The Fresh Loaf

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2.75kg 85% Hydration Focaccia

texasbakerdad's picture

2.75kg 85% Hydration Focaccia

Had an excellent bake yesterday. Excellent, because I pushed a lot of boundaries and broke some of my bread baking rules and was still rewarded with excellent bread! I love when that happens, because I get to learn a lot when that happens. As a baseline, I tried to keep the recipe similar to first attempt at Sourdough Focaccia.

Rules I Broke:

  • Don't rush sourdough: I needed to have the bread finished before dinner. We feed a small starter twice a day, so it is very vigorous, but the starter is only 1/4 cup. So, I used what I had on a 2.75kg loaf, and my sourdough starter kicked some butt!
  • Don't use old sourdough, it can ruin the integrity of the dough: Because I didn't want to risk not having a fast enough rise, I also threw in some extra sourdough discard that had been in the fridge for 12 hours (long enough to have the liquid on top).
  • Don't just throw stuff together, be scientific:  I didn't have any bread flour. I also didn't have enough home milled hard red wheat (What I usually use). So, I used what I had, HEB brand all purpose flour, and home milled hard white wheat.
  • Don't change too much in between bakes, it will never come out right: I changed a lot of stuff compared to my first attempt at Focaccia from a few weeks ago. Oil amount, flour type, bake time, skipped the poolish, etc...


  • 747g HEB Brand All Purpose Flour
  • 447g home milled hard white wheat
  • 526g sourdough discard, a mixture of 10 hours to 2 days old, from fridge
  • 50g sourdough starter (didn't actually measure the weight of this)
  • 980g water
  • 100g extra virgin olive oil
  • 13g dark molasses
  • 30g salt


  • 9:30a: Mix flour and water together (sans sourdough starter and discard), let autolyse for 15 min.
  • 9:45a: Add rest of ingredients to autolyse mixture. Mix/knead by hand until evenly combined with even texture. The dough was very very wet at this point. But, with the 447g of home milled hard white wheat, I was hopeful it would suck up some of the water, it did.
  • 9:45a: Let rest for 30 min and absorb the water. Transfer to a clean bowl and cover.
  • 10:15a, 10:45a, 11:15a: Gently fold inside bowl 3 or 4 times.
  • 11:45a: Transfer to container for bulk ferment
  • 4:00p: Pour onto counter, cut into 10 sections of various sizes, put each section on parchment for loading onto pizza stone. As gently as possible try to make dough into a square shape. Then, dimpled the dough (I should have waited until just before baking to dimple it, but i forgot, ended up doing it again later).
  • 4:45p: Dimple (again, but should have only done it once.), add desired toppings (copious amounts of olive oil) and started loading into the oven. Had to play with temps quite a bit to get things right. 500dF convection was too hot, top burned before inside was able to get cooked enough. 450dF convection for 15 min ended up work out well.
  • Keep baking in batches until all 10 loaves are complete. Set to cool on rack before consuming.