Sourdough Focaccia

Top this airy bread with fresh herbs and Parmesan cheese; Kalamata olives; or simply with coarse sea salt and fresh ground pepper.

1⅓ cups sourdough starter
2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
¼ cup olive oil, plus additional for brushing on top
2 teaspoons sugar
¾ teaspoon salt

1. Combine all the ingredients in a large bowl, kneading in the flour ½ cup at a time. Allow dough to rise in a warm place until it doubles in size (this should take about 45 minutes), then punch it back down and allow it to rest for an additional 10 minutes.

2. Transfer dough to a lightly-floured surface and then roll out into a 9-by-6-inch oval (dough should be about 1-inch thick). Transfer to a baking sheet and then dimple the surface of the dough with your thumb. Brush lightly with the additional olive oil, allowing the oil to pool in the dimples, then add any desired toppings.

3. Allow the dough to puff up again and then back in a 450° oven for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from oven and slice into large wedges to serve.

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