I had grand plans for making a sourdough panettone as my contribution to the feast at the New Year’s party we went to, but ran out of time to build my Italian-style sweet starter, so I opted to make a couple of loaded focaccie instead.
I made one savoury…
and one sweet…
Both were spectacularly tasty!
Ingredients for dough
200g 100% hydration starter
590g strong white flour
Additions for sweet fruit focaccia
50g dried cranberries
1 tsp cinnamon
20g honey, plus 20g additional for glazing
Additions for olive and sundried tomato focaccia
50g sundried tomatoes packed in oil
100g pitted black olives
1 tsp dried oregano
20g olive oil, plus additional for drizzling
Place dried fruit in a small bowl, cover with hot water, stir well and leave to soak for about 30 minutes. Drain thoroughly, pat dry with paper towel and set aside.
Drain and roughly chop sundried tomatoes and olives and spread on paper towel for about 30 minutes to soak up excess moisture, pat dry with paper towel and set aside.
Mix starter, flour, water and salt together in a bowl. Set aside for 30 minutes.
Turn dough out onto lightly floured surface and knead gently for about 5 minutes, rest a few minutes, then divide in 2 and place each half in a separate bowl.
On one half of the dough, sprinkle soaked fruit, cinnamon and honey, roll up into a ball and knead again for about 5 minutes.
On the other half of the dough, sprinkle olives, tomatoes, oregano and oil, roll up into a ball and knead again for about 5 minutes.
Don’t worry if you have trouble incorporating all the fillings at first – you can do this gradually as you do the stretches and folds.
Cover and rest at least 2 hours, stretching and folding every 30 minutes. After the last fold, cover tightly and refrigerate overnight.
The next morning, remove the bowls from the fridge and bring to room temperature – at least 2 hours.
Lightly oil 2 rimmed baking trays (I used large metal pie plates). Press the doughs out into the trays so they are about an inch thick. Press your fingers into the tops to create indentations and press in any filling ingredients that got left behind in the bowls. Cover both focaccie loosely and rest for about three hours.
Preheat oven to 250°C.
Drizzle the savoury focaccia generously with olive oil and sprinkle with sea salt.
Reduce oven to 210°C. Bake the focaccie for 30 – 35 minutes, swapping racks two or three times to ensure even baking, until they are a deep, golden colour.
Heat the extra honey in the microwave and brush the still-warm sweet focaccia with it.
Transfer both focaccie from their trays onto wire racks to cool.