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Sourdough Focaccia

Yield: 1 focaccia

So you’re ready to bake with your starter! Congratulations. Now what?! If dreamy photos of beautifully scored sourdough boules on Instagram give you anxiety; I hear you. Enter: FOCACCIA. It’s a great beginner bread for a few reasons. First, “I don’t want to eat a whole loaf of focaccia,” said no one ever. Second, it’s easy to mix, and you can watch all the fermentation happen and get familiar with how your starter behaves. Third, it’s versatile! You can leave it plain with just olive oil and sea salt, or dress it up with some light pizza toppings for a more substantial meal. This has a long fermentation time so it’s ideal to mix in the evening, and let the bulk fermentation happen overnight. Just make sure your starter has been well fed earlier in the day so it’s ready to do the heavy lifting. You can then bake it off in the morning. You’ll want to do this recipe with the digital scale for the best results.


  • 480 g (2 cups plus 2 Tbs.) lukewarm water (about 90°F)
  • 150 g (1 scant cup) active and recently fed sourdough starter at 100% hydration
  • 600 g (5 cups) all-purpose flour, or a combination of half bread flour and half all-purpose flour
  • 9 g (1-1/2 tsp.) kosher salt
  • 3 Tbs. olive oil, divided
  • Toppings, such as fresh herbs, olives, nuts, cherry tomatoes, roasted peppers, artichokes, and/or cheese (optional)
  • Flaky sea salt

Nutritional Information

  • Calories (kcal) : 236
  • Fat Calories (kcal): 27
  • Fat (g): 3
  • Saturated Fat (g): 0
  • Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 0
  • Monounsaturated Fat (g): 2
  • Cholesterol (mg): 0
  • Sodium (mg): 302
  • Carbohydrates (g): 43
  • Fiber (g): 2
  • Sugar (g): 0
  • Protein (g): 7


  • In a large bowl, stir together the water and active starter (test to make sure a little of the starter floats before adding it all). Add half the flour, and mix well by hand, (a few lumps are okay). Cover, and let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes. (This stage is called ”autolyze”; it begins the hydration and gluten development.)
  • Add the remaining flour and kosher salt, and mix by hand until uniform; it will be wet and shaggy. Cover and rest at room temperature for 1 hour.
  • Fold the ball of dough over on itself 4 times, rotating the bowl as you go (I like to use a bowl scraper to do this). Cover, and let rest 1 hour. Do this two more times, for a total of 3 folds in 3 hours. Cover, and refrigerate for about 10 hours. (This stage is called bulk fermentation.)
  • Remove the dough from the refrigerator. Oil a 9×13-inch baking pan or 15×10-inch pan with 2 Tbs. of the oil. Gently transfer the dough to the pan using a bowl scraper, fold it over itself, then gently press it into a rectangle. It doesn’t need to fill the pan completely as it will spread as it rests. Cover with a clean dish towel, and let rise at room temperature for about 1 hour.
  • Position a rack in the center of the oven, and preheat the oven to 450°F. Remove the towel; the dough should have bubbles on the surface. Gently use your fingers to dimple the dough, gently push it into the corners of the pan, if needed. (The oil should pool nicely in the corners.) Drizzle the remaining 1 Tbs. oil over the dimples in the dough. Gently press in any toppings onto the dough (resist the urge to cover it like a pizza, as you want about 50% of the dough to be visible). Cover with a clean dish towel, and let rest 20 minutes.
  • Remove the towel, and sprinkle with flaky sea salt. Bake until golden and bubbly with a few charred bubbles, about 30 minutes. Use tongs or a spatula to carefully transfer the focaccia to a wire rack to cool (this will ensure a crisp bottom).


Rate or Review

Reviews (2 reviews)

  • bessieheath | 01/26/2021

    This worked really well. I did mine in a 9x13 and was a little startled by how tall it grew. I think next time I will do it in a slightly larger lasagna pan. I used roasted tomatoes from our summer garden, olives and rosemary, a sprinkle of sea salt.

  • cottoncandy | 01/17/2021

    We absolutely loved this recipe. As much as I love levain for bread I’ve not been a big fan for pizza dough or focaccia. I find this recipe better then one ones I have tried with regular yeast. I made mine simple with good quality love oil and fresh rosary. Will definitely make again!

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