For the Sponge:
340 g fed sourdough starter (about 1 1/2C)
8 oz warm (not hot) water
2 oz olive oil
1 Tbs light brown sugar
105 g All Purpose flour (about 1C)
For the Dough:
4 oz olive oil plus more for top
415 g All Purpose flour (about 4C), plus more for kneading
2 tsp sea or kosher salt
For the Focaccia
Place all sponge ingredients in a bowl and mix to combine. Cover with plastic wrap and let sit at room temperature 60-90 minutes, or until bubbles form on top.
Combine all dough ingredients in the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment. Mix on low to combine. Knead in mixer bowl for 5 minutes, adding up to 1/2C more flour if needed to form a soft and tacky (but not sticky) dough. If kneading by hand, knead for 8 minutes.
Place dough into an oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Allow to rise in a warm spot for 90 minutes, or until doubled in size. Generously grease two 9×13 sheet pans with olive oil or nonstick spray. Punch dough down and divide in half. Press dough into pans. If dough is too elastic and won’t reach the corners without springing back, allow dough to rest covered with plastic or a damp towel for about 5-10 minutes before continuing.
Cover sheet pans loosely with plastic wrap or a damp towel and allow to rise 45-60 minutes, until doubled in size.
Drizzle a small amount of olive oil over the top of the dough. Using clean hands, dock (that means poke, in bread terms) the top of the dough with your fingers, leaving shallow impressions across the entire surface. Top as desired.
For the Toppings:
Go wild, my friend. Slice up some veggies to create a beautiful gardenscape. Chop us some rosemary or other fresh herbs and scatter them with flaky sea salt. Pull out that bagel seasoning. There are no rules here.
Preheat oven to 425F. Loosely tent breads with aluminum foil. Bake on the lowest rack of the oven for 20 minutes. Remove foil and bake an additional 8-10 minutes until golden brown. Allow to cool completely in its pan before removing to slice.
By Brittany Kulland
Photo by Ari Nordhagen
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