This focaccia is what so many of us fondly call a Grandma pizza or Sicilian pizza, with cheese oozing from the dough and the topping. This recipe from The Joy of Gluten-Free, Sugar-Free Baking by Peter Reinhart and Denene Wallace, however, is gluten- and sugar-free, which is ideal for anyone who is gluten sensitive, diabetic, or needs to reduce carbs to prevent illness or lose weight.
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Double-Cheese Focaccia with Tomato Sauce
from The Joy of Gluten-Free, Sugar-Free Baking by Peter Reinhart and Denene Wallace (Ten Speed Press, August 2012)
Makes one 9 by 13-inch focaccia
1/4 cup (2 oz / 57 g) tomato puree or tomato sauce
1/4 cup (2 oz / 57 g) extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon minced fresh garlic
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste
2 cups (8 oz / 227 g) almond flour
1 cup (4 oz / 113 g) sunflower seed flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 egg whites (5 oz / 142 g), at room temperature
1 cup (8 oz / 227 g) chicken broth or vegetable broth
3/4 cup (3 oz / 85 g) grated mozzarella, fontina, or Monterey Jack cheese, plus 3/4 cup for topping
Preheat the oven to 400°F (204°C). Line a 9 by 13-inch baking pan with parchment paper or a silicone mat, then mist the bottom and sides with spray oil (preferably olive oil cooking spray).
To make the sauce, combine the tomato puree, olive oil, garlic, and pepper in a small bowl and whisk until thoroughly combined. Taste and add salt as needed; if using tomato puree you will probably need as much as ½ teaspoon, but if using tomato sauce you may not need any salt, depending on the brand.
To make the dough, combine the almond flour, sunflower seed flour, baking powder, xanthan gum, and salt in a large bowl and whisk until well mixed.
Put the egg whites in a medium bowl. Using an electric mixer with the whisk attachment at medium-high speed (or a strong arm with a sturdy whisk—and good endurance), beat the eggs for 3 to 5 minutes, until fairly stiff peaks form.
Add the broth to the flour mixture and stir to make a smooth batter. Fold in ¾ cup of the cheese, then gently fold in the egg whites with a rubber spatula, deflating the egg whites as little as possible to make a smooth, sticky dough that is slightly fluffy (see page 27).
To assemble and bake the focaccia, gently transfer the dough to the prepared pan, then spread it in an even layer with a spatula. Oil your fingertips, then dimple the dough all over the top. Spread the sauce evenly over the surface.
Bake for 25 minutes, then rotate and bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until springy when pressed in the center. During the last 5 minutes of baking, sprinkle the remaining ¾ cup cheese over the top.
Let the focaccia cool for about 5 minutes before removing it from the pan, cutting it into portions, and serving.
For more recipes from The Joy of Gluten-Free, Sugar-Free Baking, check out the excerpt below: