I’m an impatient person, so really I don’t know why I love this long-fermented sourdough so much. There’s just something about making a sourdough focaccia bread that makes you feel like a mad scientist. This homemade sourdough focaccia is one of the best, most popular breads to use your starter!
Don’t be scared by the 72 hours, this is mostly handsoff and it will give you enough time to gather your ideal toppings. When you finally get to shove this crackly, bubbly bread in your mouth…oof.
No fear, yeast alternative explained below!
Just So You Know
Sourdough Focaccia Bread with instant yeast
Not everyone picked up a sourdough starter during the pandemic -totally get it if you couldn’t commit to these needy babies. The good news is we can adjust this sourdough focaccia bread recipe for Active yeast and still make a proper long-fermented sourdough. Generally, the rule of thumb is, substitute 1 cup of starter for each package of yeast, and then subtract about 1/2 cup of water and 3/4 cup of flour from the recipe to compensate for the water and flour in the starter.
How to slap & fold your sourdough focaccia
I tried my best to describe the slap & fold but if you’re more of a visual person, I have found this 60 second video that is straight to the point —Slap & Fold. This sourdough focaccia bread has a dough that is high hydration, fair warning that during the slap & fold it will stick all over the place. You did nothing wrong! Just bear with me.
How to shape and dock your sourdough focaccia
What is an active sourdough starter
Note that the recipe asks for active sourdough starter. If your starter is too new or it has been too long in between feeds, you will not be making a long-fermented sourdough focaccia, instead it will be collecting dust in the fridge. I speak from experience! The first time I tested this recipe, my starter was too young and my focaccia dough ended up boiling in the oven instead of rising.
Don’t be like me, and follow this guideline:
About 6-8 hours after you feed your starter, it should be at its peak activity level, nearly doubled in size, bubbly, and ready to use in lots of recipes. We refer to this stage as active!
If you still have questions about your starter, refer to this brilliant FAQ by Cultures For Health.
72 hour - Bubbly sourdough focaccia bread
- 200 g active sourdough starter (3/4 cup)
- 500 g bread flour (preffered) or ap flour (3 cups + 2tbsp)
- 340 g water, room temperature (1 cup)
- 8 g kosher salt
- 20 g water, room temperature (for folding)
- 65 g olive oil (1/2 cup)
- 2 tsp sea salt flakes
- Mix your starter in 340g of room temperature water until it is dissolved. Then add flour and mix until everything is just combined. It's ok if it looks scragly!
- Cover and let rest at room temperature for an hour.
- Add the 20g water and salt on top of the dough. Poke it in deep with your fingers and then slap in together in the bowl until just combined. The dough will be smoother by this step.
- Dump the dough onto a clean surface. We will do the slap & fold: lift up the middle with both hands, fingers underneath, and thumbs hovering over the top. The ends will droop as you rise. You will slap the dough down so that it folds over itself. Imagine one of the ends touching the table first and then following the flow so that the middle that you are holding, folds on top. As you rise to flip again, you are going to grab the middle from the part that folded over. Keep doing this for 10 minutes it will help develope gluten and make it less sticky.
- Find a nice huge sized container or even a large mixing bowl that is well greased. Dump your dough, cover well, and place in the fridge for 48 to 72 hours.
- Chill & Relax
- Get your toppings together!
- Carefully, without gassing the bubbles, transfer your dough to a well-oiled baking sheet. Gently maneuver it with your hands to fit the baking sheet how you’d like. Cover with another baking sheet and place in a warm area to rise for three hours.
- Preheat oven to 425° f. Drizzle the dough with olive oil and with oiled fingers dock the dough gently.
- Decorate with your favorite toppings - pesto, apple and jalapeno is my favorite! When ready, bake for 30 minutes.
- At 30 minutes, check the color of the focaccia, rotate, and leave in longer in the oven if you’d like a darker color.
- Once cool enough to touch, remove from tray and place on a wire rack.
- Hack - use scissors to cut off the focaccia to serve!
Not ready for the long sourdough commitment? These are quick rustic sourdough pretzel recipe! Forget Auntie Anne's. I desperately need people to know that you can have sourdough pretzels in three hours. Let's say you’re a home baker whose about to show your family the meaning of homemade!