As far as seasoned bread goes Focaccia is my favourite. It’s so versatile, you can use any combination of herbs to dress it. Drizzle with lots of olive oil and it's undeniably delicious!
Plus if you're struggling to make gluten free bread, this is an easier fix.
In other parts of the world this Italian flatbread is sometimes made in the style of a pizza called pizza bianca.
Focaccia can be be round, rectangular, or square shape, served as a side or used to make a sandwich.
This recipe has caramelized onions and crushed garlic. While it bakes it has the most delicious "can't wait to get you out of the oven" smell.
The recipe for this gluten free focaccia does not disappoint, give it a try!
¾ cup brown or white rice flour*
¼ cup potato starch
¼ cup tapioca starch
2 tbsp cornmeal (I used white)
¼ tsp xanthan gum
¼ tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
½ tbsp brown sugar
1¼ tsp instant yeast
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp plain yogurt (optional)**
¾ cup water (more by tbsp if needed)
1 small onion sliced
½ tsp dried oregano
½ tsp of dried basil (use fresh if you have it)
Pepper flakes (optional)
Coconut or other vegetable oil
*Since this is a flatbread you can try a 1 to 1 flour blend if you like to replace the rice flour, starches and xanthan gum. The result will be different but I suspect still pretty decent if not better
**I like the slightly sour taste of the yogurt in this recipe. Dairy Free yogurt is available
Mix all of the dry ingredients together
To the dry ingredients add the olive oil, yogurt if using and the water. Mix well to form a somewhat smooth but wet to the touch dough
At this point you can place the dough in an oiled bowl, cover and place in the refrigerator to rest overnight. For some, this improves the flavour of the Focaccia. Otherwise skip this step and continue with the recipe
Line a tray with parchment paper and spread olive oil across the surface of the paper. Spoon the dough into the tray. The dough should be sticky to the touch and spreadable like a thick brownie batter. I would now spritz the dough with water and using the back of a wet spoon smooth the dough to the size and thickness I want (around 9” in diameter or less). The thinner you spread the dough the “crunchier” the finished Focaccia. Once the dough is my desired size and shape, I lightly pour olive oil (just a little like a tsp) over it spreading the oil evenly with the spoon. Cover the tray with oiled plastic wrap and set aside for the dough to rise. In the meantime prepare the toppings and preheat the oven to 350°F
Heat the coconut oil (about 1 tbsp) in a skillet on low to medium. Add the sliced onions and cook on low heat until they have softened and are golden to dark brown in colour. Stir occasionally to prevent them from sticking or burning. Remove from heat and set aside.
Once the dough has almost doubled in size it is ready for the toppings. Spoon and gently spread some olive oil over the surface of the dough. Pressing down on the dough will flatten it so use a light touch. Use enough olive oil to visibly coat the surface but not drown it. To create the dimpled surface that is common to Focaccia, you can use your fingers or the back of a measuring spoon which is what I do. Sprinkle as evenly as possible the oregano, basil and pepper flakes all over the surface of the Focaccia. Layer on the caramelized onions. Some of the olive oil should have pooled in the dimples you created, you can always add a little bit more if needed (the olive oil and the herbs is what creates the distinctive taste of the Focaccia).
Bake for 18 – 20 minutes until browned. If you wish to get more colour, after 18 minutes raise the oven temperature to 425°F. Remove the Focaccia from the tray but leave it on the parchment paper, drizzle on just a little more olive oil and place in the oven for an additional 5 minutes
Serve warm and enjoy! You can use any topping or herbs that you wish to personalize your Focaccia. I love the addition of fresh crushed garlic with the caramelized onions.
As with all gluten free baked goods it is best stored in the freezer, wrapped tightly, until ready for use.