Easier to make that traditional sourdough, this roasted garlic sourdough focaccia bread is a great beginner’s recipe to bread making!
Like most people I started making sourdough bread because of the pandemic and the shortage of yeast around. It took a while to really nail the perfect sourdough round. There were lopsided boules, blown out boules because they weren’t scored enough or deep enough, over bakes and under bakes. I really should have started with something easier like focaccia! No shaping, no scoring (though I do love doing that part.), and no preheating my cast iron Dutch oven for baking. Really, this roasted garlic sourdough focaccia bread is the best way to start making sourdough breads for a beginner.
And packed with perfectly roasted garlic, and slathered in rich olive oil, sprinkled with fresh chopped rosemary and dashed with flaked salt at the end, this is a beautiful bread to put alongside any dinner. Might I also recommend serving it with a olive oil and balsamic vinegar dip? Yes, I shall.
If you have never roasted garlic before, I have a step by step tutorial on how to roast garlic here on the blog. It’s part of my how-to series for all the basics that will make you a pro in the kitchen.
This roasted garlic sourdough focaccia bread does require a bulk fermentation just like a traditional boule (fancy French for round loaf), but it’s significantly hands of. Really, blend the ingredients, rise, light stretch of the dough and a long rise and overnight fermentation in the fridge to really build that flavor.
The best part is probably the final prep of the roasted garlic sourdough focaccia bread when you pour it out into a baking dish, and press those oh so important dimples into the dough then fill it all up with olive oil just before baking. I adapted Heartbeet Kitchen’s basic sourdough focaccia recipe to include my additions of sweet roasted garlic, flaked sea salt and rosemary. Her site is a fab resource for all things sourdough!
Tear and share this gorgeous loaf with family at dinner, or rip of pieces to dunk in oil. And if you’re feeling fancy, slice and toast it, slather it in cream cheese and top with thinly sliced prosciutto and pear. You’re welcome, fancy pants!
1 head Garlic, roasted, cooled, and peeled into cloves
2 teaspoons dried Rosemary, or 1 Tbsp Fresh Rosemary
In a large bowl, use a fork or Danish dough whisk to whisk the starter with water, honey, and salt until a slurry forms.
Add flour, and incorporate using hands or Danish dough whisk. Once you no longer see bits of dry flour, add it to the bowl of a stand mixer with the dough hook, and mix on low, or medium-low for 10 minutes, until the dough starts to pull away from the sides and hold itself.
During the last couple of minutes of kneading the dough, mix in the roasted garlic cloves and minced rosemary.
Or you can knead by hand for 12-15 minutes, until you feel the dough tighten and acquire resistance, pulling away from the sides of the bowl and it will look clean with minimal dough residue on the sides.
Cover the bowl with a very damp cloth, or tight fitting plastic wrap, and set in a place ideally around 75 degrees. Let rise for about 4 hours, dough will have risen some and be puffy, showing a few bubbles on the surface.
Now stretch and fold four “corners” of the dough, folding each of those edges back into the middle of the dough in the bowl. Cover again and let rest several hours at room temperature, or cover and place it in the fridge overnight to perform a bulk fermentation. The dough should have doubled from original size, with a few bubbles on top.
Drizzle the top of dough with 1 tablespoon olive oil. Brush a 9X13 cake pan liberally with olive oil, distributing all the way to sides of pan.
Using lightly oiled hands, gently scrape dough out into your baking dish. The dough will look very loose and easy to handle with little form. Using your hands gently stretch and press the edges of the dough to mostly fill the pan, leaving dough alone when it’s about 1 1/2 – 2 inches tall.
Cover with plastic wrap, and let the dough rise for 2-3 hours until it is puffy and super bubbly.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
At this point the dough should have visible bubbles in it and be puffy. If not, let it rise more. Drizzle 2 tablespoons olive oil (don’t be shy) onto the bread, and press your fingertips deep into the dough, getting your fingers down to the bottom. If you have extra roasted garlic, and minced rosemary, press it into the dough as well (more flavor!). Sprinkle with a little flaked sea salt.
Put pan in oven on middle rack and bake for 15 minutes. Turn oven down to 375 degrees F and bake for another 10 minutes.
Broil the top for 1-2 minutes to brown, watching carefully to see it turn golden brown and any garlic on top doesn’t burn. Let the bread cool for 15 minutes, tear, and eat.
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