Turn of spring can only mean one thing…triathlon race season! There used to be a time, not too long ago, when triathlon race season didn't kick-off until the end of May. With the continued growth of triathlon, you can find a race pretty much any weekend of the year. But spring and summer is when the real action is.
Race season means, among other aspects, food boredom. Something very common for triathletes.
With a strict training and working schedule, food becomes little more than a source of fuel, and sticking to the same menu each and every day makes planning easier. Chicken, tuna, salmon, broccoli, greens, brown rice, whole wheat pasta, oatmeal...the same thing over and over again.
I can’t do it anymore. I need options and that’s why I learned to cook and create new recipes.
Whole wheat focaccia has definitely become my favorite source of complex carbs. Breakfast or lunch, if I need to carb-it-up, focaccia is what I crave.
Two weeks ago I made this whole wheat stuffed focaccia with arugula, feta and sun-dried tomatoes, a huge, huge, huuuuge success.
Along the same vein, today I am going to tackle lunch with a quick and easy whole wheat focaccia with cherry tomatoes and oregano.
Yes, yes, I said quick. If you make the dough from scratch (which I urge you to do) it takes some time. But if you grab some fresh whole pizza dough from Whole Foods (or any other grocer that carries it), making this focaccia is said and done.
Whole Wheat Focaccia with Cherry Tomatoes and Oregano Print this recipe!
I made the dough from scratch, but you might as well buy fresh whole wheat pizza dough and start from there. If so, all you need to do is to knead ¼ cup olive oil into the pre-made dough before making the focaccia. That simple.
Makes 16 focaccia squares
1 ½ cup / 400 ml warm water (between 105°F and 115°F)
4 ½ cups / 21.1 oz / 600 gr whole wheat flour
2 teaspoons active dry yeast
¼ cup / 50 ml extra-virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons sugar
3 teaspoons fine grain sea salt
1 lb / 453 gr cherry tomatoes
2 tablespoons fresh oregano leaves, chopped
2 tablespoons water
1 tablespoon olive oil
½ teaspoon fine grain sea salt
Place warm water in a large bowl and add dry yeast, sugar and salt. Let stand until yeast dissolves. After 5 to 7 minutes, it should be a bit foamy. If it’s not, you might have some bad yeast (or the water was too warm) and should start again with another packet.
Add whole wheat flour and olive oil to yeast mixture and stir to blend well (the dough will be sticky).
Drop the dough onto a floured surface (or leave it in the bowl) and knead it until it becomes smooth and elastic, adding more flour by tablespoonfuls if the dough is too sticky.
The dough will be soft and pliable and extremely easy to work with.
Form dough into a ball and coat with a bit of olive oil. Place it in a bowl, cover with plastic wrap and let raise in a draft-free place until doubled (it should take about 1 hour).
Make the focaccia
Coat a 15x10-inch baking sheet with 1 tablespoon of olive oil.
Punch the dough down. Using your fingertips press out the dough to a rectangle filling the baking sheet.
Cover with a kitchen towel and let rise while the oven preheats to 425°F (220°C).
In the meantime cut cherry tomatoes in half. Over a bowl, squeeze them with your hands to remove seeds.
Press cherry tomatoes cut-side up into dough, scatter with oregano.
In a small bowl combine 2 tablespoons of water, 1 tablespoon olive oil and ½ teaspoon of salt. Drizzle the dough with this olive oil brine.
Bake in the oven for 20 minutes or until top it’s golden.
One square (note I said square) yields 166 calories, 5.7 grams of fat, 25.9 grams of carbs and 4.7 grams of protein.