Day 7- Easy Sourdough Focaccia
You’ll notice that in this Sourdough for Beginners series I chose to share with you an easy focaccia recipe rather than a stereotypical social media-style loaf of beautifully scored bread. I love boutique style boules just as much as the next person, but this recipe is The Tops. You’ll be so glad you have it in your recipe arsenal. It requires minimal effort and is an explosion of flavor and, even better, it is extremely versatile, whether you choose to use it in savory or sweet applications.
The featured photo is a double batch, which is how the following recipe is also written. It fills a full half-sheet pan and is enough to slice into breadsticks for at least 24 people. Otherwise it is definitely enough to gift out portions or freeze some for a meal in the future. Planning ahead like that is always a benefit in our busy household. It will last up to 3 months in the freezer if wrapped well. Or up to a week wrapped on the counter.
I hope you’ve enjoyed the Sourdough for Beginners journey and have gained some confidence in your sourdough journey. Please give me a shout-out with pics of your starter or some of your sourdough creations. If you have need for troubleshooting I’m always here for you or hit up any of my sourdough posts on social media.
For more sourdough recipes, be sure to peruse this entire website. You’ll find a few fun things throughout the next few months. Happy eating!
If you need any refreshers in this sourdough journey, be sure to revisit any of these posts below.
Sourdough for Beginners, Part One ~ This has the basics and benefits of sourdough bread and how to begin.
Sourdough for Beginners, Part Two ~This has the world’s best sourdough crepe recipe!
Sourdough for Beginners, Part Three ~ This post has a ridiculously simple no-work peasant bread recipe.
Sourdough for Beginners, Part Four ~ This features a divine pie dough, perfect for all your pastry needs.
Sourdough Focaccia Bread
- 1 large mixing/proofing bowl
- 1 half-sheet pan
- 400 grams or 2 cups sourdough starter active starter will yield faster results, but that does not mean you couldn't use discard if you're willing to wait a little longer in the proofing process.
- 900 grams or 3-3/4 cups purified water
- 30 grams or 2.5 tablespoons sugar
- 30 grams or 2.5 tablespoons fine sea salt
- 1000 grams or 8 cups flour
- 5 tbsp avocado oil or more for greasing your baking tray
- 3 tbsp garlic infused olive oil optional- for topping before baking see confit garlic recipe
- 1 jar kalamata olives, pitted optional- for topping before baking
- 12 cloves confit garlic cloves optional- for topping before baking
- 1 tsp coarse sea salt optional- for topping before baking
- 1/2 tsp dried rosemary optional- for topping before baking
- 3 tbsp freshly grated asiago cheese optional- for topping before baking
- This recipe is easily cut in half if you want to make a smaller batch. Otherwise it can freeze up to 3 months if you wrap it well. Just allow it to thaw to room temperature before warming it slightly to serve with a meal.
- Measure and sift together flour, sugar, and salt into your large proofing bowl. Make a well in the middle.
- Add the sourdough starter and water to the middle. Mix well. It's going to be very sticky. Cover and allow to rest for 30 minutes.
- After 30 minutes, wet your hands slightly. Reach slightly under the edge of the dough and "stretch and fold" for 20-50 turns. (If you like, you can keep a small bowl of water next to you to re-dampen your hands as needed. With slightly damp hands the dough will not stick to your hands as badly. Just don't drip too much water into the dough as it is already a high-moisture dough to begin with.)
- Allow dough to rest until it is doubled in size. This is largely dependent upon how active your starter is, as well as the temperature of your kitchen. Estimate 8-12 hours, but check it every 2-4 hours just in case. There is no guarantee on time since all starters and kitchen environments are different. (In my batch featured, I made a double batch with unfed starter. My kitchen was an ambient temperature of 72F and it took 5.5 hours to get to this point.)
- When your dough has doubled in size, generously grease a baking tray. Gently coax your focaccia dough onto the greased tray. Use greased fingers to stretch and move the dough to spread out evenly across the tray. Now allow it to rise for another hour or until it is jiggly and springy, but leaves a slight indent in the dough if you poke test it.
- Drizzle top with oil. Use your finger tips to create dents and craters throughout the top of the dough. This also creates pockets to add flavorful ingredients such as olives, confit garlic cloves, salt, herbs, and cheese. Or decorate the top with other ingredients of your choice. (Tip- Using a flavorless oil like avocado oil allows you the freedom to do any toppings you desire, whether they be savory or sweet. You don't even need to adapt the sugar or salt content of the original dough recipe.)
- Preheat your oven to 425F. Bake your focaccia for 25-30 minutes or until the top is golden and crisp. Allow to cool completely before removing from pan and slicing.