Sourdough Focaccia Bread
Starter Feed Ingredients
- 100 g starter
- 100 g flour
- 100 g water
Focaccia Dough Ingredients
- 305 g water
- 12 g salt
- 170 g active sourdough starter
- 460 g all purpose or bread flour
- To start off we need to feed our sourdough starter to get it ready for our focaccia dough. If you want to make your own starter at home I recently posted a video for how to make this starter on the channel so I’ll link to that video below.
- To feed the starter you want to use equal amounts in weight of starter, water and flour. The focaccia recipe we are using calls for 170 grams of stater so I know I need at least 170 grams total but of course I want to make a bit extra so that I can return some of my starter to the fridge and keep it alive for another bake.
- Measure out 100 grams of starter from the fridge and discard the rest. Then add in 100 grams of water and 100 grams of flour. I’m mixing this up with a fork making sure to break down any big lumps. Then I’m going to place the starter somewhere warm for about 4 hours or until it has doubled in size. You can tell that it is still at it’s peak activity since the top of it is slightly domed so we know the little gas bubbles are still pushing upwards.
- Measure 305 grams of water into a bowl. Then weight out 12 grams of salt. Add the salt to the water and stir until dissolved. Now, I’m going to add in our active sourdough starter and stir this through using a fork. Don’t worry, the salt in the water isn’t going to immediately kill the yeast but once the starter and water are combined try not to leave it hanging out on the counter for ages. I’m popping this straight back on the scale and adding in 460 grams of flour. I’m using all purpose but you can use bread flour if you like.
- Start to bring this together with a fork and once the dough has mostly pulled together start kneading in the bowl using either a dough scraper or your hands. Since this dough is really wet I want to keep it in the bowl just to make my life easier. With the dough scraper you just want to work the dough around the bowl, pulling and stretching it together. If you want to use your hand, just dip your finger in a bit of water to stop the dough from sticking and stretch and pull the dough over onto itself. I’m only kneading this for about 5 minutes until the dough is nice and smooth. At this point we are going to leave the dough to rise. Coat the dough on all sides as well as the bottom and sides of the bowl. Then cover with cling film and leave to rise until it has doubled in size. You can leave the dough to rise at room temperature for about 2 hours or if you want a better flavour, pop it in the fridge overnight which is what I did here.
- The next day ( or two hours later), line the base of a tin with parchment. I’m using a round tin but you can use a sheet pan or rectangular tin. Drizzle some olive oil into your pan and generously coat the bottom and sides. With an oiled hand, gently tip the dough from the bowl into the tin trying not to knock out all that beautiful airiness. Then gently push the dough to the edges of the pan. Cover this and leave it to rise for 3 - 4 hours in a warm place in your kitchen if your dough is coming out of the fridge. If your dough was left to rise at room temperature then you will only need to leave I for about an hour and a half.
- After this second rise, some nice big bubbles should have started to form. Pour some olive oil onto the dough then coat your fingers and gently press them into the dough leaving little divots. Now we are going to cover it with that same piece of cling film and leave it to rise one last time for about an hour.
- While that’s resting prep the toppings. You can top focaccia with loads of different herbs and veggies but I’m using mixed olives which I’m chopping roughly. I want there to be a mix of smaller pieces and some whole olives. Then I’m roughly chopping some garlic and adding that to the olives.
- After the third rise top the dough with the olives and garlic and then throw on some fresh rosemary.
- Add another generous drizzle of olive oil and again gently pressing your fingers into the surface to create some divots and push some of the toppings into the dough. Last but not least, top this all off with a good sprinkle of flakey salt. Then bake in an oven that’s preheated to 220 C or 425 F for 20 minutes. Since I’ve cooked mine in a smaller pan and the dough is thicker, I then turned the oven down to 200 C (390 F) for an additional 20 minutes but if you cook yours in a larger pan and your dough is thin it will likely only need an additional few minutes but regardless you want to bake it until the surface is a deep golden brown. Once cooked, leave the focaccia to cool for ten minutes then transfer it to a wire rack.