Tuesday, March 30, 2021

No Knead Sourdough Focaccia

I've been tinkering around with my sourdough discard pizza dough recipe for a while now to produce a focaccia to my liking, and I think I've finally figured out a recipe that produces the kind of focaccia I prefer:  fluffy with lots of big holes, a crispy bottom, and a soft interior that won't go stale after a day or two.

What I love about this dough is that it's quite forgiving as well.  You basically want to slightly overproof the dough, so you don't have to worry about timing very much since you let it ferment overnight in the fridge.  And just like my sourdough discard pizza dough recipe, there's no kneading required!

Regarding toppings, I've made more traditional versions with just olive oil, salt, and rosemary, but I've also treated it like a pizza dough and topped it with shredded Gruyere and zucchini before.  My absolute favorite combination is to drizzle the top of the dough with Laoganma spicy chili crisp and top with slices of Taiwanese sausage, mala salt, scallions, and sesame seeds.

No Knead Sourdough Focaccia

makes one 9" x 12" focaccia

75 grams active 100% hydration sourdough starter
175 grams warm water
250 grams all-purpose flour
6 grams salt
Oil for greasing the dough and pan
Toppings (flaky sea salt, herbs, cheese, etc.)

Mix the starter with the water in a medium mixing bowl until the starter is well dissipated. Add the flour and mix until a dough forms and all the flour has been incorporated.  Cover and let rest for 30 minutes.

Add the salt and use wet hands to pinch and fold the dough for several minutes until the salt has dissolved and the dough has built up some strength.  Cover and let rest for 30-60 minutes. 

Stretch the 4 corners of the dough one at a time and fold it over itself (this is called applying a fold).  Dribble some oil on top and use your hands to spread the oil and cover the surface of the dough, including where it touches the bowl.  Cover and let rest for 4-6 hours until doubled in volume.  Transfer the dough to the fridge to rest overnight.

The next morning, generously grease a quarter-sheet pan and start to stretch the dough out in it.  Give the top of the dough a light coating of oil, cover, and let the dough come to room temperature over the next 2 hours.  Continue to stretch the dough out every 30 minutes or so until it almost fills the pan.  If you have one, place a pizza stone or baking steel on the middle rack and preheat the oven to 450°F.

Once your dough is at room temperature and starting to get puffy, add your toppings starting with the oil.  Carefully spread the oil across the surface of the dough and then dimple with your fingertips.  Add any additional toppings and continue to proof until your oven is preheated.  Bake the focaccia for 15-20 minutes until browned to your liking.  Let cool slightly before slicing or cutting with scissors to serve.

Store in an airtight container at room temperature or in the fridge depending on your toppings.  You can rewarm the focaccia by microwaving briefly or in a toaster oven at 200°F until warmed through.

Previously:  General Tso's Tofu