Today, I bring you Sourdough Focaccia! Have you ever tried to made focaccia? My only other attempt was a long while ago and it wasn't great. I'm sure it was baker's error. I've been seeing some very tempting sourdough focaccia photos on Instagram lately, and since I still have a lively sourdough starter from the start of the pandemic, I decided to give focaccia another try. Oh my, this was delicious! Even my husband commented on how good it tasted.
I wanted to make a simple but flavorful topping for my first attempt at sourdough focaccia so I sprinkled freshly chopped green onions and chopped fresh garlic over the top before baking. There are many other ways to top focaccia with some of the most popular choices being rosemary, olives, basil, sage, tomatoes and cheese.
Adapted from Breadtopia
Note: A digital kitchen scale comes in very handy. I use mine all the time for baking to get more precise measurements.400 grams bread flour (about 3-1/2 cups)
75 grams whole wheat flour (slightly more than 1/2 cup)
345 grams water (1-1/2 cups)
143 grams sourdough starter (1/2 cup)
15 grams honey (2 tsp)
13 grams olive oil (1 Tbsp)
11 grams salt (2 tsp)
Additional coarse salt for sprinkling on top before baking,
Toppings of your choice (I used 4 chopped green onions and 2 large cloves of chopped garlic)
Add all of the ingredients in the bowl of a stand mixer and mix on low speed for about 2 minutes with the paddle attachment, and medium speed for another 8 minutes with the dough hook, scraping down the sides of the bowl with a spatula a few times. If necessary, you may mix by hand the same for the same amount of time.
Move the dough to a lightly oiled bowl and cover. Note the time as the beginning of the first rise. (bulk fermentation). This is when I first put my dough into the oven with only the oven light turned on.
After the dough has rested for 30 minute rest, either stretch and fold, or coil fold the dough four times (every 20-40 minutes) over the next 2-3 hours. Wet your hands before handling the dough, and cover the dough afterward. Here is a YouTube video showing both folding methods. I put the dough back in the oven after every fold, which lasted 2 hours.
Next, allow the the covered dough to continue rise undisturbed (using oven light warmth, if possible) for 2 more hours until it has almost doubled and is bubbly.
I used a non-stick 9 x 13 inch baking pan but you can also use a 13 x 18 inch pan which will yield a thinner focaccia. If your pan is not non-stick, line it with parchment paper Pour about 2 tablespoons of olive oil into the bottom of the pan and cover the entire bottom and sides of the pan, or parchment, with the oil.
Scrape the dough gently into the pan. With oiled fingers, push and press the dough out to the edges of the pan. Dimple it with oily fingertips.
Cover the pan with plastic wrap or put it inside a large, plastic grocery bag, trying not to let the plastic touch the dough.
Let rest 1-2 hours at room temperature (or overnight in the refrigerator, plus another 2-4 hours to warm up in the morning). The dough should look thicker and have some bubbles when the final proof is over.
Topping and Baking
Place a flat baking sheet or pizza stone one rack up from the lowest oven rack. Preheat the oven to 450F for 20 minutes with a baking sheet and 30 minutes with a pizza stone.
Drizzle 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil on the top of the dough and dimple it again. Add toppings and finally sprinkle it with coarse salt.
Place the focaccia pan in the oven on top of the hot baking sheet or pizza stone. Bake for 15 minutes, rotate the pan and bake an additional 10-15 minutes. The internal temperature of the focaccia should be at least 200F.
Remove the focaccia from the pan and parchment, and let cool on a rack for about 20 minutes before serving. Leftovers can be wrapped in parchment.