It's crispy on the outside, soft on the inside, rich with olive oil and comes together in just one day - what more could you ask for? Sourdough focaccia is a staple in our household because it's so easy to make and infinitely customizable.
This recipe requires a strong starter, so make sure you've had your sourdough starter out at room temperature for a feeding or two before beginning. Depending on your kitchen temperature, fermentation may be as quick as an hour or two, or could take up to four hours - in this Alaska kitchen, it's often closer to the latter!
Be prepared to adjust your timing based on how your starter is performing; if it ferments quickly and you're not ready to bake yet, just pop the dough in the refrigerator until it's baking time.
Focaccia toppings are so much fun! I love using some tomatoes and whatever herbs are lying around; salty olives or melty cheese also make great toppings. If you're feeling creative, you can transform your focaccia into a landscape painting with green onions, peppers and herbs! Whatever you choose, finish with a generous sprinkling of flaky sea salt - it's a perfect sharp counterpoint to the rich dough.
Naturally leavened focaccia comes together in one day and makes a beautiful blank slate for creative toppings. The slightly crispy crust conceals a soft, chewy interior that calls out for a spread of goat cheese or hummus, or a dip into some peppery olive oil. The leftovers can be kept in an airtight container at room temperature for three days - if they last that long!
1 cup ripe sourdough starter
2 cups water
1 1/2 tsp salt
3 1/2 cups all-purpose white flour
2 tbsp olive oil, plus more for drizzling
Toppings: Herbs, olives, tomatoes, green onions, red onions, flaky sea salt
Mixing the dough
Mix sourdough starter, water and salt.
Fold in flour until combined. Dough should be somewhat loose and wet.
Let dough rest for 15 minutes, then knead in 2 tbsp olive oil.
Place dough in an oiled bowl and turn to coat. Cover and let rise for 2-4 hours until it has increased 50% in bulk.
During this period, do a round of stretching and folding every 30 minutes, up to four rounds total.
Once first rise is complete, oil a 10" cast iron skillet or high-sided 9x13" baking pan.
Place dough into the prepared vessel and gently stretch it toward the edges. If the dough becomes stiff and starts resisting the stretch, let it rest 15-30 minutes and then resume.
Cover the pan and let rise 2-4 hours until very airy and bubbly.
Topping & baking
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
Generously drizzle more olive oil over the top of the dough and ensure the entire surface is covered.
Using wet hands, use your fingers to press dimples into the surface of the dough. The dimples should go all the way to the bottom of the pan.
Top the dough as desired - herbs, olives, vegetables and flaky sea salt all make delicious toppings! Gently press larger toppings into the dough, and sprinkle herbs and salt over the top.
Bake the focaccia for 20-30 minutes until golden brown. Let cool 15-20 minutes before cutting. Enjoy!