Sourdough Focaccia (82% Hydration)

by - July 30, 2021

Sourdough Focaccia

Sourdough Focaccia

I personally love a thicker Focaccia.  There is no right or wrong. This is just my family's preference.  I have not baked a Sourdough Focaccia since last Christmas when I used a  77% hydration recipe. 

This time I used higher hydration and a slightly different method to prepare the wetter dough.  The end result is slightly different too with slightly bigger crumb and the texture is more moist compared with the previous recipe.  To be honest I enjoy both breads yield by the two different recipes but my hubby prefers this recipe.

How to store Sourdough Focaccia

This Sourdough Focaccia bread can be stored in plastic wrap or container with cover for a day at room temperature (28C - 30C) or up to three days at room temperature (22C - 25C)  After these period you need to keep in fridge for few days.  Reheat in a 200C oven for 5 minutes before eating.  It is better not to slice all the whole bread.  Slice as you need.

To freeze Sourdough Focaccia, wrap with plastic properly and freeze for up to 1 month.  Thaw for 30 minutes and reheat before eating.

If you have any questions regarding this recipe or any other post, please leave me a comment in the “LEAVE A COMMENT” link and I will reply you as soon as possible.

Recipe - Sourdough Focaccia (82% Hydration)

Yield:  One 10" X 10" Square Focaccia


Levain (100g) - 20%:
35g sourdough starter (100% hydration)
35g bread flour
35g water

Main Dough:
250g bread flour (I used Japanese high gluten flour) - 50%
250g farina "OO" flour - 50% 
400g water - 82% (please hold back 30 - 40g and add in slowly later as each flour absorbs water and hydrates differently)  I used all the water.
10g sea salt  -  2%
15g olive oil - 3%

Kosher salt for sprinkling
Some olive oil to drizzle on top of the bread
Fresh rosemary leaves
Handful of cherry tomatoes, cut into half
Handful of olive, cut into half

10" X 10" square pan, height is 3"  

  1. Levain 
    1. Mix all of the ingredients for levain.  Cover and leave it to rise until tripled in size at room temperature (28C - 30C). It took about 3 - 4 hours.  You will get 105g but, you will need 100g only.
  2. Autolyse
    1. Mix flour and water, stir until there is no more dry flour with a spatula.  Or use a stand mixer with paddle attachment for 2-3 minutes at low speed.  Cover and leave for 1 - 2 hours at room temperature (28C).   
  3. Add In Levain, Salt & Olive Oil 
    1. Add in levain and salt. Mix with paddle attachment for about 3 - 4 minutes at speed 2 (KA mixer) and slowly turn to speed 4 or until the dough turns smooth, comes together and away from the sides of the bowl.
    2. Add in olive oil and mix for another minute.  You should reach window pane stage at this time.
    3. Transfer the dough into a greased dish.  Cover and rest for 30 minutes.
  4. Stretch and Fold (S&F & Coil Fold) - 9.45 pm
    1. S&F 1 – Fold 4 - 6 folds and round up. Your dough will be quite weak at this time. Cover and rest for 30 minutes.
    2. Coil Fold 1 – Fold in the dish. Cover and rest for 45 minutes.
    3. Coil Fold 2– Fold in the dish and transfer to the greased 10" square pan. By this time, your dough should be smooth and strong.  Cover and rest for about 60 minutes or until the dough double in size.   
    4. Note - You may need one more coil fold if the dough is still very weak.
  5. Retard - Then retard overnight in the fridge (4C) for 12 - 16 hours.  
  6. Next Morning
    1. Remove the Focaccia dough from the fridge.
    2. Gently stretch the dough to fill up the pan.   Let it proof for about 1 hour in room temperature at around 28C.
  7. Baking 
    1. Preheat the oven at 210C - 220C (fan-forced) for at least 20 minutes.  I preheated my oven for 30 minutes.
    2. After one hour of proofing, the dough would have risen and puffy.  Drizzle olive oil, dimple the dough with your two hands and add toppings.
    3. Bake in a preheated oven for about 35 - 40 minutes or until golden brown.
    4. Remove from the oven and drizzle with more olive oil if you like.  You can serve immediately or cool baked focaccia bread on a wire rack.


Do also note that the baking temperature and timing provided are what works for my oven and should also be regarded as a guide only. Every oven behaves a little differently, so please adjust accordingly for your oven.

The liquid measurement given is also a guide.  It is advisable to always reserve some liquid and not add it all in one go.  This would give you the opportunity to adjust if necessary. If dough is too dry, add the reserve liquid one tablespoon at a time until the right consistency. 
 This is because each flour absorbs water and hydrates differently.


A healthy starter is very crucial as advised by Baking with Gina.   It is advisable to feed your starter regularly if you want your bread to rise nicely and to use the starter (levain) at its peak.  A starter that is fed regularly will be more active in general.  If the mother starter is not strong, the bread dough will not rise a lot even though the starter is used at its peak.  

There are so many ways and methods of how to maintain the starter.  Below is my method of starter maintenance.  This is just for your reference. Please try and find a way or schedule that works best for you.

I bake almost everyday.  So, my starter is left at room temperature and I feed it twice a day  at its peak when it is tripled.  

10.00 am - at ratio 1:10:10 at room temperature 27C - 28C
9.00 pm - at ratio 1:10:10 at room temperature 25C - 26C 

I feed a very small amount of 1g starter + 10g water + 10g flour if I am not baking, so that I will not end up with too much discard.  When I bake, I feed the starter accordingly to make up the quantity required by the recipe to be baked. If I know that I won't be baking for a few days, I will then feed it only once a day at 1:1:1, transfer to the fridge when it is doubled, and feed again 24 hours later.

If you do not bake daily or if you bake perhaps once or twice a week, then you may place your starter in the fridge and feed once a week.  But, you will need to refresh your starter around 2 days before the baking day. There is no way around this, sourdough baking takes planning! 

How I judge my starter is healthy?  My starter usually tripled in size (or at least double) in within 3 - 4 hours at room temperature (27C - 28C) for feeding ratio of (1:1:1 = starter:water:flour)

When is a starter at its peak?  My sourdough starter is usually at its peak when it is tripled in the jar. The surface of my starter looks bubbling and uneven.  The starter will not collapse when you tap the jar.  If the starter falls it means it has already past its peak.  It usually stays at its peak within 30 - 60 minutes before it starts to reduce/fall.  

Why use starter at its peak?  This is when the starter is most active and it will result in a better rise for your bread in general.  By the way, you can use when it is doubled/before its peak too.  But, not it starts to fall.

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  1. I'm willing to give this a go..he he see how it goes

    1. Hi, thank you for reading and interested with this recipe.

      Happy baking and hope you will like it too.

      Cheers :)