Sourdough Focaccia

Apr 27, 2009 by bartolimu | 0 Comments| Share it:   

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Intro

How to make Focaccia

Double-Buttermilk Sourdough Focaccia with Serrano Chiles, Shallots and Goat Cheese

I’ve been wanting to experiment with sourdough for a while, and this seemed like a good opportunity. I found both the starter and final loaf recipes online. Whether the buttermilk serves as a bacterial jump start or just provides the right acidity for something else to move in I’m not sure, but either way it worked.

Info

  • Prep: ~30 mins.
  • Cook: ~30 mins.
  • Serves: 8

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Ingredients

Ingredients Part 1: Buttermilk Starter
1 cup water
1/4 cup buttermilk
1.5 cups flour
1 tablespoon sugar

Get this rolling 3-5 days in advance, as you'll need a big happy colony of bacteria come baking time.

See below for additional ingredients that you will need.

Step 1

Combine all ingredients in a 1 quart or larger jar. Mix thoroughly, put in a warm part of your kitchen and ignore.

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Step 2

As time goes on, fermentation will begin. This starter got an odd yellowish scum on top of it, but underneath it was definitely working.

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Step 3

At this stage you have what is known by some cooks as a mother. If you intend to keep the mother, you must feed the mother regularly. If you intend to use the mother only once, it will live up to a week without feeding. Some people advocate a cycle of nearly starving the mother followed by several feedings, to toughen up the bacteria and provide a resilient and vigorous mother.

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Step 4

Ingredients Part 2: Buttermilk Sourdough Stage 1, Proofing: 1 cup active mother 1/2 cup flour 1/2 cup warm water 1 teaspoon sugar Stage 2, Expanding: 3 cups flour 2 cups water Stage 3, Bread making: 1.25 cups cold buttermilk 4 cups flour 2 teaspoons salt Additional buttermilk and flour as necessary to attain desired consistency Method Stage 1, Proofing Combine all Stage 1 ingredients in your favorite mixing bowl. Cover and leave at room temperature for 12 hours. In the end your colony should be happily (but slowly) bubbling.

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Step 5

Stage 2, Expanding This stage is about providing our bacteria with a larger playground and getting the population really rolling. Combine all ingredients with the results of Stage 1. Cover and leave at room temperature overnight (8+ hours). If all goes well you will be greeted in the morning with a much more energetic and happy fermentation:

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Step 6

Stage 3, bread making Having finally built up a nice supply of our culture, we are ready to start making actual bread. Add the Stage 3 ingredients and mix until the dough comes together into a cohesive mass. Knead by hand for 15 minutes, until the dough is smooth (but probably still a bit sticky).

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Step 7

Cover with a moist cloth and let rise for 3-4 hours.

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Step 8

Beat this down and roll/stretch/whatever it into your baking vessel. Let that rise in a warm (~100 degrees F) oven for 1-2 hours.

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Step 9

Meanwhile, let's consider toppings. Toppings 8 small shallots 8 serrano chiles Some form of aged goat cheese Midnight Moon, the cheese I'm using here, is very rich and has a strong floral/honey component to it. This made it an excellent complement to the sour notes in the bread.

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Step 10

Mince and/or thinly slice the shallots.

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Step 11

And serranos, removing as much or as little of the chiles' hearts as you like to control heat.

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Step 12

Slowly caramelize the vegetables in a pan (somehow I missed photographing this even though it took a half hour). Distribute over the top of the focaccia before baking, finishing with micro-planed goat cheese.

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Step 13

Bake in a 375 degree Fahrenheit oven 30-40 minutes or until done. Serve in wedges with butter if desired.

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Step 14

Closeup of focaccia:

Now that you have learned how to make sourdough focaccia, please be sure to view these other sourdough recipes and these focaccia recipes. Also, you will love these Italian recipes.

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