Home » bread » Rosemary Keto Focaccia Bread (with yeast!) 🤌

Rosemary Keto Focaccia Bread (with yeast!) 🤌

This paleo and keto focaccia bread with actual yeast is soft, chewy and with a killer taste. i.e. no eggy business here!

Sliced Keto focaccia bread with rosemary and flaky sea salt
Keto Focaccia Bread (with yeast!)

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.

p.s. this is also a *great* yeast bread recipe for you guys that don’t consume flaxseed nor whey protein isolate (which I use in my sandwich bread and bagel recipes to get a fluffier texture). 

The Deets 

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 Method 

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.

Before rise

Keto focaccia dough before rise in a skillet
Keto Focaccia Bread (with yeast!)

After rise

Keto focaccia dough after rise in a skillet
Keto Focaccia Bread (with yeast!)

The Flours

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.

Drizzling extra virgin olive oil onto a dish with balsamic vinegar
Keto Focaccia Bread (with yeast!)
Slice of a keto focaccia showing its bread like texture
Keto Focaccia Bread (with yeast!)
Dipping a slice of keto focaccia in olive oil and balsamic vinegar
Keto Focaccia Bread (with yeast!)

Sliced Keto focaccia bread with rosemary and flaky sea salt

Rosemary Keto Focaccia Bread (with yeast!)

This paleo and keto focaccia bread with actual yeast is soft, chewy and with a killer taste. i.e. no eggy business here!
4.97 from 29 votes
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Resting Time 1 hr
Total Time 1 hr 45 mins
Course Bread, Side Dish
Cuisine Gluten Free, Grain Free, Italian, Keto
Servings 9 slices
Calories 125 kcal

Ingredients
 
 

For the keto focaccia bread

For topping

Instructions
 

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. 

Video

Notes

*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. Or just buy some inulin (fully keto, but I know most peeps don't have it in their kitchens). 
**Using ground flax seeds instead of xanthan gum will result in a slightly denser crumb. But the results will be equally delicious. 

Nutrition

Calories: 125kcal | Carbohydrates: 6g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 9g | Cholesterol: 18mg | Sodium: 147mg | Potassium: 17mg | Fiber: 3g | Vitamin A: 25IU | Calcium: 46mg | Iron: 0.7mg
Keyword keto focaccia, paleo focaccia
Whip up this recipe?Comment below or drop me a line @gnomgnom._ and tag #gnomgnomyum!

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110 comments

  1. Holly says:

    This is RIDICULOUSLY Good! I just took it out of the oven few hours ago. It was hard to wait because of the smell but I’m glad I did. I toasted a piece up in the toaster oven and added a bit of ghee on top (because all of the olive oil I put all over it wasn’t enough! lol).
    I didn’t have Rosemary on hand so I used fresh thyme but I know Rosemary would be delicious. I also didn’t have NOW psyllium so I knew it would turn purple (and it did) but I don’t care because it didn’t affect the taste at all. I used ground flax instead of the gum since it tends to bother our stomachs.
    Paola, you really are masterful. Every single recipe of yours I have tried has been outstanding! I’m going to purchase all of your books to support your efforts and gain access!
    In my opinion, the large flaky sea salt on top pushes this recipe over the edge! SO GOOD. I can’t wait to try the ‘zucchini’ apple muffins and the waffles next!

  2. Lucia says:

    Hi! I’ve made this recipe and it’s really great. One thing, though: when chewing there is a slight feeling of “sand”. Don’t laugh, please! 🙂 I am doing something wrong but I don’t know what. Thank you!

    • Paola says:

      OH man! Sand isn’t what we’re going for here! 😂 Lucia, do you think it could be an ingredient issue? Do you see any specks of a particular ingredient? The grain free flours vary so much that I’ve also gotten on occasion some brands etc that weren’t so well ground and gave sandy texture? I hope this helps!

  3. Giselle says:

    Can I use instant yeast instead of dry active?

    Am excited to try this recipe but am hesitant because I only have instant yeast? Would I follow the same steps for instant with water plus syrup

    • Paola says:

      Hi Giselle! I know readers in other recipes have used it in the past (in my experience even though you ‘don’t have to proof’ it, you can still go ahead and do a sugar proof) xo!

  4. genevieve says:

    hi paola, can i make ahead and keep? couldn’t find any info on freezing either dough or finished product, please advise!

    • Paola says:

      Hi Genevieve! You can freeze any of the yeast breads on the site post bake. They obv loose a tad of freshness, but are actually surprisingly good post freeze 😉 xo

      • Genevieve says:

        Thanks paola
        That is to say i cannot freeze the dough pre -bake correct? Not like the rest of the other recipes like pasta or gnocchi where i could freeze pre cooked?

        Thx

  5. Jenny says:

    Hi Paola, I made this the other day, and great taste/texture….however, it turned purple even though I used Now brand psyllium powder. I’ve used another brand of psyllium which turned my bread purple too. UGH!!! I’m wondering if anyone else has this issue even using Now brand?
    Thank you!!

    • Paola says:

      Hi Jenny! In my experience NOW hasn’t turned my bread purple yet, but I suppose it can vary from batch to batch? Doesn’t change the taste/texture though- just the aesthetics. Unfortunately I cannot help much here as its just a luck situation 🙁

  6. Stephanie says:

    Dear Paola, One thing I am a little confused about. In your recipes such as the delicious, beautiful looking Focaccia Bread with rosemary, you use dry active yeast. Doesn’t yeast contain grain or gluten? Thank you for answering perhaps an “ignorant” or silly question. Thank you, stephanie

    • Paola says:

      Hi Stephanie! Not ignorant at all! There is actually gluten free yeast out there, I have Celiacs so this is something I absolutely need. Xo!

  7. Rob says:

    Paola, thank you so much for this recipe. I”m Italian and since having some health issues had to give up on carbs. I have been missing my pasta and bread and was delighted to find your recipe but skeptical, since I can’t stand cauliflower crust for pizza substitution. However, all to say I love I love the way it turned out, it will never be real Italian focaccia but it’s as good as it gets.

  8. Gila says:

    Oh this is SO good—made it twice so far using ground flax for the psyllium husks.
    Also gave it to some friends who are glutn free and …a big hit.
    Great with a little cream cheese (don’t do dairy too much but it goes so well with this!) and for all spreads—
    Enjoy everyone

  9. Andrea says:

    Hi there! I have been drooling over the pictures of this bread after not eating traditional bread for about a week. In the process of purchasing ingredients and looking up information about xanthan gum to see if it’s paleo. Turns out it’s not, but chia seed has been recommended as a binding agent in place of xanthan gum. Have you tried this? Hope to hear back soon!

  10. Gila says:

    My stores tell me there is no psyilium husk for awhile…can I use more flax or almond flour or just wait a few weeks?

    • Paola says:

      Hi Gila! Guess what? I ran out of psyllium and cannot get it in Mexico for the next couple weeks so I actually made this one without the psyllium just last week (just replaced it with flax) and it was still very good. So just did a straight sub for golden flaxseed meal, just be sure to re-grind it until finely powdered rather than flakes. xo!

  11. Ashley says:

    Hi, Paula!
    Is there a way to integrate a choux technique with the density of the focaccia style to create bagels so that there’s the dual of fluff plus density? Also, can Keto dough be boiled as if it were real bagels?
    Thanks!

    • Paola says:

      Hi Ashley! I’ve tried, but the breads come out fluffy-soft (which is ahem, how the donuts were born!). And most unfortunately nope on the boiling to get ‘real’ bagels, as since the flours aren’t grains they simply just don’t cook in water (rather get all mushy and gross). Working on a bagel recipe though, but going a bit outside traditional method 😉 xo!

  12. Christina says:

    Paola! I love your site and recipes so much. A huge thank you for all you do! You are simply the best! I will try myself through all your recipes.

    I made the Focaccia yesterday and it was a big success with my husband. The only thing I noticed is that it turned out much denser than yours. I followed all the steps and did not swap out any ingredients. But this happens every time I make a keto bread loaf so it must be something about my oven or the ingredients I use. I was wondering if you had any insights into this.

    I use Bob’s red mill almond flour (don’t have access to Anthonys or Well Bees 🙁 ) and maybe it is less finely ground. Would that prevent the rising?

    I also live in Switzerland so maybe that affects it?

    Is there anything I could add more of so or do so that bread rises and does not become suuuuper dense?

    Thanks again!

    • Paola says:

      Hi Christina! So happy you’re enjoying the recipes (blushing here! ;)!). Regarding the rise, I doubt it’s your almond flour as I’ve also baked with Bob’s in the past and it’s fine. It could be that your psyllium powder is not ground fine enough, always worth giving it a re-grind.

      And yup, it could definitely be your altitude. If normal baked goods have problems deflating at high altitudes, keto goods famously fall flat. I live in Mexico City though (2,250m above sea level), so unless you’re much higher up than me that shouldn’t be the issue. Though note that I did see some pics of a couple other readers on Instagram, and their focaccia did look SO much fluffier than mine. Anyways, hope this helps! xo!

      • Christina says:

        Thanks so much for the detailed reply! Good to know about Bob’s flour. I will start using the same brand Psyllium husk as you. (thank goodness for iherb!)

        Turns out I am much lower altitude! haha Ah, the mysteries of baking.

        • Paola says:

          Oh yes, and if normal baking is finicky, keto definitely takes it to a whole other level! And lol on iHerb, I buy from the too. Though it sometimes takes 2 months for things to get to Mexico City…!

    • Paola says:

      Hi Irene! You won’t get the best results in all honesty. I’ve been working on a loaf for a LONG time now, and it seems that yesterday finally something great tasting came out. Still need to work a bit on the structure, but you guys should have a proper loaf soon. xo!

  13. Jasmin says:

    We love this bread! It is so flavorful! Thanks so much for coming up with it!

    Have you tried tweaking the recipe to get an even more fluffy yeast dough to make a brioche? For Easter we do a lot of brioche stuff and I’d love to have a keto option, so I don’t have to miss out! Save me please! 😉

    • Paola says:

      Hi Jasmin! So happy you enjoyed it! I am indeed working on a fluffier yeast dough (last one actually rose too much and collapsed…!). So I’m thinking it will be possible eventually 😉

      In the meantime take a peek at the waffles. I made French toast with them and a friend and I agreed that they tasted like brioche French toast. Not a perfect alternative yet, but worth a peek! xo!

  14. Mackenzie says:

    I am so exited to try this recipe, been craving a little bread in my life! But was curious what is the serving size for the nutritional value part? Thanks for the great recipe can’t wait to try!

    • Paola says:

      Hi Mackenzie, the number of servings is always in the upper part of the recipe card and nutrition info is calculated per one serving xo!

    • Paola says:

      Hi Jackie, thanks for pointing it out! It was just in the section of preferred brands copied from another post but it’s since been removed 😉

  15. Junior says:

    Finally a keto bread that tastes like bread! Absolutely fantastic recipe!! I saw a dude on instagram raving about it and had to try it. Surprisingly easy to make as I’m not a cook at all. He also mentioned your tortillas were the real deal. Awesome dude, can’t wait to try more stuff

  16. Stan & Grace says:

    What a fantastic bread recipe!! You really outdid yourself on this one Paola! It’s honestly hard to believe it’s made out of almonds and psyllium. Grace and I were absolutely wowed!

    After reading the comment above we did make sure to wait until it was fully cooled. Texture was unbelievable! I’m also pretty certain that ours didn’t fall nearly as much as yours did, which is always a lovely surprise when ut out even better than the pictures s 🙂 the perks of living in LA I suppose. Alas! Thank you!

    • Paola says:

      Than you Stan and Grace!! That’s so wonderful to hear! And yup, LOL on the rise and fall! Living in Mexico City does make gluten free baking SO much harder. But I like to think that if I can do it, then pretty much everyone else will have great results (at least most of the time!) xo!

  17. Sue says:

    I made this in a 1/4 sheet pan without the rosemary sprigs as I wanted it as a pizza crust. I baked it for almost 30 minutes, covering it with aluminum foil after 10 minutes.
    When I sampled a piece of the edge when it came out of the oven I immediately got the familiar slimy psyllium husk mouth feel and taste. It was a judgement call as to whether I should throw it away or not due to that awful texture thing, but since I had put so much time and ingredients into it I decided to go ahead with making the buffalo chicken pizza I had planned on. After the focaccia cooled I spread it with bleu cheese dressing, topped that with shredded, cooked chicken that I had mixed with hot sauce and covered the top with shredded mozzarella cheese. I put it, on a sheet of foil, into a pre-heated 425 degree oven for about 13 minutes. I then turned the broiler on for about 4 minutes to brown the cheese on the top. The second bake (and broil) crisped the crust up quite a bit. The result was pretty good though the psyllium texture still comes through somewhat. I think lengthening the initial bake time to about 40-45 minutes would have helped dry the crust out more and it would have given a much better result.
    The next time I make this I’ll try these adjustments

    • Paola says:

      Hi Sue! Thank you for your detailed comment, I think it will be very useful to others! The thing here (and I cannot say it for certain as I’m not in the kitchen with you) is that you pinched off a piece when it first came out of the oven. This may not sound like a big thing (as it isn’t for normal gluten breads), but in gluten free baking (and particularly grain free as there are no starches!) the bread continues to cook as it cools. So by pinching off that piece, the bread lost the steam/heat inside and stopped cooking. So you definitely sampled some raw focaccia/pizza right there.

      As stated in the post, you need to let it cool completely for best texture or wait at least 15 minutes (though not ideal it still works). I’m trying to see if there’s a workaround to this for pizza, which is why I first published the recipe as a focaccia.

      And I’m thinking this was the issue as you had to re-bake it and that sort of solved the issue. But you’ll never get the texture you lost by letting the hot air escape. It may sound ridiculous, but it’s usually a warning in most (if not all) good gluten free recipes. They’ll be wet and uncooked if you cut right out of the oven.

      Hope this helps and thanks so much for reporting back! xo

  18. Jar says:

    I loved this more than words can say! Had the mouthfeel of bread and tasted great!!! Even better this morning!! Simply amazing thank you!

    • Paola says:

      Hi Nicole! I’m sorry to have missed your comment…! In all honesty I don’t think flax, chia eggs etc would work here. Grain free batter really do benefit from eggs otherwise they come out dense 🙁 xo

  19. Dany says:

    That’s awsome and amazing, something like true focaccia I do adore
    What do you think about yacon syrup to replace honey or maple syrup ?
    Your blog is fantastic … I’m addict

    • Paola says:

      Hi Dany! I’m not sure about the yacon syrup! But you can always just put a little yeast with the syrup and some warm water and see if it activates it? Would love to hear about it if you try it! xo

    • Paola says:

      Hi Rose! In all honesty, no… When creating this recipe, I probably tried about 10-12 different permutations (some with flax meal, coconut flour, whey protein) and this is the one that tasted properly good and had the best bread texture (particularly after fully cooled).

      Also keep in mind that psyllium husk varies A LOT from brand to brand. Are you using the NOW brand? And it will also vary A LOT depending on how it’s used. xo!

      • Rose says:

        I have the Viva Naturals organic super fine psyllium husk powder. It does not turn breads purple. I will try the Now brand in future. Thanks!

  20. Emily Buchanan says:

    LOL! Did the keto police tell you off about the maple syrup?! I didn’t see the post before the caps! Too funny

    • Paola says:

      Yup! And a couple of them were quite nasty in tone… the recipe already had the legend next to it, but I’m hoping the caps will help people read it! There’s a bunch of information about it on the web, and even Dr. Berg mentions it in a couple of videos about keto bread.

      It’s pure science really, sugar goes into the yeast and out comes carbon dioxide and some water to help the bread rise 😉 xo!

  21. Claire B says:

    Looks AMAZING!! I have been missing some real yeast bread so will definitely be trying it this weekend! Should work for pizza too right? thank you thank you thank you!!!

    • Paola says:

      My pleasure Claire! Yes, it’ll definitely work for pizza (I’m still figuring out the kinks though). Just spread it out more thinly in the center and leave the edges thicker. You’ll also want to blind bake it first, take it out of the oven, allow the dough to cool slightly for about 15 minutes, add toppings and bake for another 10-15 minutes. Enjoy!

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