How to make Sourdough Focaccia

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How to make Sourdough Focaccia

This is one of my all-time favorite appetizer recipes. I make this sourdough focaccia almost every time we have a party or family get together. Everyone loves it and I make a copycat Olive Garden olive oil dipping sauce to go with it. Are you ready to learn How to Make a Sourdough Focaccia? Let’s get started.

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Sourdough Focaccia with olive oil dipping sauce

 Before you even get to the Sourdough Focaccia recipe you are going to need to make a batch of sourdough starter. It’s very easy to do but you are going to have to feed it for a couple of days to get it just right for this focaccia recipe.
About a month ago while I was searching google for recipes that I could use my sourdough starter with I came across a blog. I’m pretty sure I had seen this particular blog before but somehow I had missed the sourdough recipes.
sourdough recipes, homemade focaccia, dipping sauce

Sourdough Focaccia Recipe

Sarah’s Musing’s was a beautiful blog full of great recipes.  Sarah has stopped updating her Sarah’s Musings blog and has moved over to Heartland Renaissance. You can find her Sourdough Focaccia recipe there. FYI this is still my favorite focaccia recipe and I make it all the time with a few changes of my own as far as toppings and adding some dried pepper flakes to the dough itself for a nice spicy taste to the dough.

To make Sourdough Focaccia 

In a bowl, combine the following ingredients to form a sponge:
1-1/2 Cups sourdough starter (always feed your starter the day before you are going to bake and stir before measuring)
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 Tablespoon honey
  • 1 cup flour
 Allow sponge to ferment and bubble for about an hour until bubbles of differing size are on top.
Add to sponge:
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 4 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons fine sea salt


  1. Mix ingredients together and turn out onto a floured board, kneading for 5-7 minutes. Depending on the hydration of your starter, you may end up adding 1/4 – 1 cup more of flour while kneading. The dough will be soft and slightly moist from the oil and the kneading. Form into a ball and place in an oiled bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and allow to rise until doubled, about 1-1/2 to 2 hours.
  2. Using a large, rimmed baking sheet, add 1/4 cup olive oil to the bottom of the pan, swirling to cover the bottom and sides. Once dough is risen, gently punch dough down and then place your dough in the prepared pan. With your fingers, press dough into the bottom of the pan until it fills the pan. If your dough is very elastic and pulling away, allow it to rest for about five minutes and then continue.
  3. Cover with a kitchen towel and allow to rise until roughly doubled in size, about an hour.
  4. Preheat oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. Once dough is ready, lightly dock dough with your fingers all over, leaving little impressions. If the dough is a little dry on top, brush on a bit more extra virgin olive oil and then sprinkle with coarse sea salt (mine was not dry; extra olive oil had spilled over onto the dough when I pressed the dough into the pan so all I did was sprinkle with salt. You be the judge of your dough.)
  5. Bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from heat and allow to cool in it’s pan on a rack.
  6. Allow to cool at least twenty minutes before eating it.
  7. Eat immediately or within a day or two. Wrap securely with plastic wrap for fridge storage.



  • Each time I made this recipe I followed her instructions, using the same toppings she used and it turned out wonderful. The flavor is unbelievable.
  • I will say this……… I do not get a big rise from my dough. I have thought about starting the sponge the night before to see if it would make a difference but the focaccia turns out so great I forget to do it each time I make it.


  • sourdough focaccia

Yesterday when I made it I tweaked the recipe a tiny bit.  I added about a teaspoon of dried red pepper seeds to the dough. That is why you see little red flecks in my dough. In the original recipe the pepper flakes are sprinkled on top. As you eat the bread some of the pepper flakes fall off and I was looking to add a little more heat to the focaccia so I added some to the dough.


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For my toppings I used, sea salt, more red pepper flakes, dried Rosemary, mozzarella cheese and parmesan cheese.

It was great. I usually make this for an afternoon snack.  But next time I cook Italian I am going to have to remember to make it instead of garlic bread.

  • focaccia, recipes, sourdough, baking, sourdough recipes


  • Fresh from the oven.
     To go with the Focaccia I also made an Olive Oil dipping sauce.
    It was great! We pigged out!
    Thanks for stopping by!
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  1. Sara says

    I adore making breads, and you said it didn't rise so much. So, I'm going to ask if you remembered to let it rise twice before you baked it? You sift the flour, and add in all of your ingredients. Roll into a ball and let it rest for 10 or 20 minutes. Then you roll it out and get it into the shape you want and let it rise again for 20 more minutes. Then you bake it.

  2. Renee says

    Thank you for this recipe! I love the addition on honey here. I'm going to print it and make it as soon as I can. I'll let you know how it turns out for me :)

  3. says

    Thank you for this no-fuss recipe! I’m making this focaccia right now even if it’s so hot here at today that I’m dreading the moment I’ll have to switch on the oven!!! 😀

  4. Carol says

    Thank you! Arlene for this recipe :) I’ve been making homemade breads for about 6 months now. Lets just say…it took me a lot of practice and Flour. ha ha!
    I just started resently making Sourdough starters, Love it!. I have 2 homemade pizza doughs rising on the pans now. I made the recipe last week and our pizza’s turned out Awesome! :)
    Very first time making homemade pizza dough, where the crust tasted like pizza crust.
    My dough mixture for the Sourdough Focaccia is about ready to put on the pan. I added some spices, for some spunk! :) My fingers are crossed! Thank you! Again and God Bless …. Carol from the Carolina’s

      • Carol says

        I just checked out the Onion Cheddar Cheese Focaccia …. Oh My!! Looks so Scrumptous!! :) I made a loaf of French bread today, using a starter. I think I could have eaten the whole loaf myself! ha ha! My husbands keeps telling me to stay off the internet, LOL! I’m always looking for new recipes :) Of course I have to post photos, of all my recipes on FaceBook for my friends and family to see how it turns out :) Two days in the kitchen for me has wiped me out! ha ha!

  5. Sue says

    Hiya Arlene!! Thank you soooo much for taking time to share! I have been making sour dough bread for the last year and loving it – focaccia twice so far – glancing at the recipe and then ‘making’ it up – with ok results (it can be very forgiving) – can’t wait to follow yours/Sarahs recipe. Sue, NZ

  6. Martha says

    I made your starter recipe last week. Made the focaccia dough last night. Like you had mentioned, very little rise after 2 hours. I decided to leave it over night with success! Placed on oiled baking sheet for one hour. Oiled and seasoned the top with ground red pepper flakes, garlic, rosemary, and fresh grated Parmesan. The bread baked to a beautiful golden brown. While the bread cooled I mixed up my favorite dipping oil recipe (from “Pacific Sun Gourmet” an olive oil company in No. California where I grew up). We cut ourselves a slice and….not so good. Sorry, very bland flavored bread.

    • says

      Hi Martha

      Sorry you weren’t happy with the recipe. Sourdough can be a bit tricky. If you like a stronger sourdough flavor you may need to leave the starter out on the counter and feed it for a few days so it can develop a stronger sourdough flavor. I also like to add some spices to the dough for added flavor. Adding some red pepper flakes to the dough adds a nice spicy flavor to the dough.

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