I have always LOVED Focaccia bread. I love it even more after making it and seeing how easy it is to do! Side note: did you know, focaccia traditionally is made with no dairy or eggs? So not only is this recipe gluten free, it is also dairy free and vegan!
If you haven't had it before, focaccia is a springy and soft bread that can be paired with just about anything in my opinion. When baked in a cast iron or metal pan like I did here, it adds a nice, light crisp bottom that I LOVE. For a softer bread, bake it on a sheet pan (more notes on that below). Feel free to also play around with the herbs and seasonings to match whatever meal it is going with! This recipe is easy, versatile and delicious. You have a winner here, people!
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* This focaccia bread recipe can also be made with regular, all-purpose flour if desired. The measurement of regular flour is the same as the Cup 4 Cup gluten free flour called for in this recipe. If using regular flour you will need to double the amount of time you knead the dough for and double the rise time in the first rise from 20-30 minutes to 1 hour.
Kitchen scale (optional)
Measuring cups and spoons
Stand mixer with dough attachment (you can also knead by hand instead)
Sheet pan or metal 9x13 baking pan or a cast iron pan
1 1/3 cup warm water (about 105 - 110°F)
2 teaspoons honey
1 (0.25 ounce) package active-dry yeast
3 3/4 cups of gluten free all purpose flour (I use Cup 4 Cup)
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling at the end
1.25 tsp fine kosher salt
Flaky salt or course sea salt for sprinkling on top at end
Any herbs of choice (I used 1 tsp of fresh thyme) + 1 clove fresh garlic
Mix the warm water (make sure water is between 100-110 °F) with honey. Once the honey is dissolved mix in the yeast. Give it all a quick mix then let the mixture sit for about 10 minutes so that the yeast can activate.
Once the ten minutes are up, add the yeast mixture in a large bowl and slowly incorporate with a dough hook or your hands, the flour, fine kosher salt and olive oil.
Knead the dough in a stand mixer with the dough hook attachment for about five minutes or by hand for about seven minutes.
Transfer dough to a clean bowl lightly greased/coated with olive oil and cover with saran wrap or a kitchen towel.
Let the dough rise for about 20- 30 minutes.
Note: your dough may not rise a lot and don't worry if it doesn't. Because it is a gluten free bread it won't double in size when it rises like traditional breads do, but it will still have a slight rise and it will still turn out!
After rising, turn the dough out onto a parchment lined sheet pan or place in a greased cast iron pan or a greased 9x13 metal pan
Roll dough out if using a parchment lined sheet pan into a half inch thick, sheet. If using a greased pan or grease cast iron skillet, push the dough into every corner or as close to the edge of the pan/skillet as possible or until it is about half an inch thick all the way around the pan/skillet
Cover the dough again with Saran Wrap or a kitchen towel and let the dough continue to rise for another 20 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat your oven to 400°F.
After the 20 minutes are up, use your fingers to poke deep dents (don't be afraid to poke all the way down to the baking sheet! Really go for it!) all over the surface of the dough. Drizzle a tablespoon or two of olive oil evenly all over the top and sprinkle evenly with flaky salt or course sea salt.
Feel free to add whatever seasonings you want in addition to salt here. Really any fresh herb would do and I would highly suggest adding fresh garlic as well. I used 1 tsp of fresh thyme and 1 large clove of garlic, both minced. Rosemary is also a classic.
Bake for 20 minutes, or until the dough is slightly golden and cooked through. If it is a hot and humid day, I know this sounds crazy, but it will actually increase your bake time a good amount. So don't worry if you're having to add 5, 10 or even 15 minutes.
Remove from the oven and drizzle with a little more olive oil if desired. Slice, and serve warm.
Store at room temperature for up to 2-3 days. I personally cut mine into individual pieces and then store any leftover bread in the freezer after it has been out for 24 hours or so. The bread freezes REALLY well and you can microwave it back to life or let it thaw on the counter!