Sourdough Focaccia is excerpted from "Breadsong: How Baking Changed Our Lives" by Kitty and Al Tait.
Yes, we already have a focaccia recipe in this book, but this sourdough starter one takes it up to a whole new level. One of our bakery trails very early on took us to the brilliant Dusty Knuckle in Dalston, East London. It’s an oasis of calm and cool and their focaccia is like crispy clouds, all bubbles and salted crunch. This is our homage. We only make this on Fridays and we have some customers who now call this Focaccia Day instead – move over Freya or whoever it was who gave Friday its original name; your time is up.
Makes 1 loaf
- 350ml lukewarm water
- 120g sourdough starter
- 100g poolish (see below)
- 50ml olive or rapeseed oil, plus an extra 2 tablespoons
- 500g strong white bread flour
- 10g fine sea salt
- your choice of toppings (see below)
► Rosemary needles and coarse sea salt flakes
► Confit or roasted garlic, thinly sliced potatoes and onions
► Sun-dried tomatoes, chorizo slices and olives
► Goat’s cheese, peach, thyme sprigs and dried chilli flakes (if you’re feeling brave)
FOR THE POOLISH
- 50g strong white bread flour
- 50ml lukewarm water
- 1g instant dried yeast (or a smidgin of a teaspoon)
1. When feeding your starter the night before, make a poolish. This is basically a turbocharge for your focaccia and adds yet another layer of flavour. Stir together the flour, water and yeast, pop a cover over the top and leave overnight.
2. Follow the recipe for Our Ultimate Sourdough Bread on page 193, adding the poolish and oil at the same time as the sourdough starter. Make the stretches and folds as usual over the following 3 hours.
3. Instead of bench resting the dough, grab a medium baking tray lined with parchment paper and drizzled with oil. Tip in your dough and flatten it out to the edges of the tray - it should be about 2.5cm thick. Drizzle over more oil (yes, I’m slightly obsessed) and leave to prove for 1 hour.
4. Preheat the oven to 220°C/200°C fan/gas 7.
5. Using your fingertips, gently dimple the dough and then scatter over your chosen toppings. Bake in the hot oven for 30-35 minutes and then leave to cool for 30 minutes before eating.