Gluten, dairy and egg-free focaccia
On those crisp fall evenings or cozy winter weekends when you crave something warm, hearty and doughy to accompany your soup. A soup buddy if you will. This is that recipe! You could easily make flavor adjustments and shape it into a bagel, roll or loaf of sandwich bread. I promise to create the alternate directions in another post on turning it into magical chewy bagels with a golden crust. Voila!
Red Star Active Dry Yeast (1 packet or 2 ¼ tsp if using from a jar)
1 T. brown sugar
¾ c. warm water (bottled water, unless you have really excellent drinking water)
4 c. Pamela’s gluten free Artisan Blend Non-Dairy All-Purpose Flour
3 tsp. Ener-G egg replacer
1 T. salt
1 ½ c. warm water (again bottled)
1 T. Herbs de Provence
Rosemary to taste
Heat oven to 175 degrees. Once it reaches temperature, turn off the heat and leave door closed.
Microwave an empty cereal bowl for 30 seconds then add yeast to warm bowl. Heat ¾ cup of water until warm, but not hot. If the water is too hot, you will kill your yeast. Gently pour the warm water over the yeast. Gently stir in the brown sugar until dissolved. Allow the bowl of yeast to grow, foam and rise about ten minutes. (I like to place the bowl on top of the oven while it’s heating to give it a boost.)
In a large mixing bowl, add the flour, then the egg replacer. Do not add water to the replacer as it reads on the box. Add it directly to the flour and gently combine with a fork. Next, add the salt, yeast mixture and water. Mix on low with a hand mixer or stand mixer. You will need to scrap down the sides of the bowl in the process. Ideally, the dough will have the same texture as a tender baby’s cheek. Odd description I know, but it will make sense when you see the dough come together. Add 1 tablespoon of Herbs de Provence the last few seconds of mixing.
Coat a baking sheet with olive oil. Shape the dough into preferred form. I typically make two rectangular loaves about ten inches long and two pinwheel buns with a thickness of about one inch. Once on the baking sheet, place in the previously heated oven to rise for one hour. Perfect time for a walking or seated meditation. HInt, hint!
(after removing loaves, heat oven to 425 degrees)
Remove loaves after the rise and dock (pierce the tops of loaves/rolls with a fork), brush top and edges with olive oil and sprinkle them with crushed rosemary to taste. If you are serving with tapas you may want to add a few thumbs prints on top. It gives the focaccia that typically wavy texture, but more yummily creates little pockets to sop up salsa, tapenade or soup.
Bake at 425 degrees for 20 minutes and rest yourself with a hot cuppa. As ovens and climates vary, you will want to kindly knock on the top of each loaf to test for doneness. When it sounds hollow, your golden.
Let the loaves/rolls cool completely on a rack. If you are going to slice, wait until fully cool.
This bread freezes beautifully in freezer bags, but it is so chewy and delicious it may never see the refrigerator or the freezer.