Monday, October 22, 2012

Gluten Free Focaccia

Gluten Free Focaccia Bread

Focaccia is an Italian bread that’s thicker than a typical pizza and usually topped with herbs or grapes or whatever ingredients you think might make the bread more interesting.  This version uses mozzarella, artichoke hearts, grape tomatoes and Italian seasonings to flavor the dough.  The result is a focaccia that would be perfect served with an antipasto tray.  

It can also be made in advance then reheated for a few minutes to revive it right before serving.  And the leftovers can be cut up and toasted as croutons or made into a panzanella salad for a whole new twist on this one.  This version stands up nicely against the strong flavors of cured Italian meats and cheeses.  

Focaccia Bread
Prep time: 40 min (including rise time)
Bake time: 30-35 min

  • 1 ¼ cups gluten free all purpose flour
  • 1 cup potato starch
  • ¾ cup tapioca flour
  • 1tbsp xanthan gum
  • 1 cup milk warmed to 110°F
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 2 ¼ tsp active dry yeast
  • 3 eggs, room temperature
  • ¼ cup olive oil & 2 additional tbsp to drizzle on the baking sheet
  • 1 tsp cider vinegar
  • 8 oz Bocconcini (small mozzarella balls) halved
  • 1 cup grape tomatoes, halved
  • 1 cup artichoke hearts, drained and quartered
  • 2 tbs pecorino romano
  • 1 clove minced garlic
  • zest of one lemon
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • red pepper flakes, optionally to taste

Video Tutorial:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F (or 205°C) and line a standard cookie sheet with parchment paper then drizzle on 2 tbsp olive oil.
  2. Sift together the all purpose flour, potato starch, tapioca flour, and xanthan gum, then use a wire whisk to stir the flours together ensuring they are well combined. 
  3. In the bowl of your stand mixer combine the warmed milk yeast and honey then let the mixture stand for 10 minutes to proof.
  4. Add the eggs, ¼ cup olive oil and cider vinegar and mix on medium speed until well combined.
  5. Add the flour mixture and using the paddle attachment of your mixer, beat on medium speed for five minutes.  Be sure to stop the mixer 2 or 3 times during the process to scrape down the bowl with a rubber spatula to ensure that the dough is well combined. 
  6. Empty the dough onto the center of your prepared pan then use well oiled hands to press it out to the edges. 
  7. Scatter the topping mixture evenly over the dough and press it down slightly to embed some of the ingredients into the dough. 
  8. Let the focaccia rise for 20 minutes in a warm place before baking for 30-35 minutes or until it has achieved the color you want and then it’s ready to slice and serve. 

Notes:  Lining the pan with the parchment paper makes it easy to slide the whole focaccia bread off the baking sheet and onto a cutting board.  The toppings can be changed to suit your tastes.

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