Gluten-Free Olive Herb Focaccia Flatbread Recipe

olivefocaccia.jpgI don’t know about you, but every time I see a bakery stand at the Farmer’s Market, or the bakery section of a gourmet grocery store, and see some beautiful herb-encrusted flatbread, I can’t help but get a little jealous. Bread can seem a little boring when it’s just plain, unflavored bread- oh, still yummy, but it doesn’t necessarily have the flavor kick to stand on its own as a meal. (I do love me a good vegetarian sandwich, though… with hummus, fresh basil, tomatoes and sprouts, maybe some cheese if I’m doing dairy- oh so good.) So that’s why I was inspired to create this olive herb flatbread for a recent gluten-free support group get-together. We have members with multiple allergies, so I made the recipe as allergen-friendly as possible, with no soy, dairy, eggs, bean flour, or nuts involved. I was inspired jointly by a Bette Hagman recipe in her “Gluten Free Gourmet Cooks Fast and Healthy” and a recipe for olive herb flatbread in my The Best 50 Olive Recipes (Best 50) cookbook. Basically, the balance of flour to liquid is the only thing similar to the Bette Hagman recipe, but it was helpful and I’m sure the original recipe (with rice and tapioca starch and seasoned with fennel and onion) would be good as well. However, for my creation I wanted a more healthful flour blend with some help from one of my favorite whole-grain gluten-free flours, teff. According to one online source, teff “contains 11% protein, 80% complex carbohydrate and 3% fat. It is an excellent source of essential amino acids, especially lysine, the amino acid that is most often deficient in grain foods. Teff contains more lysine than barley, millet, and wheat and slightly less than rice or oats. Teff is also an excellent source of fiber and iron, and has many times the amount of calcium, potassium and other essential minerals found in an equal amount of other grains.” These researchers were not well versed on the gluten-free diet, but uncontaminated, gluten-free teff flour can be found through Bob’s Red Mill or The Teff Company. I like teff for the whole-grain nutty brown flour flavor it imparts to baked goods, as well as its high fiber and protein, but I think it works best combined with other flours as it is in this recipe. So, why not give this fancy flatbread recipe a try, and see how you like it. Or, better yet, come up with your own fancy flavor combination, test it out, and tell me all about it in the comments? :)

Want more whole grain bread recipes?
Try Adeena’s Gluten-Free Rosemary Teff Dinner Roll Recipe
or my South American Socca Recipe
or this Apple Onion Fetta Socca Recipe
Or my Allergen-free Buckwheat Crepe Recipe

BytheBay also has a lovely recipe for Gluten-Free Kalamata Olive Rosemary Artisan Bread that looks very promising.

Got any other favorites? Share in the comments!
*Note- I was making other pizzas in the oven at the same time and the oven door was something of a revolving door, so the bread sank a little. However, it tasted great and the texture was very good, so I think it should be fine as long as you don’t overproof it and don’t open the oven while it’s baking!*

Soy-Free Dairy-Free Egg-Free Nut-Free Vegan Gluten Free Olive Herbed Focaccia Recipe
2 tsp sugar
1 cup lukewarm water
2 1/4 tsp dry yeast
1/2 cup white rice flour
1/4 cup brown rice flour
1/4 cup teff flour
1/2 cup tapioca flour
1 1/2 tsp xanthan gum
1/2 tsp salt
1 ener-g foods egg replacer egg or 1 real egg if desired
1 tbsp. high quality olive oil
scant 3/4 cup chopped kalamata olives (use 1/2 cup in the dough, the rest for garnishing to taste)
1 tbsp. fresh oregano
1 tbsp chopped fresh thyme
kosher salt or black salt
Prepare a jelly roll pan by spraying it with non stick cooking spray or oiling it with olive oil and using parchment paper.

Combine sugar with water, add yeast. Combine dry ingredients (up to salt) in a medium bowl. In the bowl of your kitchenaid mixer, combine the “egg” with the olive oil. Add your proofed yeast water. Mix and then add your dry ingredients to your mixer, including 1/2 cup of your olives if you haven’t added them already. beating on high for two minutes. Pour into the prepared pan, spread it with a frosting knife, and add any additional fresh herb sprigs, chopped olives, and salt to the top. Baste with a little more olive oil.

Cover and let rise for 40 minutes or so, while you preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Bake for 20-25 minutes and tear off pieces to enjoy with high quality olive oil, or on their own.

This flatbread was very good. It did deflate a little after rising, perhaps due to the egg replacer egg. Still- Yummy! I’ve always wanted to make an olive flatbread like this.

The olive seasonings idea came from a little book called “The Best 50 Olive Recipes.”

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15 Responses to “Gluten-Free Olive Herb Focaccia Flatbread Recipe”

  1. thanks for sharing, It looks so good..what would I use to substitute the teff flour?

  2. Hi Betty,
    Welcome! It really depends on what you have in your pantry. Any whole grain, flavorful flour like quinoa, buckwheat, or possibly sorghum would work, although I really, really like teff. If you don’t have any of those flours, you could just use more brown rice flour as a replacement.

  3. THAT LOOKS SO Good Sea!! Just beautiful! I’ve been trying to make a lot of recipes GF CF SF and EF lately! This looks delicious!!

  4. I have a flat bread recipe that I adore too (it’s very similar to yours). My gluten eating dh LOVES it and says it’s better than anything glutenous. I use my baking stone when I bake mine and it really adds a nice crispness to it. Flat bread is SO versatile, I’ve made it to compliment many different ethnic flavors. Hmmmm, maybe I need to whip some up this week. I’ve never added Teff, I’ll have to try it.

  5. Sea, that looks really delicious. I’m going to have to slip that into some weekend meal-making at some point soon! With a veggie plate that includes roasted tomatoes, I think. . . .

  6. The foccacia looks great. I’m always glad to see bread recipes that use starch in moderation! I’m menu shopping this week (we were at a wedding 5 states away all weekend) so this might make it into a soup and salad dinner. Thanks!

  7. Nice recipe! How can I substitute the xanthan gum? Should I use starch (how much)? Thanks!

  8. Hi Cristiany,
    Guar gum is often used as a substitute for xanthan gum, so that is one possibility. However, if you don’t want to use either of those, you can just leave it out without any additions. The texture will not be quite as nice. If the recipe seems too liquid, you can add a little extra starch or flour if you prefer.


  9. This was awesome!! As I didn’t have teff flour I used buckwheat and I was very pleased with the taste of the focaccia (I am Italian so I know a bit about it). The only problem is: I ate it all by myself. Very bad for the line…. but it was impossible to resist ;-)

  10. I love this bread! I did make some changes because I didn’t have the ingredients. I used sun-dried tomatoes instead of olives and chopped fresh basil instead of the other herbs. I also used a mix of oat flour, a gluten free bread flour blend and sorghum flour. I had to use gelatin instead of xanthan gum. Thanks so much for this recipe. I’m having a hard time controlling myself and not devouring it all!

  11. This was FANTASTIC! I left out the olives because my family doesn’t like them, but the bread was great without them. Thank you for posting it!

  12. I’m gluten, dairy, corn and soy intolerant and finding any kind of recipe that resembles bread on my diet that tastes good and isn’t just empty calories is more than a challenge. This one is great! I double it, cut it up and freeze it. Same as Christy, I make it without the olives because I don’t like them. I also made a small change to try to get more whole grains in it and it works fine. I cut the white rice flour in half and added the amount I cut from the white rice flour to the brown rice four and teff flour. Seems to come out fine that way and hopefully increases the nutrient value a bit.

  13. Hmmm… Just wondering about the yeast. Pretty sure people with coeliac
    disease can’t have yeast. Or at least certain types of yeast.

  14. Commercial brands of yeast for baking like Red Star and Fleischmann’s are gluten-free. This is how there are so many gluten-free yeast breads on the market. A few gluten-free breads are yeast-free as well, but that is for those who have separate sensitivities to yeast or candida issues. Yeast for beer brewing is sometimes not gluten-free, but that is a different issue.


  15. [...] There was Black Olive Shortbread  from Ricki Heller at Diet, Dessert, and Dogs. And then there was Olive Herbed Focaccia Flatbread  from Sea at Book of Yum. After Kelly (The Spunky Coconut) posted Focaccia for the Kids to Make [...]

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