Many home cooks are intimated by making homemade bread, but this easy, versatile sourdough focaccia recipe that’s inspired by the classic Italian focaccia is just what you need to get it started! Unlike classic focaccia, it calls for a sourdough starter, which adds a depth of flavor that you won’t get from store-bought focaccia loaves of bread. Regular bread uses yeast, which is then left to do its work and create a rise in the bread. Using the sourdough starter means that the yeast is already at work, resulting in a more flavorful, chewy bread.
The flavor of the bread is slightly tangy thanks to the sourdough, with a crispy, chewy exterior. It’s fluffy on the inside with bubbly holes on the surface, which are created with no special equipment—only your fingers! For this recipe, you need the basic bread ingredients (flour, water, salt) and of course, the sourdough starter! Serve with extra virgin olive oil for dipping.
This sourdough recipe is easy to make. First, the sourdough starter is worked into the dough. The dough goes through several resting periods, which creates the perfect texture and flavor in your Sourdough Focaccia. After these resting periods, the dough is added to the baking tray and pressed with the fingers to create small indentations. After a drizzle of olive oil, the bread is baked until cooked through.
If your dough is not rising, your sourdough starter may have expired. Use a fresh starter and try again!
If the dough is sticky, don’t be tempted to add more flour, this will result in a dense dough.
To prevent the dough from sticking to the baking pan, use enough olive oil.
With a few basic ingredients, this bread might not be the healthiest, but it is easy to make and delicious! For a healthier version, use wholewheat flour.
If you’re in a hurry, you can use pizza dough to make the sourdough focaccia.
Make focaccia Genovese by adding thinly sliced onions and pitted green olives to the bread surface before baking.
There are many delicious toppings to add to your sourdough focaccia: fresh rosemary sprigs, cheese (mozzarella or parmesan), mushrooms, grapes (halved and deseeded), or garlic.
Sourdough Focaccia is best served fresh, but leftovers can be stored in the fridge (in an airtight container) for up to 2 days. If you want to enjoy it crispy, reheat it in the oven (the microwave will make it soggy).
To prepare the starter for the dough: take a piece of starter, add 50g of flour, and 50ml of water.
Let rest until doubled size. Pour water, previously prepared starter for dough, salt and flour into a bowl. Knead the dough and let it rise for 30 minutes.
Knead the dough and leave it to rise for at least 4 hours. Drizzle the dough with olive oil and transfer it to a baking tray. Leave to stand for another 4 hours.
Drizzle again with olive oil and press your fingers over the entire dough.
Sprinkle with coarse salt. Bake at 425°F / 210°C for 25-30 minutes. Serve.
Once baked, remove the bread immediately to prevent the steam from making it soggy.