Focaccia. Fluffy and soft Italian bread that is flat and savory and needs just  herbs, olive oil and salt. You can eat it plain or as a base for a variety of toppings such as rosemary, cherry tomatoes, garlic, sage or any other ingredient you love.

It resembles pizza in style and texture and in some places it is called “pizza bianca”, meaning white pizza. The difference is that the pizza is thinner and is baked immediately, without the yeast swelling the dough.

The official admission of its origin which is none other than Genoa, Italy. Traditionally, the original Foccacia was made in Genoa in the Italian region of Liguria, in the north of the country. There, the locals call it “fougassa” and its original version requires garnishing exclusively with coarse salt.

Focaccia is probably the most famous type of bread in Italy. It is thicker than  1.5cm/ 0.6” inches. I would say it is very similar to Greek Lagana, that traditionally baked for Clean Monady (for the gluten-free recipe, see here). It can be served as a bread in meals or as a sandwich bread and can have various shape: round, rectangular or square.

The names and variations of focaccia rival in number the sightseeing of Italy. In Rome, focaccia is called “Pizza Bianca” (white pizza) and is slightly puffier so they can be cut in half to make sandwiches with mortadella, prosciutto and other local ingredients. In Tuscany, called “schiacciata, ciaccia o schiaccia” which mean pressed. In Bari in southern Italy is “Focaccia Barese” and is the second popular after “Focaccia Genovese”. Its characteristic is that it is made by adding potato to the dough and it becomes extremely fluffy and soft. Also due to the abundance of tomatoes and black olives that exist there, in the Apulia region, this focaccia also includes these ingredients. The “schiacciata Catanese” is stuffed focaccia with the fresh sheep’s cheese of southern Italy, called “tuma” and anchovies. In fact there are many variations of focaccia in Italy.

Focaccia did not become famous by chance. After all it is one of the tastiest breads that you can prepare without special ingredients or sophisticated equipment. Its most representative feature is its slightly crispy crust combined with its fluffy and chewy crumb. I achieved this feature with the Italian gluten free flour Caputo’s Fioreglut.

But also with other flours that I have made, it has become a favorite of my family. There are several times I have made it with whatever flour I had leftover in the cupboard, such as: – Freee’s rice flour, – Schär’s Mix B, Bread flour, – Schär’s Mix it Farina flour, – Akis’ corn starch, – Caputo’s Fioreglut flour mix.

Pizza bianca, the focaccia of Rome that has their particularly fluffy and puffy dough, is due to the increased liquid content in the dough recipe, which also greatly favors of ours gluten-free flours. Soda water / club soda helps the dough rise tremendously and as you can tell it has become my go-to dough ingredient. Be careful that to use Soda water / club soda and not sparkling water.


Yields20 ServingsDifficultyBeginner

Prep Time15 minsCook Time40 minsTotal Time55 mins

Tip: Check off the ingredients you have used in the recipe or note the ingredients you have and add the rest to you shopping list to buy them. - Attention: All ingredients  must be checked that are Gluten-Free and without traces of gluten.

 500 g gluten-free flour mix for bread
 10 g instant yeast (or double quantity for fresh yeast)
 1 tbsp granulated sugar
 2 tbsp lukewarm water (~38°C/100°F)
 2 tbsp olive oil
 ¼ tsp salt
 500 ml soda water / club soda
For the pan
 1 tbsp polenta
 1 tbsp olive oil
For decoration
 olive oil
 Mediterranean flower of salt (fleur de sel in French) or if you don't have then kosher salt, coarse or plain or any kind you haveMediterranean flower of salt (fleur de sel in French) or if you don't have then kosher salt, coarse or plain or any kind you have
 fresh or dried oregano or both (optional)
 cherry tomatoes (optional)
 pitted olives (optional)

Abbreviations: g=grams kg= kilograms cup=250 ml tsp= teaspoon=5 ml  tbsp= tablespoon=3 tsp=15 ml ml= millilitre= (1ml=0.034 fl oz / 1fl oz=29.6 ml) l=litre/liter=1000ml

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is fokatsia-focaccia-xoris-glouteni-vivo-gluten-free-stp-01.jpg

1

Mix the yeast with the sugar and warm water and leave it in a warm place for 1 hour so that the yeast activates.

2

Once the yeast is ready, add the olive oil and soda water.

3

Sift the flour, add the salt and yeast mixture. Mix well with an egg beater to make the dough.
Depending on the flour you will use, the dough/batter will become either a rather liquid batter or a soft dough that sticks to the hands. Oil your hands so you can peel it out of the bowl and shape it.

4

Line with a parchment paper a pan sized approx. 35Χ40cm / 13.8”X15.8” and spread the polenta and olive oil.

5

Pour the dough/batter into the pan. And as I mentioned above, depending on the flour you use, it will become either a liquid dough or a soft dough that sticks to the hands. If the dough is relatively runny, like a batter, then with the help of a spatula you will spread it all over the pan. It helps to grease with oil the spatula a little so that the dough does not stick. If it is quite firmly dough, you will spread it with your hands. Oily a little bit your hands for help at opening the dough and also not to stick to your hands.

6

Decorate the top with whatever you like want. The most common are herbs such as rosemary, oregano, basil, etc., salt and olive oil. I also like to put cherry tomatoes and green or black olives in rings and fresh oregano that I always have on my balcony. My son wants it with just oregano and salt, while my husband is fond of green pepper. You can also add feta cheese or other cheese or blue cheese.

7

Let the dough rise in a warm place for 1 hour. I preheated the oven to 50°C/120°F and I turned it off when I put the dough to rise.
Once the dough has raised up, optionally add a little more olive oil so when its bake to take a nicer golden-brown color.

8

Bake in a preheated oven at 200°C / 400°F for about 40 minutes .

Ingredients

 500 g gluten-free flour mix for bread
 10 g instant yeast (or double quantity for fresh yeast)
 1 tbsp granulated sugar
 2 tbsp lukewarm water (~38°C/100°F)
 2 tbsp olive oil
 ¼ tsp salt
 500 ml soda water / club soda
For the pan
 1 tbsp polenta
 1 tbsp olive oil
For decoration
 olive oil
 Mediterranean flower of salt (fleur de sel in French) or if you don't have then kosher salt, coarse or plain or any kind you haveMediterranean flower of salt (fleur de sel in French) or if you don't have then kosher salt, coarse or plain or any kind you have
 fresh or dried oregano or both (optional)
 cherry tomatoes (optional)
 pitted olives (optional)

Directions

1

Mix the yeast with the sugar and warm water and leave it in a warm place for 1 hour so that the yeast activates.

2

Once the yeast is ready, add the olive oil and soda water.

3

Sift the flour, add the salt and yeast mixture. Mix well with an egg beater to make the dough.
Depending on the flour you will use, the dough/batter will become either a rather liquid batter or a soft dough that sticks to the hands. Oil your hands so you can peel it out of the bowl and shape it.

4

Line with a parchment paper a pan sized approx. 35Χ40cm / 13.8”X15.8” and spread the polenta and olive oil.

5

Pour the dough/batter into the pan. And as I mentioned above, depending on the flour you use, it will become either a liquid dough or a soft dough that sticks to the hands. If the dough is relatively runny, like a batter, then with the help of a spatula you will spread it all over the pan. It helps to grease with oil the spatula a little so that the dough does not stick. If it is quite firmly dough, you will spread it with your hands. Oily a little bit your hands for help at opening the dough and also not to stick to your hands.

6

Decorate the top with whatever you like want. The most common are herbs such as rosemary, oregano, basil, etc., salt and olive oil. I also like to put cherry tomatoes and green or black olives in rings and fresh oregano that I always have on my balcony. My son wants it with just oregano and salt, while my husband is fond of green pepper. You can also add feta cheese or other cheese or blue cheese.

7

Let the dough rise in a warm place for 1 hour. I preheated the oven to 50°C/120°F and I turned it off when I put the dough to rise.
Once the dough has raised up, optionally add a little more olive oil so when its bake to take a nicer golden-brown color.

8

Bake in a preheated oven at 200°C / 400°F for about 40 minutes .

Gluten Free Focaccia
  •  I have tried it with various flours and it always works. Specifically, this focaccia in the photo was made with left over left over gf flour I had: – Freee’s rice flour, – Schär’s Mix B, Bread flour, – Schär’s Mix it Farina flour, – Akis’ corn starch, – Caputo’s Fioreglut flour mix.
  • It requires a little attention to the water that you will mix with the yeast. It should be lukewarm around 38°C /100°F. If it’s colder it will just slow down the activation of the yeast, so you’ll need to wait extra hour. But if it is hotter, it will burn the yeast and it will not activate. My opinion, better colder water and let’s wait longer for the yeast to activate.
  • Another trick for the activation of the yeast (that I’ve been doing lately), is to put it in a deep bowl such as the one for 1kgr  yogurt package and leave it on the radiator which is hot at winter time. Be careful, it needs a quite deep bowl because the yeast is it inflates a lot and you don’t want to overflow.
  • Depending on the flour you will use, the dough will either be batter or soft dough that sticks to the hands. You will be able to easily detach this dough from the bowl and shape it, if you oil your hands.

Good Luck and Bon Appétit!!!

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