Focaccia with Semolina & Pesto

With so many baking recipes going around, it is tempting not to try some out! But what do you do when you love the breads and still need to keep your diet? Here is no fuss, healthy option that I have tried!

INGREDIENTS

For bread :

  1. Semolina 1 cup
  2. Whole wheat flour 1 cup
  3. Bread flour 1 cup
  4. Active dry Yeast 1 1/2 tea spoon ( bloomed in 1/2 cup warm water with 1 tsp sugar )
  5. Salt to taste
  6. Olive oil 2 Tbsp
  7. Water to knead
  8. Dried rosemary 1 pinch (use fresh rosemary if it’s available)
  9. Mixed seeds 2 tspn

For pesto :

  1. Italian Basil 1 big bunch (plucked, washed thoroughly)
  2. Cheese 1 cube
  3. Garlic 5-6 cloves
  4. Salt to taste
  5. Black pepper to taste
  6. Pine nuts or walnuts or any other nut you have available at home or prefer – a handful
  7. Olive oil 1/2 cup

METHOD

  1. Take all the three flours in a bowl. Add salt, rosemary and bloomed yeast to it . Mix with a spatula before adding enough water to knead into a soft dough .
  2. I try to use the oil in the end when it becomes sticky and difficult to knead . Knead for a few minutes while adding a few more spoons of water at a time until the dough gets gooey.
  3. Take a large glass container , grease it well with oil, place the dough inside, cover it and set aside the rolled dough for a few hours in a warm place. Glass container helps to see and check at the bottom, as to how much it has risen basically.
  4. To prepare the Pesto, add basil, salt, pepper and Olive oil to a mixer. Pulse it few times before adding the nuts and cheese. Pulse it 2-3 times more. Pesto is ready.
  5. Once the dough has risen by 3 to 4 times, take it out and fold it gently by incorporating the sides to the center, without punching the dough in the center. Grease your hands well before doing this.
  6. Divide the dough into 2 portions . Take the baking tray , grease it, put parchment paper and brush it with oil again.
  7. Spread one portion of dough inside the baking tray using your finger tips. Wet your finger tips. (try not to grease them since pesto already has a lot of oil.) I had used a 9×9 inch square baking tray.
  8. Spread the pesto directly over this dough, as evenly as you can, using the back of a spoon.
  9. Add the second half dough portion on top of this. Try to spread this gently using finger tips in all directions , since there is a pesto filling and we want that to remain in the center of the bread and not get pushed out.
  10. I have used a greased kitchen spatula to cut squares into the dough. This is an optional step , can be done after baking also, but easier to do in the beginning for even pieces. Add the mixed seeds on top for healthy crunch!
  11. Set aside at least for an hour before baking it in preheated oven for 180 deg C for 30 minutes. I used the top heat setting for last 5 mins to get the nice golden crust.

I would definitely recommend everyone to try this recipe out! The smell of my house with freshly baked bread has become absolutely intoxicating!

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