I have been baking regularly with sourdough but somehow I missed out on making a sourdough focaccia. So time to remedy that situation. This one turned out so good that I know I am going to be making it a lot more times in the near future. This one is an easy sourdough recipe and wonderful for a beginner baker. You do not need to worry about structure, oven spring, etc. So go ahead and try it out and let me know how much you loved it.
Why I love this bread?
I know the answer is obvious. Lots of olive oil with freshly baked bread cannot go wrong. But this sourdough focaccia is lot more than that. For one, it takes a lot less time as compared to the regular sourdough breads. It can be done within one day. If you start in the morning you can have it fresh off the oven for a lovely supper or dinner. Another lovely thing I learnt with this bake is the time interval between stretching. Usually when I make the regular yeast focaccia I would struggle to get the dough spread across the baking dish because it would offer a lot of resistance. I loved the idea of stretching the dough on the baking tray at 30 minute intervals. This gives the dough some time to soften and reduce the resistance and increase the extensibility.
Options & Variations
You can add any toppings of your choice. I usually have cherry tomatoes, black olives and some fresh herbs. You can top it with onions, garlic or try some unique toppings like paneer or chickpeas. You can replace part of the flour with whole wheat flour. In that case you need to increase the water by 4-5%. If you want a more pronounced sour taste in the bread then increase the starter to 25-30% of the flour.
This recipe is from Fullproofbaking which I have adapted to suit weather and flour conditions here.
Sourdough Focaccia with tomatoes & olives
- OTG or MIcrowave Oven to bake
- Baking tray
For the starter
- 20 gms Unfed starter
- 20 gms all-purpose flour
- 20 gms water
For the dough
- 300 gms all-purpose flour
- 225 gms water
- 7-8 gms salt
- 8-9 gms Olive oil
- 2 gms Olive oil
- 8-10 Cherry Tomatoes cut in half
- 4-5 Black olives sliced
- 2 tbsp Fresh Oregano
- Mix the unfed starter, flour and water in a transparent jar. Ensure no dry flour remains. Cover and set it aside till it doubles in volume, around 3 hours
- Mix the flour and the water for the dough in a large bowl. Do not knead it at this time. Cover and set aside till the starter is ready
- Add the starter and salt to the flour mix and form a soft and sticky dough
- Knead the dough for 8-10 minutes with a hand mixer. If you knead by hand it will take around 15 -18 minutes for the dough to become smooth
- Add the olive oil for the dough and knead again for 7-8 minutes till the oil is well incorporated into the dough
- Stretch and fold the dough to build in some strength. Take the dough from one end and stretch it till it offers some resistance and fold it back on the rest of the dough. Repeat the same process on all four sides of the dough. This is one round of stretch and fold. Cover and set aside for 30 minutes
- Perform 3 more rounds of stretch and folds at 30 minute intervals
- After the 4 rounds of stretch and folds rest the dough for 1-2 hours till it rises significantly in volume.
- Grease an 8*3 inch baking dish and transfer the dough to it
- Stretch the dough to fill in the entire dish. Do not stretch too hard and damage the gluten strands in the dough. Stretch till you find resistance and then cover and set aside for 30 minutes
- Within 2-3 rounds of stretching the dough should easily fill in the entire baking dish. Cover and set aside the dough for 20-30 minutes
- Preheat the oven to 230C
- Use your fingers to lightly press the dough and make dimples on it. Add the olive oil to the dough. Place the cherry tomato halves and sliced olives across the dough. Sprinkle the fresh oregano, salt and pepper on top
- Bake for 30-35 minutes till the top of the focaccia becomes a nice golden brown.
- Transfer it to a cooling rack and let it cool for 15 minutes
- Slice and enjoy it warm