Focaccia is an Italian yeast bread with a characteristic knobbed appearance. It can be eaten neat, dipped in olive oil and balsamic vinegar, garnished with herbs or vegetables, or sliced in half horizontally and used to make sandwiches. It's popular for its chewy texture, fluffy interior, and rich olive oil flavor.
Why this recipe works
Since the main ingredient is wheat flour, focaccia is not suitable for people on a gluten-free diet. To make a gluten-free version, I replaced wheat flour with a 1:1 gluten-free baking flour mix and added some baking powder to the instant yeast. I prefer a baking mix with xanthan gum so it holds together well and you don't have to buy that ingredient separately. The result is a focaccia very similar to the standard version, but a little chewy. Not only is this bread gluten-free, it's also vegan, meaning it's also free of eggs and dairy.
To make this gluten-free focaccia, raise instant yeast and sugar in very warm water, then add flour, baking powder, and salt. It requires no kneading and only half an hour of rising time. Since no kneading is required, it can be prepared in a mixing bowl without the need for a mixer.
How to serve gluten free focaccia
This focaccia holds up well to toppings and is easy to slice so it can be used as a sandwich bread. We think it's perfect just the way it is, with a little dip in some extra olive oil to finish off any Italian meal. Or serve with a bowl of minestrone.
“I was skeptical about a gluten free focaccia but this was excellent. The focaccia was crispy on the outside, soft and delicious on the inside. With quick mixing and rising, the focaccia was baked and ready to eat in no time.” -Diana Rattray
1 1/2 cups warm Water (105 to 110F)
1 package (2 1/4 teaspoon) immediate or rapid increase Yeast
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
2 1/4 cups (350 grams) 1:1 general purpose gluten free baking flour with xanthan gum
5 tablespoon olive oilshared, more as needed
2 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon fine Salt
Gather the ingredients.
Whisk together the water, yeast, and sugar in a large bowl until the sugar and yeast are dissolved.
Add flour, 3 tablespoons olive oil, baking powder and salt. Stir until well combined; It will be thinner than a typical bread dough.
Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let it rise in a warm place for 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, place a wire rack in the center of the oven and heat to 400 F. Oil a 9 x 13 x 1 inch baking sheet or 9 x 9 x 2 inch baking pan with 1 tablespoon oil.
Put the batter in the pan. Using lightly oiled fingers, gently stretch the dough to fit the mold.
Make dimples in the dough with your fingers. Drizzle the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil over the dough.
Bake for 20 to 25 minutes until golden brown. Allow to cool for 10-15 minutes before serving.
How to store and freeze it
- Store leftover focaccia in a tightly sealed Ziploc bag or container at room temperature for up to 2 days. To reheat, warm the focaccia in a 350 F oven.
- To freeze, wrap the baked and cooled focaccia tightly in plastic wrap, then seal in a freezer bag. Freeze up to 3 months. Thaw in the fridge and reheat in the oven after thawing.
- There are several brands of 1:1 gluten-free flour and results may vary. Some will brown faster and deeper than others, weight may vary, and flavor may be slightly different. Pick your favorite brand and keep them in mind when preparing the focaccia for the first time. The bread should be golden brown and the internal temperature should be between 200 and 210 F.
- For this recipe I used Bob's Red Mill 1:1 Gluten Free All Purpose Baking Flour. I liked this better than the gummies because it gave a comparatively grainy consistency. I also tried the King Arthur version without the xanthan gum, but the focaccia didn't hold together as well.
- Measure gluten-free flour just like wheat flour by scooping and leveling. Do not fill the measuring cup with flour.
- Instantly risen yeast is forgiving and easy to activate. If you are not sure about the water temperature, think of warm water like bath water. Boiling or overly hot water will kill the yeast.
- Prove the dough in the warmest part of your kitchen or home. If it's cold at home, place the dough in the oven on the middle shelf and place a large bowl or saucepan of hot water on the shelf directly below.
- For extra flavor, you can use olive oil infused with basil or garlic.
- After you drizzle the unbaked bread with olive oil, sprinkle it with 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon of flaky sea salt.
Any of these toppings add flavor to your focaccia and can be added right before baking:
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
- 1 teaspoon chopped fresh dill plus 1 teaspoon chopped fresh parsley
- 1/2 cup thinly sliced mushrooms
- 1/2 cup thinly sliced tomatoes
- 2 tablespoons freshly grated parmesan cheese
- 1/2 teaspoon smoked salt
- 1/4 cup sliced olives
- 1/4 cup caramelized onions