Gluten free focaccia bread is the perfect place to start your gluten free bread baking adventures. It’s an easy bread to make and is a fun one to customise and adjust with your own toppings, once you’ve mastered the basics. We are totally obsessed with this recipe and cannot stop making it – even my non-gluten free friends have been loving eating it!
Focaccia is an Italian bread with similarities to pizza. It’s quite flat (an inch or two thick, depending on the tin you use) and contains olive oil so has a lovely soft crumb inside, with golden crispy crusts. You can enjoy it with all sorts of salads, soups and dinner spreads as a side dish, or make it thicker for wonderful sandwiches.
Unlike many gluten free breads, which need to be eaten asap, I find this focaccia is still perfectly soft and delicious the next day. I often have it cold with sliced cheese inside when I want something to grab and go. Be sure to store it in an airtight container, else it will dry out.
What Toppings Can I Use?
I am a huge olive fan, so I have topped my gluten free focaccia with green olives and the classic fresh rosemary and salt combination. However, feel free to skip the olives and stick to plain rosemary and salt is you prefer.
Once you’ve got your confidence at making the bread base, have fun experimenting with different toppings. You can even try a “garden focaccia” if you are feeling fancy!
Which Gluten Free Flour Should I Use?
I have been making my gluten free focaccia with the Schar All Purpose Baking Mix and would strongly recommend you use the Schar flour too. It contains psyllium (a natural fibre), which is brilliant for gluten free bread and helps get that lovely soft resulting texture.
You can pick up the mix in Morrisons, Waitrose and Ocado. You’ll find it in the free from section with the other flours. I’ll test the recipe with other flour mixes in due course but at the moment the Schar mix is my go to for this recipe.
My Dough Is Really Sticky – Is That Right?
Yes, the dough for this focaccia is really sticky and not like gluteny bread dough. Gluten free flour needs a higher level of hydration and using a nice wet dough results in a lovely soft crumb. Rather than a hard dry bread.
Wetting your hands allow you to shape this dough easily without it sticking to you. And a dough scraper is a handy piece of equipment for transferring it from the bowl to the baking tin. If you don’t have a dough scraper don’t worry, a tough spatula will do the job nicely.
Is This Gluten Free Focaccia Dairy Free Too?
It sure it! Naturally dairy free, egg free, vegetarian and vegan, this is a great bread to make if you’ve multiple dietary requirements.
Gluten Free Focaccia Recipe
This recipe makes enough focaccia to serve 4 people as a side dish. You’ll find the method below with loads of pictures to guide you through it. Feel free to email me any questions or comments you might have. You can contact me at email@example.com or message me on Instagram/Facebook @myglutenfreeguide.
If you enjoy this focaccia, I would be really grateful if you could leave a star rating on the recipe card below. Thank you!
Gluten Free Focaccia Bread
- 12g dried active yeast (I use Allinson's easy bake yeast)
- 2 tsp caster sugar
- 260ml warm water
- 325g gluten free flour (I use and would recommend the Schar All Purpose Baking Mix)
- 1 tsp gluten free baking powder (optional, but it gives the bread an extra boost)
- 1.25 tsp xanthan gum
- 1 tsp fine salt
- 40ml olive oil + 20ml for topping the focaccia
- 2 tsp cider vinegar
- To finish: a big pinch Maldon salt, 1 spring fresh rosemary and 50g green olives (optional)
I recommend making this gluten free focaccia in a spring form baking tin, as it will be much easier to get out. If you need to use a fixed form tin, please line with non-stick baking paper greased with olive oil.
- Combine the warm water, caster sugar and yeast together in a measuring jug, give everything a good stir and then leave to stand for 10-15 minutes (no stirring during this time). The yeast will activate and a thick layer of foam will form on top of the liquid (see image below).
- While the yeast is getting to work you can prepare the tin for the bread. Take a non-stick spring form tin (mine is 23cm wide, slightly smaller/large is fine too, your focaccia will simply be thinner/thicker). Line the bottom of the tin with a circle of non-stick baking paper then liberally grease the entire inside of the tin with olive oil. Set aside.
- Add the gluten free flour, baking powder, salt and xanthan gum to a large mixing bowl. Stir to combine them well.
- Make a well in the centre of the flour in the bowl and add the 40ml olive oil, cider vinegar and contents of the jug. Use a wooden spoon to mix the liquids into the dry ingredients. You'll need some muscle to give it a good stir, I always get a sore arm doing this (but you might be more of a dedicated gym goer than me...kudos if so!). Mix until you have a really sticky dough, which is still quite wet.
- Use a dough scraper or spatula to scrape all the sticky dough into the prepared baking tin. Wet your hands with a little water and then press the dough flat in the tin, ensuring it reaches the edges. With wet fingers make lots of little dimples in the dough (see images below).
- Now cover the tin with a clean, damp cloth or tea towel and set aside in a warm place for around 50 minutes. Or until the dough has almost doubled in height.
- Preheat the oven to 180C (fan). Then once the focaccia has risen, drizzle the remaining 20ml olive oil over the top and gently spread all over with a pastry brush. Sprinkle with a big pinch of Maldon salt and push small springs of rosemary and olives into the dimples you made earlier.
- Place in the middle of the oven and bake for 30 minutes until golden. Remove from the tin and allow to cool before slicing if you can resist...or feel free to tear it into chunks and enjoy while it's still warm :D.
This bread is best enjoyed on the day of baking, but if you have any leftovers pop them in an airtight container and they'll still be nice and soft for a couple more days.
If you’ve enjoyed my gluten free focaccia, why not try making some of my other gluten free bread recipes:
Enjoy! Laura xxx