Oil Free Whole Grain Focaccia Bread! Plain or studded with tomatoes, olives, and herbs, you won’t miss the oil or processed flour in this wholesome and satisfying bread.
Simple, flavorful, and hearty, this Oil Free Whole Grain Focaccia Bread recipe is a comforting and healthy nod to traditional focaccia bread. Perfectly delicious, soft, and fluffy inside, with just the right amount of chew, this healthy version is sure to please even the fussiest of eaters. It’s perfect for dipping in soups/stews, for charcuterie boards, for sandwiches, and as a crouton; let your imagination run wild!
Whole Food Plant Based, Vegan, plant based, oil free, refined sugar free, and no highly processed ingredients.
Hi there, Ameera here!
Back in the day, I went through a very serious artisan bread baking phase. I made fresh baked breads every day for my family. When I went Whole Food Plant Based, I kind of put away my serious bread pans and concentrated on how to create delicious Whole Food Plant Based dinner recipes because that was where the immediate need was.
Now that we are not longer solely focus on gluten free, and I’ve been able to incorporate my love for bread back into our diet, get ready for some yummy baking recipes.
You gotta give this one a try!
Tips for Success:
- Flavor Profile: Traditional focaccia bread is made with high-gluten bread flour which is used to create those big bubbles of dough, and a significant amount of olive oil. This is a Whole Food Plant Based nod to focaccia bread, completely oil-free, no high-gluten flour, just simple whole grain goodness.
- Whole Food Plant Based Focaccia Bread: This WFPB focaccia bread is delicious for what it is and that is a bread that is healthy, uses whole grains, and has no highly processed flours or oil. If you are looking for a traditional focaccia bread, then this recipe is not the one for you.
- White Whole Wheat Flour: White whole wheat flour is a whole grain flour. It is an unbleached flour milled from hard white spring wheat. It is lighter in color, milder tasting than the traditional red wheat flour. It is 100% stone ground whole wheat. It is not a mixture of white and wheat flours. It is Whole Food Plant Based, and it is made from 100% whole wheat berries. We used King Arthur Stone-Ground White Whole Wheat Flour. We have also milled our own flour from Palouse Brand using hard white wheat berries.
- Whole Wheat Pastry Flour: Whole Wheat Pastry Flour is a whole grain flour. It is made from 100% stone ground soft spring wheat. It is Whole Food Plant Based as it is made from 100% soft spring wheat berries. It has a lighter texture. We used Bob’s Red Mill Whole Wheat Pastry Flour.
- Whole Wheat Flour: You can also use whole wheat flour in this recipe. The end product is a slightly denser and stronger flavored bread.
- Measuring Flour: Spoon the flour into the measuring cup and level off. Do not pack it in. If you have a food scale, use the food scale for precise amounts.
- Yeast: Use Active Dry Yeast. We have not tested this recipe using Quick-Rise Instant Yeast.
- Unsweetened Plain Plant Yogurt: The yogurt creates a more tender bread without changing the taste. We do not recommend leaving it out. If you simply can’t locate any plant yogurt in your local grocery stores, you could try replacing the yogurt with an equal amount of water with the understanding that the focaccia bread will become very dense and is more like a flatbread.
- Sea Salt: Our family was divided over the amount of sea salt. We ultimately landed on 2 teaspoons of sea salt for this recipe. Feel free to use less if you wish.
- Maple Syrup: The maple syrup is used to help feed the yeast. You won’t taste it in the end product if you use 1 Tablespoon. You can leave it out if you wish. We had family members who loved the bread using 2 Tablespoons maple syrup while others preferred 1 Tablespoon.
- Flour: This recipe does not use any additional flour. Typically, most breads add some extra surface flour while kneading, this bread should not need that.
- Kneading the Dough: The dough will initially appear very sticky. Whole wheat flours tend to be very thirsty and soak up liquids quickly. Knead the dough inside the bowl to get it going. Wash your hands if the dough is very sticky. Wash your hands then dry them completely and start kneading again. You may need to do this several times. If the dough simply won’t knead without sticking everywhere, then add a teaspoon of flour and continue until it comes together. This dough will initially be very sticky, but as you knead it, it will become smooth and elastic. Knead it inside the bowl for several minutes, then move to a clean surface to finish kneading. You should be able to knead it on a clean surface (no flour) without it sticking.
- Parchment Paper: Lightly flouring the parchment paper allows the dough to be pressed and shaped into a rectangle. Simply place a ¼ teaspoon of whole wheat pastry flour onto the parchment paper, then run the palm of your hand or fingers all over the parchment paper to ensure that the entire paper is very lightly coated.
- Size of the Bread: We shaped the dough to an 8 x 12-inch rectangle/oval. The rise was approximately 3 inches in the oven. If you want a thinner bread, shape it larger to a 9 x 13. The thinner/larger you make the bread, consider shortening the baking time just a tad.
- Cherry Tomatoes: We used orange cherry tomatoes. They are very sweet and small. If you use tomatoes or other veggies with a high-water content, then it is understood that this area may have some spillover from roasting the tomatoes in the bread. We absolutely loved the cherry tomatoes in the bread.
- Spray of Water: Using a spray bottle with a “mister” setting allows a fine mist on the surface of the dough during resting to prevent a “crust” from forming on the dough since we do not use oil. It is also used right before baking to allow the seasonings to slightly stick to the dough. If you don’t have a spray bottle, you can wet your fingers and lightly stroke the surface of the dough.
- Leftovers: Because the bread has no additives or preservatives, if you want it to last longer place it in the refrigerator or freeze.
- Bread Machine: This recipe has not been tested in a bread machine. It is a focaccia bread which is long and flat.
- Freezing: The bread freezes well up to 3 months. Place in a freezer bag, remove as much air as possible, seal.
- Gluten Free: This recipe is not gluten free. We have not tested any gluten free flours.
Leftovers and Freezing:
Leftovers will generally keep 3 days in the refrigerator. Store in a covered container.
The focaccia bread freezes well up to 3 months. Place in a freezer bag, remove as much air as possible, seal.
- White Whole Wheat Flour: We used King Arthur Stone-Ground White Whole Wheat Flour. Feel free to use your favorite white whole wheat flour. We also mill our own from Palouse Brand using hard white berries.
- Whole Wheat Pasty Flour: We used Bob’s Red Mill Whole Wheat Pastry Flour.
- Yeast: We used Red Star Active Dry Yeast. Feel free to use your favorite active dry yeast.
- Large mixing bowl
- Large baking sheet
- Parchment paper
- Water spray bottle (optional)
- Large stock pot
If you try this comforting and wholesome bread, we would love to know if you enjoy it as much as we do! Please leave us a review! Post a picture on Facebook or Instagram and tag us! We would love to hear from you.Print
Oil Free Whole Grain Focaccia Bread
- Prep Time: 15 Minutes
- Cook Time: 18-20 Minutes
- Total Time: 35 Minutes (+2hr Rest Time)
- Yield: 1 Focaccia Bread 1x
- Category: Side
- Method: Oven
- Cuisine: Italian
- Diet: Vegan
Simple, flavorful, and hearty, this Oil Free Whole Grain Focaccia Bread recipe is a comforting and healthy nod to traditional focaccia bread.
- 2 cups white whole wheat flour (10.5 oz.) *
- 2 cups whole wheat pastry flour (8.2 oz.) *
- 1 Tablespoon active dry yeast *
- ½ to 2 teaspoons fine sea salt (+/-) *
- 1 ½ cups warm water (120 to 130F degrees)
- ¼ cup unsweetened plain plant yogurt *
- 1 to 2 Tablespoons pure maple syrup (optional) *
- Fresh or dried herbs (rosemary, Italian seasoning, etc.)
- Red onions, green onions, or shallots
- Cherry tomatoes
- Sundried tomatoes
- Slivered bell peppers
- Roasted garlic
- Large flake sea salt
- Vegan Parmesan Cheese
- Place the flours, dry yeast, and sea salt into a large mixing bowl. Whisk to combine.
- Add the 1 ½ cups warm water, ¼ cup plant yogurt, and maple syrup and mix well with your hands until the dough starts to come together. While the dough is still in the bowl, start kneading the dough inside the mixing bowl to form a ball. At first the dough will seem too wet, but keep kneading, it will start to absorb the water, the stickiness will lessen, and the dough become easier to knead. Knead the dough inside the bowl for several minutes, then transfer the dough to a clean surface and continue to knead the dough for about 6 to 8 minutes. The dough should be smooth and elastic. Form a dough ball.
- Wash the bowl where the dough was kneaded. Place the dough ball inside, spray the top with a tiny mist of water. Cover with a tea towel (or plastic wrap) and let rest for 60 minutes or until doubled.
- Prepare a large baking sheet by lining it with parchment paper. Place ¼ teaspoon of whole wheat pastry flour in the center of the parchment paper and rub the surface of the parchment paper with the flour. Set aside.
- After 60 minutes, punch the dough down and knead inside the bowl for 45 seconds, form a ball. Place onto the very lightly floured parchment paper (on the baking sheet) and press the dough out to an 8 x 12-inch rectangle (or oval). Cover with a tea towel and allow to rest for 60 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 425 F. Place the rack on the lower bottom 3rd position in the oven.
- After 60 minutes of resting, poke and press your fingers all over the dough in random places.Before careful not to deflate the entire dough.
- Lightly mist the dough with water and sprinkle with seasonings and/or large flake sea salt. (Optional: If adding cherry tomatoes, press small cherry tomatoes in random places all around the surface. Do this before adding the seasonings. Press the tomatoes way down into the dough.
- Place in a preheated 425 F oven for 19 to 20 minutes or until nicely golden brown.
*Please reference the blog post for Tips for Success, Pantry Items Used, Storage and Freezing, and Kitchen Products Used.
*Sea Salt: Please adjust the sea salt based upon your family’s sea salt preferences and/or based upon dietary needs.
*Servings: Makes 1 (8 x 12 inch) focaccia bread. About 12-15 small square servings.
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