Rosemary Garlic Sourdough Focaccia Bread

Sourdough focaccia bread is on another level. Honestly, I enjoy sourdough focaccia almost more so than a typical artisan loaf. Adding roasted garlic and rosemary to the top of this bread makes it absolutely addictive. My husband constantly reminds me that this is “the best bread” I make, and if I am headed to a gathering this is exactly what I am taking!

Pieces of sourdough focaccia bread on a board

Three reasons why I love this recipe:

1. Sourdough focaccia is a great recipe to start with if you are new to making sourdough. You don’t need to have a dutch oven or fancy equipment and the overall time it takes to make sourdough focaccia bread is less than a typical loaf would take. Not only that but, there is only one initial set of stretch and folds (dough kneading technique) compared to four sets for a typical loaf.

2. I am an absolute garlic lover and roasted garlic cloves completement this bread perfectly. I remember the first time I had a roasted garlic clove in middle school at a Macaroni Grill, I was hooked and haven’t turned back since. After all, garlic is said to have many health and illness fighting benefits so it would really be a shame to not eat garlic. It also gives me an excuse to breakout my adorable little Le Creuset roaster.

3. This bread is actually a super easy appetizer to have when hosting, or bringing food to an event. I love to slice the focaccia into strips and prepare a plate with Olive Oil and the amazing Ammazza Suocera Blend from All Spice (the best spice store in Iowa) for dipping. It always goes over well and I never leave an event with any leftover, just how I like it!

Pieces of sourdough focaccia bread stacked on a wood platform

Frequently Asked Questions:

Does the sourdough starter need to be active to make focaccia bread?

Yes and no. For this recipe I do recommend having your starter active. I have used starter that has fallen from peak and it still has worked well. I have come across other recipes that do use discard and yeast, but because I generally avoid commercial yeast, I have not tried this method myself.

How long does sourdough focaccia stay good for?

This is tough to answer only because I have never had it last more than a couple of days around our house without being eaten. Generally speaking, fresh bread without preservatives will not last as long as store purchased bread. However, I did experiment with an organic artisan sourdough loaf in December and it lasted ten days before showing any signs of mold. If you are worried that you will not eat the bread quickly, then you can always store leftovers in the fridge.

Do I need to use fresh garlic cloves or can I use minced garlic?

Truthfully, you could completely change the toppings to this focaccia bread to whatever your heart desires, but if you like the idea of garlic and rosemary then it is very important you use fresh garlic cloves and not minced garlic from a jar.

How to make Sourdough Focaccia with Rosemary and Garlic:

  1. Autolyse

    In a medium to large mixing bowl, combine the starter, water, flour and salt, mix together to make a shaggy dough. Let rest, covered for one hour.Shaggy dough of sourdough focaccia bread

  2. Strengthen the dough

    For sourdough bread you strengthen the dough by doing what is referred to as “stretch and folds.” Essentially this is just a different way of kneading the dough. I personally like it better because you can do it right in the bowl. You are going to take the dough on one edge of the bowl, pull up, stretching the dough, then folding it over onto itself. Continue to rotate the bowl clockwise, and repeat this process for 10-15 stretches. Because this bread has a higher rate of hydration it will be sticky dough.
    Stretch and folds on sourdough focaccia bread dough

  3. Allow dough to proof

    Let the dough rest in a covered bowl until it is doubled. This typically takes me about 12 hours. You don’t want to rush this process.
    Sourdough focaccia bread dough doubled in size.

  4. Prepare the baking dish

    I personally have had a lot of luck with using one 9×13 glass baking dish. I have also divided it in two 8×10 glass baking dishes before and gotten great results as well. Line the baking dish with parchment paper, then pour the dough into the dish and press it lightly with your hands to fit into the dish evenly.

  5. Allow the dough to rest and proof again

    Let the dough rise and rest for about two hours or until it fills the dish nicely and looks puffy.

  6. Roast the garlic

    Begin by cutting the top off of the garlic clove so that all of the individual cloves are open. Place in the cocolette and drizzle with olive oil until fully covered, about 1 Tablespoon. Cover the garlic and roast at 375 degrees fahrenheit for 50-60 minutes, until the cloves are soft and browned. Allow to cool.
    I use a garlic cocolette to roast my garlic, but if you do not have one you could roast the garlic wrapped in foil on a sheet pan.
    Roasted garlic in a garlic cocolette

  7. Remove the garlic cloves from the papery skin

    I find it really easy to just squeeze the garlic from the skin, it does not need to remain fully intact or pretty. I generally cut each clove into halves or fourths.

  8. Top the bread dough

    Drizzle olive oil over the bread dough, then place rosemary and roasted garlic over top. Now the fun part its to take your fingers and poke the bread dough down, making divots or dents into the dough. I typically do quite a few indentations, it is really what gives focaccia it’s look. Then sprinkle with flaky salt.
    Shaped and topped sourdough focaccia bread with roasted garlic and rosemary.

  9. Preheat your oven and bake

    Preheat your oven to 425 degrees fahrenheit, you want to make sure it is nice and hot. Bake for 30 minutes or until golden brown on top. Baked sourdough focaccia bread out of the oven

  10. Enjoy!

    Let the dough cool and cut into squares or strips. I also use this for sandwiches, so you could cut it for that intention as well.

Sourdough Focaccia Bread with Roasted Garlic and Rosemary

A delicious sourdough focaccia bread with rich roasted garlic and fresh rosemary. This bread is a crowd pleaser and a great recipe to make if you are wanting to get started on baking sourdough.
Prep Time15 minutes
Cook Time35 minutes
Proofing time12 hours
Total Time15 hours
Course: Side Dish


  • 150 grams Active Sourdough Starter
  • 350 grams Water
  • 450 grams Organic Bread Flour
  • 10 grams Salt
  • 2 sprigs Rosemary
  • 1 clove Garlic
  • 2 tbsp Olive Oil divided
  • 2 tsp Flaky Salt


  • Autolyse. Combine the starter, water, flour and salt in a large mixing bowl. Mix until dough is shaggy but combined. You do not need to over mix. Let the dough rest for one hour.
  • Strengthen the dough by preforming one set of 10-15 stretch and folds. The dough will be sticky at first but should be easier to work with by the end of the set. To preform a stretch and fold you will grab onto the top side of the dough, stretch the dough upwards and then fold it over onto itself. Turn the bowl clockwise and repeat.
  • Let the dough rise at room temperature, covered, until doubled. This can take 10-14 hours. Typically it takes my dough 12 hours for this to happen.
  • Once the dough has doubled, turn out the dough into a 9×13 glass dish, lined with parchment paper. Gentle stretch and press the dough to fit the pan. Let the dough proof for about two hours, or until it has puffed up nicely.
  • While the dough proofs, preheat the oven to 375℉. Cut the top off of the garlic clove so the bulb is still intact, but the cloves are all open at the top. Place in a cocotte and drizzle with 1 Tablespoon of olive oil. Cover with lid and roast for 50-60 minutes or until garlic is a deep brown and is soft.
  • Once garlic is cooled, squeeze the cloves out of the skin and cut them into halves or fourths. Place the cloves as well as the rosemary and the remaining tablespoon of olive oil over the dough
  • Using your finger tips, poke the down down several times making dimples all over the bread. Sprinkle with flaky sea salt.
  • Bake bread for 30 minutes or until golden brown. Let cool, slice and serve.


  • If you do not have time to let the dough double and proof again in the pan at the same time, you can place the dough in the fridge once it is shaped in the pan.  Take it out two hours before you want to bake it, let it proof, top it and then bake it.  

2 responses to “Rosemary Garlic Sourdough Focaccia Bread”

  1. Carmen Avatar

    Ashley- this sounds delicious! Question… can this be adapted for gluten-free flour? We are eating more gf-free foods these days.

    1. Ashley @ Homegrown Havens Avatar

      I have not personally experimented with gluten free flour and sourdough. There are some recipes out there but I think it would be tricky. Depending on why you are avoiding gluten, you may still be able to enjoy sourdough. Before I was not eating gluten, but because sourdough ferments it makes the gluten easier to digest and better for your gut health.

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Hi! I’m Ashley!

A city girl turned farm wife trying to share healthy recipes while figuring out the ropes of homesteading.



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