Well, I’m happy to announce my discovery that despite switching to a wheat-free way of eating, you can have your cake and eat it too! Starting this week, I will be going through the Wheat Belly Cookbook and trying out all the various recipes. There’s even a bakery section! Gah! Last night, the open faced sandwiches I made required making focaccia bread from scratch. Focaccia has always been one of my favorite breads, and I’ll admit–I was a little skeptical that a wheat-free version would taste half-way decent. But I kid you not–it tasted the EXACT same as its wheat-containing counterpart.
Prep Time: 15 min
Total Time: 35 min
Makes 12 servings
Flat focaccia breads are a natural fit for a wheat-free lifestyle since we don’t need the “rise” as much as with loaf-style breads. They hold up well when stuffed with meats and vegetables.
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 large cloves garlic, minced
- 1-2 tablespoons minced fresh herbs (such as basil or rosemary)
- 2 cups almond meal/flour
- 1 cup garbanzo bean (chickpea) flour
- 1/2 cup ground golden flaxseeds
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 1 teaspoon instant (rapid rise) yeast (optional)
- 4 egg whites
To make the oil: In a small saucepan over low heat, combine the oil, salt, and garlic and simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from the heat. If using a delicate herb, such as basil, add it to the oil after you remove the oil from the heat. If using a hardier herb, such as rosemary, allow it to simmer for the full 10 minutes. Set aside. (Alternatively, you can skip this step and brush the focaccia with plain olive oil, then sprinkle your favorite seasonings on top.)
Preheat the oven to 400 F. Grease a 13″ x 9″ baking sheet with half of the oil, line it with parchment paper, and then liberally brush the paper with the reserved oil.
To make the dough: In a large bowl, combine the almond meal/flour, garbanzo bean flour, flaxseeds, baking powder, and salt. Stir or whisk to combine and break up the flour.
In a small bowl or glass measure, whisk the buttermilk and yeast, if using, until the yeast dissolves. Set aside. In a separate bowl, whip the egg whites with an electric mixer until stiff peaks form.
Add the yeast mixture to the flour mixture and stir until a rough dough ball forms. Gently fold in the egg whites until they’re fairly well incorporated. The dough will not become completely smooth, and the whites will still be somewhat frothy.
Spread the dough in the pan with a spatula or spoon. Lightly coat your fingertips with cooking spray or dip them into the reserved oil and dimple the top of the dough. Pour the remaining oil mixture over the top of the dough, making sure it is entirely covered. (Oil will pool in the dimples.)
Bake for 20 minutes, or until golden and slightly spongy in the center. With a pizza cutter or knife, cut into desired size and number of flatbreads. Serve warm.
Recipe courtesy of Wheat Belly Cookbook