When you have an active starter on your hands it makes you want to make bread constantly, (check out the below link for my previous post on how make your own starter):
By keeping your starter out of the fridge it means that you have to feed it daily but the pay off is that you always have a bubbling friend to coax you into creating another loaf. My starter is about 4 weeks old now so it is very lively and I can’t resist trying new recipes.
I fermented my starter for twelve hours with 150g of flour and 150ml of water, but as you can see from the first picture I ended up with more dough than I had anticipated. This provided me with a golden opportunity as I decided to split it and have a go at ‘focaccia’ an Italian speciality bread which is made with plenty of olive oil, and happens to be something I feasted on daily when I worked at Carluccio’s.
Recipe for Rosemary and Orange Sourdough Focaccia
75ml active starter
1 teaspoon of salt
2 sprigs of rosemary
100ml of Casa De l’oli orange extra virgin olive oil (works very well with rosemary, but any good olive oil will suit).
Create a sponge with your active starter by adding 150g flour and 150ml of water and then leave in a bowl wrapped in a plastic bag for 12 hours. You can do this before you go to bed. In the morning the sponge should have plenty of small and large bubbles on the surface letting you know that all is well, this fermentation process is essential to the traditional creation of a sourdough loaf. Stir in teaspoon of salt and around 150g of flour or more until you have a dough that can be removed from the bowl easily with your hands.
Knead the dough for ten minutes, then form into a ball before placing it back into the bowl. Wrap the bowl in the plastic bag leave for anywhere between 1-4 hours depending on how active your starter is.
Spread the dough out on a floured surface again, drizzle with half the oil and knead, adding more flour if needed for 5 minutes. Leave to rest for 30 minutes.
Turn the oven to its highest setting and place an empty tray in the oven to warm up. Remove the tray after 5 minutes, let it cool slightly and push out your dough onto its surface. Leave to rest for 20 minute then punch holes in the dough with floured fingers, add sea salt, rosemary and drizzle with the remaining oil.
Place in the oven for 10 minutes then reduce the heat to 200 deg c for another 10 minutes.
Remove and place on a wire rack to cool. For an extra bit of crispness drizzle with more oil as it comes from the oven.
With foccaccia there is no need to wait for it to cool, get stuck in with some of your favourite oil and or balsamic vinegar.