Gluten Free Focaccia Bread

Focaccia is a popular Italian flat bread and it’s one of the things I missed when I went gluten free last summer. Luckily, several years ago I took inspiration from Leslie Collins and Adriana Rabinovich, who both cook for coeliacs, to create a delicious GF focaccia recipe using Thermomix – grinding the flour freshly makes such a wonderful difference to the flavour.

Since then I have been learning more about the proper preparation of grains, legumes and nuts from Sally Fallon Morrell, author of Nourishing Traditions, so now I soak the freshly ground flour and leave 6 hours or overnight before finishing the recipe and then it tastes even better.

Everyone loves this focaccia at our barbeques and parties, and we’ve received lots of compliments – I hope you do too!

This recipe is suitable for Thermomix TM5 and TM31.

ACTIVE TIME 15 MINUTES

TOTAL TIME HOURS

MAKES 1 FOCACCIA

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Ingredients

  • 110 g white basmati rice
  • 110 g brown rice 
or red rice
  • 110 g dried chickpeas
  • 55 g almonds
  • 30 g whey, kefir, yoghurt or 15 g cider vinegar
  • 370 g water
  • 55 g potato flour or potato starch or cornflour (corn starch)
  • 1½ tsp xanthum gum
  • 1½ level tsp fine sea salt
  • 1 tsp honey
  • 1½ tsp instant yeast (or 1 x 7 g sachet)
  • 50 g olive oil, plus extra for greasing and drizzling

Optional toppings

  • 1 Tbsp fresh rosemary needles
  • grated zest of ½ lemon
  • 50 g green or black olives, halved, stones removed
  • sun-dried tomatoes, cut in pieces
  • roasted garlic, peeled
  • ½-1 tsp sea salt flakes, e.g. Maldon

Method

  1. Grind basmati rice, brown rice and chickpeas 2 min/speed 10.
  2. Add almonds and grind 30 sec/speed 10.
  3. Scrape down sides and base of TM bowl with TM spatula, add 270 g water and 30 g whey then mix 20 sec/speed 3; transfer to a bowl and cover bowl with a plate (or leave in your covered TM bowl if you don’t need it for something else) and set aside 6 hours or overnight.
  4. Add potato flour, xanthum gum, sea salt, honey, yeast, 50 g olive oil and remaining 100 g water, then mix 20 sec/speed 5.
  5. Grease a 20×30 cm baking tray with olive oil, spread dough evenly on tray using TM spatula dipped in water. Set aside to rise in a warm place 30-60 minutes or until dough looks a bit puffy and slightly risen; meanwhile, preheat oven to 200°C/400°F/gas 7.
  6. Sprinkle dough with one or more toppings if using. Dip your fingertips in water then press into dough all over to make little dimples – this creates the traditional appearance of focaccia, and if you’re using toppings it helps them stick to the dough.
  7. Drizzle top of focaccia with 1-2 Tbsp olive oil, sprinkle with sea salt flakes, then bake 20-25 minutes until golden with browned, crispy edges. Aga ovens: bake 18-23 minutes on rack on floor of roasting oven.
  8. Remove from baking tray and immediately check if fully baked by tapping gently on underside of bread with your knuckles – it should sound hollow; if not, return to oven for a few more minutes to finish baking. Allow to cool on a wire rack then cut or tear into chunks and serve.

Janie’s Tips

  1. This is a very flexible recipe – if you’re in a hurry, feel free to replace some or all of the rice and chickpeas with a bought variety of GF bread flour such as Doves Farm (in UK), however it does taste best when you grind the flour fresh.
  2. Freeze leftovers for up to 1 month. Refresh in a hot oven until hot through, then cool on a wire rack and serve.

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