Whole wheat sourdough focaccia is delicious, easy to digest and loaded with protein and fiber. I had been baking all of the bread for one Michelin star, Senses in Warsaw for nearly a year using fresh and dried yeast, and predominantly with bleached white flours. But I’ll admit that I was green to nuances of sourdough’s mysterious tangy ways before quarantine. It wasn’t until the great sourdough starter wave of spring 2020, that I had my first go at a whole wheat bread starter. Affectionately known as ‘Bready’ – he’s been responsible for a great deal of joy around the house and friends. Some fun uses with the discard as well.
Discard is the starter which is removed from its environment in order for the ‘feed’ or new flour and water to be of greater volume than the active starter in its environment. I use a mason jar with it’s lid slightly ajar to house our starter. With the discard, I have been adding a pinch each of salt and sugar and folding it into a whipped egg white for tempura batter. Or for fresh tortillas, equal parts discard to buckwheat flour and water and a drizzle of pork fat for fresh tortillas.
200g Whole wheat flour Gristmill grinds organic red wheat berries, fresh. (best)
175g Caputo Blue flour
170g Sourdough Starter
3g Dry Yeast, dissolved in a few ml’s water
175g Potato Puree
Begin the whole wheat sourdough focaccia by creating the autolyse. Combine the whole wheat and caputo flours with the water and milk in a non-reactive bowl. Leave for 30 minutes for the flours to hydrate. When the 30 minutes have passed, introduce the sourdough starter, honey, yeast, salt and potato puree to the party. Dipping your hands into a separate bowl of filtered water to wet, mix the dough thoroughly with hands. You’ll feel the dough breaking in your fingers. Leave to double in size, covered with a towel at room temperature. About three hours.
In a pyrex pan, add about 2 tablespoons of olive oil and wet your hands with the oil. Turn the dough onto the pyrex pan and press to form the rectangle, leaving holes which touch the bottom of the pan through the dough, like you’re playing the piano. Cover with plastic wrap touching the dough and put in the refrigerator for 16 hours.
Remove the dough from the fridge and leave at room temperature. You should see significant gas activity. Preheat your oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Leave at room temperature for three hours until risen slightly more and warm to the touch. Drizzle olive oil on top and add the tray of focaccia to the very bottom of the oven. The focaccia should rise even more in the oven, and remove when golden brown.
Remove from pan, cool and enjoy! We ate ours as sandwiches with fried eggplant, brown butter marinated tomato, spinach, salsa verde and manchego cheese. If you’d like us to cater your next corporate lunch, please click here to get in touch!