|Gluten-Free and Vegan Italian Focaccia Slice with Balsamic Pearls on Tomato|
Last week my friend Pauline and I went to a local "Oil and Vinegar tasting" shop. We sampled a number of delicious fresh organic olive oil infusions and aged balsamic vinegars (I love the fig infusion!). We've been eating a little more Mediterranean since then... and today's experiment with making Gluten-Free Focaccia Bread was the culmination (we also ate an Italian squash and lentil soup today).
I love a soft, delicious focaccia bread for sopping up olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Today's recipe is a convert of a recipe for "biscuits a la focaccia" in Moosewood Restaurant New Classics. Naturally they use unbleached white flour, butter and butter milk. Some of the recipes I saw online used eggs as well. I just subbed for what I had, Gluten-Free-wise, and added a cup of rolled oats, always sure to make GF baking a little softer I find (use GF oats if you are intolerant of the oat protein, avenin).
2 1/2 T. Olive Oil
2 Garlic Cloves, minced
1 tsp. Black Pepper, freshly ground
1 T. Fresh Rosemary, chopped
2 C. Gluten-Free Flour Blend (your fave)
1 C. Old-Fashioned Rolled Oats
2 tsp. Baking Powder
1/2 tsp. Celtic Sea Salt
1/2 tsp. Baking Soda
2 T. Cold Earth Balance Margerine (or your choice)
3/4+ C. Coconut Milk (or other non-dairy milk of your choice)
Juice of 1 Lemon
Extra Coconut Milk or Filtered Water
- Preheat oven to 425 F
- Oil a baking sheet or use a silicone round cake pan or cut out a piece of parchment paper in a round.
- Heat 2 T. of oil in a small pan and add in the garlic, pepper, and rosemary. Simmer for about 1 minute and remove from the heat.
- In a mixing bowl, stir together the GF Flour blend, Rolled Oats, Baking Powder, Salt and Baking Soda. Stir to thoroughly combine.
- Cut the margerine into the dry mix until evenly distributed throughout (use a pastry cutter or 2 knives, or you could probably do this up quickly in a food processor)
- Add in the seasoned oil (rosemary, pepper, and garlic) and mix well.
- Stir the Lemon Juice into the Coconut Milk to form faut Butter Milk.
- Add the 'Butter Milk' to the other mix and stir to form a soft, moist dough. Add in tablespoon-increments of coconut milk or water until the dough is moist throughout, like regular biscuit dough.
- Pat into an 8" circle on a baking sheet or press lightly into a round cake pan.
- Brush the top with some olive oil (the other 1/2 T. left)
- Bake for 20-30 minutes (depending on your oven) until the bread looks done. Mine looks pretty pale in the picture above-- next time I might give it a blast of Broil to brown it up a bit. But it tastes great and is soft and does a lovely job of mopping up the oil and vinegar, what I was looking for!
Here is the recipe for the Balsamic Pearls.