Rosemary & Thyme Focaccia…
Don’t try to make something into something it’s not.
If there’s one thing I’ve learned throughout this process of becoming gluten-free it’s that.
I have cried over bread for too long. Why doesn’t my gluten-free loaf that I’ve just spent hours slaving over in anticipation taste like its gluten-full counterpart? Simply put… because it’s not its counterpart.
Hard lesson to learn when you’re young to gluten-free and chomping at the bit to change the face of gluten-free baking, or at the very least your own diet.
There are many baked goods out there that don’t require much, or sometimes any gluten to behave admirably. Often with those recipes you can just substitute the gluten out, tweak a few other ingredients, and you’ll end up with a reasonable, sometimes better alternative.
Not so with most breads. Gluten is a vital component in bread making as it gives bread dough its elastic ability and a whole lot of other food-sciency talk that we won’t get into right now. For now, just know it is vital.
So while you can add gums to supplement the ability of gluten, they don’t possess all the qualities of gluten. If you’re expecting it to be identical to a gluten-full loaf, nine times out of ten you’ll end up disappointed.
And that’s no fun.
Recently I decided to go into bread making without any expectations. That way I can have fun with it and prevent a lot of disappointment. Don’t get me wrong, there’s still that part of me that yearns for the real thing. But hopefully over time, gluten-free will become the real thing.
This focaccia took me a long way towards that goal.
I may have over-baked it a tad, it was ever so slightly heavier than its gluten-full counterpart and didn’t have as long a shelf life, but damn was it tasty.
Gluten-Free Rosemary & Thyme Focaccia: (Adapted from Lauren of Celiac Teen)
- 1/4 cup (43 g) millet flour
- 1/4 cup (32 g ) rice flour
- 1/4 cup (41 g) brown rice flour
- 1/4 cup (43 g) potato flour
- 1/2 cup (62 g) tapioca flour
- 3/4 tsp xanthan or guar gum
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 2/3 cup warm water
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp honey
- 1/4 cup warm water
- olive oil
- handful of fresh rosemary
- handful of fresh thyme
2 1/4 tsp instant yeast
Pre-heat the oven to 200°C / 400°F and grease an 8 x 8-inch pan.
Sift together the flours, gum, salt and yeast and place in a mixer bowl or large mixing bowl.
Mix together 2/3 cup warm water, olive oil and honey and add to the mixing bowl. Beat the mixture to combine the wet and dry ingredients. It will form globs of dough at this point. (scrape down the bowl and beaters) Add 1/4 cup of warm water gradually, beating continuously, until you have a soft and slightly sticky dough that clings to the beaters. (You may not use all of the 1/4 cup warm water, or you may need more, judge for yourself but always lean towards slightly more water in gluten-free baking if you’re unsure)
Scrape the dough into the greased pan and smooth into an even layer.
Allow to rise for 1 1/2 – 2 hours until doubled in size.
Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle the rosemary and thyme over the top.
Bake for 22 – 25 minutes, until golden brown and bread makes a hollow sound when tapped firmly with your finger tips.