Gluten free breads can be tricky to make. Debra Prince my guest on The Sensitive Kitchen podcast has been cooking gluten free bread for almost 20 years. Her website Modify . . . Simple Modifications, Significant Transformation contains variety of tested gluten free recipes that she has developed or tested.
Debra has shared this gluten free focaccia recipe on my podcast, The Sensitive Kitchen, episode 018. For all her gluten free baking and cooking tips you can listen (or read the transcript) here.
I made Debra’s gluten free focaccia recipe and here are my notes and observations.
First of all, I used King Arthur Baking Company’s Measure for Measure flour. After I purchased it, I called the amazing, free baking hotline at King Arthur Baking Company because the package says not to use it in yeasted recipes!
However the baking hotline representative told me that it was fine to use it in yeasted recipes as long as I was using a modified recipe for gluten free. They just do not want someone to use a regular recipe, substitute this flour and expect the results to be the same. Whew! Debra has already done the hard work for us.
As I wanted to weigh my ingredients as I always do for bread, the King Arthur Baking Company representative told me to use 120 grams of Measure for Measure flour for one cup.
Since this flour has grains as the first ingredients, and not a starch, I followed Debra’s recommendation to add a starch to the mix. I thought I had potato starch but it was potato flour. Nope, So next I tried arrowroot flour. It was too old. (I don’t use it often – usually preferring tapioca starch.).
So I used tapioca starch. For two cups of gluten free flour (240 grams) I used 200 grams Measure for Measure flour and 40 grams of tapioca starch.
I combined the wet ingredients and added them to the dry ingredients.
As Debra reminds us, this is more like a batter than a stretchy dough that you can knead. However mine was SO runny that it was not even batter. I slowly added a combination of Measure for Measure flour and tapioca starch. I ended up with the equivalent of three cups of Measure for Measure flour/ tapioca flour blend. Start with less, but do not be surprised if you need to add more if you decide to weigh your ingredients.
I also reduced the garlic powder to 1/2 teaspoon from 1 teaspoon and it was plenty for us.
The dough went into a greased 9 x 13 pan, was spread and covered to rise for 30 minutes.
Oil was spritzed on top, then into a preheated 450 degree oven for 6 minutes. I took it out and sprinkled my toppings on top – rosemary & sea salt on 2/3 and freshly grated parmesan on 1/3.
The other complication I had was that my focaccia did not brown. (This sometimes happens with gluten free breads.) So I left it I longer. And longer. And longer. It was a little overdone – but still good. Next time I won’t wait for it to brown!
I have the leftovers in the freezer for when my gluten free friend comes for dinner or when my husband needs a gluten free bread instead of my usual sourdough.
Gluten Free Focaccia
- 2 cups cup for cup gluten free flour*
- 4 teaspoons active dry yeast
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1½ teaspoons salt
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon oregano dried
- 1 egg lightly beaten
- 2 tablespoons olive oil plus more for brushing
- 1½ cups lukewarm water **
- shredded extra sharp cheddar cheese
- shredded parmesan cheese
- sliced mozzarella, pizza sauce, sauteed mushrooms and cilantro
- ¼ teaspoon fennel seed
- 5 artichoke hearts well drained & chopped
- fontina cheese, sliced
- fresh basil
- fresh cilantro
- In a large bowl whisk together the flour, yeast, sugar and salt.
- Add the egg, olive oil and water.
- Using a wooden spoon, or paddle hook with stand mixer, beat until the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl, adding more flour or water if needed. This is a VERY soft dough.
- Scoop into a 9 x 13 inch baking. pan.
- Lightly flour the top.
- Using your fingertips (or a spatula), press the dough to evenly fill the pan.
- Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rest at room temperature for about 30 minutes.
- While the dough rises, preheat oven to 450°.
- Remove plastic wrap and spread oil on top of dough.
- Bake on the middle rack in oven until puffy and crisp on bottom, about 6 minutes.
- Add your favorite toppings (such as tomato sauce, cheeses, pesto etc)
- Bake for about 3 minutes, until toppings have melted and edges of bread look crispy.
- Cut in squares when cool.
- * Cup 4 Cup is NOT corn free. If you use a gluten free flour with grains as the first ingredient, such as King Arthur Measure for Measure, the dough may be denser. Debra recommends using 1/2 cup less and adding 1/2 cup potato starch.
- I ended up using 3 cups of Measure for Measure combined with tapioca starch (see blog for amounts.)
- ** Can use milk in place of the water
- Note: None of the optional ingredients are included in the nutrient analysis.