This gluten-free focaccia is crisp on the outside, tender on the inside, and topped with sea salt, sage, and Parmesan! It's delicious all on its own, dipped in oil and vinegar, or partnered with a soup or salad.
Gluten-free focaccia...did you ever think it was possible?
I certainly had my doubts.
But then after several attempts, I was able to come up with a very worthy candidate!
This focaccia needs less than 7 ingredients and comes together by simple mixing with a whisk or spoon. No mixer involved!
It all starts with mixing your dry and wet ingredients well, spreading the batter out in a pan, poking it several times to create deep divots, and giving it some time to rise. Then it's a simple matter of topping it with extra-virgin olive oil and your favorite toppings. After a quick bake in a very hot oven, you've got delicious gluten-free focaccia.
I was inspired to come up with a gluten-free focaccia recipe after meeting with Lisa Posatsa, a fellow blogger from Vancouver, Canada who writes about food and travels. She also sells her amazing Italian baked goods at public markets in Vancouver during the summer months, and one of her most popular items is her focaccia. Her recipe is a traditional one that uses regular flour, and she was generous enough to share it with me so I could work on adapting it to a gluten-free version.
As an aside, Lisa actually taught me a bit about this popular Italian bread, including the fact that focaccia is different depending on which part of Italy it is from. Did you know that the thicker style focaccia is from southern Italy, whereas the flatter focaccia, like you see here, is from northern Italy? I didn't!
Another thing Lisa taught me is that you don't need sugar to activate yeast! When she passed along her focaccia recipe, I had to ask if she had forgotten the obligatory sugar component and she said it wasn't necessary. And she was right!
So after a number of attempts, here it is...my gluten-free adaptation of a southern Italian style focaccia!
Crispy on the outside and tender on the inside, it is perfect for dipping in extra-virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar. It would also pair nicely with a plate of pasta or a bowl of soup, like my Creamy Roasted Tomato Soup. And with the tasty coarse sea salt, melted Parmesan, and sage it would also make one delicious sandwich.
How ever you decide to eat it, it is another gluten-free bread wonder that will definitely satisfy!
Gluten-Free Parmesan Sage Focaccia
- 1 ¼ cup warm water about 100 deg F (38 C)
- ¼ cup light olive oil
- 4 tbs extra virgin olive oil divided
- 1 ½ teaspoon coarse sea salt
- ¼ cup fresh grated Parmesan cheese
- Fresh sage leaves
- Line baking pan with parchment paper.
- Drizzle 2 tbs extra olive virgin oil over parchment and spread with a brush. (See notes below.) Set aside.
- Combine all dry ingredients in a large bowl and mix well with a whisk.
- Combine warm water and oil and add to dry ingredients. Mix well with a whisk or spoon.
- Scoop dough into parchment-lined pan and spread dough with a spatula or back of a spoon.
- Using wet fingers, make deep indents in the dough, pushing your fingers all the way in until you touch the bottom of the pan (you will need to wet your fingers repeatedly).
- Place dough in a draft-free warm location and allow to rise for 1 - 1 ½ hours.
- Preheat oven 425 deg F (230C).
- Drizzle remaining 2 tbs extra-virgin olive oil over the top of the focaccia and use a brush to gently spread the oil over the surface.
- Sprinkle focaccia with sea salt, sage leaves, and Parmesan cheese.
- Bake for 20 minutes.
- Let cool for 5-10 minutes before cutting.
- Serve warm.
- My experience has shown that gluten-free breads tend to stick to pans, even if the pan is greased. I use parchment in this recipe to ensure the focaccia will come out cleanly from the pan, and I spread oil on the parchment to give the focaccia that crisp bottom crust.
- I do not know if the bread would release easily if baked in a cast iron pan since I do not own one. If you happen to have a cast iron pan and give this recipe a try, please let me know how it turns out!
- As with just about all gluten-free bread recipes, this is not a stretchy malleable dough like you get by using regular wheat flour. That's why I often refer to the mixture as a batter because it is scoopable and much too wet to even attempt to handle.
- Do not worry about making big divots in the dough because as it rises, those holes will fill up quite a bit.
- Top with any of your favorite toppings like olives, rosemary, garlic, tomatoes, etc.
- If you are dairy-free, simply omit the Parmesan cheese.
- Best eaten the same day.
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