I prefer this einkorn focaccia made with sourdough because of its digestive elements and lively nature, but it can be done with yeast if you don’t have an active starter. I was taught to make this specific recipe by Carla from Jovial Foods in Italy and am ever thankful she sent me home with a small piece of her old, well-proven starter. I’ve adapted her recipe slightly and “Americanized” it by baking it in a cast iron skillet because, well, that’s what I do. If you don’t have einkorn flour, use the flour of your choice, but einkorn will give you the best result. Bust out your digital scale for this one and your bread will instantly improve ten-fold.
Einkorn Focaccia with Rosemary
For the pre-ferment:
30g active sourdough starter (or small pinch active dry yeast)
130g warm water
120g all-purpose einkorn flour
For the bread:
Additional small pinch active dry yeast (omit if using a sourdough starter)
250g warm water
60g extra virgin olive oil
480g all-purpose einkorn flour
2 teaspoons sea salt, divided
1 teaspoon dried rosemary
1 tablespoon water
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- Mix together the pre-ferment ingredients in a small bowl and use a fork to combine them until creamy and smooth. Cover the bowl will plastic wrap and place in a warm location for a few hours.
- When the pre-ferment has begun to bubble and show life, combine it in a large bowl with the additional yeast (if using), water, and olive oil. Use a whisk to combine the ingredients well.
- Add in the additional flour and 1 teaspoon of the sea salt and combine with a wooden spoon until you’re left with a shaggy, wet dough. Cover the bowl and let it sit for 30 minutes.
- Dust a cutting board (untreated marble works best) with additional flour and turn the dough out onto the board. Use a dough scraper to fold the dough over itself a few times. This will strengthen the einkorn’s weak gluten and smooth the dough.
- Transfer the smooth dough back into the dough bowl and cover tightly with plastic wrap. Set the bowl aside for 3-5 hours.
- Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.
- While the oven is preheating, oil a 12” cast iron skillet. Using a stiff spatula, transfer the wet, soft dough from the bowl into the skillet. Gently oil your fingers with olive oil and begin to press the dough with your fingertips to spread it evenly around the skillet. Create small holes into the dough with your fingertips, never allowing them to poke all the way through.
- Lastly, combine the last teaspoon of sea salt and the rosemary with the water and olive oil in a small bowl. Stir to dissolve the salt. Pour this mixture over the top of your bread and allow it to flow into the small holes.
- Cover the bread and allow it to rise for one hour while your oven preheats and gets nice and hot.
- Bake for 30 minutes, until the crust is golden. Allow to cool to room temperature before devouring (if you can stand it!).
Tip: I usually mix the pre-ferment after washing dinner dishes. Then, right before bed, I mix together the bread, allowing it to rise overnight while I sleep. I place it in a cool location so that it doesn’t rise too quickly. In the morning, I wake up, preheat the oven, and shape the bread. This allows us to eat the bread fresh for breakfast and nibble on any leftovers throughout the day.