Gluten Free Focaccia – This gluten free rosemary focaccia is made entirely gluten free and vegan-friendly! It’s easier than you think and has the perfect crispy crust and tender, light center. Yum!
I’m pretty sure my kids could live on carbs alone, if I let them. I don’t blame them. Other than avocados (my first and forever love), carbs are basically my second love language. So even though we eat fewer grains these days than we used to a few years ago, I always hold space for some of my favorites.
After a recent Raddish Kids box (see why we love it here), we played around a bit with gluten free focaccia recipes till we got this one right where we like it. The end result is perfect for satisfying a carby craving. This gluten free rosemary focaccia has a crisp, golden top and bottom, a soft & pillowy center, and just the right seasonings. It’s enough to send me into a swoon!
If you’re new to gluten free baking or haven’t made gluten free breads before, I *highly* recommend you read through the notes below to help you along the way. This is a relatively easy recipe to follow, but it IS different than baking with traditional flour.
USE FRESH INGREDIENTS. It might seem silly, but if you’re using really old baking powder or a packet of yeast you don’t *exactly* remember buying because it’s been so long, you might want to swap them out for fresh.
WATCH YOUR WATER TEMPERATURE. The water should ideally be between 120-130 degrees F before you add your yeast. I almost never use a thermometer for this. I use the touch test–if the water is too warm to put your finger in comfortably for several seconds, it’s too hot. You need the warmth to help activate it, but you don’t want it so hot it kills the yeast. If it’s too hot, wait a few minutes for it to cool down, or pour out half and cool it down by adding some room temperature water.
KNOW THAT GLUTEN FREE FOCACCIA DOUGH IS MORE LIKE BATTER. If you’ve ever baked with wheat-based flours (white all-purpose, wheat, bread flour, etc.) you’ll be able to tell right away that gluten free focaccia “dough” is really more like batter. It’s not pliable (there’s no gluten or wheat proteins to give it that structure!), and you won’t knead it–you can’t! It’ll be a rather sticky, wet batter instead of a cohesive, stretchy dough.
USE PARCHMENT PAPER ON YOUR PAN. Your gluten free focaccia batter will be sticky, and it can stick to the baking sheet if you don’t prep it. A surefire way to keep your dough from sticking to the pan is to use parchment paper, then drizzle the olive oil on top of it, as directed. I highly recommend you don’t skip the parchment. If you don’t like using parchment paper, at least use a reusable silicone baking mat to help prevent sticking.
DON’T SKIMP ON THE OLIVE OIL. SERIOUSLY. Don’t do it! I know it’ll feel like a lot (especially on the sheet pan), but I promise the olive oil is essential for the texture of the interior and exterior of gluten free focaccia. Olive oil helps give that gorgeous crispy crust on the exterior and keeps things light on the interior. I promise your results will not be as good if you try to skimp on the olive oil. It’ll be more dry and spongy. And it won’t get the same gorgeous color. Trust me!
GET BETTER DIMPLES. Great for smiles, yes, but they’re also a characteristic of focaccia. In gluten free focaccia, your “dough” is really more like batter, so it won’t hold the dimples as well in its uncooked state. If you want clearly defined dimples in your batter, I recommend doing them in the uncooked batter (as shown in the video), then pulling the focaccia out 5-10 minutes into baking to carefully reinforce the dimples a second time. (Since the dough will be hot, you may have better luck with using the back of a small measuring spoon (like 1/4 tsp or 1/2 tsp) than your fingers.
My Favorite Olive Oil Dipping Blend for Gluten Free Focaccia
Dipping your gluten free focaccia in a little herby olive oil feels so fancy and fun. Here’s our go-to combination. (The amounts are totally variable. I’ll give suggestions, but usually, I just eyeball this and do a pinch of this and that till it feels right.)
- GOOD QUALITY OLIVE OIL. (1/3 cup) I love this one. (Use code LOVELY for 10% off your first order!)
- FRESH ROSEMARY. If you’ve got fresh rosemary for this recipe, I recommend using an additional 1/2 tsp or so for the dipping oil. (Or, you can use a small pinch of dried rosemary)
- DRIED GARLIC FLAKES. (1/4 tsp) This is more coarse garlic and tastes amazing here. You could certainly use fresh. This just has a little less bite and I prefer it.
- COARSE SEA SALT. (1/4-1/2 tsp) The nice, big flakes are SO GOOD here. We also use this to sprinkle on our gluten free focaccia before baking.
- DRIED OREGANO. A little pinch (1/8-1/4 tsp) does the trick. This is in a lot of restaurant dipping oil blends and it’s lovely.
- RED PEPPER FLAKES. A little pinch (1/8-1/4 tsp) is perfect. It warms up the other flavors and won’t have time to get too spicy. If you *do* want it spicy, mix up your oil and herbs ahead of time and let them sit together to infuse a bit.
PS – Sometimes, we like to add a splash of aged balsamic vinegar to the mix, too. It’s so yummy!
FAQ + More Ideas for this Gluten Free Focaccia
WHAT KIND OF GLUTEN FREE FLOUR CAN I USE? I’ve only tested this with one-to-one or cup-for-cup gluten free substitutes. My favorite for this recipe is King Arthur Flour Measure for Measure gluten free flour blend because it gets nice and golden on top, but I also tried it with Bob’s Red Mill 1-to-1 gluten free baking flour with good results. Neither of these mixes has xanthin gum in it, and I had good results with both. I haven’t tested it with a homemade blend or any other brands yet. You cannot substitute almond or coconut flour in this recipe.
HOW TO SERVE FOCACCIA – I’ve got to say it: my favorite way is when it’s burn-your-mouth hot from the oven. But. After it’s had enough time to actually cool down somewhat, my favorite way to enjoy gluten free focaccia is dipped in olive oil. This family-owned company makes my favorite olive oil ever. They have a specific dipping oil blend that comes with herbs already inside, or you can get a classic balanced olive oil, or one of their flavored oils, like Rosemary, Fresh Crush Basil, Meyer Lemon, or even something with some kick. Use code ONELOVELYLIFE for 10% off your first order!
HOW TO STORE FOCACCIA – Like most gluten free baked goods, this gluten free focaccia is best enjoyed in 1-2 days. I store mine wrapped tightly or in an airtight bag with extra air pressed out in the refrigerator, then heat it up in the oven (you can use the microwave or a toaster oven) before serving again.
WHERE DO YOU FIND VEGAN PARMESAN? I actually make this one and keep it in my fridge. It’s great for things like this. It doesn’t melt, but it gives a cheesy feel which is so nice here. If you tolerate dairy, feel free to use the real stuff!
Love this recipe? You might like…
Gluten Free Focaccia with Rosemary
For Gluten Free Focaccia:
- 1 Tbsp fresh rosemary
- 1–2 Tbsp vegan parmesan or Parmesan cheese
- 1/2 tsp coarse salt (like Maldon)
- 1/4 pepper
Instructions How to Make It
- In a large bowl, whisk together flour and baking powder. Set aside.
- Warm your water in the microwave or on the stovetop until it’s warm but not hot. (Ideally, the temperature should be between 120-130 degrees F, but you can use the touch test to tell if it’s ok. If the water is too warm to put your finger in comfortably for several seconds, it’s too hot)
- Add yeast, honey, salt, and 2 Tbsp olive oil to the warm water. Stir to combine, then let it bloom by setting it aside to rest for for 3-5 minutes. (It’ll start to look foamy on top)
- Pour the water/yeast mixture over the dry ingredients and stir to combine. Note that the dough will actually be more like batter than dough. You will not knead it.
- Cover the bowl with plastic wrap or a clean dish towel and set it to rise in a warm place for at least 30 minutes if using rapid rise yeast and about an hour if you use regular yeast. The batter/dough will be roughly double in size.
- During the last few minutes of the rise time, preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and drizzle with remaining 2 Tbsp of olive oil.
- Pour the batter out onto the prepared baking sheet and gently press out using your fingers or the back of a spatula into a rectangle shape about 3/4 of an inch thick.
- Use your finger to poke several holes in the dough all the way to the bottom of the pan to form the characteristic “dimples” of focaccia.**
- Sprinkle the surface of the dough with fresh rosemary, vegan parmesan (if using), coarse sea salt and pepper.
- Bake at 400 degrees 25-30 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove from oven and let cool at least 10-12 minutes before slicing and eating.
**FOR MORE DEFINED DIMPLES, remove focaccia from oven after about 5 minutes of bake time and use the back of a small measuring spoon to reinforce the dimples before returning to the oven.
FOR A YUMMY DIPPING SAUCE: Pour 1/3 cup olive oil over granulated garlic, coarse salt, pepper, red pepper flakes, and rosemary, oregano, and/or basil. I usually use 1/4 tsp dried flaked garlic, 1/2 tsp fresh rosemary, 1/4 tsp oregano, 1/4 tsp coarse salt, 1/4 tsp pepper, and 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes