This paleo and keto focaccia bread with actual yeast is soft, chewy and with a killer taste. i.e. no eggy business here!
Paleo & Keto Focaccia Bread 🤌
With actual yeast!
Focaccia, the Italian flatbread par excellence, is one multi-purpose bread if there ever was one. Enjoy it dipped in olive oil and balsamic for a delicious low carb and keto entree, make sandwiches out of it (i.e. panini!), or top with a myriad of options for a pizza-like dish.
And as mentioned, this is not your typical eggy or crumbly keto bread. Think less than half the amount of eggs of your typical recipe, and a few other tips and tricks to ensure killer results.
Making this paleo and keto focaccia is incredibly simple really. But, like with any yeasted bread, it does require you take care of a few details to ensure the best possible outcome.
And the one thing to keep in mind is that your focaccia will likely fall somewhat post bake, blame it on the lack of starch (keto flours are notoriously heavy and moist) and certain missing proteins (think gluten).
Also, given that grain free flours love to hold onto moisture, you’ll find that the exterior is not quite crispy. But if that’s your thing, simply give the slices a light toast post-bake.
The yeast in this keto focaccia ensures a wonderful texture and taste. Now, how much your focaccia will rise (and fall!) post-bake depends quite a bit on your altitude. But note that you still won’t get that gummy and wet texture here of most low carb breads. Plus, I’m baking at over 7,000 feet (Mexico City!!), so if I can make this keto focaccia work so can you.
Weigh your ingredients. This will forever be a staple recommendation for any sort of gluten free baking here at gnom-gnom. As aside from leading to less dirty dishes, it will ensure consistent results time and time again. Remember that gluten free (and particularly keto) baking is notoriously finicky, and measuring by cups is anything but accurate. And if you don’t own a baking scale, measure with cups by dropping the ingredients onto them rather than scooping them out (which often leads to overpacking).
Ingredients at room temperature. Self explanatory really, but incredibly important (particularly for the eggs). If you add cold eggs to the mix your focaccia simply won’t rise much (if at all).
Proof the yeast. This involves mixing dry active yeast with water that’s just warm to touch (between 105-110°F to be precise) and maple syrup or honey for 7 minutes until foamy. And before you scream sugar (!!) remember that the yeast will feed on such sugar to emit carbon dioxide, so it doesn’t affect the carb count much (if at all!). And yes, this is a scientific fact.
Avoid abrupt temperature changes and air drafts. Like with any yeast bread, you need to cuddle your dough. Make sure it’s able to rest undisturbed in a warm space.
Baking at high altitude? Yup, so am I (Paola here!!). I’ve tried quite a few combinations, and the one modification I will suggest is to increase your oven temperature by 25°F. You may also need to decrease the baking time by 5 minutes, but that may change from oven to oven. I’ve made this focaccia also at sea level and it does fall a bit less post bake, but it’s still awesome even if it falls a bit so don’t sweat it much.
I like a mixture of super fine almond flour, psyllium husk and xanthan gum best. But if paleo, substituting the xanthan gum for twice the amount of golden flaxseed meal yielded good results too, though slightly denser.
As previously mentioned, for the rise you’ll want instant dry yeast (Saf makes my *absolute* favorite– must try!) and a touch of baking powder.
Rosemary Keto Focaccia Bread (with yeast!)
For the keto focaccia bread
- 2 teaspoons active dry yeast
- 2 teaspoons maple syrup or inulin, or honey, to feed the yeast*
- 80 ml water lukewarm between 105-110°F
- 144 g almond flour
- 28 g psyllium husk finely ground
- 1 1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum or 1 tablespoon ground flax seeds**
- 1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 egg at room temperature
- 2 egg whites at room temperature
- 13 g extra virgin olive oil
- 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
For the keto focaccia bread
- Pretty please check out the video for guidance (as you'll soon come to realize it's much easier than it sounds!) 😉
- Add yeast and maple syrup (to feed the yeast, see notes) to a large bowl. Heat up water to 105-110°F, and if you don't have a thermometer it should only feel lightly warm to touch. Pour water over yeast mixture, cover bowl with a kitchen towel and allow to rest for 7 minutes. The mixture should be bubbly, if it isn't start again (too cold water won't activate the yeast and too hot will kill it).
- Mix your flours while the yeast is proofing. Add almond flour, psyllium husk, xanthan gum, baking powder and salt to a medium bowl and whisk until thoroughly mixed. Set aside.
- Once your yeast is proofed, add in the egg, egg whites, olive oil and vinegar. Mix with a whisk or electric mixer for a couple minutes until light and frothy. Add the flour mixture in two batches, mixing until thoroughly incorporated. You want to mix thoroughly and quickly to activate the xanthan gum, though the dough will become very thick by the end and form into a round.
- Line a 10-inch skillet or dish with parchment paper and grease with olive oil (so the dough doesn't stick while you spread it). Dip a spatula (or your fingers) in water and spread the dough until even in thickness. With your fingers wet, make indentations in the dough. Fill some of the indentations with rosemary springs and some more on top, follow with a generous drizzle of olive oil and some flakey sea salt. Cover with a kitchen towel and place in a warm draft-free space for about an hour until lighter in texture. You don't want the dough to double, but it will puff up noticeably (see pictures for reference).
- Preheat oven to 350°F/180°C while the dough is proofing. And if you're baking at high altitude, you'll want to bake it at 375°F/190°C.
- Transfer the skillet gently into the oven and bake for 25-30 minutes, covering with a foil dome at minute 10 to avoid excessive browning. Just be sure that the foil isn't resting directly on the focaccia (i.e. we rest it over the edges of the parchment paper).
- Allow the focaccia to cool completely for best texture, as the bread will continue to cook while cooling resulting in a better crumb. But if you can't hold your horses, at least give it 15 minutes before digging in (just note that texture will not be ideal, so we prefer to wait even if we have to reheat!).
- Keep stored in an airtight container at room temperature for a couple days, giving it a light toast before serving again.