Sourdough Focaccia (Yeast Version too)

(Melissa) #1

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(Phyllis) #2

It is great to find a sourdough version for focaccia. Thank you. I have a family recipe for focaccia (using yeast) from Puglia that includes a cooked and riced potato in the dough and it is quite fabulous. One of the suggestions I would make is instead of lining the sheet pan with parchment, use copious amounts of olive oil in the baking pan. Then, the bottom crust ( baked on the lowest shelf) is very crispy as it almost fries to perfection.

(Melissa) #3

Interesting about the potato in the recipe! Thanks for sharing. I’m glad you might find this sourdough recipe useful…maybe try it with the riced potato too someday.

Thanks for the reminder about the oven shelf height. I meant to mention to use a shelf one up from the bottom.

In the first bake I did that stuck, I used a lot of olive oil on the bare pan, but i also did a long final proof, cold overnight and 4 more hours warming up in the morning, so perhaps it got absorbed…

(kmollyone234) #4

Phyllis, is your family yeasted focaccia recipe approximately the same as Melissa’s with the exception of adding in or subbing riced potato for some of the flour? I would love to try it also! Thinking of using potato cooking water instead of whole potato since I don’t own a ricer. Thanks for your useful comment, too.

(maplesugar) #5

I thought the same thing when I saw that episode, and I made a dough (sourdough) that was similar to a ciabatta one. It would not hold the dimples. It was a little crusty. Tasty, though. I will try yours.

(karenm) #6

I recently purchased a focaccia loaf that had mashed potato in it which made for an oh, so moist loaf. Is there an amount (weight) of riced potato you use that is substituted for flour? I would enjoy making a potato version. Thank you, Karen

(Phyllis) #7


The handwritten recipe I was given:

600 grams flour

1 envelope of yeast ( 2 1/4 tsp )

1 1/2 cups warm water

2 1/2 tsp. Salt

One large Yukon gold potato cooked, peeled and riced — I do save the water the potato is

cooked in and use it in the recipe. You could also grate the cooked potato on a boxed grater if you do not have a ricer.

Mix all the ingredients well and knead for 5-7 minutes.

Allow dough to ferment for an hour or so.

Oil a 13x9x2 baking pan very generously with olive oil and place risen dough in the pan. Stretch it out to fill the pan. Sometimes the dough springs back so stay with it during the second rise and it will eventually stay in place.

Oil you hands and dapple the surface of the dough with your fingers making sure you press down to the pan surface. These dapples will prevent the dough from rising too much.

I often gently brush more olive oil on the surface and sprinkle it with kosher salt.

Bake in a preheated 425 oven for about 20 minutes on the lowest shelf. - keep an eye on it. If you have put enough olive oil in the pan, the bottom crust should be very crispy.

You can top it like a pizza too- Sicilian style. Really good.

(Phyllis) #8

I am going to try this recipe with a riced potato using starter . I will post something about the results.

(Melissa) #9

@maplesugar It was a beautiful and inspiring show, right? I hope the recipe works well for you.

@kmollyone234 @karenm @pvanhagenlcsw I look forward to seeing the results of your potato experiments!

(karenm) #10

Thank you for sharing the recipe. I would be interested in making it with sourdough starter as well. Please let me know your results and amount of starter you used. I enjoy Focaccia with rosemary & roasted garlic &/or onion.

(wendyk320) #11

Thanks for the recipes and great documetation, Melissa, and for the potato variation, Phyllis! I tried the sourdough version yesterday and it turned out quite well in terms of the bake, but it was unpleasantly sour, almost bitter, to my taste and I’m not sure why. I used chopped rosemary and Maldon sea salt on top which may have contributed, plus, I think my starter may be a bit “old” and perhaps stronger tasting. Next time I try the sourdough version, I’ll feed the starter several times before using it.

I have another question - has anyone every tried par-baking any kind of bread? I’d love to make the focaccia for a lunch I’m hosting soon, but the timing is a problem. I was wondering if I could perhaps bake it for 15 minutes the night before and then put it back in the oven next day right before lunch for the final 10-15 minutes?

I’m trying the yeast version right now for comparison. I will also be trying a potato version which sounds wonderful! Thanks to all!

(Melissa) #12

Interesting! Did you retard the dough during the bulk or final proof?
My bake 2 that overproofed went 24 hrs in the cold and was quite sour. Not bitter though…

(wendyk320) #13

No, I didn’t retard either proof. It took a full 6 hours to nearly double and then nearly 2 hours for the final proof after which I baked it immediately. I don’t know why it would have any affect, but I only l made a half-recipe of the 9x13 amount as a test. I also used a different whole grain, Pennol wheat which is a high protein soft wheat. I suspect the starter as the culprit. I don’t get this degree of sour in my regular loaves probably because I use only a very small amount of starter (5-10g usually) as opposed to the larger percentage for the focaccia. I’ll try another test soon and do several starter feedings starting the day before baking to see if it sweetens it up.

(bengoshi) #14

I’m curious about your baking pan. I thought it would be a half-sheet pan but it looks deeper than that. Would you share or link to the product you are using there? Thanks

(Melissa) #15

@wendyk320 Interesting mystery for sure. I look forward to hearing how your tests turn out. I’ve had sour low inoculation bread and not-sour high inoculation bread, and I’m not always sure what is coming into play.

@bengoshi I have this pan
A half sheet would be fine, too, for the 1650g dough weight.
Although 13x18 is twice the surface area of 9x13, i didn’t double the dough, because i wanted to make a thinner focaccia also. Reinhart writes that is more a classic Italian style :slight_smile:

(wendyk320) #16

Mystery solved. I tried the sourdough version again today, this time using seriously refreshed starter and that did the trick. Yesterday I took a small amount of old starter, a tsp or two, and built it up during the day with 3 feedings. The refreshed starter even smelled a lot better than the old starter. This was a real lesson for me for future bakes.

In between the sourdough versions I made the yeast version and really liked that as well.

This was a really fun recipe that I’ll enjoy making many times again. Thanks!

(Melissa) #17

I’m so glad it worked out and that your starter is tasty and lively again. I’m missing focaccia this week now that my run of testing is over. I’ve been drowning regular sourdough in olive oil :joy: I guess i should just make more

(Melissa) #18

I made a focaccia yesterday into today. I miss having it “in stock” :slight_smile: This is maybe my prettiest. My daughter helped top it.

(SingKevin) #19

Quick question on the baker’s percentages…

Why do you treat the starter as its own ingredient rather including it as 50% flour and 50% water (assuming 100% hydration)? It seems rather strange not to do this as it results in the baker’s percentage of ingredients like honey, olive oil and salt to be different depending on whether you use a starter or instant yeast. For example, 2.3% salt seems high, but you are really only using 2% salt because you haven’t included the flour/water in the starter in that calculation. I am not trying to be critical and am just trying to understand how a baker’s percentage should be used.

(Melissa) #20

It’s a good question. I have seen Baker’s Percentages done both ways e.g. Jeffrey Hamelman does it the way you describe, but Chad Robertson does it the way I did.

I picked what made for a single table and hopefully…maybe…the least confusion. But it was at the expense of differences in the percentages of the non-flour ingredients.

I’m always eager for input and am curious if you you think the ingredient display method you describe is more prevalent these days.