Carol Fenster’s Focaccia Flatbread

Focaccia is part pizza, part bread…so we call it a flatbread. It is very easy to make and very forgiving, so give this flavorful recipe a try for your next dinner party. Serve it with olive oil for dipping. 

Bread

3/4 cup warm (110ºF) milk of choice
1 teaspoon sugar or honey
2 large eggs, at room temperature
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon cider vinegar
1 1/2 teaspoons dry yeast
1 ½ cups Carol’s Brown Rice Blend (below)
1 1/4  teaspoons xanthan gum
1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary leaves, crushed
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
3/4 teaspoon salt

Topping

1 1/4 teaspoons Italian herb seasoning
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon olive oil Parmesan cheese  (optional)

Bread

[1] Combine warm water, sugar (or honey), eggs, oil, and vinegar in medium mixer bowl. Beat with mixer (using regular beaters, not dough hooks) on low speed until very, very smooth. Add yeast, flour blend, xanthan gum, rosemary, onion powder, and salt. Beat for 2 minutes. The dough will be soft and sticky—like thick cake batter.

[2] Transfer dough to greased 11×7-inch nonstick pan, or 8-inch round nonstick pan sprayed with cooking spray. Cover with aluminum foil and let rise in warm place (75 to 85°F) until level with top of pan.

Topping

Preheat oven to 400. Sprinkle bread with Italian seasoning, salt, and oil (or to taste). Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until golden brown. Let Focaccia cool in pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes, then remove from pan and let cool another 15 minutes on wire rack, Cut into pieces and serve, sprinkled with Parmesan cheese (if using—you may also use soy or rice-based Parmesan alternative). Makes 8-inch or 11×7-inch loaf. Serves 6.

Focaccia Variations Herb Focaccia: Combine 1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary, 1/2 teaspoon dried sage, 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme, 1/4 teaspoon black pepper, and 2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese.

Sun-Dried Tomato & Olive Focaccia: Sauté 1/4 cup chopped sun-dried tomatoes, 1/4  cup sliced black olives, and 1/4  cup chopped onion in 1 teaspoon oil.

Pesto Focaccia: Purée the following in food processor just until smooth, leaving a bit of texture: 1 cup fresh basil leaves, 1 garlic clove, 1/2  cup pine nuts. With motor running, slowly add 1/4  cup olive oil through feed tube. Add 1/4  cup Parmesan cheese and dash of freshly ground black pepper.

Brown Rice Flour Blend

1 ½ cups brown rice flour
1 ½ cups potato starch
1 cup tapioca flour
Whisk together and store, tightly covered, in a dark, dry place.

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