Sourdough Focaccia Recipe

So we all know that sourdough baking has its ups and downs (literally!). With one bake you think you’ve nailed it, and the next could leave you feeling a little flat…

Enter this foolproof, totally delicious focaccia recipe. No shaping, no scoring, lots of room for error.

Light, with a nice crisp, and full of flavour, it’s a total crowd-pleaser. I really encourage you to get super creative with toppings with this one.

Let’s go!

This recipe requires a long cold bulk ferment. Here is an example schedule:

  • 8am: Feed starter

  • 4pm: Start the process

  • 6:30pm: Place in fridge for bulk ferment

  • 7am: Remove from fridge

  • 8:30am: Bake

Of course this is just an example schedule. You could easily shift it forwards or backwards to fit your own schedule.

Ingredients

  • 100g Sourdough Starter (fed and active)

  • 450g Strong White Flour

  • 350ml Lukewarm water

  • 10g Salt

  • Plenty of Olive Oil

  • Toppings of your choice

  • Coarse sea salt to top

Special equipment needed

  • 13” x 9” Baking pan (or similar)

  • Parchment paper (Optional, these pre-cut sheets are so handy!!)

Step 1)

Measure out the water into a jug, and add the salt and 2 tbsp olive oil.

Step 2)

Into a large bowl add both the flour and your water/oil/salt mixture. Mix to form a rough dough.

Add the sourdough starter and work it into the dough. Once incorporated cover with clingfilm or a tea towel and leave for 30 minutes.

Step 3)

After 30 minutes perform a gentle set of stretch and folds (see below for instructions on this). The dough will be very slack at this stage but should hold together.

After this set of stretch and folds, re-cover and repeat the process three more times at 30 minute intervals.

Place your bowl on a tea-towel for stability. With wet fingers lift the dough from one edge and stretch it up and out as much as you can without tearing. Then fold the dough on to itself, pressing gently. Turn the bowl a quarter turn and repeat the process. Repeat twice more turning the bowl a quarter turn each time until you have stretch and folded all four ‘sides’ of the dough. We find it handy to keep a bowl of water close to dampen your fingers between folds.

Once you have completed your fourth set of stretch and folds, cover the bowl and refrigerate overnight or for at least 10 hours.

Step 5)

Remove your dough from the fridge (it will have gained size and be nice and bubbly). Leave it at room temperature for around an hour.

Towards the end of this time, preheat your oven to 220°C / 200°C Fan / Gas mark 7. Then, prepare your baking tin by coating generously with olive oil (4-6 tbsp).

If you are not confident in the ‘non-sickness of your baking tray, line first with baking parchment.

Step 6)

Loosen your dough from the sides of the bowl and gently tip it into the baking tin.

Gently stretch and shape the dough to fit the pan whilst avoiding popping any bubbles (where possible). A pressing motion from the middle-outwards works well.

Step 7)

Drizzle a generous amount of olive oil over the dough and then with oiled fingers press lots of indentations all over. See the following video for a visual representation:

Arrange your chosen toppings. Press these into the dough at varying depths. Finish with another drizzle of oil and plenty of course sea salt.

Step 8)

Bake for around 25-30 minutes, rotating the tray occasionally.

Your focaccia will have risen some and have a beautiful golden colour.

Enjoy!

Thank you for stopping by!

As always, feel free to comment with any questions and to share your creations with us on Instagram using the hashtag #mymelrose.

Happy baking,

Jenny x

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