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The secret to my chewy, airy, hearty focaccia lies in the addition of whole-wheat flour in the dough. Whole wheat contains wheat germ and bran, lending a deeper, more complex flavor and structure to the dough, and when paired with softer all-purpose flour, the baked texture of this Italian classic is the perfect combination of airy and hearty.

The dough is sticky and wet, so it’s best to mix in a stand mixer. Once kneaded and risen, the dough is pressed into a freeform shape. There’s no need to be precise or finicky, making it easy for beginning bread bakers. Focaccia’s trademark dimpling requires little skill to shape and, frankly, it’s fun to do. It’s not often we have permission to randomly stick our fingers into our food.

Reprinted with permission from The Everyday Baker