Sourdough Focaccia Bread

The holiday is over…SIGH! It is always so sad to go back to the office routine and spend 8 solid hours in front of a computer ….

Having some time for myself felt really good tho and I did enjoy it a lot! At the beginning I was kinda “scared”…I was like like…’OMG, what am I gonna do now for 7 days alone in Shanghai in my big apartment???’ so just to give myself a bit of a psychological support I wrote down a list of possible things to do. The list was:

– getting body oil massage

– cleaning my closet

– gardening

– cooking

-working out

– working on my blogs

-working on my website

-getting more body oil massage

-do more cooking

– go out

– get drunk

– go out again and get even more drunk

Instead I ended up being everything BUT alone! Of the above list, all I did was a bit of work for my website, getting lots of body oil massages, going out and get drunk…(I did that a little bit too much actually), but I did also enjoy spending time ALONE at home, just hanging out, doing some pole practice and experimenting new recipes with my friend chef Mike.

I was HAPPY and satisfied. I felt productive!

Out of our experimentation in the kitchen, a bunch of sourdough starter came out! We did 11 different kinds!

Then last Friday afternoon chef Mike came over and we made 4 different loaves of sourdough bread…we ended up baking until 3 am, we were both tired and sleepy but we just couldn’t get ourselves to stop. we wanted to finish the baking and taste out final products…The results we got were ok, still needed some adjustments but we are working on it!

Since I had a big batch of rye sponge that we made the night before, last Saturday I decided to try and make a sourdough focaccia bread! It came out F A N T A S T I C!

Since I was just experimenting I did not really take pictures of the making process, I’ve just got some random shots that I hope will still be of some help!


For the sponge:

  • 1/3 cup rye starter
  • 4 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup rye flour
  • 2 tsp instant yeast
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup lukewarm water (more if necessary)

For the dough:

  • half of the sponge
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup lukewarm water
  • 1 tsp instant yeast
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tbsp Italian herbs mix

The sponge recipe is my friend’s Mike..he is a chef so you can totally trust him…

All we did was dissolving 2 tsp of instant yeast and 1/3 cup of room temperature starter into about 1/2 cup of lukewarm water…then we waited…and waited…and waited…than after about 20 min…the mixture became all bubbly and freaky….

Note: when we talk about yeast mixture ‘bubbly’ and ‘freaky’ are good adjectives to use!

When the yeast mixture was ready we mixed it with 4 cups of all purpose flour, 1 cup of whole wheat flout, 1 cup of rye flour and 1 tsp of salt…Then we knead the h.. out of it, then we covered it with a wet towel and we waited,

and waited,

and waited…

until we decided we were too bored and went out for dinner, some pool and drinks. By the time we got back home (1 am) the dough had doubled in size and looked freaky amazing! We put it into a zip lock bag and refrigerate it overnight.

The following morning this is how it looked

So I took about half of it and put it into my kitchenAid together with 2 cups of all purpose flour, 1 tsp of salt and 1/4 cup of yeast mixture (basically I just dissolved 1 tsp of instant yeast into 1/4 cup of lukewarm water). I obtained a very soft and smooth dough that I put into a bowl, covered with plastic wrap and a towel and let it rise

I went to my Muay Thai class…then 4 hours later, when I got back home, the dough had doubled in size, so I deflated it and roll it out on a well coated baking tray. Using my fingers I created some little holes all over the dough to give it the typical look of a focaccia bread. I sprinkled more olive oil, salt and Italian Herbs Mix

Then I put it into the oven and baked it for about 30 min at 180 C (375 F).

and this is how  I made sourdough focaccia bread my friends…a lot of work and a lot of waiting but it was totally worth it!


– Dani

About the author:

An Italian living in China with a strong passion for cooking! Browse my 'left-overs' session for many tasty grub!. Follow her on Twitter / Facebook.