1cupsourdough starter discard, unfed, at room temperature, see Recipe Notes
2¾cupall purpose flour, or more as needed
1tspyeast, instant or rapid rise, see Recipe Notes
½ to ⅔cupwater, warmed between 100°F to 110°F, see Recipe Notes
1Tbspextra virgin olive oil
For the toppings
1Tbspfresh rosemary, finely chopped
1tspkosher salt, or amount desired
extra virgin olive oil, as needed
Measure the sourdough starter discard into the bowl of a stand mixer using a kitchen scale. Divide the measured amount in half…that is the amount of flour and water you already are using (that is, if your sourdough starter is 50/50 flour to water, like mine).
Measure in enough additional flour to the bowl so that the total amount (including the amount from the starter) is 15 oz (425g). See the Recipe Notes below if you don't have a kitchen scale handy. Add the salt and yeast.
Like with the flour, pour in enough warm water so the total amount is 8 oz (227g) (see the Recipe Notes about adding in the water). Finally add the 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil.
Have the dough combine on low speed for about a minute, then turn up the speed slightly and knead until the dough is smooth, about 5 minutes.
Shape the dough into a ball and place in a greased bowl. Cover and put in a warm place to rest until doubled (about 3 hours). The oven with just the light on works well.
If you’re baking on the same day, proceed to the next step. Otherwise, refrigerate the dough, tightly covered in the bowl, until you’re ready to bake (up to 3 days). Allow the dough to come to room temperature before continuing.
Finely chop the fresh rosemary with the salt, or prepare the toppings of your choice. See recipe notes for some other topping suggestions.
Lightly brush a medium baking stone with olive oil. Press the dough out into a rectangle. Cover with lightly greased plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place for 45 minutes. Towards the end of the rising time, heat the oven to 400°F.
Brush more olive oil on the top of the dough. Dimple the dough using 2 fingers, then sprinkle on your toppings.
Bake the focaccia for 25 to 30 minutes or until golden brown.
Remove the focaccia from the oven and transfer to a cooling rack. Allow to cool completely before slicing. Serve with olive oil for dipping if desired and enjoy!
Using fed sourdough starter can give you a better rise (depending on how vigorous your starter is), but using unfed sourdough starter discard works just fine. If you do use fed starter (and it's active and bubbly), you can omit the yeast, but the rising times can be longer.If you use Active Dry yeast, then you might want to sprinkle yeast on to the warmed water with a teaspoon of sugar and allow it to sit for a few minutes before proceeding with the recipe. Letting it foam "proves" the yeast is active and ready to go to work.If you don't have a kitchen scale, and you have 1 cup of sourdough starter, add in 2¾ cups flour and ½ cup water to start the dough.I start with the lesser amount of water to account for the humidity of the day. If the dough is too dry, add in 1 tablespoon water as needed until the dough is the right consistency.You can refrigerate the dough after the first rise in Step 5 overnight (up to 3 days) to develop more flavor. When you’re ready to proceed, allow the dough to come to room temperature for an hour or two continuing on to Step 6.Vary the toppings as desired…try roasted onions or garlic, sun-dried tomatoes, or olives. Just make sure you chop them into ¼-inch or smaller pieces (to ease in distribution and biting).If you don't have access to a baking stone, a quarter sheet or half sheet baking pan will be fine. Just shape the dough as thin or thick as you'd like.