This Sourdough Focaccia with Preserves takes some time to make, but the results are so worth it. The bread has the tang of sourdough, which is balanced with the honey in the dough and the cream and preserves brushed on top.
This bread recipe was contributed by two of the most amazing bread bakers in our Artisan Bread Bakers Facebook group. The formula was developed by Josep Pascual, a master bread baker who teaches classes all over Europe for professional bakers. He taught a course with my dear friend Ralph, the owner of Breadworks, who also makes and teaches about bread baking in the Netherlands. With Josep's permission, Ralph contributed this recipe for the August BOM, or Bread of the Month.
So guys, don't tell Ralph or Josep, but I actually made a few tiny adaptations to the formula based on the types of flour available in the US. Also, the formula calls for a starter with T80 flour, which I'm guessing is made with sifted whole wheat flour (to sift out most of the bran). Instead, I fed my starter with a mixture of bread flour and a handful of bran before preparing this dough.
For the T65 flour called for, I used bread flour.
Finally, the original formula calls for making eight loaves (these guys are professional bakers!), and using an industrial mixer, which I don't own (I'd have to sneak it into the house), so I've cut the recipe down to two loaves and adapted it to using a KitchenAid or other stand mixer.
We had one of the loaves for breakfast. It's wonderful reheated or toasted. This bread also freezes very nicely. Just cut individual pieces, wrap them in foil, and then wrap them in plastic wrap. Breakfast for days!
The sourdough starter is 100% hydration. What does that mean you ask? The flour to water ratio is equal by weight.
As I mentioned, this focaccia takes some time to make, most of the time inactive. Get started in the morning, and you will have some lovely bread to serve for dessert that night (warm with ice cream) or breakfast the next morning.
Sourdough Focaccia with Preserves
Makes two 8 inch square or 9 inch round loaves
67 grams active 100% sourdough starter that has been fed a small amount of whole wheat or bran
333 grams bread flour
7 grams salt
17 grams unsalted butter, room temperature
17 grams honey
217 grams water
1 large egg and 2 ounces heavy cream
About 1/3 jar preserves of your choice
- Place the starter in the bowl of a stand mixer.
- Add the flour, salt, butter, and honey.
- Add 117 grams of the water, and mix with the paddle attachment for 10 minutes on low, slowly adding in the rest of the water.
- Switch to the dough hook, and mix on medium low for 10 more minutes.
- Place the dough into an oiled bowl or bucket and cover with plastic wrap. Let rise for 4 1/2 hours and stretch and fold the dough every 45 minutes (6 turns).
- Cut the dough in half, and place it into two parchment lined 8 inch square or 9 inch round cake pans.
- With your fingertips, gently press the dough until it nearly spreads to fill the pans.
- Whisk the egg and cream together. Brush the mixture over the dough and cover the pans with plastic wrap.
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
- After 30 minutes, brush the dough again with the egg and cream. Repeat two more times, every 30 minutes. The rise time is 90 minutes.
- Right before baking, spoon jam over the top of the dough. I heated the jam to make it easier to spread over the bread.
- Bake for about 25 minutes.
- Cool on wire racks.