Plum and Rosemary Sourdough Focaccia

29 November 2023
4

This fruity focaccia is the perfect bread to enjoy over a cosy evening with Italian olives, cheese, meats and possibly a glass of wine or two! Topped with sweet plums and aromatic rosemary, its light, crunchy and utterly delicious. Cook the focaccia in a cast iron skillet to ensure the base and sides are evenly and thoroughly heated – giving you a crisp outer and soft and airy inner to your showstopping bread. 

If you’re not a sourdough baker, a conventional recipe using packet yeast will be delicious.  


Serves: 6

Prep Time: 20 minutes (plus time for stretching and folding the dough and overnight proving)

Cooking Time: 25 minutes

You’ll need a 30cm cast iron skillet and a sourdough starter


Ingredients:

Focaccia dough

  • 100g sourdough starter  
  • 380ml warm water
  • 1tbsp olive oil
  • 2tsp salt
  • 500g strong white bread flour 

Toppings

  • 3-4 ripe plums, stones removed and cut into quarters Sea salt
  • Fresh rosemary
  • 2-3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil 


Method

Pastry

  1. Place the starter, water and olive oil in a large mixing bowl and whisk until the mixture is frothy.  
    Stir in the salt.
  2. Add the flour and stir with a wooden spoon to form a loose dough.
  3. Lightly oil a large bowl or plastic container. Using a dough scraper or lightly oiled hands, transfer the dough to the bowl or container and cover with a lid. Leave to rest at room temperature for 30 minutes.
  4. Using slightly wet or oiled hands, stretch and fold the dough. Repeat this every 30 minutes for 2 hours.
  5. Keep the dough covered and leave undisturbed for 4 hours in a warm room until the dough forms visible air bubbles and has increased in bulk.
  6. Place the dough in the fridge overnight. Keep covered.
  7. The following day, pour 2-3 tbsp of oil into the skillet.  
  8. Remove the dough from the fridge. Using oiled hands gently tip the dough into the centre of the skillet. Fold one side of the dough towards the centre then repeat on the other side creating a seam in the middle. Turn over completely so that the seam is at the bottom with the smooth side up. Stretch very gently to cover the surface of the skillet.
  9. Cover the dough loosely with an upturned bowl. Avoid using cling film or a tea towel as this will stick to the dough. Leave at room temperature for approximately 2-3 hours until the dough is bubbly and has increased in bulk.
  10. Preheat the oven to 220°C/200°Cfan/gas 7.
  11. Drizzle the surface of the dough with oil, then gently dimple by pressing with your fingers.
  12. Top the dough with sea salt. Press the plum wedges gently into the dough and sprinkle with rosemary leaves.
  13. Bake for 25 minutes until golden.
  14. Remove from the oven and let it rest for a minute or so and then transfer to a cooling rack. Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil and serve.