I love sourdough! There are so many things that you can do with it. I’ve made focaccia bread before on the blog, and loved it! It’s a really incredible bread with tons of olive oil in it, but a beautiful, crisp exterior.
You can top it with tons of different things. I’ve heard of peppers, olives, cheese, garlic, herbs, or just plain sea salt. That’s the great thing about focaccia. It’s completely customizable.
I originally found the recipe for this sourdough focaccia here. I didn’t change the base recipe, but I put my own spin on the toppings. I kept it simple with a little bit of olive oil, some sea salt, thyme, and a little sprinkle of parmesan.
We all know I’m a carb lover at heart, and this bread is no exception. It is absolutely phenomenal. I love how each time you make it, it can be different. You can change the toppings to match what you are craving, or making for dinner. It goes well on its own, as a side, and as a base for a kick-butt sandwich.
This is a bread that takes some time to make, but the payoff is so worth it.
Yield: 1 – 11×17 pan or 2 – 9×13 pans
For the sponge:
1½ c. sourdough starter
1 c. warm water
¼ c. olive oil
1 tbsp. honey
1 c. flour
For the dough:
½ c. olive oil
2 tsp. sea salt
4 c. flour
Herbs, salt, olives, etc. for toppings.
In a large mixing bowl, combine the sourdough starter, warm water, honey, olive oil, and flour. Leave in a warm spot to rise for 1-2 hours, until the surface is bubbly.
To continue making the dough, add the olive oil, salt, and flour (a cup at a time). Stir with a wooden spoon, until you get to the last cup of flour. For the last cup of flour, sprinkle it across your work surface. Turn out the dough onto the flour, and knead until the last cup of flour is incorporated. Dough should be smooth and supple, and slightly moist because of the oil.
Lightly oil a large mixing bowl, and place the dough inside, turning once to coat. Cover with plastic wrap, and leave in a warm spot to double in size, about 2 hours.
Oil a large 11×17 pan, or two 9×13 pans, with ¼ – ½ cup of olive oil, spreading oil over the pan evenly.
Punch down dough, gently, and press into the oiled pan, into the corners. If the dough is pulling away, leave for 5 minutes to relax, and try again.
Cover with a kitchen towel, and leave to rise and double in size, about 1 hour. If there is excess oil, do not pour it out! Allow it to cover the top of the dough.
Preheat oven to 450°F.
When dough is ready, and oven is heated, press fingers over the dough to create dimples. If the dough is a little dry on top, brush with extra olive oil. Sprinkle desired toppings (I used sea salt, parmesan, and thyme) across dough, and bake for 20 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove from oven and allow to cool in the pan on a wire rack.