It’s been somewhat of an ongoing mission of mine to create a great gluten-free, yeast-free bread recipe (that’s also dairy and egg free). It’s been a challenging task, and my patience has often been worn down in the process, leaving me to give up after the first few failed attempts each time I get back to trying.
One problem is that I haven’t found a sufficiently good way to get a loaf of bread to rise without yeast or eggs or copious amounts of baking soda, which tends to leave a distinct and lingering aftertaste when not used in moderate quantities. I haven’t given up, but I have shifted my mindset to a more reasonable approach: the bread issue is one I’m going to have to tackle by taking baby steps, rather than giant leaps.
I thought focaccia might be a good place to start. By definition, focaccia is a flat bread, which right away solves some of the leavening problems. Sure, many focaccia recipes call for yeast, but I thought that it could easily be replaced. I went through several versions using several different flours, all which turned out decent, but this was by far my favorite. I toasted some slices and dipped them in olive oil, which turned out to be very tasty. I also used some of the bread to make croutons, which I used to top off a creamy broccoli soup recipe I was testing (stay tuned for that recipe in the days to come). I even ate some slices straight out of the fridge — cold — and still enjoyed them. That’s when I knew this was a recipe worth sharing with all of you.
Gluten Free Focaccia:
1 1/2 cups Bob’s Red Mill garbanzo-fava bean flour or garbanzo bean (chickpea) flour (the latter yields a slightly softer bread)
1/2 cup golden flaxseed meal
1/4 cup arrowroot
2 tablespoons Ener-G egg replacer
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 tablespoon agave nectar
1/4 cup plus 2 teaspoons olive oil, divided
1 1/4 cup water
1 1/2 tablespoons fresh rosemary, chopped
1. Preheat oven to 350.
2. In a large bowl, whisk together dry ingredients (garbanzo/fava bean flour through baking powder). Whisk in water, 1/4 cup olive oil and agave until combined.
3. Pour batter into a pre-greased 9×9″ baking dish. Use a spatula or spoon to smooth out top. Sprinkle with rosemary and 2 tablespoons olive oil. Bake in preheated oven for 40 minutes. Top should be golden brown. Let cool almost completely on a wire rack before slicing.