Gluten-free focaccia bread has a crispy pesto-seasoned crust with a light and fluffy center. Add this easy gluten-free focaccia to any meal for a tasty side dish or appetizer. (This recipe is gluten-free, dairy-free, and vegan.)
Gluten-free focaccia is so good, that you won’t believe it’s gluten-free. It has all the flavor and texture of traditional focaccia.
Just beneath the well-seasoned crisp exterior, is pillowy soft, chewy bread. With a brushing of pesto and a sprinkle of salt, it’s tempting to devour this in one sitting!
Reasons This Gluten-Free Focaccia Recipe Works
- Easy Prep! If you’re a beginner to baking bread, this recipe is a great introduction. Simply mix the ingredients and let it rise twice.
- Customizable! Focaccia is known for its fluffy texture but what I love most is how easy it is to season to your liking. Try different toppings.
- Versatile! Eat it by itself, or serve it with a variety of dishes like soups, pastas, and salads. It even works for sandwiches or as a thick pizza crust.
What is focaccia?
Focaccia is an Italian flatbread. It is usually topped with olive oil, herbs, and sometimes olives.
Ingredients You’ll Need
- Gluten-free all purpose flour: Bob’s Red Mill and King Arthur are top brands.
- Xanthan gum: If your flour blend doesn’t list this as an ingredient, be sure to add it to the dough. This is key to achieving the elasticity of traditional bread without gluten.
- Rapid yeast/instant yeast: This helps the dough to rise and results in a light and airy texture.
- Gluten-free baking powder: This helps the bread rise.
- Warm water: This adds moisture to the dough. Use water warmed to 110°-115°F to activate the yeast. Heat it for 30-45 seconds in the microwave.
- Granulated sugar: This activates the yeast.
- Salt: This flavors the dough. You’ll need some extra for sprinkling.
- Olive oil: This softens the dough and helps it brown and crisp up in the oven.
- Pesto: This enhances the bread with a vibrant, herbaceous flavor.
How to Make Gluten-Free Focaccia
FORM DOUGH. Combine warm water, sugar, and yeast in a bowl and let it sit until frothy. In a large bowl, whisk gluten-free flour, xanthan gum, and salt. Then mix in yeast mixture and olive oil, creating a smooth, slightly sticky dough.
FIRST RISE. Cover and let the dough rise for 60-90 minutes until doubled in size. Spread olive oil in a skillet or baking tray, then evenly spread and dimple the dough. Add pesto, more olive oil, and salt.
SECOND RISE. Cover and let the dough rise for 20 minutes.
BAKE. Preheat the oven, bake the focaccia until golden brown, and broil for extra browning.
COOL. Cool for 5-10 minutes before slicing.
Tips To Nail the Recipe
- Do not skip xanthan gum. If you want spongy bread (if you are making focaccia bread, you should), this is an essential ingredient.
- Use an instant-read thermometer to ensure the water is warmed to the correct temperature range. If it is too hot, it will kill the yeast.
- The dough won’t feel like typical dough. It’s totally normal for gluten-free dough to be sticky and a bit wet.
- Remember to gently dimple the dough. This helps the olive oil seep into the bread for better flavor.
- Be generous when applying the oil to the surface of the bread. This adds flavor, and moisture and gives the bread that golden brown color.
- This recipe takes time. You can’t skip either rise so be patient. The final product is well worth it!
I absolutely love pesto, olive oil, and salt on my gluten-free focaccia but there are so many other ways to top it. Here are a few tasty suggestions:
- Tomatoes: This adds fresh sweet, savory flavor. Try sun-dried tomatoes or cherry tomatoes.
- Olives: Add these for a rich, briny flavor and Mediterranean flair.
- Cheese: Cheese and bread always pair well together. Sprinkle the bread with parmesan cheese or cheddar.
- Meat: Make this for lunch and add some protein like crumbled bacon, Italian sausage, or pancetta.
- Fresh Herbs: Ingredients like rosemary, dill, thyme, and basil infuse the dough with aromatic and savory notes. It looks and smells great!
Storage + Reheating
Although the best focaccia bread is eaten fresh from the oven, you can store leftovers. Wrap it with aluminum foil and leave it at room temperature for 1 day. For longer storage, keep it in the fridge for up to 3 days.
To reheat, keep the bread wrapped in foil and place it in an oven preheated to 350°F for about 10-15 minutes or until warmed through.
Why won’t my gluten-free flour rise?
Use fresh baking powder and instant yeast to ensure the dough properly rises. If the ingredients are expired, your yeast may not activate. If your yeast does not get foamy within 5 minutes, use a new packet. Also, give the dough time to rise. It can take 60-90 minutes to double in size during the first rise.
Can gluten free dough rise in the fridge?
Although dough can rise in the fridge, it’s best to let it rise in a warm environment.
Is focaccia bread healthy for diabetics?
The complex carbs in focaccia can help to regulate blood sugar levels. It’s not high in sugar so people with diabetes won’t see a spike in blood sugar levels. However, if you have an underlying condition, it’s always advised to check with your doctor, nutritionist, or dietician before adding something new to your diet.
Does focaccia contain gluten?
Traditional focaccia is not gluten-free because it contains wheat-based all-purpose flour. Try this easy recipe for a gluten-free alternative!
I Hope You Enjoy This Gluten Free Focaccia Bread Recipe!
If you try the recipe, don’t forget to rate the recipe and let me know what you think in the comments. Leave a quick review & star rating ★ below! Take pictures, tag #goodfoodbaddie, and share them with me on Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest! I love seeing my recipes come to life in your kitchen.
More Gluten-Free Bread Recipes To Try!
- Vegan Gluten-free Biscuit
- Gluten-Free Cheddar Jalapeno Biscuits
- Cheddar Jalapeno Biscuits
- Gluten-Free Sweet Potato Bread
- Gluten-Free Garlic Bread
Gluten-Free Focaccia with Pesto
- 4 cups gluten free all purpose flour 512 grams
- 1 teaspoon xanthan gum if your flour blend doesn’t contain it
- 1 packet rapid yeast/instant yeast or 2 ¼ teaspoons of rapid yeast/instant yeast
- 1 tablespoon gluten-free baking powder
- 2 cups warm water 110°-115° ((heat 30-45 seconds in the microwave))
- 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoon salt plus extra for sprinkling
- 2 tablespoons olive oil plus more for greasing the pan and for the top of the bread
- 3 tablespoons pesto heaping
- In a bowl, combine warm water, sugar, and yeast. Let it sit for 5-10 minutes until it becomes frothy.
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the gluten-free flour, xanthan gum (if needed), and salt.
- Pour the yeast mixture and olive oil into the dry ingredients. Mix until you have a smooth, slightly sticky dough.
- Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let the dough rise in a warm place for about 60- 90 minutes. (it should be about double in size)
- Pour 1 tablespoon of olive oil into your 10.25-inch skillet or 8×10 baking tray. Make sure you spread the oil evenly on its surface.
- Using wet hands, spread the dough evenly in the pan. Gently make dimples in the surface with your fingers. Then, using a spoon, add drops of pesto onto the focaccia bread. Pour 1 tablespoon of olive oil on top of the bread and sprinkle with salt.
- Cover the skillet or tray with a clean kitchen towel and let the dough rise in a warm place for about 20 minutes.
- Preheat your oven to 400°F (200°C).
- Bake for 25 minutes or until the focaccia is golden brown and cooked through. Broil for 30-60 seconds for an even more golden brown top.
- Allow it to cool for 5-10 minutes before slicing.