Focaccia with sourdough – The best and most beautiful bread I have baked.
I made a how-to video and posted it on YouTube so you can see how I fold and make dimples in the dough. You can watch the video here.
Test whether your sourdough is ready to use
If you are in doubt about whether your sourdough is active enough and whether it’s ready to use, just fill a glass with cold water and add a spoonful of sourdough. If the sourdough floats, it’s active and perfect for use.
Autolysis is what happens when you mix flour and water together and leave it covered for about 45 minutes to 1 hour, without kneading. The flour absorbs all the water, and a good gluten network begins to form, which makes the dough smoother, more elastic and easier to work with.
Suggestions for toppings
You can decorate a focaccia bread with many different delicious ingredients. I topped this bread with olive oil, black olives, sliced parmesan cheese, fresh tomatoes cut in half, fresh thyme and salt, but you could try sliced onions, fresh rosemary, potato slices, artichoke hearts, garlic, sun-dried tomatoes, pine nuts or mozzarella cheese. The possibilities are endless!
Focaccia with sourdough
650 g water
215 g sourdough
155 g wheat flour
650 g all-purpose flour, preferably Tipo 00
18 g salt
6 tbsp. olive oil
1 half jar of black olives
100 g small tomatoes, halved
50 g parmesan, thinly sliced
A pinch of salt
Focaccia with sourdough
Put the water and sourdough in a plastic container and stir together. Add the flour and mix into a sticky dough with your hands. Put the lid on the plastic container and let the dough stand for autolysis for 1 hour. Then squeeze the salt into the dough and transfer the dough to the bowl of the food mixer. Knead the dough with the dough hook for 5-8 minutes or until the dough releases the bowl and is smooth and pliable.
Grease the plastic container with a little olive oil and pour the dough into the plastic container. Fold the dough for the first time (see video). Put the lid on and let the dough stand at room temperature. After 30 minutes, fold the dough a second time. Then fold the dough again after 1 hour. Finally, fold the dough after 2 hours. The dough should start to develop small bubbles on the surface and be slightly raised. If not, then fold the dough once more time after 1 hour. Refrigerate the dough overnight or for 14-16 hours.
Heat the oven to 230 C convection.
Remove the dough from the fridge and set it at room temperature while the oven heats up. Then pour the dough into a large square form/baking sheet lined with baking paper. Spread oil over the dough and make dimples in the dough with your fingers. Garnish with the various toppings. Bake the bread in the oven for 35-40 minutes. The bread should be crunchy and have a good color. Allow the bread to cool on a rack. Then cut it into the size portions you prefer. Enjoy!