Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Focaccia Slice-- Gluten-Free and Vegan (Dairy-Free, Soy-Free, Egg-Free)

Gluten-Free and Vegan Italian Focaccia Slice with Balsamic Pearls on Tomato
Last week my friend Pauline and I went to a local "Oil and Vinegar tasting" shop.  We sampled a number of delicious fresh organic olive oil infusions and aged balsamic vinegars (I love the fig infusion!).  We've been eating a little more Mediterranean since then... and today's experiment with making Gluten-Free Focaccia Bread was the culmination (we also ate an Italian squash and lentil soup today).

I love a soft, delicious focaccia bread for sopping up olive oil and balsamic vinegar.  Today's recipe is a convert of a recipe for "biscuits a la focaccia" in Moosewood Restaurant New Classics.  Naturally they use unbleached white flour, butter and butter milk.  Some of the recipes I saw online used eggs as well.  I just subbed for what I had, Gluten-Free-wise, and added a cup of rolled oats, always sure to make GF baking a little softer I find (use GF oats if you are intolerant of the oat protein, avenin).

INGREDIENTS:

2 1/2 T. Olive Oil
2           Garlic Cloves, minced
1   tsp.  Black Pepper, freshly ground
1 T.       Fresh Rosemary, chopped
2 C.      Gluten-Free Flour Blend (your fave)
1 C.      Old-Fashioned Rolled Oats
2 tsp.    Baking Powder
1/2  tsp. Celtic Sea Salt
1/2 tsp.  Baking Soda
2 T.        Cold Earth Balance Margerine (or your choice)
3/4+ C.  Coconut Milk (or other non-dairy milk of your choice)
Juice of 1 Lemon
Extra Coconut Milk or Filtered Water

METHOD:
  1. Preheat oven to 425 F
  2. Oil a baking sheet or use a silicone round cake pan or cut out a piece of parchment paper in a round.
  3. Heat 2 T. of oil in a small pan and add in the garlic, pepper, and rosemary.  Simmer for about 1 minute and remove from the heat.
  4. In a mixing bowl, stir together the GF Flour blend, Rolled Oats, Baking Powder, Salt and Baking Soda.  Stir to thoroughly combine.
  5. Cut the margerine into the dry mix until evenly distributed throughout (use a pastry cutter or 2 knives, or you could probably do this up quickly in a food processor)
  6. Add in the seasoned oil (rosemary, pepper, and garlic) and mix well.
  7. Stir the Lemon Juice into the Coconut Milk to form faut Butter Milk.
  8. Add the 'Butter Milk' to the other mix and stir to form a soft, moist dough.  Add in tablespoon-increments of coconut milk or water until the dough is moist throughout, like regular biscuit dough.
  9. Pat into an 8" circle on a baking sheet or press lightly into a round cake pan.
  10. Brush the top with some olive oil (the other 1/2 T. left)
  11. Bake for 20-30 minutes (depending on your oven) until the bread looks done.  Mine looks pretty pale in the picture above-- next time I might give it a blast of Broil to brown it up a bit.  But it tastes great and is soft and does a lovely job of mopping up the oil and vinegar, what I was looking for!
Here is the recipe for the Balsamic Pearls.

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