Friday, August 26, 2011

Gluten Free Friday ~ Rosemary Parmesan Focaccia Bread

 Ever since I read Barbara Kingsolver's Animal, Vegetable, Miracle with all of its descriptions of garden fresh veggies, local eggs and meats, and impromptu meals of crusty breads and cheeses, I've wanted to make a bread that our family could use as a "tummy filler" alongside farm veggies and cheese for an oven-free summer meal.  The final inspiration came last week when we stayed in a lovely bed and breakfast in Bar Harbor, Maine. (more on that soon!) The innkeeper's gave us a complimentary set of fine quality olive oil and balsamic vinegar from a local vendor, and I couldn't wait to get home and experiment with a bread to dip in it.
Focaccia bread sounded especially good, so I researched a couple of recipes, added a few of my favorite savory ingredients, a little xanthan gum, and came up with this recipe.  As it baked, (which means our meal wasn't exactly "oven-free." Oh well.)  it filled the house with that wonderful yeast-y baked bread smell, and the kids could hardly wait to devour it.  A small plate of olive oil and vinegar was prepared, as well as a plate of raw veggies, fruit, cheese, and sauteed kale with chickpeas, and that was our dinner!  

Rosemary Parmesan Focaccia Bread

3 cups gluten free flour mix (rice, tapioca, potato here)
1 tsp salt
3 tsp xanthan gum
2-3 Tbsp rosemary (crushed with mortar/pestle if you like)
3 garlic cloves, pressed
1 pkg yeast
1 tsp sugar
1 - 1 1/4  cup warm water
4 eggs
1 tsp cider vinegar
1/4 cup olive oil + 2-3 Tbsp for brushing surface of bread before baking
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
More olive oil and balsamic vinegar for dipping

1. Mix yeast, sugar, and warm water in a small bowl and let sit while working on rest of ingredients.
2. Place dry ingredients (GF flour, salt, xanthan gum, and rosemary) in a large bowl and mix thoroughly.
3. Add eggs, vinegar, olive oil, and pressed garlic cloves to yeast mixture.  Stir, and add to dry ingredients.
4. Stir until well combined, and then pat flat onto a pizza stone or baking sheet.
5. Let rise 15-20 minutes, brush with olive oil, sprinkle with Parmesan (and more rosemary, if you like), and then bake at 400 degrees for 15-20 more minutes.
6. Cut into squares or triangles and serve with olive oil and balsamic vinegar for dipping.

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