Gluten Free Vegan Focaccia
Makes 1 square 9-inch bread
This rustic flat bread is great served with white bean dip or dunked in red sauce. It’s also wonderful dipped in olive oil. Be sure to serve it warm.
1 1/2 cups warm water (110°to 115°F)
1 teaspoon agave nectar
1 (1/4-ounce) packet rapid-rise yeast
3 1/2 cups Gluten-Free Bread Flour Mix (see below)
1 tablespoon xanthan gum
1 tablespoon salt
1/4 cup olive oil
1 1/2 teaspoons coarse sea salt
1 1/2 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary
1. Combine the water, agave nectar, and yeast in a large bowl. Mix well. Make sure the yeast is completely dissolved.
2. Whisk together the flour mix, xanthan gum, and salt.
3. Add the flour mixture to the yeast mixture in two batches and mix well for about 1 minute, or until the dough is coming together.
4. Spray a 9 by 9-inch baking pan with baking spray or grease with vegetable shortening and dust with cornmeal, tapping out any extra.
5. Transfer the dough to the pan, using a rubber spatula. Use a frosting spatula to smooth down the surface and coax the dough into the corners of the pan. Cover with a folded dish towel or cloth napkin. Place the pan in a dishpan and pour hot water to come two-thirds up the sides (or just fill your kitchen sink basin). It may float, but don’t worry, that’s fine. Be sure to fold your cloth so it’s not dragging in the water. Let the bread rise for 1 hour. I generally replace the hot water with new hot water after the first 30 minutes. Check it periodically to make sure it’s still quite warm.
6. After the dough has risen for 1 hour, use your fingers to gently make dimples all over the top of the bread. Return the bread to its warm bath to continue rising while you preheat the oven.
7. Preheat the oven to 450°F. Once it’s heated, pour the olive oil over the top of the bread, brushing lightly with a pastry brush to distribute it evenly. Sprinkle the top with the coarse sea salt and rosemary. Bake for about 22 minutes, or until golden on top. Transfer to a cooling rack, turn out of the pan, and let cool for about 15 minutes before slicing.
Gluten-Free Bread Flour Mix
Makes 6 cups
1 1/ 2 cups millet flour
1 1/2 cups sorghum flour
2 cups tapioca starch
1 cup potato starch
Combine all the ingredients in a gallon-size zipper-top bag. Shake until well blended. Store in the refrigerator until ready to use.
Focaccia and Gluten-Free Bread Flour mix recipes reprinted with permission from The Allergen-Free Baker’s Handbook: How to Bake Without Gluten, Wheat, Dairy, Eggs, Soy, Peanuts, Tree Nuts, and Sesame. Copyright © 2009 by Cybele Pascal, Celestial Arts, an imprint of the Crown Publishing Group, Berkeley, CA. Photo credit: Chugrad McAndrews.
(Please note that all my recipes are completely free of all top allergens (wheat, dairy, soy, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts, sesame, fish, shellfish, and gluten), so as many people as possible can enjoy them. Additionally, all the ingredients are available at Whole Foods, and online at Amazon.com. If you have trouble finding something, let me know and I’ll help you find it.)
SAFETY NOTE: Because each person’s food sensitivity and reaction is unique, ranging from mild intolerance to life-threatening and severe food allergies, it is up to the consumer to monitor ingredients and manufacturing conditions. If manufacturing conditions, potential cross contact between foods, and ingredient derivatives pose a risk for you, please re-read all food labels and call the manufacturer to confirm potential allergen concerns before consumption. Ingredients and manufacturing practices can change overnight and without warning.