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Easy Sourdough Focaccia Bread


sourdough focaccia

This easy sourdough focaccia bread is so soft and fluffy and requires minimal prep work! Focaccia bread is a type of Italian flatbread that is usually made with flour, water, salt, and olive oil. Additionally, the bread is topped with fresh herbs, tomatoes, garlic, etc. Typically commercial yeast is used to make the bread rise, but using a sourdough starter in place of this takes it to the next level. The tangy flavor of sourdough creates a distinct complex taste.

With this recipe being long-fermented with sourdough, it makes the focaccia easier to digest and more nutrient-dense. Crispy on the outside and delectably soft on the inside, you will find yourself coming back to this bread often!

sourdough focaccia bread

Three ways to enjoy your sourdough focaccia bread

As stated above, focaccia is a type of Italian flatbread most commonly used as a side dish. But this beautiful bread is quite versatile and can be enjoyed in many ways. Here are three ways for you to try!

  • As a pizza. Top your sourdough focaccia with your favorite sauce, cheese, and pizza toppings, and enjoy each crispy, soft bite.

  • As a sandwich. Sourdough focaccia bread can be sliced in half and filled with a variety of meats, cheeses, vegetables, and spreads to make a delicious sandwich.

  • As a dip. Cut sourdough focaccia bread into small cubes and serve with a variety of dips such as olive oil, balsamic vinegar, or hummus.

Although there are many ways you can eat this bread, feel free to simply cut it into strips and eat it plain. The herbs and sea salt create a delectable flavor combination.

inside of sourdough focaccia

Tips before baking

If you are a beginner baker or experimenter with sourdough, this is an excellent recipe for you. There isn’t much prep work or fancy steps here. You also don’t need any special equipment, just a large baking sheet or rimmed pan. But before getting started here are a few tips to help you along the way.

  • Make sure your sourdough starter has been fed and is active and bubbly. This makes for an optimal rise in the focaccia dough.
  • While this is a bulk rise of 8-12 hours, it is important to note the temperature of your home and what season it is. Baking in winter for me, I need the full 12 hours for the dough to rise. If it is hot and humid, you may only need 8 hours. Watch the dough, not the clock.
  • This is a high-hydration recipe (approximately 76%) meaning the dough will be stickier and wet. This is normal and necessary to give it that classic focaccia texture.
  • You can use all-purpose flour versus bread flour. All-purpose will give it a less chewy exterior.
sourdough focaccia

How to make sourdough focaccia bread

Baker’s schedule: mix the dough the evening before (between 7-8 PM) to bake for the following morning.

Equipment:
  • Food scale
  • Mixing bowl
  • Large baking sheet or rimmed pan (approximately 9×13 or larger)
Ingredients:
  • 100 grams Sourdough starter
  • 380 grams water
  • 500 grams of bread flour
  • 9g salt
  • 20 grams of honey (optional)
  • For the topping: 2 tablespoons olive oil, 1/2 a teaspoon coarse or flaky sea salt, & rosemary (optional: garlic, tomatoes, more herbs, etc.)

Step 1: Mix the dough

  • In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the sourdough starter, honey( if using), and water.

  • Add your bread flour and salt and mix using your hands until the water absorbs most of the flour.

  • Cover the mixture with plastic wrap and allow it to rest for 45 minutes.
sourdough focaccia dough
The sourdough focaccia dough mixture

Step 2: Work the dough into a ball

  • This dough is very wet and sticky, but using a lightly floured hand work the dough into a rough ball shape by folding it into itself repetitively. The shape does not need to be perfect, but this is to create some structure.

  • Once complete, cover the mixture with oiled plastic wrap and allow it to rest for 8-12 hours.
sourdough focaccia bread
Sourdough focaccia dough ball

Step 3: Prep the dough

  • The following morning, pour 2 tablespoons of olive oil into the baking pan.

  • With lightly oiled hands, remove the dough from the bowl and place it onto the pan. Make sure to coat both sides of the dough with the olive oil in the pan.

  • You can work the dough into a rough oval or rectangular shape and then cover it with a damp towel or oiled plastic wrap and allow it to rest for 1-2 hours in a warm spot.
sourdough focaccia dough in pan

Step 5: Top and Bake

  • Preheat your oven to 425 degrees F.
  • Gently dimple the dough using lightly oiled fingers. This will expand the dough making it larger. It will naturally take the shape of the pan you are using.
  • Press your desired toppings into the dough. You want to push them in quite deeply as they could pop out during the rise in the oven.
  • Sprinkle 1/2 a teaspoon of flaky or coarse sea salt over the dough.
  • Bake the sourdough focaccia for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown.
  • You can cut right into this bread and enjoy it warm!
  • Sourdough focaccia can last for 3-4 days on the countertop in an airtight container or bread bag.
sourdough focaccia

More Sourdough Recipes:

sourdough focaccia
Print Recipe
5 from 3 votes

Easy Sourdough Focaccia Bread

You won't believe how easy this sourdough focaccia bread is. It is everything you would want in an Italian flatbread and more!
Prep Time25 minutes
Cook Time30 minutes
Proofing time14 hours
Total Time55 minutes
Course: Appetizer
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: sourdough focaccia bread
Servings: 1 large focaccia
Calories: 242kcal

Equipment

  • 1 Large baking sheet or rimmed pan (roughly 9×13 or larger)
  • Food scale
  • Mixing bowl

Ingredients

For the dough

  • 100 grams sourdough starter
  • 380 grams water
  • 500 grams bread flour
  • 9 grams salt
  • 20 grams honey optional

For the topping

  • 1/2 teaspoon flaky or coarse sea salt
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • fresh rosemary sprigs (optional: garlic, tomatoes, more herbs, etc.)

Instructions

Mix the dough

  • In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the sourdough starter, honey( if using), and water. Add your bread flour and salt and mix using your hands until the water absorbs most of the flour.
  • Cover the mixture with plastic wrap and allow it to rest for 45 minutes.

Work the dough into a ball

  • This dough is very wet and sticky, but using a lightly floured hand work the dough into a rough ball shape by folding it into itself repetitively. The shape does not need to be perfect, but this is to create some structure.
  • Once complete, cover the mixture with oiled plastic wrap and allow it to rest for 8-12 hours.

Prep the dough

  • The following morning, pour 2 tablespoons of olive oil into the baking pan.
  • With lightly oiled hands, remove the dough from the bowl and place it onto the pan. Make sure to coat both sides of the dough with the olive oil in the pan.
  • You can work the dough into a rough oval or rectangular shape and then cover it with a damp towel or oiled plastic wrap and allow it to rest for 1-2 hours in a warm spot.

Top and Bake

  • Preheat your oven to 425 degrees F.
  • Gently dimple the dough using lightly oiled fingers. This will expand the dough making it larger. It will naturally take the shape of the pan you are using.
  • Press your desired toppings into the dough. You want to push them in quite deeply as they could pop out during the rise in the oven.
  • Sprinkle 1/2 a teaspoon of flaky or coarse sea salt over the dough.
  • Bake the sourdough focaccia for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown. You can cut right into this bread and enjoy it warm!
  • Sourdough focaccia can last for 3-4 days on the countertop in an airtight container or bread bag.

Notes

Baker’s schedule: mix the dough the evening before (between 7-8 PM) to bake for the following morning.
Sourdough starter: Ensure your sourdough starter is active, bubbly, and at its peak before mixing the dough. 
Flour: All-purpose flour can be used in place of bread flour, decrease the water to 370 grams. 
Sourdough focaccia dough can be mixed, proofed, and placed in the refrigerator for up to 48 hours before baking. 
 

Nutrition

Serving: 1piece | Calories: 242kcal | Carbohydrates: 42g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 5g | Sodium: 250mg

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Comments

  1. A very beautiful, scrumptious bread. Your recipes are easy to follow and delicious.5 stars

  2. Ingmarie Borneby Avatar
    Ingmarie Borneby

    Hi Samantha,
    Is the 8-12 hr of rest completed in the refrigerator or at room temperature?

    1. It is at room temperature. However you can place it in the refrigerator for up to 48 hours after it has rested that 8-12 hours at room temperature. Hope this helps!