I have a focaccia obsession lately. Seriously, I think it might be a problem. I take June (my sourdough starter) out of the fridge to feed her and get her ready to bake something on the weekend. And when the feeding is finished and my starter is ready to use…I just make focaccia. AGAIN. I’m so unoriginal. So I figured it was time to teach you how to make sourdough focaccia, to continue to feed my obsession.
Now focaccia is also easy to make with dry yeast, and will probably take you less amount of time. I like the recipe Bon Appetit put together, and it’s *ahem* great for baking when you’re holed up at home and can’t go outside. Just saying.
Focaccia is a great side to have with any kid of dinner—truly. Steaks? Check. Creamy Tuscan Chicken? Yep, dip that bread in the sauce. Simply on it’s own with a little dish of olive oil for dipping? Absolutely. Need I say more?
So here’s how to make focaccia at home, for anyone looking for new ways to bake with their sourdough starter. And if you have any leftover bread, cut it up into chunks and make this breakfast strata!
Here’s what you’re going to need
- 1/2 cup starter (about 100 grams)
- 3 tsp salt
- 2 cups lukewarm water (about 450 grams)
- 3 3/4 cup unbleached all-purpose flour (about 555 grams)
- 2 Tbsp olive oil, plus some for your hands
- Flaky sea salt, optional
Add the starter and the salt to a large bowl
I typically measure out my starter, water, and flour with a kitchen scale. However, I know not everyone has one, so I added some regular measurements to keep things simpler for you.
Mix them with water
Using a rubber spatula, break apart the sourdough starter with the lukewarm water. Make sure it’s pretty much disintegrated with the salt in the water before continuing. It may take a few minutes and some work with the spatula to get to that point.
Add the flour
Sprinkle in the flour, then mix together the dough with a rubber spatula, until everything is pretty much combined
Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil
Add the olive oil to the side of the bowl, then slowly work it into the dough. It should kind of trail around the sides, this is okay. You don’t want to fully work it in.
Let the dough rise for 8 to 12 hours
Cover the dough with a towel and let it sit at room temperature for 8 to 12 hours. You can also do this overnight, depending on timing.
Add some oil to a deep baking dish, then move the focaccia dough
Using a rubber spatula, move the sourdough focaccia dough to a greased baking dish—a deep casserole dish, preferably.
Oil your hands and press in little divers with your fingers
Make sure your hands are very clean before doing this, obviously. Adding the oil will not only give the bread extra oil on top, but will keep your hands from sticking to the dough.
Let it rise for another 6 to 8 hours, then season with flaky salt
If you’re looking to properly time the sourdough focaccia based on when you want it (with breakfast or dinner), scroll down to learn my perfect timing for how to make sourdough focaccia.
I like adding coarse flaky salt to the top of my sourdough focaccia, but you can honestly get creative with the toppings. I know some people love to add rosemary or other spices, so feel free to experiment! The world is your oyster.
Bake at 450 degrees for 25-30 minutes.
I find that the timing varies depending on how golden I want it to be, so I would just watch it after the 25-minute mark.
How to properly time the focaccia
You’ll need to give your focaccia time to rise, so here’s what I recommend if you want to time it correctly.
If you want the focaccia with breakfast or lunch
Feed the sourdough starter at night, mix the focaccia dough the next day, let it rise in the bowl throughout the day, add it to the pan and let it rise overnight, bake in the morning.
If you want the focaccia with dinner
Feed the sourdough starter in the morning, mix the focaccia dough that night, let it rise in the bowl overnight, add it to the pan that morning, let it rise during the day, bake at night.
- 1/2 cup sourdough starter about 100 grams
- 2 tsp salt
- 2 cups lukewarm water about 450 grams
- 3 3/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour about 555 grams
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- Flaky salt optional
- Add the sourdough starter and salt to a large bowl.
- Pour in the lukewarm water and mix with a rubber spatula, until the starter has fully broken apart and disenegrated in the water.
- Sprinkle in the flour and mix with the spatula. The dough will be shaggy and a bit lumpy, that's okay.
- Add in 1 tablespoon of olive oil around the sides of the dough, work it in slowly a few times. The oil will still spill on the sides, this is also okay.
- Cover and let the dough rise for 8 to 12 hours, or overnight.
- Add the other 1 tablespoon of olive oil on the bottom of a deep baking sheet, then add the dough using a spatula.
- Add a bit more olive oil to your fingers, then press into the dough to make divets. The olive oil is to prevent the dough from sticking to your hands.
- Cover with a towel and let it rise again, this time for 6 to 8 hours.
- Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Sprinkle the top of the risen sourdough focaccia with flaky sea salt, and any other desired toppings.
- Bake in the oven for 25 to 30 minutes, or until the top becomes golden brown.