Garlic Sourdough Focaccia

I made a chicken, lemon and rice soup  the other day and knew I would want a good homemade bread to go with it. I decided on focaccia with some of my sourdough but, instead of the usual rosemary or olive, I decided to go for garlic. I crisped up some garlic in olive oil and it was deliciously garlicky.

This focaccia has a lovely chew and great flavor. And you won’t have to worry about vampires for a long time to come!

I used the extra yeast to shorten the time of the bread making – the last time I did this without, I needed an overnight rise. By placing it in a 9×13 pan, it gives it enough rise to make lovely sandwich bread.

Garlic Sourdough Focaccia

1 cup active sourdough starter
1 ¼ cups warm water
¼ cup olive oil
1 ½ teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup bread flour
3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon instant yeast

Garlic oil

½ head of garlic (about 8 large cloves)
¼ cup olive oil

Remove enough of  the sourdough starter from the mother for the recipe and place in a draft free place for four hours. Feed the remaining starter and return it to the fridge. The starter should be bubbling nicely after its rest.

Place the starter, water, oil, salt, flours and instant yeast into a bread machine. Let the machine run for 15 minutes on the dough cycle and then turn it off for 15 minutes to hydrate the flours. Clear the machine and start the dough cycle over again.

Once the dough cycle has ended, place the dough in a large, well oiled bowl covered with plastic wrap. Let stand in a warm, draft free place for two hours. I place mine in the cold oven with the oven light on. One hour into the rise, punch down the dough.

Heat the olive oil in a skillet. Add the garlic to the oil and cook over medium-low heat, stirring often, until golden brown. Be careful not to let it burn. Strain the garlic, reserving the garlic flavored oil and the garlic separately.

Lightly oil a 9×13 pan with half of the garlic olive oil. Place the dough onto the oiled pan (trying not to deflate it too much). Use your fingers to spread the dough to the edges. Cover the dough with plastic wrap. Allow the dough to rise for about 1 hour until well risen and puffy.

Preheat the oven to 400°F. Use your fingers to dimple the top of the dough all over. Brush with the remaining garlic flavored olive oil. Sprinkle the crispy garlic and coarse sea salt over the top.

Bake about 20-25 minutes until puffed and golden brown. Let cool completely before slicing and serving.

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