If you have limited experience baking bread or sourdough, this recipe is about as forgiving as they come. The technique teaches you the basics of bread-making, from making the levain and autolyzing to folding. The result is thick and crunchy focaccia that is deliciously olive-oil-laden, like your favorite deep-dish pizza.
Recipe Summary test
"Levain" is the French word for sourdough and in this recipe, it is the first step taken to make sourdough bread: A specific amount of starter, flour, and water is mixed together, left to ferment overnight, then used completely in the baking process. To ensure your starter is ready to bake with, always feed it a day before you plan to mix your levain. If you are very confident it's lively enough—it has reliably doubled in volume after feeding and is stretchy and webby—you can replace the levain in the following recipes with fed starter equal in weight to the parts of the levain combined.