Gluten-free focaccia (+ the best gluten-free flour)

Updated: Sep 15

A gluten-free focaccia recipe that is so easy you won't believe it when you read it. I am VERY new to the dough and baking game, and enjoying the experiments. This one took a bit to figure out as working with gluten-free flour can be difficult, especially if you are mimicking a bread recipe that includes a big rise. After testing multiple flour products, I came across the Caputo Gluten Free Flour - which was by far the best. Not a sponsored post, but genuinely excited to share a product that can be accessed globally. Caputo is one of the best "00" flour producers in Italy and have been in the game for a long time, producing high quality flour milling. The gluten-free product uses a mix of ingredients including rice flour, potato starch, corn starch, soy flour, guar gum and xanthium gum (to name a few). This combination is why it's so successful, the use of xanthium gum and sugar gum in gluten-free blends is essential to provide the structural elements for baking. This includes making the dough elastic and emulsifying liquids together as a batter before its a dough.


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Tips and learnings

Types of yeast and how to store

I have come across countless recipes that recommend different yeast types including dry active yeast and live yeast. When you are working with gluten-free flour, I do believe mixing the dry active yeast with luke-warm water and allowing to sit for 3-5 minutes until bubbly does assist with the elasticity and rise of the dough. I recommend Lesaffre SAF instant yeast which can be bought in a small packet, or in bulk. Be sure to tightly seal the yeast after use in a container and put in the freezer or fridge. It lasts much longer when refrigerated.


Warmth for the first rise and the second rise

Ensure your dough is placed in a bowl or deep bucket and covered well with a moist towel or wrap and try to ensure no gaps in the seal of the bowl. I recommend placing the dough in an oil-brushed bowl that is triple the size of the dough after kneading. You can wrap the bowl in additional towels to keep warm in the cooler months and allow it to rise for the first few hours before placing in the refrigerator over night to slow the fermentation process down. You will know if your dough has gone too far in fermentation by the smell!


For the second rise, take the dough out of the fridge after 24-48 hours and carefully remove it from the bowl and into baking tray. Slowly pull the dough out into the edges of the tray and be careful not to over-do this part. Repeat the process of covering the tray with a tight seal and allow it to rise again for 4-6 hours.The dough will spread out and rise on it's own. After this, the dough should form bubbles or wobble when tray is shaken. Dimple your dough by pressing fingers into it to create a bubbly texture, top with olive oil and salt (be generous with oil) and bake.



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A gluten-free focaccia that is worth the overnight wait. Simply prepare the dough the morning before and bake the next day for a dinner side hustle.


Gluten-free focaccia


Time: 24-48 hours Yield: 8-12 Serves (small), 4 large serves (sandwich size)

Nutrition Facts (coming soon)


Ingredients

500g Caputo gluten-free flour

10g saf-instant (dry) yeast

10g gluten-free baking powder

20g salt (iodised table salt is fine)

450ml luke-warm water

1/4 - 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

sea salt to top

1 large sprig of rosemary, picked and washed



Method

1. Add instant yeast to 450ml luke-warm water and allow to sit for 3-5 minutes.


2. Meanwhile, mix gluten-free flour with baking powder and salt and combine with a whisk. Create a well in the centre of the dry mixture.


3. Once you see the yeast has started to form bubbles, pour the water and yeast into well and begin to mix together circling from the inside out until the dough is elastic and everything is combined.


4. Fold the corners of the dough over and into the centre about 4 times gently and then drizzle olive oil on top and rub the oil over the dough completely.


5. Transfer the dough into a clean large bowl or large bucket that has already been brushed with olive oil (sparingly). Seal the bowl with a moist towel, a beeswax wrap or other wrap to ensure gaps are closed off. You can also wrap it in additional towels for warmth in cooler seasons. Place aside for 1-2 hours for the first rise. It should double in size very fast. Place the dough in the fridge for 24-48 hours to slow down the fermentation process and give the dough time to rest.


6. Remove dough from fridge and transfer into an oil-brushed baking pan of choice. Gently spread the dough out towards the corners of the pan and repeat the process of sealing the pan with a towel or wrap for the second rise. This one is much shorter, about 4-6 hours. The result should be a rise to the top of the pan (or close to it) and some bubbles.


7. Turn on the oven at 200 degrees. Dimple your dough gently across the pan to create a bubbly texture. Generously drizzle with olive oil, add sea salt and any topping of choice. I enjoy keeping it simple with rosemary.


8. Bake for 25-30 minutes, until light brown on top. You can tell it's baked by pressing down on top and there should be a good bounce back and the dough will be crusty on top, soft on the inside.


 




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