Sourdough discard focaccia

I’m always looking for sourdough discard recipes. This one caught my eye and produced the most beautiful, fluffy focaccia. Both my husband and I rated this 5 out of 5 stars!

sourdough discard focaccia

For those who celebrate Christmas, Merry Christmas! I am fortunate enough to be spending it with my (fully vaccinated and boostered-up) family. Even our Addie is fully vaccinated, so that makes me feel better about her safety.

I have been doing my best to keep my sourdough starter alive and making sure I do a better job feeding him. In doing so, I am trying to find some recipes for the sourdough discard. While doing a simple Google search, I came across this recipe for a focaccia. Over Thanksgiving, one of our family friends gifted us with fresh rosemary from his garden. I wanted to highlight the ingredient so a focaccia seemed like a natural solution.

sourdough discard focaccia

There were so many things that I loved about this recipe. First, it was no-fuss, so all I needed to do was form the dough, let it rest, spread it out, and let it rest again. Second, it used a lot of sourdough starter (170 grams!). And lastly but most importantly, the focaccia was among the best I’ve ever had. The top was nice and crispy, and the inside was light and fluffy. We dipped our focaccia in both marinara and pesto and enjoyed stuffing our faces with the bread.

sourdough discard focaccia

The leftovers reheated well too. I cut the focaccia into individual serving portions and wrapped them individually in aluminum foil and sealed them in a zip-top bag. Then I reheated it in the oven (350 degrees F) for 10 minutes, and it was perfect. The bread hardly lost any moisture overnight and still tasted fresh the next day.

sourdough discard focaccia

I recommend topping this with a generous amount of flaky salt on top. My focaccia did include salt in the dough, but it didn’t feel like it was enough for me. Regardless, I still gave this a rating of 5 out of 5, which is quite a rarity here on Eva Bakes.

Happy Holidays and Happy Baking!

Husband’s rating: 5 out of 5
Addie’s rating: 4 out of 5
My rating: 5 out of 5

sourdough discard focaccia
Print Recipe
4.41 from 5 votes

Sourdough discard focaccia

Got too much sourdough discard and need a new recipe? Then try this focaccia!
Prep Time15 minutes
Cook Time30 minutes
Rising time3 hours
Total Time3 hours 45 minutes
Course: Appetizer
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: Bread, Savory
Servings: 12
Author: Eva Bakes


  • 6 ounces (170 grams) sourdough starter discard active or inactive
  • 1 teaspoon instant yeast can omit this if you are using an active starter discard
  • 1 cup (120 grams) all-purpose flour can use white whole wheat
  • 1 and ¾ cups (225 grams) bread flour can use all-purpose
  • 1 and ¼ cups (285 millileters) lukewarm water
  • 2 teaspoon salt
  • ¼ cup (55 millileters) extra virgin olive oil I did not use as much - I used closer to 4 Tablespoons
  • ¼ teaspoon flaky sea salt


  • In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment, combine the sourdough discard, yeast, water, and flours together on low speed. Once the dough starts to come together, increase the speed to medium.
  • Add the salt and mix well.
  • Add more flour as needed in case your dough is too wet. You want to achieve a smooth and elastic dough that isn't sticky (it should not stick to your fingers).
  • Cover the dough with plastic wrap and allow it to double in size, about 1-2 hours.
  • Line a 9"x12" pan with parchment paper. Then drizzle the olive oil on the parchment paper and up the sides of the pan (I only used about 2 Tablespoons of a flavored olive oil for this).
  • Transfer the dough onto your prepared baking pan and gently massage it so it mostly fits into the pan. You may have some trouble getting into the corners, but get it as close as you can.
  • Using your finger, push down on top of the dough so it forms a dimple. Do this across the dough so you have rows of dimples on top of the bread. Sprinkle on another 1-2 Tablespoons of olive oil and cover the dough again and allow to double in size, another 1 hour.
  • Preheat your oven to 500°F. Top your focaccia with the flaky sea salt and place your focaccia in the oven and bake for 15 minutes.
  • Lower the oven temperature to 450°F and rotate your pan and bake for an additional 5-15 minutes or until the focaccia is golden brown and the edges start to pull away from the sides of the pan.
  • Allow the focaccia to cool before slicing and serving.


Leftover focaccia should be stored in an airtight container at room temperature and will last several days. I recommend reheating the focaccia in the oven, with individual pieces wrapped fully in aluminum foil.
Source: The Bojon Gourmet


  1. Kelly
    April 11, 2022 / 4:58 pm

    Would it be possible to let the dough rise longer (say overnight) or would that ruin the recipe?

    • evabakes
      April 11, 2022 / 6:51 pm

      I haven’t tried that but think it would work. Just let the dough come to room temperature before you bake it.

      • Julie
        April 15, 2022 / 2:27 pm

        I did an overnight proof in the fridge, then let it come come to temperature a couple hours on the corner before shaping. It turned out beautifully.

        • evabakes
          April 15, 2022 / 8:05 pm

          Yay – glad it worked!

          • Trish
            January 4, 2024 / 1:40 pm

            5 stars
            Winner winner! So easy to make everyone loved it and have been asking for repeat bakes. I have shared it with family, friends and neighbors. Definitely a keeper. Thank you Eva Bakes! 🤗

  2. Carly
    April 14, 2022 / 8:26 pm

    Just a heads up, you didn’t note where in the process to add the 2 tsp of salt. I assumed with the rest of the ingredients to the mixer bowl, but it’s not listed. Maybe a quick edit?

    • evabakes
      April 15, 2022 / 11:20 am

      Thank you for noticing the omission! I’ve corrected it.

  3. Pratima
    May 31, 2022 / 10:58 am

    Nice recipe! When do you add toppings?

    • evabakes
      May 31, 2022 / 2:29 pm

      I added them prior to baking

  4. June 23, 2022 / 6:41 pm

    This is one of the best things I’ve ever made. In my whole life….. I will be 62 in September. I added rosemary and used garlic EVOO. oh my goodness! It is phenomenal.

    • evabakes
      June 23, 2022 / 8:16 pm

      Oooh – I love the addition of garlic and Rosemary. I might have to try that next time! I’m so thrilled you loved this, Christine!

  5. Sara
    July 21, 2022 / 10:39 pm

    This was fantastic! I actually ended up turning it into garlic bread. I sprinkled the top with flaked salt and garlic powder, baked it for 15 min, then topped it with mozzarella cheese and baked it for just under 10 min. It was gone in the blink of an eye! Totally addicting! 🤗

    • evabakes
      July 21, 2022 / 11:01 pm

      What a great idea, Sara! I will have to try this the next time!

  6. Rita
    August 30, 2022 / 9:08 pm

    I followed your recipe exactly but my dough was so wet. I ended up have to add another 3/4 cup of flour. Is that right??? I had my mixer on for almost 20 min before the dough would come together. I am not sure which part I did wrong.

    • evabakes
      August 31, 2022 / 7:14 am

      Hi Rita – this has happened to me before (on a different recipe). There are lots of variables that could cause your dough to be too wet or dry (like how humid it is where you live). When that happens, you should add water or flour until it’s pliable and elastic. The dough should not stick to your fingers.

    • Pat
      November 18, 2022 / 9:37 am

      I’ve made this twice and both times I had to add extra flour. I weigh and use grams, not sure if that changes things

    • KG
      March 6, 2024 / 3:40 pm

      Flours from different brands absorb significantly different amounts of water. There are a bunch of factors that go into that, but generally the higher the protein the more water it can take.

  7. Margy
    December 19, 2022 / 5:19 pm

    Can the dough be mixed n the bread maker n the dough cycle?

    • evabakes
      December 21, 2022 / 11:47 am

      I haven’t tried it myself but I imagine it would work!

  8. Mary Hundley
    January 12, 2023 / 1:46 pm

    5 stars
    Modified the recipe slightly and added sun dried tomatoes and fresh basil to the dough. Used the oil from the tomatoes for olive oil in recipe. Topped with fresh ground garlic salt. Turned out beautifully and delicious.

    • evabakes
      January 13, 2023 / 5:01 pm

      Ooooh – the sun dried tomatoes sound awesome! Glad you enjoyed this!

  9. Carolyn
    January 22, 2023 / 10:39 am

    Do you think this recipe would be good with cheese? If so what kind and when should I add

    • evabakes
      January 22, 2023 / 12:37 pm

      I think cheese could be a great addition on top. I’d add it in the final 5 minutes of baking so it doesn’t burn. I’m not sure how it would bake if it’s incorporated within the dough.

  10. Natalie
    February 28, 2023 / 4:21 pm

    3 stars
    I’m really conflicted about this recipe. It’s not my first go at focaccia but the first time I’ve used this recipe and the end result is fine, but I found the recipe awkward. Like others, I needed to add an additional 150g flour. The initial consistency was like a moderately thick soup…sticky isn’t even the word for it. That can’t be because someplace might have some humidity. I’m in a dry climate and there’s just no way that’s why it’s like soup. The measurements are in tsp, g, and ml. Why not just keep them all in grams so measurements are accurate and consistent? In the ingredients it calls for an additional 1/4 cup of oil (and a note that she used closer to 4T…but 4T is 1/4 cup?) but then in the instructions it says 1-2 tablespoons. So much room for error and just a poorly edited recipe. I wish I’d have paid more attention before I started so I could choose a different one but I’m glad I tried it.

    • Kerri Bamond
      April 12, 2023 / 8:51 am

      I agree. Same issues.

  11. Myrna Carney
    April 3, 2023 / 2:04 pm

    I’d like to try this. The discard sour dough starter…… what temperature must it be. In or out of the fridge?

    • evabakes
      April 9, 2023 / 1:53 pm

      Hi Myrna – when I use sourdough starter, I use it directly from the refrigerator and do not warm it up to room temperature. Hope that helps!

  12. TKG
    June 19, 2023 / 7:57 pm

    4 stars
    Made this recipe this evening and even did some veggie artwork on top! It turned out pretty well and had a good taste. My only issue is that it did not rise hardly, even for a flatbread. I did have to add about an extra 1/2 cup of flour like most of the others who commented. But I am pleased with this recipe and will just tweak it each time I make it. Thanks!

    • evabakes
      June 20, 2023 / 10:21 pm

      I’d love to see your veggie artwork! Thanks for trying the recipe!

  13. Amanda Lebron
    August 4, 2023 / 10:27 pm

    Hi there…I also had to add extra flour, but personally I think it’s my own inexperience with bread. How long do you usually knead for? Maybe I’m just not giving it enough time in the mixer!

    • evabakes
      August 5, 2023 / 7:19 am

      Hi Amanda A I usually knead until the bread looks smooth and elastic. It will depend on the humidity of your kitchen, but for me, it’s usually about 4-5 minutes.

  14. Matt Miller
    November 4, 2023 / 10:12 pm

    Mine turned out well…didn’t have any rosemary, but still good. My dough was sticky, though…even after a few extra tablespoons of flour. Also, I Googled internal temperature for foccacia and it came back as around 190°F …and mine was over 200°F, after the initial bake time (and I checked my oven temp…it was accurate). So, a couple of weeks, but happy with the recipe!

  15. Jenni
    November 15, 2023 / 11:44 pm

    5 stars
    This was my first time baking focaccia and it was incredibly easy and delicious! I added halved tomatoes, thyme, salt, red pepper flakes, Italian herbs and slivered red onion along with seasoned olive oil to the top before baking. At the half way mark I added chopped garlic, and after I baked it added fresh basil. Will definitely be making this again- I liked the suggestion someone had to add the oil from sun dried tomatoes!

    • evabakes
      November 16, 2023 / 7:38 am

      Your additions sound incredible, Jenni! So happy that you enjoyed the focaccia!

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