Happy New Year! Hope you had a great and safe one! We had an enjoyable, albeit, quiet, New Year’s Eve and Day. The weather didn’t cooperate, so Andrew was disappointed in the lack of fireworks, but we made up for it on New Year’s night, when Brett put on a fantastic display while Andrew and I sat bundled up on the patio. Not those loud firecrackers, but the flashy and brightly colored sparkly fireworks – the cats don’t even hide, but actually watch from the window!
Now, on to why you are here! Gluten-free focaccia that looks, and most importantly, tastes, like traditional focaccia! I mean, look at that crumb! Those bubbles! Looks like real wheat-based focaccia, doesn’t it? So, how did I do it? Well, I can’t take the credit, but you can make focaccia like this, too, with the help of Nicole Hunn’s Gluten-Free on a Shoestring Bakes Bread. The recipe requires a 24-hour rest for the dough, but man-oh-man, the wait is worth it, as the flavor and texture that result can’t be beat. Now, the recipes in the book do take some planning, as a couple of the ingredients are not found in your neighborhood grocery store, but once you have what you need, you are good to go! If you or anyone you know eats gluten-free, this is a must-have cookbook! And, if you’ve never visited Nicole before, be sure to hop over to her fabulous blog, Glutenfree on a Shoestring.
Gluten-free Focaccia (Click for traditional focaccia recipe)
1 cup gluten-free bread flour
1 1/3 teaspoons instant yeast
3/4 cup water (room temp)
1 tablespoon honey
2 cups gluten-free bread flour
1 teaspoon kosher salt
3/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
1 tablespoon sugar
3/4 cup water (room temp)
3 tablespoons olive oil
Make the starter by whisking together all of the ingredients in a bowl (I used my 8-cup pyrex).
Cover the bowl and allow the starter to rise until doubled in size, about an hour or so.
Once your starter is ready, you can make the dough. Now, my method and the method in the cookbook differ, as I’m a bread-baker from way back, and I do things my own way. If you are a novice baker, follow Nicole’s instructions 🙂
In the bowl of a stand-mixer, combine the starter with the dough ingredients. Using the paddle attachment, mix the ingredients together at medium-speed.
Once the mixture has come together, change to the dough hook, and mix on medium for 5 minutes. Be aware, it’s not going to look like traditional dough, but forge ahead – it’s going to fabulous!
Grease a 13×9 ceramic or glass casserole dish with olive oil or non-stick spray.
Pour the focaccia mixture into the casserole dish and cover with a well-greased piece of plastic wrap.
Place the casserole dish in the refrigerator. The dough must rest for at least 24 hours and up to 5 days. The focaccia above rested for 48 hours.
On baking day, remove the casserole dish from the refrigerator two hours prior to baking. Wrap a heating pad in a towel and set to low. Place your casserole onto the heating pad and allow the focaccia to rise for 2 hours.
After the dough has risen, use your finger tips to dimple the dough and drizzle on 2-3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil.
If you like, sprinkle on some dried Italian herbs or be decadent like me, and push tiny chunks of white cheddar into the dough.
Bake for about 20-25 minutes.
To check for doneness, insert an instant read thermometer into the middle – you’re looking for 200 degrees.
Gluten-free Bread Dough (makes 1 cup)
100 grams gluten free flour (I use Cup4Cup which I buy at Albertsons)
25 grams unflavored whey protein isolate
15 grams Expandex modified tapioca starch or this substitute
Recipe adapted from Gluten-free on a Shoestring Bakes Bread by Nicole Hunn