Sourdough Foccacia


This is a first try at making a sourdough foccacia. The recipe is Dan Lepard's, but with yeast omitted, times stretched, and hydration taken to an extreme (83%).

200g Starter (100% hydration) 40%
400g water 80%
1 tsp ground malt
500g white flour 100% (I used 00 Italian flour)
10g salt 2%
80g olive oil 16%

Stir starter with water, add malt and stir. Roughly mix in flour, salt and 30g olive oil. Leave for 10 minutes

Oil your hands, pull the edges of the very sticky dough into the centre. Kneading is virtually impossible. You are just mixing and folding the dough a bit. Leave for 10 minutes.

Tip the dough into another bowl with the rest of the olive oil. Roughly knead (as much as you can) for about 10 seconds. leave for 30 minutes.

Tip the dough onto a clean tray or surface. You won't need flour or more oil at this stage as there is a huge amount of oil floating around the dough. Stretch and fold.
(Pat the dough roughly into a circle, fold the far end in to the middle, fold the near end over the top. Stretch the right end of the dough out to your right, then fold over itself. Stretch the left end of the dough out to the left and fold over the top. Put the whole lot back in the oily bowl.)
Cover and leave for 1 hour

Tip the dough out onto a lightly floured surface this time. Stretch and fold as before. Leave for 1 hour. (The dough is incredibly soft. More like blancmange than dough)

Repeat. Leave for 1 hour.

You could put the dough in the fridge now if you aren't ready for the next stage

divide and 'shape'
Divide the dough in two.
Gently lift one of the pieces onto an oiled pizza try. Dimple a little with finger tips into a rough circle (it won't go anywhere near the edges of the tray at this stage).
Repeat with the other piece.
Cover and leave for maybe 30 mins, maybe 1 hour.
Turn on the oven to max

Pick the sides of the dough up and stretch out towards the edge of the try (it doesn't matter if it doesn't get all the way there). Cover and leave for 30 mins to 1 hour.

You could probably leave for longer, but I was ready to bake.

Drizzle more olive oil (yes yes I know this recipe uses a lot) over the top of the dough. Sprinkle with sea salt and some fresh rosemary. Dimple the surface all over with your fingertips, pressing right down to the tray.
Put the tray in the oven on top of the pizza stone.

Watch the dough carefully.
My oven got to more than 260C (the thermometer doesn't go any higher).
When the dough is looking cooked, but not yet well browned, gently ease the foccacia off the tray and onto the stone. (maybe 10 minutes)
Leave for another 5 minutes (or a bit longer) until the top is browned but not burnt.

repeat with the other foccacia.

This makes a substantial and more-ish foccacia. It isn't as 'light' as the yeasted version, but with more flavour. If you are generous with the sea salt it can be quite salty overall, so perhaps go easy if your blood pressure is a little on the high side (!).
The foccacia ends up having a lot of oil in it, and I wonder whether it might do with a little less.

The baked foccacia is riddled with huge holes

Cut in half horizontally and grilled it makes heavenly sandwiches




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