Gluten Free Focaccia

When I started this blog, I decided right away that there would be NO RECIPES, with the exception of tips about food preservation.

But EVERYONE asks me for my gluten free focaccia recipe. Everyone. Even folks that don’t have to eliminate gluten from their diet want to make my gluten free flatbread. Most recently a friend asked, “Can I just come over and help you bake that bread? I want to learn how.” So Renay, this one’s for you.

YOU can make gluten free focaccia. Gluten free baking is incredibly EASY compared to using wheat flours. Before we had to go gluten free, I used to spend entire afternoons making French-style baguettes, kneading the dough, letting it rest, kneading again, letting it rise, kneading again, forming the dough, letting it… you get the picture. With gluten free breads, you mix, put in the pan, rise, and bake. No kneading… no kidding.

 

Gluten-free Focaccia

Makes two 9-inch round, or one 9×13-inch rectangular

 

3 cups King Arthur Flour’s Gluten Free Multipurpose Flour (see Note 1 below)

2 teaspoons Xanthan Gum

1 teaspoon kosher salt

2 tablespoons granulated sugar

2 packets of dry quick-rise yeast

2 cups warm water, heated to 110° F (see Note 2 below)

2 teaspoons olive oil

Olive Oil

Fresh rosemary

Sea salt

 

Preheat oven to 400° F.

 

Rub or spray olive oil on the bottom of a 9-inch round springform pan (or cake pan). Do not oil the sides; gluten free breads do not rise as high as wheat-based, so give the dough something to grab on to (trust me, it won’t stick).

 

Mix the dry ingredients in a stand mixer bowl, using the regular paddle beater, NOT the dough hook.

 

Add the warm water and olive oil and mix until blended well. Scrape bottom and sides of bowl, beaters. Beat at high speed for 2 minutes. Dough should look “tacky.”

 

While dough is mixing, prepare a bowl with warm water.

Split prepared dough between the two pans. Wet your hand in the water bowl, shaking off excess. Spread the dough out to the sides with your wet hand, rewetting your hand as needed to prevent dough from sticking.

Cover and let rise in a warm place for 30-40 minutes.

 

Sprinkle olive oil over the top of the bread and CAREFULLY spread it into a film across the surface, using your finger. When I’m in a hurry (and I usually am), I just spray the entire surface with 100% olive oil cooking spray.

 

Add toppings of your choice, (I cannot say enough about rosemary and sea salt; this is THE topping you want to use if using your focaccia for paninis!)

Bake breads for 20-25 minutes for 9-inch rounds, 25-30 minutes for 9×13-inch cake pans. I know my bread is done when it gets “the look,” which is when large golden-brown areas begin to appear over its surface.

 

Remove to wire rack and let rest a few minutes. Remove from pan and cool on wire rack.

Tomatoes and basil from the garden… in November?! Sure! Sundried tomatoes and chopped frozen basil. Add these ingredients towards the end of baking to prevent scorching.

 

Like all gluten free breads, focaccia will become dry and crumbly if not consumed immediately. Freezing bread will best maintain its consistency and moisture, even if you plan on consuming it the next day.

 

Let your whole family help top the focaccia with the ingredients they love!

Using a serrated bread knife, slice focaccia into sandwich-sized portions for paninis. Slice each portion horizontally. Like all gluten free breads, freeze for best storage if not using immediately.

 

This focaccia makes DELICIOUS paninis!

 

Note 1:

I highly recommend King Arthur Flour’s Gluten Free Multipurpose Flour as opposed to other mixes. King Arthur Flour was my go-to flour for all of my baking when we still had wheat in our home. I was overjoyed to find that they have a dedicated facility for producing their flours (it is also an allergen-free facility, free of the 8 most common allergens). They have the BEST gluten free flour mix that we have tried, and believe me, we have tried them all (all of their mixes are SUPERIOR to other products, by the way). And no, I’m not paid by King Arthur Flour or sent free products… they are just that GOOD!

 

Note 2:

If you don’t have King Arthur Flour’s GF flour and want to use another mix, you will likely need to add LESS WATER to the dough mixture. Try starting with 1 and 2/3 cups water and gradually add more until you get the right consistency.

 

I’ll conclude with a shout-out to Annalise Roberts for her book, “Gluten-Free Baking Classics,” from which this recipe is adapted. Her book was incredibly helpful to me when we began our gluten free life. Her recipes proved to me that gluten free breads don’t have to feel and taste like cardboard; they can be moist, soft, and have that melt-in-your-mouth goodness when prepared the right way.