Crispy on the outside, fluffy on the inside, this beautiful gluten-free focaccia bread is super easy to make and deliciously addictive. This Italian rosemary focaccia is the perfect table bread for accompanying this tasty carrot turmeric soup or this creamy pumpkin soup. It’s also amazing as an appetizer with our popular easy creamy hummus, or even just with extra virgin olive oil! Gluten-free, dairy-free, and vegan too.
- 1 cup warm water (between 105F to 115F)
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 1/4 teaspoons instant yeast
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, plus 2 tablespoons for brushing
- 1 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
- 1 3/4 cups gluten-free all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum (omit if your blend already includes it)
- 1/4 cup tapioca starch
- 2 teaspoons sea salt, plus more for sprinkling
- 1 tablespoon fresh rosemary leaves, optional but highly recommended
- Activate Yeast: In a medium-size bowl, combine the yeast, sugar, and warm water. Mix well and set aside for 5 minutes until it becomes foamy. If the yeast mixture doesn’t foam up after 5 minutes, that means that the yeast has expired and is no longer working. Throw it away and use yeast from a fresh packet.
- Combine Liquid Ingredients with Yeast Mixture: Once the yeast mixture is foamy, combine the yeast mixture with 1/4 cup olive oil, the apple cider vinegar in a large mixing bowl and mix well.
- Add Dry Ingredients: Add the gluten-free all-purpose flour, xanthan gum (if using), tapioca starch, and salt to the bowl and mix well until you get a sticky but homogeneous dough (it is totally normal for the dough to be slightly wet and sticky because that’s the way gluten-free bread dough is. Don’t be tempted to add more flour or it will become hard and dry).
- Transfer Dough to Parchment-Lined Pan: Line a round baking pan with parchment paper, grease the parchment paper with a bit of oil, and then transfer the dough to the pan. Spread the dough out into a 1.5-inch thick round disc, using wet fingers to shape the dough.
- Let Dough Rise: Place the dough in a draft-free space and let it rise for 45 minutes until it has increased in size (it will not double, but will have increased significantly in size).
- Preheat Oven: Preheat the oven to 400F.
- Poke Dimples into Dough: After the dough has risen, dip your pinky finger in water and use it to poke evenly-spaced dimples into the dough.
- Brush with Olive Oil: Brush the dough with olive oil, making sure that even part of the surface has been brushed (this will create a crusty, golden brown exterior once it’s baked). Sprinkle the surface with fresh rosemary leaves and salt.
- Bake Until Crusty: Bake on the middle rack for 45 to 55 minutes until the top is golden brown and crusty.
- Cool Before Slicing: Let focaccia bread cool slightly before slicing and serving warm.
Sugar: The sugar used is for the yeast to feed on so as to activate the yeast, so you cannot omit it. If you don’t want to use sugar, you can use the same amount of coconut sugar, or half the amount of maple syrup or honey. It will not make the bread sweet later.
Instant Yeast: I like to use instant yeast as it activates immediately.
Apple Cider Vinegar: Adding apple cider vinegar creates an acidic environment that helps the bread to rise even more.
Gluten-Free All-Purpose Flour: I recommend using a good-quality gluten-free all-purpose flour blend that uses lighter flours/starches (such as rice flour, corn starch, tapioca starch or potato starch) as that will ensure a lighter and fluffier texture. I do NOT recommend flour blends that use heavier flours (such as garbanzo bean flour) as that will result in a denser texture.
Xanthan Gum: Xanthan gum is a substitute for gluten in gluten-free flours and is necessary to help the ingredients bind together. If your gluten-free flour blend does not include xanthan gum already, make sure to add is as stated in the recipe for best results.
Rosemary: This recipe uses fresh rosemary leaves as a topping for extra flavor and color, but you could also top the focaccia with other fresh herbs such as oregano or garlic, or olives and even sun-dried tomatoes – the options are endless and basically up to you.
Serve this With: Extra virgin olive oil is my favorite choice when serving this gluten-free focaccia as table bread. If not, you can use the bread to accompany soups such as my favorite vegan pumpkin soup or this delicious carrot turmeric soup. You can also serve this bread alongside our easy creamy hummus or grilled eggplant sesame dip.
Storing/Freezing: To store, place the cooled gluten-free focaccia in an airtight container or wrap it in plastic wrap and store in the refrigerator for up to a week. To freeze, place the cooled focaccia bread in a freezer-safe container or ziplock bag and freeze for up to 3 months. Let the frozen focaccia thaw completely overnight in the refrigerator before toasting or warming up in the oven.
This recipe was originally published in June 2020, but has since been updated to include recipe notes and ingredient substitutions, clearer instructions and step-by-step photos.
- Category: Bread
- Method: Baking
- Cuisine: Italian
Keywords: rosemary focaccia bread, gluten-free bread