Our sourdough focaccia is a great discard recipe that is savory and a perfect side dish with dinner tonight. Add garlic butter into the mix, dill, or your favorite flavors to amp this up and enjoy. Family friendly way flatbread. We will show you how to make sourdough starter from scratch too.
This is how to make focaccia gluten free or with your sourdough discard. An easy flatbread recipe that goes well with any and all Italian recipes or just as a snack. Made sweet or savory we love it with garlic with spaghetti or honey for breakfast. (affiliate links present)
Focaccia with Sourdough Discard
Focaccia is a delicious Italian flatbread that is typically flavored with olive oil and herbs. It’s also a great way of how use sourdough discard if you’re a big time baker and hate to waste food of any kind. I am right there with you and had to find a way to make something else delicious with it. 😉
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If you are not familiar with the term discard, is what’s called the portion of starter that is removed and thrown away during the feeding process. Necessary to do when a baker (or yourself) wants to refresh or maintain a consistent feeding schedule. You will understand what I am saying when you make your own, link at top of post to do so.
Instead of throwing it away this can be used in many delicious recipes believe it or not. When added you get an added tangy flavor to homemade bread no yeast, pancakes, waffles, muffins, and other baked goods. It can also be used as a natural leavening agent, so you don’t need additional yeast or baking powder when baking.
Easy Garlic Focaccia
Flatbread is typically thin and flat, and can be made with a variety of different flours. It can be used as a pizza crust, or side dish. Seen as unleavened, or flatter than their counterpart, most do not contain yeast but rather often made with sourdough or other natural starters. Others don’t use either such as naan or you may have also tried roti.
Yeast bread, on the other hand, is made with regular or quick rise yeast. This added component causes the dough to rise quite a bit resulting in a light, fluffy texture on the inside. You can make this variety loaves, rolls, bundt cake bread and baguettes. Both can be favored with a variety of ingredients, such as herbs, cheese, or sweeter with honey or dried fruits.
The main differences between flatbread and yeast bread are their thickness, texture, and the leavening agents used. Decide whether you want a thin or fluffy bite and decide for yourself what works best with your overall meal.
Sourdough Discard Focaccia Recipe
To start with, make SURE your “throw away” is active, frothy, and alive in every sense of the word. When it is “ripe” it will be a great substitute for yeast and will allow it to rise just a bit, and add great flavor too.
- 1 cup sourdough discard
- Lukewarm water
- Olive oil
- All purpose flour
- you could use a flour substitute using this chart but haven’t tested with others myself
- 2 tsp. salt
- 1 tbsp. dried herbs (such as rosemary or thyme are great)
- Coarse salt and additional olive oil, for topping
How to Make Focaccia Bread
If you have only made a bread recipe out of your starter this is yet another version you will love. You will still get that sourdough bread flavor in a sense but toned down a bit and this will be flatter in nature. Make sure your sourdough starter is active, frothy and bubbly for this or a Sourdough Pie Crust.
- In a mixing bowl combine the active sourdough discard, water, and olive oil. Mix well.
- Add the flour, salt, and any diced up dried herbs you’d like into the bowl.
- (make sure you spoon into your cup instead of scooping up with the measuring up)
- Mix until dough is combined but still will be a bit dry.
- Knead, stretch and fold dough for 10 to 15 minutes or so until it becomes smooth and is elastic in nature. Cover bowl with a damp towel.
- Let is rise in a room temperature/slightly warm area for 1-2 hours, or until it has doubled in size.
- (if in colder months you can set bowl in oven with just the light on to get a steady slightly warm temp.)
- Preheat your oven to 425 degrees F.
- Grease a baking sheet or large casserole dish with olive oil.
- Turn the focaccia dough out onto the sheet, and use your hands to stretch the dough into a flat, even piece that is the same thickness all the way across.
- stick fingers into top to dimple the dough and give it that traditional look
- Drizzle the top dough with additional olive oil, and sprinkle with coarse salt and any other additional herbs or garlic powder you’d like for flavor.
Bake the surface of the dough for 20-23 minutes, or until it is lightly golden brown and pulling away from the sides. Allow to cool for a few minutes before slicing and serving with a mixture of olive oil and balsamic vinegar. If you do have leftovers, cube and make Sourdough Croutons with them.
Gluten Free Focaccia
If you are in need of another variation that is free from gluten entirely you can do so too. If making sourdough bread recipes often but hate to waste the discard when you are feeding it this is a great second one to try out.
- 1 cup gluten free flour
- 1 tsp xanthan gum, if the flour does not contain it.
- One tsp instant dry yeast
- 2 tsp brown sugar
- 3/4 cup warm water
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1/3 tsp dried herbs (thyme, basil, oregano)
- 1/4 tsp salt
Gluten Free Rosemary Bread
Instructions to make this are slightly different than the one below so I will include them here; You’re going to start off by pouring warm water into a deep bowl. It should be about body temperature. Add sugar, salt, and dry yeast. Stir, cover the bowl with plastic wrap and leave in a warm place for 10-15 minutes.
- After about 10 minutes, foam should appear on the surface of the water. This means that the yeast is working and you can continue to cook the dough.
- Add the gluten-free flour, xanthan gum if needed, and olive oil and herbs to another bowl. Pour in warm water with yeast and sugar. Mix thoroughly.
- No need to wait for the dough to turn out similar to the usual for bread with gluten. This dough will be much more liquid and viscous.
- do not add more flour, as the focaccia will turn out dense and hard.
- Transfer the dough to a baking dish lined with parchment or oiled. Cover the form with cling film and leave in a warm place.
- Preheat the oven to 360F. After 30-40 minutes, the focaccia will increase in size. Carefully transfer to the hot oven and bake the focaccia for about 25-30 minutes.
- Crust should be light golden when done.
After you take the focaccia out of the oven, you can sprinkle it with sea salt flakes, as well as fresh herbs, such as thyme leaves. Serve warm or cold, with a sauce or marinade of olive oil, garlic, chopped fresh herbs.
What to Make with Focaccia Bread
You don’t just have to make this to serve with spaghetti and meatballs. Though this is what I usually plan on serving it with I have in fact made sweeter versions. If you use the same ingredients and instructions but instead substitute honey for the olive oil that is drizzled over the top it comes out wonderful too.
Just slice and butter for a sweet breakfast treat or make a few batches and make other things. Since this is a denser and drier bread it does work pretty well to make raisin bread pudding. You could slice, dredge in whisked egg and make French toast out of it. The savory version diced up makes fantastic homemade garlic croutons too.
Can Flatbread be Reheated?
Yes! Just like our Pumpkin Sourdough Bread you can save it, but remove all the air out of the container first. Your best bet is to drizzle with a bit of melted butter if it has dried out after being saved overnight. This can help to restore some of the moisture and make the bread softer.
To prevent this issue from occurring in the first place you should always store it properly to begin with. To prevent leftovers from becoming too dry or crispy in the first place, make sure to keep it in an airtight container, plastic bag, or in aluminum foil on the countertop. In the fridge will suck moisture out and isn’t necessary anyway.
Want to see a few of my favorite things that I am totally obsessed with?? Take a peek and see how many you might already have…twinsies!
- In a bowl combine the active sourdough discard, water, and olive oil. Mix well. Add the flour (make sure you spoon into your cup instead of scooping up with the measuring up) salt, and any diced up dried herbs you'd like into the bowl. Mix until dough is combined but still will be a bit dry.
- Knead dough for 10 or so minutes, until it becomes smooth and is elastic in nature. Cover bowl with a damp towel, and let is rise in a room temperature/slightly warm area for 1-2 hours, or until it has doubled in size. (if in colder months you can set bowl in oven with just the light on to get a steady slightly warm temp.)
- Preheat your oven to 425 degrees F. Grease a baking sheet or large casserole dish with olive oil. Turn the dough out onto the sheet, and use your hands to press it out into a flat, even piece that is the same thickness all the way across. Stick fingers into top to dimple the dough
- Drizzle the top dough with additional olive oil, and sprinkle with coarse salt and any other additional herbs or garlic powder you'd like for flavor.
- Bake for 20-23 minutes, or until it is golden brown and cooked through. Allow to cool for a few minutes before slicing and serving.