This sourdough focaccia is spongy, crisp on the outside, full of bubbles, tangy and delicious. The olive oil flavor really shines through and it comes together easier than you’d think! The perfect way to use sourdough starter in this simple no knead focaccia bread.
What is sourdough focaccia?
Focaccia is an olive oil rich spongy Italian bread, that has a characteristic dimpled appearance. Sourdough focaccia is made using an active sourdough starter, and gives a wonderful tang to the bread.
Why make this easy sourdough focaccia recipe:
Focaccia is one of the most flavorful and easiest types of bread there is to make. It’s a type of flat Italian bread, flavored with plenty of olive oil and some dried herbs. It’s easier than a lot of types of bread because you don’t need to shape it too much, and this recipe barely requires any mixing or kneading.
You can make this focaccia without a mixer, and it really doesn’t take too much effort at all!
If you are always looking for breads to make with sourdough starter, this is the perfect beginner bread. The active sourdough leavens the bread beautifully, giving you all those trademark bubbles.
You just need a handful of ingredients and minimal effort and you’re ready to go! You can even make the dough and refrigerate it to bake the next day.
No specialflour needs to be purchased to make this. I used a mix of regular and whole wheat flour to make this.
What ingredients do I need for sourdough focaccia?
Active Sourdough Starter: this is a sourdough starter that has been recently fed, at which point it bubbles, and nearly doubles in size. You can make, borrow or buy your own starter. I followed Joshua Weissman’s method on making my own sourdough starter and it worked out perfectly!
Water: Anywhere in the room temp- lukewarm range
Flour: I used a mix of all purpose flour and whole wheat flour. You don’t need to source bread flour for this recipe!
Olive Oil: One of the most important features of focaccia. This dough is drenched in a lot of olive oil and it’s what makes it so flavorful and rich. Use the best quality olive oil you can find!
Salt: Both regular table salt to mix into the dough, and sea salt flakes or coarse sea salt if you have to top the dough with.
Herbs: You can use fresh rosemary, or any dried herbs of your choice. I love using zaatar, a Middle Eastern spice blend with thyme and sesame seeds.
How do I make simple focaccia?
- Mix together water, sourdough starter and salt.
- Add both flours, and mix until combined.
- Start the resting process, resting until doubled which will probably take 3-4 hours. 30 minutes into the rest, perform a fold by putting a hand under the dough and folding it up around the edges of the bowl, and into the center
- After dough has doubled, grease a 9×13 pan generously with olive oil. Spread the dough into the pan, gently stretching it to the corner of the pan. Drizzle lightly with olive oil, then allow to rise for another 4-5 hours until puffy and bubbles have formed.
- After this second rise, generously drizzle the top of the loaf with olive oil, and lightly coat your fingers with olive oil. Using all ten fingers, poke the top of the dough in order to create dimples, and stretch the bread out to fill the pan if necessary. Make a bunch of indentations with your fingers until the top of the bread has a lot of little holes on it.
- Sprinkle sea salt flakes, and any herbs you are using on the top of the dough. Bake at 425 F for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown, and cool before slicing.
What to top focaccia with:
I used zaatar, a Middle Eastern spice mix, and we love that as a topping. Here’s some more ideas:
- Sundried tomatoes and sliced black olives
- Mushrooms and feta cheese
- Caramelized onions
- Fresh rosemary and herb sprigs
- Everything bagel seasoning
- Sliced zucchinis and pesto
Can focaccia dough be made in advance?
If you want to make the dough in advance, after the first rise, place the bowl of dough in the fridge overnight or up to 3 days. Remove from the fridge, and let the dough come to room temperature before spreading in the 9×13 pan for the second rise.
Storing leftover focaccia:
Focaccia is best eaten the day it’s made, but will last for 2 days tightly wrapped at room temperature. I recommend briefly reheating before eating.
Foccacia can be frozen for up to one month, tightly wrapped. You can heat directly from the freezer before enjoying, you don’t need to thaw to room temperature.
What can I serve focaccia with?
Labneh is delicious with focaccia! You can also serve with ricotta cheese (or a ricotta honey mixture).
It’s great to use focaccia as a bread to accompany eggs, with dips like hummus, or just simply dunk in olive oil and balsamic vinegar.
Focaccia is ready when its golden brown on the top, and if you lift up a corner of the bread you’ll see the bottom is golden brown too.
When it’s doubled in size in the pan, and if you poke it, it springs back slowly and leaves a visible indentation.
Leftover sourdough focaccia can be stored for up to two days at room temperature, or a month in the freezer (tightly wrapped either way)
If you liked this recipe, you might like:
- 3/4 cup active sourdough starter 150g
- 2 teaspoon salt 12g
- scant 2 cups water, room temperature 450g
- 3 cups all purpose flour 370g
- 1 1/4 cup whole wheat flour 150g
- 1/2 cup olive oil divided
- sea salt flakes
- zaatar or any other herbs see post for topping suggestions
- Add the water to a large bowl. Add the sourdough starter and mix until dissolved into the water. Add the salt and mix to combine.
- Add in both flours, and stir until no flour patches remain. Generously grease a large bowl with olive oil, then dump out dough into the bowl. Rest for 30 minutes then perform a fold by putting a hand under the dough and folding it up around the edges of the bowl, and into the center (this helps develop the gluten). Cover with a towel and let the dough rise until doubled, 3-4 hours.
- Once dough has doubled, grease a 9×13 pan generously with olive oil. Spread the dough into the pan, smoothing out with your hands. Drizzle lightly with olive oil, then allow to rise for another 4-5 hours until puffy and bubbles have formed.
- Once the second rise is nearly over, preheat oven to 425 F (230C). Generously drizzle the top of the loaf with olive oil. Using all ten fingers, poke the top of the dough in order to create dimples, and stretch the bread out to fill the pan if necessary. Make a bunch of indentations with your fingers until the top of the bread has a lot of little holes on it.
- Sprinkle sea salt flakes and any dried herbs of your choice, I used zaatar. Place pan in the oven and bake for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown and baked through. Allow to cool for at least 20 minutes before slicing. Enjoy!