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Focaccia, Carol Field , Confusion

titus's picture

Focaccia, Carol Field , Confusion

I have Carol Field's book, "Focaccia: Simple Breads from the Italian Oven" and I was thinking of using some of her recipes.

Problem: She makes a big point of saying how a starter give so much more flavor, structure etc to the dough and she proceeds to give a recipe for one. She says to measure it before using it and some of her recipes include the amount of starter to use.

Other recipes call for a simple sponge that sits for about 45 minutes.

My questions:

What is the difference between using the sponge or the starter?

Can you substitute starter for the sponge? If so, how much would you use?

Sorry to be so dense, but I am not in the sourdough/starter club and don't really have a clue as to how to fiddle with the stuff.

Many thanks for any advice!

Teresa_in_nc's picture

You could try a recipe using the sponge and then next time you want to bake try a recipe using the starter and see if you can taste a difference and which one you prefer. At this point in my baking, I have not made focaccia with a starter, only the straight yeast method. In fact, my favorite focaccia is made from a mix recipe where you can mix up the dry ingredients, put in a container and give as a gift if desired. I like this recipe because it has some pepper flakes in it for a bit of spice and heat.