This post explain how to make the Italian Focaccia sourdough bread version. My wife is an excellent baker with long experience and her sourdough Focaccia is fabulous. This Focaccia sourdough bread recipe creates a bread which is slightly elastic with a rich flavor.
Focaccia is originally not a sourdough bread but is baked on standard yeast, white flour, olive oil, sea salt, and herbs like rosemary or thyme. Toppings are cherry tomatoes, basil, cheese, onion, or garlic. The sourdough focaccia recipe is also great for making pizza.
You can make sourdough versions of any bread. To convert a standard bread recipe to a sourdough recipe, try replacing one packet of yeast (or a tablespoon = 6 grams) with a cup (200-240 grams) of active sourdough starter. With sourdough starters, there’s not need to be too picky on amounts.
How to make Focaccia sourdough bread
You need a stable sourdough starter. If you don’t, then you need to make a sourdough starter. You can also buy one on Amazon.com or perhaps a friend might have it. Without a good starter there will be no sourdough bread.
NOTE: If you keep your sourdough starter in the fridge, take it out the evening before and feed it. It will be ready the next day.
Step one: The rise and fall of the sourdough starter
Take the sourdough starter out from the fridge the day before you will bake. Feed it that evening. The next day, the starter should have increased in size and you should see bubbles.
How much do you feed the starter? Try adding around 30-50% of the total weight of the starter. So if you have an 800 gram starter in a jar, add 200-400 grams of flour and enough water so that the starter looks like porridge.
You don’t have to be very picky about amounts.
Feeding the starter:
- Mix the flour and water thoroughly with the starter. It should be thick like porridge and smooth (see the image).
- Leave the starter at room temperature over night.
- The next day, your starter will have risen and it will eventually collapse on itself; that’s a good sign that it has reached its peak.
- If you will bake only in the evening on the next day, it might be good to feed it a little bit also in the morning.
Step two: Prepare the sourdough
When you start, the Focaccia sourdough needs to be wet and very loose, so be careful when adding flour.
- Use around 200-250 grams of starter
- 500 grams flour
- 2 cups lukewarm water
- 2-3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon honey
- 1.5-2 teaspoons sea salt
- Mix half of the flour and water in a bowl. The water should be just above room temperature. Stir thoroughly.
- Add the sourdough starter, honey, olive oil, and sea salt. Stir thoroughly. Slowly add more flour until the dough sticks together but is still quite wet.
- If you use a machine to knead, then knead for 5 minutes. Continue by hand until the dough can be stretched really thin. The stretch and fold technique is a gentle process to develop the sourdough and make it lean without lumps. When stretch and folding, pay attention to the dough. After a few minutes, the dough should get smoother and firmer.
- Put the dough into a lightly oiled bowl, cover with a damp towel and leave for 2-3 hours to ferment.
Step three: Bake Focaccia bread
Preheat the oven to 220-230C/450F. Bake on baking paper for 10-20 minutes or until a good crust has formed and the color is light brown.
Some put a few ice cubes or cold water into a baking tin and place it in the bottom of the oven to create steam.
The Focaccia below turned out very nice. This focaccia sourdough bread recipe creates a bread that is fairly light and slightly elastic. Can be stored in the freezer. It’s great to toast.