or whatever you have on hand-optional
  • ½ cup parmesan cheese grated-optional

Herb Oil

  • ½ cup olive oil Extra virgin
  • 3 tablespoon parmesan cheese grated
  • 1 tablespoon rosemary fresh chopped
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper fresh cracked (to taste)


  • In a small bowl, dissolve the yeast and sugar in the warm water 95 - 110 degrees F or (35 degrees C to 43 degrees C). Wait for about 5 minutes until the yeast has time to start bubbling away. In a large bowl, combine the whole-wheat flour, all-purpose flour, salt and Italian dried herbs and mix together. Add olive oil to the flour mixture and slowly add the yeast mixture into the flour mixture a little at a time until the dough comes together. I do not have one of those fancy dough mixers so just used a fork and then my hands to get the dough to come together and it worked just fine.  The dough should eventually form a ball and it will be slightly sticky. If too sticky add a little more all purpose white flour. The dough should not be stiff.
    All ingredients laid out on a blue wooden background.
  • Knead the dough on a floured surface for just about a minute and shape it into a ball. Clean, dry and grease  your bowl and put the dough ball into the bowl covered tightly with plastic wrap for about 1.5-2 hours until doubled in size. (Bread loves to rise in a warm place so I usually turn on my oven and get it to temperature (about 190 degrees Celsius and then crack open the oven just a tad and turn off the oven, your bread might rise a little faster this way)
    Kneading dough.
  • Preheat your oven to 425 degrees F (218 degrees C).
  • Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and coat with olive oil. Place the dough ball in the centre of the baking pan and press it out with your fingers until you shape it into a rectangle. Give it some time, because of the gluten in the bread, it wants to constrict. Slowly press down and out and eventually the dough will relax enough and take the shape of the pan. (My boys loved helping out with this part of the bread making process as it is quite fun and they love working dough with their hands) Cover with a damp tea cloth and let rest for 30 minutes.
    Spreading dough out in a baking sheet.
  • Now comes the fun part. Lather your hands with extra olive oil (about 2 tablespoons) and rub over the top of the bread. Now using the tip of your fingers press down firmly and dimple the bread so that you get all those lovely nooks and crannies in the bread. Use your favorite toppings such as sea salt, fresh herbs such as basil, olives, parmesan cheese and sprinkle on top of your bread. (Some of the family are not entirely fond of olives. We made little sections with different toppings to suit the likes of each of the kids.)
    Adding olives to the dough.
  • Bake for about 25 minutes or until a deep golden brown. Serve warm with your favourite meals. Or you can allow the bread to cool completely and cut into large squares and then slice down through the centre of the bread and fill you with your favourite sandwich fixings and make yourself or your kids a great panini sandwich for their school lunches.
    Hot out of the oven focaccia bread.

How to Make Herb Oil

  • Get a flat salad sized plate and add a nice layer of EVOO to cover the bottom of the plate. Next add a thin layer of grated parmesan cheese, chopped rosemary and a sprinkle of fresh cracked pepper. Then, take a nice slice of that delicious hot out of the oven herb focaccia bread and dip it in the HERB OIL. Be generous with your slathering of oil and enjoy. You are going to forget all about boring butter.
    Herb oil on a white plate.
  • Enjoy!



Best Bread Making Secrets
  • Don’t use expired yeast
  • Use Active dry Yeast and not Rapid rise yeast for this recipe.
  • Make sure the water you add to the yeast is between 95 degrees F to 110 degrees F. If it is hotter, it can kill the yeast. If it is not warm enough, the yeast will not activate. We can never tell if the water is the right temperature by touching it, so we use a candy thermometer to validate.
  • Adding sugar, helps activate the yeast in the water.
  • You can use either a dough mixer with a dough hook to make the focaccia bread or use a fork and your hands to combine and knead.
  • Kneading the bread is an important step to activate the glutens in the bread.
  • Bread loves to rise in a warm location. Sometimes, we turn the oven on to 375 degrees or 190 degrees and crack the oven open in the kitchen and this helps our bread rise. However, do not put your bread in direct sunlight outside to get it warm. Otherwise, it will form an odd crust on top. Been there – tried that. Not recommended.


Serving: 1g | Calories: 204kcal | Carbohydrates: 29g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 7g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 3mg | Sodium: 496mg | Potassium: 108mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 62IU | Calcium: 69mg | Iron: 2mg