Friday, July 30, 2010

You-Won't-Believe-It's-Gluten-Free Focaccia

Look at those beautiful air pockets.  Just look at them.

It's like real bread.  It tastes like real bread, it got beautiful and brown like real bread, and best of all - it's springy like real bread.  You know how most commercial gluten-free breads have the consistency of chalk, or a rock?  Not this one.  You can try to push this one down, but it will spring right back up, almost defiantly - just like gluten-ful bread.

I added some herbs to this to make it more savory, but leave them out for a more versatile bread.  You can easily slice this in half and make a sandwich out of it, or toast it and drizzle honey over it.  You could even make it into French toast, if you so desired.  Spread cream cheese and jam onto a toasted piece, or just eat it plain.

But whatever you do, make it.  You won't regret it, I promise.  It is so easy to throw together, and half the pan was gone in a matter of 15 minutes in my house.  

This is definitely best served the same day.  It was a little drier the second day, but zapping it in the microwave for about 10 seconds made it just as soft and springy as it had been the day before.  Store in an airtight container in the fridge for best results, or if you're saving it for longer than one day, put it in the freezer and defrost before serving.

Gluten-free Focaccia (Adapted from "1,000 Gluten-free Recipes" by Carol Fenster)

1 1/2 tsp. active dry yeast
2 tsp. sugar
1/2 cup warm water (110 F)
White rice flour for dusting the pan
1/2 cup sorghum flour
1/2 cup tapioca starch
1/2 cup potato starch
1 1/2 tsp. xanthan gum
1/2 tsp. salt
2 large eggs, best at room temperature
2 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
1 tsp. cider vinegar

For herbed focaccia, add:
1 tsp. dried thyme
1/2 tsp. onion powder

In a small bowl, dissolve the yeast and sugar in the warm water.  Put it in a warm place to let rise and foam.

Grease an 8x8 nonstick pan and dust the bottom and sides lightly with white rice flour.

Combine all of the dry ingredients in a mixing bowl and add the eggs, vinegar, oil, and yeast-water mixture.  Beat the dough by hand or with a mixer on low until it is thoroughly blended.  If using a blender, increase the mixer speed to medium and continue beating for 30 seconds or until dough starts to get a bit thicker.  The dough will be very wet and will look more like muffin batter (you won't be able to knead it).

Transfer the dough to the pan.  Spread it to the edges of the pan with a wet spatula or spoon and make sure that it is evenly spread.  Let the dough rise in a warm place for at least 30 minutes, or until it has doubled in height.  If you are making herbed focaccia, spray dough with cooking spray and sprinkle the dough with thyme, italian seasoning, and salt.

Preheat oven to 400 F.  When the dough has risen, place in the preheated oven and bake for 18 - 20 minutes.  It's done when you can push down on it and it springs back.  Remove from oven and cool the focaccia in the pan for 10 minutes on a wire rack.  Remove it from pan and cool another 10 minutes more on the wire rack.  Slice with a serrated knife.

Store in the fridge for up to one day and reheat when you are ready to serve it.  Otherwise, keep it in the freezer, already sliced, and defrost as needed.  Holds together beautifully for sandwiches or grilled cheese.

1 comment:

Juls said...

I made this this morning and its beautiful! Mine didn't have as much texture but it was still good enough for me and full of the right amount of "spring" and held flavour very well! Thank you for this recipe, I'll be using it again for sure.