Sourdough Focaccia with Crispy Garlic & Rosemary has an open and irregular crumb, crunchy crust and great chewy texture. A long slow fermentation gives this bread it’s irresistible flavor.
Today the #BreadBakers group was asked to get our bread geek on!! We’re geeking out by making breads with a sourdough starter, a poolish, a biga or a soaker. You can do a little research if you want to learn about those other natural leaveners.
This recipe uses a sourdough starter because I’ve got my Beer Mash Starter active and ready for bread baking at any time.
Focaccia is a natural choice for a sourdough bread. A great focaccia should have an open and irregular crumb and light, chewy texture. A great sourdough bread often has the very same characteristics.
I made the first version of this recipe weeks ago and planned to post it right away. But daylight got away from me and I wasn’t able to get photos before the entire loaf was gobbled up.
I made it again the next day, but, seriously, the same thing happened again. This bread is that irresistible!
Long story short, I finally made the Sourdough Focaccia a 3rd time and was able to video and photograph it before we scarfed it down.
Here are a few helpful hints for this recipe: First of all, there is no rushing the process. This bread takes 2 days to get the full benefit of a long-slow fermentation. Great news though, the process is mostly hands-off.
If you have a sourdough starter that you’ve been using, you know that each time you use (or discard) a portion of the starter you need replenish it with fresh water and flour. Depending on how you measure the flour and water, the “hydration”, or amount of water, in your starter can vary. If you use equal weights of flour & water, your starter has a 100% hydration. In other words, you have equal proportion of flour and water.
I replenish my starter with an equal volume of flour & water. For example, when I used a cup of starter for this recipe, I replaced it with a 1/2 cup of water and a 1/2 cup of flour. When you use the equal volume replacement method your starter will have a 166% hydration.
Why does this matter? Well, if your starter has a 100% hydration you might need to use a little less flour than is listed in the recipe. Just keep that in mind when mixing the dough.
I found the following schedule worked really well for this 2 day recipe: I mixed the dough in the afternoon/evening of day one (say a Friday or Saturday). I let it sit at room temperature (with the hourly folding and flipping) until bed time. I put the dough in the fridge for the night and took it out first thing in the morning.
By mid-day I had warm, fresh Sourdough Focaccia with Crispy Garlic & Rosemary. Heavenly!!!
Watch the recipe video to see how-to make Sourdough Focaccia with Crispy Garlic.
- 1 cup (7.5 oz, 205g) sourdough starter (see note)
- 1 1/4 cups (10 oz, 295 ml) warm water
- 1/2 cup (2.75 oz, 75g) whole wheat flour
- 3 1/4 cups (14 oz, 396g) unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoons table salt
- 1/4 cup (1.8 oz, 50g) olive oil
- 1 head of garlic, peel & mince the cloves (I used a garlic press)
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1 scant tablespoon roughly chopped fresh rosemary (from about 1 large or 2 small sprigs)
- 1.5 teaspoons flaky sea salt
Make the dough (day 1)
- Combine the starter with water, whole wheat flour, oil, and salt. Add 2 1/2 cups of all purpose flour to form a thick batter. Switch to the dough hook and add the remaining flour. Knead on medium low speed for 15 minutes (speed 3 on my stand mixer). The dough will start out quite sticky but will clear the bowl and cling to the hook after kneading.
- Scrape the dough into a lightly oiled bowl, turning once to coat. Cover the bowl and set aside at room temperature for 4-5 hours. Every hour repeat the following procedure: Uncover the bowl, lift one side of the dough over into the middle of the dough. Repeat with the other three sides of the dough then flip the dough over. After 4-5 hours put the dough in the refrigerator overnight.
Bake the Focaccia (Day 2)
- Remove the dough from the refrigerator and allow it to warm up for about 1 hour. Meanwhile, make the Crispy Garlic.
- Heat the olive oil in a skillet. Add the garlic to the hot oil and cook over medium-low heat, stirring often, until golden brown. Be careful not to let it burn.. Strain the garlic, reserving the garlic flavored oil.
- Lightly oil a 1/2 sheet pan with half of the garlic olive oil. Place the room temperature dough onto the oiled pan (trying not to deflate too much) and flip it over to coat the dough with a film of oil. Use your fingers to spread the dough to about a 1/2" thick square or rectangle. Cover the dough with plastic wrap. Allow the dough to rise for about 1 hour until well risen and puffy.
- Preheat the oven to 375°F convection or 400°F regular. Use your fingers to dimple the top of the dough all over. Brush with the remaining garlic flavored olive oil, sprinkle with crispy garlic, sea salt and rosemary.
- Bake about 15-20 minutes until puffed and golden brown
My starter is replenished with equal volume of water and flour (e.g. 1/2 cup water & 1/2 cup flour). That makes my starter 166% hydration. It is the texture of pancake batter. You might need to adjust the amount of flour used in the recipe based on the hydration of your starter.
The recipe can be halved and baked in a cast iron skillet
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Thanks to Karen from Karen’s Kitchen Stories for hosting today’s event. Check out these wonderful naturally leavened bread recipes from the #BreadBakers:
- Buttery Sourdough Biscuits from Cook’s Hideout
- Cinnamon Raisin Sourdough Bread from Mayuri’s Jikoni
- French Baguette from A Day in the Life on the Farm
- Golden Sourdough Garlic Focaccia from Ambrosia
- Hokkaido Bread with Tangzhong from Sonlicious
- Overnight 500g Sourdough Bread from Hostess at Heart
- Pai Bao with Tangzhong from All That’s Left are the Crumbs
- Peanut Bread from Passion Kneaded
- Poolish Dough Pizza Crust from Palatable Passtime
- Sourdough Focaccia with Crispy Garlic from Baking Sense
- Sourdough Pain Noir from What Smells So Good?
- Sourdough Whole Wheat Flatbreads from Sneha’s Recipe
- Walnut Levain Bread from Karen’s Kitchen Stories
- Whole Wheat Papo Secos – Portuguese Rolls from The Schizo Chef
#BreadBakers is a group of bread loving bakers who get together once a month to bake bread with a common ingredient or theme. Follow our Pinterest board right here. Links are also updated each month on this home page.
We take turns hosting each month and choosing the theme/ingredient.
If you are a food blogger and would like to join us, just send Stacy an email with your blog URL to email@example.com.