Sourdough Focaccia with Parmesan Cheese and Basil

Ever since I heard about and researched sourdough starter I wanted to bake bread using my own starter. For the last month and a half I have been baking bread using my starter. I baked soda bread, baguettes, hot cross buns and artisan loaf. Now I wanted to try pizza using my starter. The plan was to have pizza for dinner. But then I remembered I had baked focaccia caprese using commercial yeast a few months back and my family loved it. So I decided to make enough dough for four small pizzas and one focaccia.

My weekly baking cycle begins on Friday morning when I remove the starter from refrigerator and feed it. On Saturday morning I discard most of the starter and feed the remaining. I make sourdough pancakes for breakfast out of the discarded starter. On Saturday evening I mix the dough. For more on the process of maintaining your starter look here. Now that I use my starter I have become very conscious of the bread crumb and flavor. High hydration and long fermentation weaken the gluten strands giving bread the desired open crumb (lots of holes) and great flavor.

I used whole white wheat and all purpose for this recipe. My ultimate goal is to eliminate the all purpose flour in the dough and substitute it with other flours. I put the mixed dough in a covered mixing bowl on my kitchen counter to allow the starter to do its magic. After 7 hours I divided the dough into 5 portions, covered them and placed them in the refrigerator to proof. This was done at night so the light is not great in the picture.

The next day morning I took the portion I needed for the focaccia out of the refrigerator. I allowed it to continue to proof at room temperature for a couple hours.

I transferred the dough to a floured work surface and patted it into shape. I placed it on an oiled baking sheet and dug holes on the surface.

I then sprinkled fresh grated Parmesan cheese and some dried basil over the top.

I baked it for about 15-20 minutes in a hot oven set at 500 F.

The taste was amazing and I was really happy with the open crumb.

For the exact list of ingredients refer to the book Flour Water Salt Yeast by Ken Forkish.


  1. Wow Varada, you have me drooling over your facaccia..and I would love to get treated on your pizzas as well!

  2. Focaccia is one of my favourite bread, i can happily have few slices with a bowl of soup.

  3. Now I am very curious about how this starter and sourdough works. Focaccia came out perfect. Even I can't resist this with a bowl of soup

  4. Focaccia turned out so perfect. Love the cheesy topping as well.

  5. Focaccia looks perfect ! Nicely done...

  6. The focaccia looks more than perfect!

  7. so perfectly airy like focaccia is supposed to be

  8. Now your post are tempting me to try my own sourdough breads. :) That focaccia is droolworthy.


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