The Wood-Fired Blog

Focaccia a Health Food?

I really like Focaccia. But there are times when I find myself thinking of it more as a weekend treat than a day-to-day staple. But today, there was a very fun article in the NY Times that may change all of that. I wish I had though of this myself.

From the Health section of the paper — Focaccia: One Basic Bread, Endless Delicious Options: Whole-Wheat Focaccia

Andrew Scrivani for The New York Times

Andrew Scrivani for The New York Times

The article not only explores different mixes of whole wheat and white flour (with all the trade-offs in density, flavor, texture, etc.), it also uncovers a great, new artisan whole wheat flour. Community Grains is a California company that works with mid-size farms to grow heritage grains and mills whole wheat flours using the entire wheat berry — with the bran and germ intact during milling. They are able to make a finely ground flour that is both light and airy, and genuine whole grain.

You can find Community Grains here.

Community Grains


Here is what Michael Pollan has to say about them:

“Conventional milling technology splits off the bran and germ right at the beginning. If they are selling the whole grain, they just add those parts back in later, which apparently is not as good as keeping them in the whole time. That’s the Community Grains premise. Whole grain is one of the important things missing from the Western diet.”-Michael Pollan, Wall Street Journal Nov. 2011

Of course I ran out and bought 15 lbs. at our local Whole Foods. Focaccia for dinner.

The NY Times recipes is basically half white flour and half whole wheat, and 72% hydration. They add some olive oil to the dough along with a little sugar. I am trying it with 80% Community Grains whole wheat and 20% Central Milling Tipo 00 with 72% hydration. I probably could have gone higher with the water with all that whole wheat flour. But the flour is really, really nice. Silky soft and very extensible. You wouldn’t believe it was whole wheat.

This (and my new sourdough starter) is getting exciting.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *