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baked sourdough focaccia bread baked and sliced on cooling rack

Easy Sourdough Focaccia Bread

  • Author: Melissa
  • Total Time: 15+ hours
  • Yield: 12 servings 1x


This is a tasty and easy sourdough focaccia bread using a sourdough starter! It has a golden crust with flaky sea salt and a nice olive oil flavor.


  • 100 g (1/2 cup) active bubbly starter
  • 400 g (1 ⅔ cups) water
  • 50 g (scant ⅓ cup) whole wheat flour
  • 450 g (3 ½ cups) all-purpose flour
  • 10 g (1 teaspoon) fine sea salt
  • 5 tablespoons (70 g) tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • Quality flaky sea salt (like Maldon)


  1. Make the dough by adding the starter and the water to a large bowl. Use a fork to whisk them together well.
  2. Add the whole wheat flour, all-purpose flour, and salt, and use the fork to combine well. Stir until the mixture comes together into a rough dough and you’ve incorporated the flour well. The dough will be wetter than other doughs, and that is OK. This will help the focaccia have more holes in the crust and be chewier.
  3. Cover the bowl with a clean, damp kitchen towel, and let the dough rest for 30 to 90 minutes, depending on your schedule. 
  4. While the dough is resting, feed your starter, and store it according to your preference.
  5. After the dough has rested, use your hands to gently pull the edge of the dough from the side of the bowl and push it down into the middle of the bowl. Do this, rotating around the bowl, until the dough starts to look smooth and comes together in more of a ball. This should take about a minute of going around the bowl 4 to 5 times, pulling and tucking into the center.
  6. Cover the bowl with your damp towel, and allow the dough to rest for 10 to 18 hours at room temperature, about 70℉ (21℃).
  7. After the bulk rise, gently remove the dough from the bowl onto a lightly floured surface. Tuck the edges of the dough into the center, and work around the edges until you’ve tucked them all in. Flip the dough ball over. Let the dough rest for 5 to 10 minutes.
  8. Prepare a 9x13-inch baking dish by adding 3 tablespoons of olive oil to the bottom of the dish. Spread the olive oil evenly over the bottom of the dish.
  9. Remove the dough from the bowl, and place it directly in your prepared baking dish. Gently pat it down a little with oiled fingers. It won’t yet be ready to go to the edges of the pan. 
  10. Cover the pan with a damp towel, and let the dough rest for 10 minutes.
  11. With oiled hands, lift up the edge of the dough and gently pull it towards the corners of the pan. Repeat with each edge of the dough. Now use your fingers to gently coax the dough to fill in the bottom of the pan. It’s ok if it doesn’t reach the edges yet, but it should be within an inch or so of the edges.
  12. Cover the pan with a damp cloth, and allow the dough to rise a second time for 4 to 6 hours.
  13. The dough will have spread out to fill the pan and gotten a little puffy during this time.
  14. Preheat your oven to 425℉ (218℃). 
  15. Drizzle the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil over the top of the dough. With your fingers spread out, gently press down the dough evenly throughout the loaf, pushing down about an inch. This is called dimpling. 
  16. Sprinkle the top of the dough generously with sea salt.
  17. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until the top and bottom have browned nicely.
  18. Remove the pan from the oven, let the bread rest in the pan for 10 minutes, and then remove the bread from the pan. Let it cool on a wire rack for at least another 10 minutes before slicing. Serve warm or at room temperature.


  • No Maldon sea salt? Kosher salt will work in a pinch.
  • This bread has a strong olive oil flavor if you are using a good strong olive oil. If you don’t love that flavor, use a milder olive oil or even a lighter oil that you prefer. My kids prefer this recipe with a milder olive oil. 
  • I used an 11x7-inch pan for the loaf in the picture, so mine is thicker than a 9x13 loaf will be. You can use either size pan.
  • You can add things to the top of your focaccia. After you drizzle and dimple, feel free to dot the surface with pitted halved olives, fresh herbs, cherry tomatoes, or little chunks of cubed hard cheese.
  • Prep Time: 5 min
  • Cook Time: 25 min
  • Category: sourdough
  • Method: bake
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: sourdough bread, sourdough bread recipe, sourdough focaccia, focaccia bread, sourdough focaccia bread