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+ servings
How to Make Sourdough Focaccia Bread - naturally leavened

Soft & Fresh Sourdough Focaccia Bread

A delicious beginner recipe for homemade sourdough focaccia bread that is made with active sourdough starter. The soft, pillowy texture is incredible, and the bread gets lovely flavor from the olive oil and starter.
4.62 from 230 votes
Prep Time :1 hour
Cook Time :25 minutes
Wait Time :15 hours
Total Time :18 hours
Yield: 1 large loaf
Author: Amanda Paa



  • 145 grams [active starter] at its peak - NOT discard
  • 355 grams room temp water
  • 10 grams runny honey (optional)
  • 365 grams all-purpose flour preferably King Arthur brand
  • 110 grams bread flour
  • 11 grams fine sea salt
  • olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons melted butter
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano


  • In a large bowl, use a fork to whisk the starter with water and honey until incorporated.
  • Add flours, and incorporate using hands and spatula. Put the bowl on your stand mixer and mix for about 1 minute on speed 3, just so there are no dry bits of flour left. Sprinkle salt on top. Let dough rest for 30 minutes covered with towel.
    After the rest, mix on speed 4 of your Kitchenaid stand mixer (medium) for 7 minutes, until the dough starts to pull away from the sides. It will be loose and WET, that's okay.
  • Cover the bowl with a very damp cloth and set in a place ideally around 70 degrees. Let rest for 30 minutes.
  • Using wet hands, stretch and fold the dough, going around the bowl for one set. Do this around the bowl 3 times, right in a row. (No resting in between.)
  • Cover bowl and let rest several hours at room temperature until dough has doubled from original size, has a few bubbles on top, has a glossy finish and is jiggly if you nudge the bowl. This usually takes another 5-6 hours if the temperature is around 70 degrees F in your house, quicker if temperature is warmer, longer if the temperature in your house is cooler. But how the dough looks is truly how you should tell when its done with bulk fermentation, rather than time.
  • Brush a 9x13 non-stick cake pan (do not use glass) liberally with 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil, distributing all the way to sides of pan. I've found that using the cake pan works even better than a sheet pan. It holds the dough better. But if you need to use a sheet pan, you can.
  • Using lightly oiled hands, gently scrape dough out into your cake pan. It will look like a big blob, and that’s okay! Using your hands gently stretch the the dough, leaving dough alone when it's about 1 to 1 1/2 inches tall. You don't want it to be thin. Let rise in a warm spot, covered with a sheet pan that’s upside down (so it has room to rise) for 2-3 hours until it is quite puffy and has doubled again. This amount of time will depend on how warm your house. Warmer will rise faster, cooler it will rise slower.
  • Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. I can’t stress how helpful it is to use an oven thermometer at this point instead of the built-in reading your oven gives you.
  • At this point the dough should have visible bubbles in it. If not, let it rise more. Drizzle 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil (don't be shy) onto the bread, and press your fingertips using your whole hand into the risen dough. Your fingertips should go all the way down through the dough, hitting the pan.
  • Put pan in oven on middle rack and bake for 15 minutes. Remove and brush dough with melted butter, oregano, and chopped garlic.
    Turn oven down to 400 degrees F and bake for another 10 minutes. Broil the top for 1-2 minutes to brown, watching carefully to see it turn golden brown.
    Let cool for 15 minutes and eat.


*This is a very WET DOUGH. And that's okay! Be patient, it will come together. :)
Adapted from the Artisan Sourdough Made Simple cookbook.