I was recently in a new shop in Encinitas called Olive and Baker and was so excited they carry infused organic olive oils! Of course I couldn’t taste all theirwonderful offerings because the only thing they had to sample them with was, of course, regular bread. Then I remembered the delicious Foccacia bread I used to make before I had to go gluten-free. I purchased a bottle of their Tuscan Herb Blend — which boasts fresh flavors of an Italian herb garden: oregano, rosemary, sage, and garlic. Decided I had to create a gluten-free foccacia bread recipe to dip into this fabulous oil!
Focaccia makes a nice appetizer served with special oils like Olive and Baker’s or can be served at dinner with soup or salad. It also make a nice gift — wrap it up pretty and give it to someone with a small bottle of speciality olive oil.
Tuscan Focaccia Bread
Gluten-free, Dairy-free option
1 ¾ cups luke warm water
2 ½ teaspoon active dry yeast (1 packet)
2 teaspoons raw organic sugar
1 organic egg, beaten
3 tablespoons organic olive oil, divided
2 cups organic brown rice flour
½ cup organic potato starch flour
½ cup organic sorghum flour, corn flour or amaranth flour
3 teaspoons xanthan gum
2 teaspoons sea salt, divided
2 teaspoons freshly chopped rosemary, divided
2 teaspoons freshly chopped garlic, divided
2 teaspoons freshly chopped oregano, divided
½ shallot, thinly sliced into rings or half rings
6 sundried tomatoes, chopped
6 kalamata olives, halved and pitted
¼ cup Parmesan cheese, grated
In an electric mixer fitted with dough hook combine the luke warm water, yeast, and sugar. Let stand for 5 minutes. In a medium mixing bowl combine brown rice flour, potato starch flour, sorghum flour, xanthan gum and 1 teaspoon sea salt. Add beaten egg and 2 tablespoons olive oil to yeast mixture. Stir in the flour mixture, ½ a cup at a time.
Transfer the dough to a lightly oiled bowl, cover with a linen towel and let it rise in a warm place for 1 hour, or until it is double in size. Or, place dough in bread machine and set for “dough” setting.
Once dough has risen, grease your hands with olive oil and knead 1 teaspoon rosemary, 1 teaspoon garlic, and 1 teaspoon oregano into the dough. Press dough into 9 x 12 baking pan, and let it rise in a warm place for an additional 30 minutes, covered with a linen towel.
Preheat oven to 350 ˚ F. Brush the top of the bread with remaining olive oil, top with shallot rings, the remaining rosemary, garlic and oregano and any of the optional toppings, except the Parmesan cheese which should be grated on top after baking.
Bake the focaccia for 20 minutes or until golden brown. Let cool for 5 minutes before cutting rectangular pieces. Serve with a blend of olive oil and balsamic vinegar or an infused olive oil.