focaccia

SOURDOUGH FOCACCIA

This homemade bread has a low gluten content.

“Made with a bread starter, this simple homemade pan bread is something I like to hit with olive oil, fresh herbs, and sea salt straight out of the oven,” says Katzie Guy-Hamilton, director of food and beverage at Equinox and author of the upcoming book Clean Enough. If you don’t have the bread starter, this recipe also works with a “mock” starter with kombucha and an apple cider vinegar. You’ll then mix your starter or mock start with a biga. “Biga means a pre-ferment for your dough,” says Guy Hamilton. “It adds flavor and complexity to the bread and it only pre-ferments for six to eight hours.” 

Guy-Hamilton suggests mixing this dough the evening before so that you can knead, rest, and bake in the morning. Otherwise, mix the dough in the morning and finish the dough at the end of the day.

Makes: 1 loaf 
Prep Time: 20 minutes, plus 8½ hours resting time 
Cook Time: 30 minutes

For the mock starter (if you don’t have a starter):

  • ¾ cup organic freshly milled whole-wheat bread flour
  • ¼ cup raw apple cider vinegar (with the mother)
  • ½ cup raw kombucha
  • ¼ cup filtered water

For the biga:

  • Mock starter or 1 heaping cup starter
  • 4 cups organic whole-wheat bread flour (preferably freshly ground)
  • 1 cup filtered water
  • 2 teaspoons fine sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon instant yeast
  • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil

For the focaccia:

  • 1 cup organic whole-wheat bread flour (preferably freshly ground)
  • 1 cup filtered water
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
  • 2 tablespoons fresh chopped rosemary leaves
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 tablespoon sea salt flakes, such as Maldon

Directions

  1. If using the mock starter, whisk together all ingredients. (This can be done up to a day ahead of time.) In a large bowl, add the mock starter (or starter) with the remaining biga ingredients. Stir with a wooden spoon or non-stick silicone spatula until well combined, about 4 minutes. Cover with a clean dish cloth, and allow it to ferment on the counter for 6 to 8 hours.
  2. Transfer biga to a standing mixer fitted with a dough hook. Add remaining flour, water, sea salt, and olive oil. Mix on medium until incorporated. Increase the speed to high and knead until smooth and elastic, scraping down the sides of the bowl, about 6 minutes.
  3. Drizzle the sides and top of the dough with olive oil. Cover with a clean dish cloth, and allow it to rise on the counter for 1½ hours.
  4. Scrape dough onto a greased 13-by-9-inch baking sheet. Use your fingertips to gently spread the dough to the corners of the pan. (To preserve the air bubbles, don’t handle the dough more than needed.)
  5. Drizzle the dough with olive oil. Allow it to rise, uncovered, on the counter for 1 hour.
  6. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Bake focaccia for 30 minutes, turning halfway through. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with rosemary, thyme, and sea salt flakes.