Naturally Leavened (Sourdough) Focaccia Recipe

Home 9 Sourdough Bread 9 Naturally Leavened (Sourdough) Focaccia Recipe

Sourdough focaccia is such an awesome bread. The crispy crust and soft pillowy interior make it perfect.

Rich with olive oil and enhanced with your favourite toppings. You need this bread in your life. This dough is quite wet and we want that because that will get us those big bubbles that everyone is chasing.


For the levain –

100g (3.5oz) strong white bread flour

100g (3.5oz) water at around 20C (68F). If your kitchen is quite cold, then raise the temperature by 2 – 4C (35 – 39F).

10g (0.35oz) sourdough starter


For the main dough –

150g (5.3oz) strong white bread flour

110g (3.9oz) water at around 20C (68F). If your kitchen is quite cold, then raise the temp by 2 – 4C (35 – 39F).

5g (0.2oz) salt

40g (1.4oz) olive oil

Toppings of your choice

To learn more about dough temperature control when using a preferment click here.


  1. To make the levain mix the flour, water and starter and leave for 12 – 16 hours.
  2. Add all but a couple of tablespoons of the remaining water. Use the rest to dissolve the salt in.
  3. Add the flour and mix until no dry flour left and leave to autolyse for at least 1 hour.
  4. After the autolyse add the salted water, mix, and knead using the stretch & fold method for around 10 – 15 minutes or 500 times if you want to count.
  5. Proof for 30 minutes.
  6. Fold #1.
  7. Proof for 30 minutes.
  8. Fold #2.
  9. Proof for 30 minutes.
  10. Fold #3.
  11. Proof for 30 minutes.
  12. Fold #4. Place the dough on your tray. At this point pre-heat your oven to 220C (430F) no fan and pre-heat your pan if using.
  13. Final proof for 30 minutes.
  14. Add your toppings and finish stretching the dough.
  15. Bake for around 30 minutes.

Cool down and enjoy!

Watch the video here

Understanding the principles of bread making will let you be in complete control every time you make bread. It will reduce the failure rate and turn you into an even more confident home baker.

I highly recommend you check out the Learning page where I have detailed, easy to understand explanations on each step of the bread baking process and the principles behind it. You can find all the equipment I use and recommend in the Shop (UK) & Shop (US) pages.

Show/Hide Comments (5 comments)


  1. Alex

    Hi, I was wondering why the levain percentage is so high in this recipe. Is it to shorten the proofing time?
    I usually only go for 20% levain. Thanks !

    • ChainBaker

      You are right. That is the only reason. I like using a higher levain percentage sometimes when I’m short on time.

  2. RA

    Hi! First off, I’d like to let you know that I am so grateful I found your site! You are incredibly talented and knowledgable and I’ve learned so much from you. Your recipes are no fail and your playlists are super informative. Thank you so much!!

    If I want to make this a day before serving, should I bake it the night before or can I make the dough and bake it the next day/day of serving? If I can bake it the day of, at which point would I put it in the fridge? Would any steps be affected after?

    • ChainBaker

      Hey! Thank you so much. I’m so glad you’re finding it helpful 🙂
      I’d say you could do fold #3, place it on a tray, cover and refrigerate until the next day. Then finish and bake right from the fridge.

  3. Dave Lewis

    As usual, your recipes are fantastic and make sense. Your method of instruction has made it fun and rewarding to try new breads. I have attempted this focaccia now twice, and both times I don’t seem to get the dough to the place to take the dimples. Today was terribly humid, so I dialed back the water, but still did not get the dough to feel right. Is it possible that I am not kneading long enough? I am going by sight from your vids since I am not sure how it should feel.

    Thanks again! My kitchen always smells like bread thanks to your videos!


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

More Posts

A note to our visitors

This website has updated its privacy policy in compliance with changes to European Union data protection law, for all members globally. We’ve also updated our Privacy Policy to give you more information about your rights and responsibilities with respect to your privacy and personal information. Please read this to review the updates about which cookies we use and what information we collect on our site. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our updated privacy policy.