Sourdough Focaccia

Revision: 0.80, 23.Jun.05 13:49

[Caution:  This recipe is still under construction--steal at your own risk!]

I love Focaccia (an Italian flat bread)!  Some time back I found a yeast based Focaccia recipe.  I adapted and modified it a bit in order to making this delicious flat bread with sourdough.  Focaccia should be fun to make.  It's an ideal indoors project with kids and grandkids.

To make this bread the usual way (with yeast) substitute 1 cup of water, a package or Tbsp. of yeast, 2 teaspoons of sugar, and an extra cup (or so) of flour in place of the starter.

Combine the ingredients listed above, adding in and mixing the flour a little at a time until the dough stops being sticky and becomes smooth and silky.

Since this is sourdough, you let it rise until it's about 1/2 doubled, and then work it down to collapse some of the bubbles.  If you used yeast, let it rise until doubled instead.

Let the dough rest for 15 minutes or so, then, using your fingers, work it into an 8-inch circle or about a 9" x 6" oval about 1-inch thick.  Toss upon your favorite baking surface.  I usually use a parchment over flat pan or stone, but a cornmeal sprinkle over most anything will do as well.

Using your fingers, make dents all over the surface of the dough, but without punching through the dough.  Slather on lots of olive oil and using your fingers liberally spread it around.  Let it pool in the dents and valleys.

Top with your favorite mixture of herbs and spices.  I thoroughly enjoy Focaccia with parmesan cheese, chopped garlic, reconstituted dried tomatoes, lots of ground black-pepper or red-pepper flakes, and liberally doused with Kosher or sea-salt.  I've added a list of fun and interesting toppings below.  But, truth-be-told, the kind and nature of the toppings are only limited by your imagination...

Add larger, lumpy, or harder items first; press them gently but firmly into the dough.  Add any softer or "drizzle on" items (olives, tomato chunks, anchovies, cheese, etc.) next.  Finally, add "sprinkle on" items, such as herbs, pepper, salt, and such last.

Cover with a damp cloth, and let rise until doubled.  Bake at 450F for 15 to 20 minutes or until nicely browned.  As is my style, I let my SD projects rise in a COLD oven, and then turn on the heat--I don't pre-heat.  You, gentle reader, may, of course, do as you wish...

Enjoy!

Other Toppings:

The additional topping ideas listed below go onto your basic Focaccia covered with olive oil--start with about 2-Tbsp or so, and modify as you wish from there.  As you can see, the variety is nearly endless and limited only by your likes and taste (or complete lack thereof...).  Have fun!

Pear & Blue cheese (one of my favorites!)

Rosemary & Raisins

Sage & Onion

Tomato!

Southwestern

Basil, Oregano, & Parmesan

Focaccia Provenšale

Vegetarian

Corn & Onion

Sprinkle corn and sage onto bread, and press gently into dough.  Separate onion into rings and toss with lemon juice.  Scatter rings and press down gently into dough as well.  Bake, adding the cheese in the last few minutes until it melts and the dough is well browned.

Onions & Anchovies

More to come later...