What can I say about focaccia bread? I have had wonderfully moist and delicious non-gf focaccia bread, and I have had dry, crumbly and overall non-appetizing non-gf focaccia bread. As always my goal is to create something that though its gluten-free, closely resembles its non-gf counterpart, hopefully on the wonderful end of the flavor and texture spectrum.
This focaccia is light and airy, a little chewy and very flavorful. You can top it with just about anything you like, from herbs to vegies. We did kalamata olives, garlic and rosemary on one half and tomato, red onions, basil and garlic on the other half. This is a fun recipe to get creative with and and let the kids help pick the toppings. It goes great with any Italian food and is one of the easier breads to make. I use a French bread/flat bread mix that I make up in bulk and keep in the pantry so throwing it together is pretty easy. I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as my family does.
French bread/Flat bread mix:
- 3 1/2 cups rice flour
- 2 1/2 cups tapioca starch
- 2 Tbsp xanthan gum
- 1/4 cup sugar
Place all ingredients in a gallon-sized zip top bag or other large air-tight container. Mix thoroughly by shaking or with a wire whisk.
Focaccia Bread with Kalamata Olives and Rosemary
- 1 3/4 cups French Bread/Flat Bread Mix
- 3 Tbsp almond meal (optional - it just gives a softer texture and a bit more flavor)
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 1 Tbsp dry yeast
- 2 eggs or substitute
- 1/2 tsp apple cider vinegar
- 1 1/2 Tbsp olive oil
- 1/2 to 2/3 cups warm water
- 1/4 cup pitted kalamata olives
- 2 Tbsp fresh rosemary, chopped or you can leave it in 4-5 leaf sprigs
- grated Parmesan cheese (optional)
- coarse sea salt
- Olive oil spray for pan
- egg wash for top of bread (optional - it just gives the bread a lovely golden color - 1 egg + 1 tbsp water, whisked together)
Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Spray 9x13 inch baking pan with olive oil spray and set aside.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment combine French Bread/Flat Bread Mix, almond meal if using, salt, and yeast. With the mixer on low speed, add eggs or substitute, vinegar and olive oil. Mix for about 1 minute. Add water, starting with 1/2 cup. Increase mixer speed to medium high and mix for at least 3 minutes. The dough should be pretty loose - it won't hold its shape and should slide off the paddle when the mixer stops. If the dough is more stiff, add water 1 Tbsp at a time until it is almost pourable. Note: Getting the "feel" for the dough textures in gluten-free baking can take some practice as it is totally different from conventional baking. You want the dough to be wet enough to be moist, but dry enough to hold its cell structure when its baked.
Scrape dough into prepared pan and spread out with a spatula. Spray the top of the dough with olive oil spray and use a piece of plastic wrap to finish spreading the dough so it reaches the edges of the pan. Use your fingertips to make dents or holes in the top of the bread. Remove plastic wrap. Note: I don't like waste and because plastic wrap factors so heavily in forming pretty loaves of bread with very sticky dough, I reuse mine. I simply fold it up, oily sides together and store it in the freezer between uses. I have been using the same pieces of plastic wrap for at least 6 months now. If using egg wash, brush the top of the bread with egg wash. Add kalamata olives and rosemary to top of bread and sea salt and Parmesan if using.
Let bread rise until double. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until golden and crisp. Serve warm or room temperature. Enjoy!
More to come with Love!