Forget kneading and over complicated steps, this gluten-free version of the iconic Italian bread comes together in a flash – and the results are incredible: a perfectly crisp golden top, crunchy olive oil base and light and fluffy centre. The most challenging part is waiting an hour for the dough to puff up, that’s as difficult as it gets. It is critical to use an Italian gluten-free bread flour for this recipe to achieve the correct results. The added starches in the gluten-free bread flour provide the extra stretch that enables the dough to rise.
- 500 g Italian gluten-free bread flour see Note
- 7 g sachet dried yeast
- 3 teaspoons sea salt flakes plus extra for sprinkling
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil plus extra for brushing and drizzling
- Brush a baking tray (roughly 30cm x 23cm) generously with olive oil.
- Place the flour, yeast and salt in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and mix on low speed to combine. Add 450ml of warm water and the olive oil and mix to form a wet batter.
- Spoon the batter onto the prepared tray and spread out with the back of an oiled spoon to completely cover the base. Drizzle some extra oil over the batter, use your fingers to create dimples over the top, then cover with plastic wrap and rest in a warm spot for 1 hour.
- Preheat the oven to 220°C (fan-forced).
- Remove the plastic wrap and sprinkle some extra salt over the top. Bake for 35-40 minutes or until golden. So the crust remains crispy, immediately transfer the focaccia to a wire rack to cool.
Olive & Rosemary – Prior to resting the dough, press 155g (1 cup) pitted kalamata olives into the dough and sprinkle on 1 tablespoon coarsely chopped rosemary leaves. Drizzle some extra oil over the dough, then cover in plastic wrap. Pugliese – Prior to resting the dough, press 150g halved cherry tomatoes into the dough and sprinkle with 1 teaspoon dried oregano. Drizzle some extra oil over the dough, then cover in plastic wrap. Just before baking, sprinkle on some extra salt. Gluten-free Dinner Rolls – Spoon the batter into a greased 12-hole large muffin tin. Cover with plastic wrap, rest for 1 hour, then bake for 20–25 minutes or until the rolls are golden. NOTE You can find Italian gluten-free bread flour at European delis and gourmet grocers. This recipe first appeared in Australian Gluten-Free Life Magazine Issue 39 as part of our “Let’s Break Bread – Bake delicious and nutritious gluten-free bread in your own kitchen,” feature. For more delicious gluten-free bread recipes pick up a copy or subscribe today.