Let’s face it, being gluten free can be the pits, especially when it comes to bread. I confess that we often fall back on store bought GF bread, which is choc-full of sugar, but I have the best of intentions at being more organised and making it regularly. Problem is I’ve yet to find a simple GF bread recipe which is nice and soft and hasn’t turned into cardboard by the next day. I’m still looking so if you know of one please throw it my way!
However, I do have this little beauty up my sleeve…
This is a gluten free focaccia created by the lovely Lesley Collins at Me and My Thermie. If you live gluten free be sure to check out her page. This focaccia is not a replacement for bread if you’re after a salad sandwich, but it is absolutely delicious dipped in olive oil and balsamic vinegar, or slathered with my Sweet Potato Hummus. I’ve even used it to make an open grilled sandwich with a bit of melted cheese, mmm.
This is now a regular in our house, even my super fussy toddler eats it. I’ve taken a fresh loaf to BBQs and no one has been any the wiser that it is without gluten 😉
This version below is slightly simpler than the one on Lesley’s website, and is used for GF Thermomix Demonstrations in the UK but with a bit more water. For extra brownie points go ahead and mill your own flours, but if you’ve got packets of white & brown rice flour, chickpea/besan flour and almond meal in the cupboard that works perfectly too. Handy if you’re whizzing it up when the kids are asleep.
Recipe re-produced with permission.
- 110 gm White Rice
- 110 gm Brown Rice
- 110 gm Dried Chickpeas
- 55 gm Almonds (blanched or with skins makes no difference, I leave skins on)
You can substitute these ingredients ^^ with the same weight of commercial flours and almond meal.
- 55 gm Potato Starch
- 2 tsp Xanthum Gum
- 1 1⁄2 tsp Fine Salt
- 1 1⁄2 tsp Sugar
- 2 tsp Instant Yeast (or 1 x 7 g sachet is ok too)
- 500 gm Tepid Water
- 30 g Olive Oil (plus extra to drizzle on top)
- ‘Toppings’ – I use a generous amount of fresh Rosemary and Salt flakes or chunky ground, like Murray River Pink (in Australia) or Malden Sea Salt in UK. You can also use sun-dried tomatoes, olives, anchovies, parmesan etc.
- If milling your own flour(s) do this first:
- Add rice, mill 1 min Sp 10
- Add Chickpeas and Almonds, mill 1 min Sp 10 (if only milling the almonds 10 seconds is long enough)
- Add all ingredients (except toppings) to the cooking bowl, trying to avoid tipping the salt directly on top of the yeast. Mix 10 secs, 37 degrees, Sp 6. Scrape down sides and repeat. It will not look like traditional bread dough, it will be a thick pouring consistency.
- Pour into generously oiled rectangular baking tray approx 24cm x 34cm (I use this one from Ikea and line it with parchment paper, in fact I love it so much I have all 3 sizes).
- Allow to rise for at least 30 mins, 1 hour is ideal if you can wait that long.
- Preheat oven to 200•C (fan or other)
- Drizzle a good splash of Olive Oil around the top of your focaccia, with a clean finger poke holes into the dough allowing the oil to run into the holes. (You can poke the holes before adding the oil but then it just sticks to your finger and the holes tend to fill in again too.)
- Sprinkle on your chosen on topping.
- Bake for approximately 30 minutes until golden brown.
- Allow to cool in tin for 5 minutes before removing onto a cooling rack. Try and resist eating it until it has cooled down enough that you don’t burn your fingers!
A little tip about proving/rising bread. I place mine in a cold oven with a mug or small bowl of hot boiling water. The water increases the ambient temperature just enough and the humidity stops the surface of the dough drying out. The yeast loves it and there is no risk of it getting too hot and killing the yeast before it’s done it thing.