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Focaccia made with yesterday’s dough | Sortachef

Focaccia made with yesterday’s dough

‘Yum!’ My daughter in her newly fashioned pink-tipped hair wandered into the kitchen with the intention of grazing. ‘Why don’t you make bread like that more often?’

I was slicing fat slabs of fresh focaccia, still steaming from the oven. Plates were laid out with heaps of spaghetti and meatballs on the counter, and I was happy to see the light shine in my child’s eyes as she took it all in. As any parent of teenagers can tell you, dinner time is often a hit-or-miss event.

Her phone buzzed like a fly on the counter but my daughter ignored her latest text message and set the plates on the table instead. My son ambled into the room, slid into a chair and slouched back.

‘Cool,’ he said, eying the basket of bread. ‘Hey Dad. Why don’t you make bread like this more often?’ He grabbed a hunk in one hand and with the other reached a knife out for the butter.

Why don’t I? Considering it’s so easy – and considering the effect it has on my teenagers! – I guess I don’t have a good answer for that.

Focaccia made with yesterday’s Dough


16 ounces of day-old dough (see note)

2 cups of all-purpose flour

1 cup of warm water

½ teaspoon of salt

¾ teaspoon of dry yeast

3 Tablespoons of olive oil

2 cloves minced garlic or ½ teaspoon of garlic granules


Dough note: If you’re anything like me, you’ve got some leftover dough from the previous day’s pizza or bread. This day-old dough is perfect for focaccia because it helps give variety to the bubbles in the bread and improves its texture. Another way to make this recipe is to mix 2 cups flour, 1 cup water, ½ teaspoon of salt and ¾ dry yeast together and let it bubble away overnight. The next day, use it in place of that day-old dough.

Mix the dough: Combine day-old dough, flour, water, salt, dry yeast and 1 Tablespoon of olive oil. Let sit for 1 to 1½ hours at room temperature until bubbly.

Knead and shape: Spread 2 teaspoons of olive oil out onto a cookie sheet in an area roughly 10”x14”.

Turn the wet dough out onto a well-floured surface. Using a dough scraper, knead the dough for a few minutes by lifting the edges and folding them over. Sprinkle more flour on top and quickly press with your fingers to work out any bubbles. Make a rectangle with the dough that’s about 1” thick.

Put the dough onto the oiled cookie sheet and let rise in a warm place for 1 hour.

Bake, top and bake: Preheat oven to 425°. Bake the focaccia for 10 minutes until lightly risen. Remove from the oven, brush with remaining olive oil, garlic and a generous sprinkling of salt. Lower oven heat to 400°. Bake bread for 15 to 20 minutes until lightly browned on top.

Remove to a rack to cool for 15 minutes. Slice into thick hunks and watch your kids’ eyes light up as they dig in. Enjoy!

Brushing oil onto the partly risen focaccia

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At Woodfiredkitchen.com, Sortachef takes you on adventures in the kitchen and beyond, with tales to suit. Many of his offerings are woodfired - a flaming good recipe for pizza, bread, or something different. All recipes are original and tasty. Enjoy!
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