Bread is one of the most delicious foods, coming in so many forms that can be enjoyed in so many ways. Focaccia is one such bread that makes delicious sandwiches or pizza, but is it possible to find gluten-free focaccia?
Focaccia isn’t naturally gluten-free, as it is made with wheat and yeast like many other breads. Those who can’t eat gluten don’t have to deprive themselves of this fluffy bread; making a delicious gluten-free focaccia can be done with some smart baking tips.
Is Focaccia Gluten-Free?
Focaccia is not a gluten-free bread normally, but it’s possible to make a gluten-free focaccia that still has many of the signature features of this particular bread. The bread is known for its unique texture and versatility. Many people will add different herbs and other ingredients to change the flavor.
What Type Of Bread Is Focaccia?
Focaccia is a dense, flat Italian type of bread that is often baked on a sheet pan rather than in a bread pan. It isn’t made with a ton of ingredients, but the way it comes together when baked makes for a distinct flat bread. It can be made sweet or savory depending on what you add to it.
Focaccia is often somewhat thick, but it’s more of a flatbread than a loaf of bread. It can be a vessel for different dishes, and is often used for pizza or sandwiches. It also makes a good bread for dipping, and is also delicious right off of the pan.
How Is Focaccia Different From Other Breads?
As mentioned, one of the distinct attributes of focaccia is the crispy outside and the soft, spongy interior. Part of what contributes to this fantastic bite is the series of dimples punctured into the bread that helps air distribute through the dough as it bakes. The dimples don’t penetrate through the bread completely, but they are important.
While many breads rise in a bowl covered in plastic in a room temperature kitchen, focaccia requires the rising process to occur in a warm oven. This needs to happen at about 100 degrees, so you will have to often turn your oven on at the lowest setting and wait for it to come to 100 degrees.
It’s also possible to make delicious focaccia, gluten-free or not, without any dairy or non-vegan ingredients. This makes it an appropriate bread to make allergy friendly, making it possible for more people to enjoy its deliciousness.
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How To Make Gluten-Free Focaccia
One of the simplest ways to make delicious gluten-free focaccia is by mixing together 3.5 cups of gluten-free flour (all purpose is best), a tablespoon of gluten-free baking powder, a packet of instant yeast, and some salt. After mixing, pour some warm water into the dough.
Then, mix a tablespoon of honey and sugar and warm it up and pour it in. Add a teaspoon each of olive oil and apple cider vinegar to your dough, and mix it; use low speed on a stand mixer. After mixing for a couple of minutes, put the dough into an oily bowl, cover it with a towel, and put it in a warm oven for 30 minutes.
Finally, you want to form your dough on an oiled sheet pan, adding those incomplete holes with your finger, and drizzling some olive oil and any herbs you’ve chosen. Bake for 20 minutes, and you have some delicious gluten-free focaccia.
How To Make Good Gluten-Free Focaccia
When it comes to making gluten-free bread, being precise with tried and true recipes is the most important factor in making sure your bread turns out delicious. Finding gluten-free yeast can be difficult, but it is one of the most crucial parts of most bread recipes.
The flour you choose is an important element as well. There are a plethora of gluten-free flours available, but you want to choose one that works well when it comes to baking with yeast. The way you activate your gluten-free yeast is important as well; when you pour warm water into the dough, it needs to be warm and not hot or else the yeast won’t activate.
One of the ways to get that signature crispy bite is to set your oven to broil after you’ve baked the bread. Broiling can quickly burn food, so you have to watch the bread diligently in order to make sure it doesn’t burn. Typically, you won’t have to broil this bread for more than a minute and a half; it all depends on your oven.
Tips For Good Gluten-Free Bread
One of the secrets to fantastic gluten-free bread that has an appealing texture is xanthan gum. This helps give bread with no gluten that chewy, gummy consistency we all know and love from bread. Some gluten-free flours will already have this in the mixture, and if so, you don’t need to add xanthan gum to your recipe.
It’s also important to use proper measuring implements with your gluten-free ingredients too. The flour needs to be scooped carefully into a measuring cup specific to dry ingredients, and needs to be leveled out so that you get a precise measurement. Use a spoon or small scoop to put flour into the cup.
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Gluten-free bread has come a long way from what it once was thanks to some ingenuity in the baking process. Therefore, having a gluten intolerance doesn’t mean you have to eliminate delicious breads from your diet, such as focaccia. Making gluten-free focaccia is more about how you work with the ingredients than it is about the ingredients themselves, save for the choice in gluten-free flour.
Gluten-free focaccia, when made well, still tastes deliciously airy and fluffy, with soft dough on the inside and crispy dough on the outside. Whether you choose to make a pizza, a sandwich, or enjoy a slice of focaccia on its own, gluten-free focaccia is definitely worth the effort.