I was inspired by Birg (see previous post) and Alessandra (from her own blog) to make a gluten-free olive focaccia. This was the first time I had used GF flour to make bread – my favourite recipe is usually spelt bread. I decided to use Healtheries GF bread mix and the result looks good but is quite firm throughout. After I baked it I realised the yeast I used was best before 2008! We’ve been enjoying it as toasted slices with pesto.

450 ml warm water
3 tsp yeast
3 ½ c (500g) GF flour mix
pinch salt
50 ml vegetable oil
1 c chopped pitted black olives

Mix together water and yeast in a small bowl and wait a few mins for the yeast to bubble.

Use a large bowl or a floured surface to mix flour and oil with yeast mixture. Knead until smooth. Place in an oiled bowl to rise for about 40 mins.

Add olives, punch down and shape into loaf. Made indentations with your thumbs and put some whole olives in them. Rise for a little while longer. Brush with olive oil and sprinkle with rock salt.

Bake at 200 C for about 30 mins.

I then made a GF pizza base in the same way (but with fresh yeast). The dough didn’t rise much again but when adorned with toppings and baked on a pizza stone it came out really well. Justin said it was the best pizza I’d ever made! The first one had asparagus, mushrooms, feta and tomato paste and the second one had shrimps, roasted red peppers, red pepper pesto, olives, capers and garlic. Grated cheese and fresh oregano and purple basil from the garden on both. After they came out of the oven I brushed the edges with olive oil (a trick I learnt when working at Leigh Sawmill Café – who make the best pizzas in the Auckland region). I’m sorry I was so hungry I forgot to take pics.