Sourdough Focaccia

by Head Baker Chris Holister

Sourdough focaccia is particularly delicious in it’s own right, but it’s also a great alternative bread to make while commercial yeast is hard to get hold of, like it is at present.

I asked Chris if he would mind sharing his recipe for this with us, and pictured is my first attempt (I can assure you his looks much better, but this iPhone photo will have to be a placeholder for now until I can replace it with a better one)!

You can substitute a strong white bread flour for the type 00 or ciabatta flour if you need to.

Drizzle with extra olive oil and enjoy with some olives, maybe some cheese, salami, and a glass of wine over the weekend.

INGREDIENTS

  • 90g sourdough starter (wheat)
  • 360g water (ideally at 40°C)
  • 450g type 00 or ciabatta flour
  • 90g olive oil
  • 10g salt

METHOD

The evening before you want to bake, feed your starter as follows:

old starter: 20g
cold water: 45g
type 00 or ciabatta flour: 45g

The next day, weigh all your ingredients into a large bowl, except for the oil and salt.

Mix well then cover and leave for 30 minutes to autolyse.
Next, add the salt and work well into the dough.

Place the dough back in the bowl, cover, and prove for 1 hour in a warm place.

Add half the olive oil and fold into the dough. To do this, imagine 4 sides. Fold the right side to the left, the left to the right, top to bottom, bottom to top.

Prove for another hour, then add the rest of the olive oil and repeat the folding process.

Lightly oil a roasting tray with sides and gently pour the dough in. Drizzle with some more oil then gently stretch the dough to fill the tray. Leave for 30 minutes.

Stretch it out again if needed and sprinkle with flaked salt and any other toppings such as rosemary, olives, sun dried tomatoes, whatever you choose. Prod holes deep into the dough using your fingers. You can make these pretty deep, as even though it is a flatbread, it will still rise due to the wild yeast.

Bake in a hot oven at 250°C for 20-30 minutes until baked through. Keep an eye on the dough, and if it is colouring too fast turn the oven down a little. Leave to cool on a wire rack.