Gluten free focaccia bread

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Whether you are a complete newbie or a seasoned bread maker, focaccia bread is one of the easiest types of bread to make. This recipe for focaccia bread requires no special equipment or ingredients. All you need is a baking sheet, some gluten free all purpose flour, and a few common household ingredients.

As a note, different gluten free flours can behave in different ways. For best results, we highly recommend using this Bob’s Red Mill gluten free flour. This is the flour that we use when we make this recipe.

Cooked gluten free focaccia bread

How is focaccia different from other bread?

How is focaccia different from other bread? There are a few key characteristics that set focaccia bread apart from other common types of bread. The thickness, appearance, and consistency of focaccia bread all differ from other bread. Here are the main differences between focaccia bread and other types of bread.

  • Consistency. The consistency of focaccia dough is much different from the consistency of other bread dough. Focaccia bread is made with a dough that is thin and runny and in many ways feels more like a batter than a bread dough. This thin dough consistency is necessary to produce the light and porous texture that is characteristic of focaccia bread.
  • Thickness. Focaccia bread is generally much thinner than other types of bread. It is common for a loaf of focaccia bread to be only 1 – 2 inches tall when fully cooked. Other most other types of bread are 6 inches tall or more when fully cooked.
  • Appearance. The appearance of focaccia bread is very different from that of most other types of bread. While other types of bread have nice smooth surfaces, focaccia bread is topped with ‘dimples’ or small indentations. These dimples help prevent the bread from rising too fast and they also serve as nice wells that can be filled with your favorite flavoring.

What makes a good focaccia?

What makes a good focaccia bread? Focaccia bread should have a very light and porous consistency when fully cooked. When you cut into a loaf of focaccia you expect to see an abundance of bubbles and air holes. Focaccia bread should be light and fluffy on the inside and have a nice crusty exterior.

What consistency should focaccia dough be?

What consistency should focaccia dough be? Focaccia dough should be thin and feel almost more like a batter than a dough.  The thin consistency of focaccia dough helps to deliver the porous, spongy texture that is characteristic of focaccia. 

That being said, you should be careful not to make focaccia dough too thin. Focaccia dough should still be thick enough that it holds a shape when you displace it. You should be able to press your fingers into focaccia dough to create the characteristic dimples of focaccia dough when the dough is still wet. The dough should be thick enough to hold onto these dimples until the dough is put into the oven. 

Gluten free focaccia bread dough spread on tray

How do you dimple focaccia?

How do you dimple focaccia? It is easy to dimple focaccia bread. All you have to do is take your pointer finger and press down into the dough until your finger is about 3/4 of the way to the bottom. You can also use both your pointer finger and your thumb to pinch your dough a little. If your focaccia dough does not hold the dimples then your focaccia dough is too thin. 

If your focaccia dough is too thin to properly hold dimples you have two options. The first option is to add some more flour to your dough. If you are out of flour or you really do not want to add any more flour to your dough then you do have one other option. You can put the focaccia bread in the oven and let it cook for 2-3 minutes. After it has solidified a little you can take it out and use a utensil like a spoon to make dimples in the bread. 

How to flavor focaccia bread?

You can flavor focaccia bread by incorporating herbs and spices into the focaccia dough itself or by topping the dough with herbs and spices before cooking it. Here are some of the flavors that go best with focaccia bread. 

  • Rosemary
  • Thyme 
  • Basil
  • Onion powder
  • Garlic powder
  • Roasted garlic
  • Sweet onion
  • Sun dried tomatoes
Gluten free focaccia bread dough covered with toppings

How to make focaccia extra crusty

Are you looking for a little extra crust on your focaccia dough? it is relatively easy to make focaccia bread with a thick, crispy crust. If you want to make extra crusty focaccia bread you should increase the amount of olive oil you top your focaccia bread with. You should also cook your bread for about 5 minutes longer than you usually would. Focaccia dough is very wet so it can take a little extra time in the oven without drying out in the center.

Should focaccia be served warm?

Should focaccia bread be served warm? Freshly made focaccia bread can be served either warm or at room temperature. If you are using the focaccia bread to make a sandwich room temperature focaccia bread is fine. If you are eating the bread by itself as a side then warm focaccia bread is best. 

If you have refrigerated the bread then you should warm the bread before eating it. The refrigerator is a drying environment and it can affect the texture and flavor of the focaccia bread. If you heat the focaccia bread up before eating it the flavor and texture will be improved. You can microwave the bread for 1-2 minutes or put the bread in the oven for 5-7 minutes at 350 degrees. 

Cooked gluten free focaccia bread

How is focaccia bread served?

How is focaccia bread severed? Focaccia bread is usually served in one of two ways – as a side or as bread for a sandwich. If focaccia is served as a side or appetizer then it can be served on its own or it can be accompanied by a dipping sauce. It is common for focaccia to be served alongside an olive oil dipping sauce that has been flavored with Italian spices and parmesan cheese. If focaccia is used to make a sandwich then it is usually served as a main course. 

How long does homemade focaccia last

How long does focaccia last? Focaccia bread will last for 3-5 days in the refrigerator. As with any homemade bread, focaccia bread is best served fresh out of the oven. If you are serving leftover focaccia bread that has been refrigerated then you should heat the bread up before serving it. 

How to make thicker focaccia

Are you looking for focaccia bread that is a little thicker than the standard 1-2 inches? It is easy to modify this recipe to make thicker focaccia bread. All you have to do is use a small baking dish with high walls rather than a baking sheet. A 9×9 baking dish would work great. The walls of the baking sheet will hold the focaccia in place so you get a thicker bread. 

Why is my focaccia dense and gummy?

Focaccia bread has a high water content compared to other kinds of bread. That means that it is liable to become dense and gummy if not handled carefully. If your focaccia bread is dense and gummy here are the most likely causes. 

  • Dough did not rise enough. This is the most likely option. Usually when a focaccia bread comes out gummy it is because the bread did not rise enough and there is not enough air in the dough. It is very important that your focaccia dough doubles in size during the first rise. If you leave your focaccia dough for 1 hour and it has not doubled in size that means it needs to rise for longer and possibly in a warmer environment. If your focaccia bread does not have a sponge-like appearance with lots of air holes throughout then the bread likely did not rise long enough. It is common for under-risen bread to have air bubbles at the top of the bread but a dense line of dough with no air bubbles at the bottom of the bread. 
  • Bread is under-baked. This is most likely to happen if your oven was not pre-heated for long enough or if your oven has trouble keeping to a high temperature. If your focaccia bread has a sponge-like appearance with large air holes but it is still gummy that likely means the bread needs to be thrown back in the oven for an additional 5 minutes. Focaccia bread that is under-baked will feel wet in addition to being gummy. 
  • Too much xanthan gum. Dough that has too much xanthan gum in it is liable to become gummy. If your dough has air bubbles throughout and does not feel wet then the issue might be xanthan gum or a similar gum that is used in gluten free breads. If you added xanthan gum to your gluten free flour you should double check that your dough does not already contain a gluten replacement like xanthan gum, guar gum, or  psyllium husk 

Gluten free focaccia bread

This gluten free focaccia bread is easy to make whether you are a beginner or a seasoned professional.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Resting time1 hr 30 mins
Total Time2 hrs
Course: Appetizer, Side Dish
Cuisine: Italian
Diet: Gluten Free, Low Lactose, Vegan, Vegetarian
Keyword: dairy free, egg free, gluten free, vegan, vegetarian
Servings: 1 loaf

Ingredients

  • 2 3/4 cups gluten free all purpose flour (plus up to 1/4 cup extra)
  • 1 1/3 cups warm water (plus up to 2 tbsp extra)
  • 1/4 oz yeast (1 standard sized packet)
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 3/4 tsp salt

Olive oil topping

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 tsp rosemary
  • 1 tsp thyme
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1 pinch salt

Instructions

  • Combine the warm water, sugar, and yeast in a large bowl. Leave the yeast to bloom for 5-10 minutes until the mixture foams.
    You want your water to be warm but not so warm that it kills the yeast. You should be able to leave your finger in the water for 10 seconds without it becoming uncomfortable.
  • Add the flour, olive oil, and salt into the yeast mixture and mix thoroughly. Knead a few times.
  • Cover the bowl with a sheet of saran wrap and leave the dough to rise in a warm area for at least 1 hour. Let the dough to rest until it doubles in size.
    It is important that the dough doubles in size. If you have let your dough rest for 1 hour but it has not doubled in size you can try putting the dough in a warmer area.
  • Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and spread the dough out on the baking sheet. The dough should be 1 - 1 1/2 inches thick.
    Add dimples to the dough by pressing your finger 3/4 of the way into the dough.
  • Cover the dough with saran wrap then let the focaccia dough rise for 20 minutes. As the dough rises you should preheat your oven to 450 degrees and make the olive oil topping.
  • Chop the garlic and combine the all of the ingredients for the olive oil topping. Once the dough is done rising you can pour the olive oil over the top of the focaccia dough.
  • Bake the bread for 15 - 20 minutes at 450 degrees.

Notes

Xanthan gum. If your gluten free all purpose flour blend does not contain xanthan gum or a similar replacement for gluten then you should add around 1/4 tsp of xanthan gum per cup of flour.
Focaccia dough consistency. Different gluten free flour blends are made from different ingredients and therefore have different consistencies. Depending on the flour blend you use you might need to add a little extra flour or water to your dough. I recommended reserving 1/4 cup of extra flour and 2 tbsp of extra water to add to your dough as needed. In general, gluten free focaccia dough should be more loose and runny than other bread doughs. However, the focaccia dough should be firm enough that if you push your finger into the dough a dimple will remain in the dough when you remove your finger. If the dough is so loose that the dimple disappears then you should add more flour 1 tbsp at a time. 
Tips for measuring flour. We recommend measuring flour by spooning the flour into a measuring cup then leveling off the flour with a butter knife. This is the most consistent way to measure flour. If you dip your measuring cup into the bag of flour, it will compress the flour and you will end up with extra flour. 
Making a thicker focaccia. If you prefer a thicker focaccia you should cook your dough in a 9 x 9 baking dish rather than on a flat baking sheet. 

Other recipes you might like

Do you have some leftover focaccia bread you are wondering how to use? Check out this recipe for focaccia sandwiches with creamy ricotta cheese, fruity olives, and tangy sun dried tomatoes.

Are you looking for another simple gluten free bread recipe that is easy to make for beginners?  Check out this recipe for gluten free flatbreads

This focaccia bread pairs well with creamy and flavorful pasta dishes. This creamy tomato and garlic pasta is one of our absolute favorite gluten free pasta dishes. 


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