Easy Perfect Sourdough Focaccia Recipe

You will love this slightly tangy, chewy sourdough focaccia recipe that is super easy to make and so delicious!

This sourdough focaccia is a delicious twist on an Italian classic. It has the same pillowy texture and irresistible aroma. However, by fermenting the dough for some hours you will get a harmonious blend of tanginess and a chewy crumb that will leave you coming back for more. 

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Why you’ll love this recipe:

  • Easy: This easy sourdough focaccia bread is very uncomplicated and only takes minimal effort
  • Delicious: With just a hint of sweetness, olive oil, and sea salt we find this focaccia pretty addictive
  • Flexible: This easy recipe makes enough for 2 people as an appetizer but you can just as well double or triple it

What are the ingredients

Here are the ingredients you will need:

  • Sourdough starter: If you don’t already have your own sourdough starter, you can check out my simple method of how to make one here
  • Olive oil: I always recommend using the highest quality olive oil you can afford (I am always partial to extra virgin olive oil)
  • Honey: Honey adds a touch of sweetness to this simple bread
  • Salt: I like using high-quality sea salt and maybe a coarse sea salt or flaky salt for sprinkling the top of the dough
  • Flour: Any AP flour is perfect in this recipe
  • Rosemary: Chopped fresh rosemary is a classic topping for this sourdough focaccia
flour, jar of sourdough starter, salt, honey, and olive oil on kitchen counter

Useful tools and equipment

You don’t need much to make this recipe, however, these are useful tools:

  • Large bowl: any large bowl works great for mixing this focaccia dough 
  • Danish dough whisk: I love using a dough whisk for mixing soft dough
  • Kitchen scale: For best results, I prefer using a digital kitchen scale
  • Standmixer: if you would like to use your Kitchenaid stand mixer, you can do that with the dough hook attachment
  • Glass baking dish: A 8″x8″ Pyrex dish is perfect for this recipe
  • Cooling rack: Since this recipe uses a lot of oil, the focaccia will stay hot longer but a cooling rack really helps cool it down
  • Metal spatula: A metal spatula is useful for removing the focaccia from the baking pan

Substitutions and variations

Here are some ideas on how to use other or additional ingredients:

  • Flour: you could replace some of the AP flour with either bread flour or whole wheat flour but then you might have to adjust the amount of liquid a little bit
  • Yeast: While many people will say that adding commercial yeast doesn’t make it true sourdough, it can be helpful to add a pinch if you are in a rush. 
  • Honey: I love the taste of honey but you can use regular sugar as well
  • Herbs/Vegetables: Rosemary is the traditional herb for focaccia but you can use other fresh herbs such as thyme, oregano, or chives. If you’d like to add some different toppings you could add cherry tomatoes, red onion slices, or bell peppers.  A lot of people like creating art with their toppings so be creative!
  • More toppings: I think that anything that would taste good on a pizza would work well in this recipe, too: I am thinking of grated parmesan cheese, capers, prosciutto, olives, and whatever you are in the mood for. 
  • Methods: I like to keep my recipes very simple. However, you can autolyze your dough for one hour before adding the salt. You can also experiment with a long slow rise in the refrigerator to see how it affects the final result.
  • Other baking dishes: I have cut this recipe in half and simply used a glass loaf pan. You might like to use your cast iron skillet. If you are doubling the recipe you can also use a stainless steel roasting pan or a baking sheet, depending on how flat or high you’d like your focaccia to be. Some people like to line their baking dishes with parchment paper before adding the olive oil. 
pieces of sourdough focaccia on wooden cutting board

How to serve

This simple sourdough bread recipe makes the perfect appetizer for any meal or occasion.  With some additional olive oil and a drizzle of balsamic vinegar, it is a real crowd-pleaser. 

If we have any focaccia left over, we love cutting it horizontally and using it as sandwich bread. 

You can also make a simple pizza by adding your favorite pizza toppings. 

piece of sourdough focaccia on wooden cutting board

Make ahead of time?

I think this sourdough focaccia is best straight out of the oven and fresh. In fact, most sourdough breads taste best on the first day. 

However, if you’d like to make it ahead of time or if you have some leftovers, it will easily last for one day at room temperature or up to 5 days in the refrigerator. For a crispy crust, you can pop it back into a hot oven for 5 minutes.  

Other sourdough recipes you might like

Sourdough Pizza Crust

Rustic Sourdough Corn Bread

Sourdough Crackers

How to make this dish

Here are my step-by-step instructions on how to make this homemade sourdough focaccia:

1. Make the starter:

This recipe is not fuzzy at all but you will need an active starter. If you don’t have that already you will want to feed your starter the day before.

2. Make the dough:

Plan on doing this on the next day. In a large mixing bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer, combine your active sourdough starter with warm water and mix it well. Next, add the remaining ingredients (except the rosemary) and mix everything into a shaggy dough. Especially if you are using your stand mixer for that, you may have to scrape the sides of the bowl down. I usually don’t do it but you can use the stretch and fold method here if you like. 

metal bowl with focaccia dough and Danish dough hook

3. Bulk Fermentation or First Rise:

Cover your bowl with a beeswax wrap or plastic wrap and leave it in a warm place. I recommend letting it rise for 2-4 hours depending on the temperature of your kitchen. If you like, you can keep it at room temperature for one hour and then move the dough to the refrigerator for an overnight rise. 

4. Prepare the Baking Dish:

Grease your glass baking dish with about 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil. You will need more if you’re doubling or tripling the recipe.

5. Place Your Dough in the Baking Dish:

Either use wet hands or put some more olive oil on them and place the dough in the baking dish. I like to shape the dough a bit by stretching it out to fit the baking dish.  

sourdough focaccia dough in square glass baking dish with olive oil

6. Second Rise:

Cover it with beeswax wrap or plastic wrap and let the dough rest for up to one hour. Most likely, you can stretch and shape it a bit more at this point. If it has deflated a lot, let the dough rise for another hour in a warm spot. You will know it is ready if it looks very puffy and pillowy. 

7. Dimple and Top the Dough:

This is the time to preheat your oven to 425˚F.

And now comes the fun part: Drizzly the surface of the dough with some more olive oil. Gently spread your fingers and press them into the dough to create these dimples. This is an important step because otherwise, the dough will rise in the middle. Also, I love how the olive oil will pool in some of those dimples. You can now sprinkle it with chopped rosemary and flaky salt or your preferred toppings. 

fingers pressing dimples into surface of sourdough focaccia
sourdough focaccia sprinkled with chopped rosemary and olive oil in square glass baking dish

8. Bake the Focaccia:

Place the baking dish in the preheated oven and bake it for about 20 minutes or until the top is golden brown.

9. Cool the Focaccia:

I like to let the focaccia cool down in the baking dish for about 10 minutes. Then, a metal spatula is very helpful in removing it from the dish. You might have to gently scrape the bottom to get it out. Place it on a cooling rack until ready to eat.  

baked sourdough focaccia sprinkled with chopped rosemary

Let me know if you have any questions or comments!

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How to Make Simple and Easy Sourdough Foacaccia
piece of sourdough focaccia on wooden cutting board
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5 from 1 vote

Sourdough Focaccia

This sourdough focaccia is a delicious twist on an Italian classic. It has the same pillowy texture and irresistible aroma. However, by fermenting the dough for some hours you will get a harmonious blend of tanginess and a chewy crumb that will leave you coming back for more. 
Prep Time8 minutes
Cook Time25 minutes
proofing time4 hours
Total Time4 hours 33 minutes
Course: Appetizer
Cuisine: Italian
Servings: 2 people
Calories: 441kcal
Cost: $7

Ingredients

  • ½ cup active sourdough starter
  • 4 TBSP warm water
  • 20 g olive oil
  • 10 g honey
  • 10 g sea salt
  • 1 ¼ – 1 ½ cups flour
  • 1 TBSP fresh rosemary, chopped
  • extra coarse salt for sprinkling

Instructions

  • Be sure to have an active sourdough starter
  • In a large mixing bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer, combine your active sourdough starter with warm water and mix it well.
  • Add the remaining ingredients (except the rosemary) and mix everything into a shaggy dough.
  • Cover your bowl with a beeswax wrap or plastic wrap and leave it in a warm place. I recommend letting it rise for 2-4 hours depending on the temperature of your kitchen.
  • Grease an 8"x8" glass baking dish with about 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil.
  • Either use wet hands or put some more olive oil on them and place the dough in the baking dish. Gently shape the dough a bit by stretching it out to fit the baking dish.  
  • Cover it with beeswax wrap or plastic wrap and let the dough rest for up to one hour. Most likely, you can stretch and shape it a bit more at this point. If it has deflated a lot, let the dough rise for another hour in a warm spot. You will know it is ready if it looks very puffy and pillowy. 
  • Preheat your oven to 425˚F.
  • Drizzly the surface of the dough with some more olive oil. Gently spread your fingers and press them into the dough to create these dimples. This is an important step because otherwise, the dough will rise in the middle. Sprinkle it with chopped rosemary and flaky salt or your preferred toppings. 
  • Place the baking dish in the preheated oven and bake it for about 20 minutes or until the top is golden brown.
  •  Let the focaccia cool down in the baking dish for about 10 minutes. You might need to use a metal scapula to remove the sourdough focaccia from the baking dish.

Notes

  • you can use granulated sugar instead of the honey
  • feel free to experiment with longer fermentation times or adding stretch-and-folds
  • you can use additional or other vegetables and herbs to create focaccia art

Nutrition

Calories: 441kcal
Tried this recipe?Mention @ourgabledhome or tag #ourgabledhome!

4 Comments

  1. This looks amazing, and I love that it’s in a smaller portion if making it for something to nibble on or serve just a couple people!

  2. Hi Anya! Love the sweetness of the honey with the rosemary, course salt and olive oil! Delicious flavors but simple!

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