Gluten Free Sourdough Focaccia Bread


Focaccia bread and pizzas are probably two of my favorite breads. Living on a strict gluten free diet (with no cellulose or psyillium, either), I have resorted to making my own clean blends without these ingredients. It has something to do with IBS. You can now find lots of information online about these ingredients making IBS symptoms worse for many. I have known this to be true for me for so many years. Creating a gluten free sourdough focaccia bread that was worthy to be called focaccia has long been on my challenge list!

Gluten Free Sourdough Focaccia
Gluten Free Sourdough Focaccia Bread is a great compliment to a pasta dinner!
Using sourdough starter in recipes to improve the taste and texture

I’m always working to make a better blend or a better tasting and textured gluten free bread. I also love being able to use my gluten free sourdough starter in many of my recipes to help create a better dough or bread with these characteristics. I love sourdough starter because of the taste, but also because of the health benefits of cultured bacteria foods, and just how it makes me feel when eating it.

So, creating a delicious gluten free sourdough focaccia bread has long been on my list! I also love painting and creating masterpieces with food, so this decorated Gluten Free Sourdough Focaccia Bread is so fantastic! I’ll always say yes to a new thicker gluten-free focaccia bread made with sourdough. It’s so yummy!

Do you have a gluten free sourdough starter growing?

Now to make this Gluten Free Sourdough Focaccia you need to first have a gluten free starter. Are you currently growing a gluten free sourdough starter? If not, would you like to start one?

Creating a gluten free sourdough starter culture is very similar to starting a wheat sourdough culture. You can actually use the same directions to start it, but you can also use a recipe that is specific for gluten free flour. I like to feed the starter a single gluten free flour: millet flour, brown rice flour, or sorghum flour. These flours seem to work really well in the culture.

Once the starter is going, but hasn’t been used for a week or two, I will start by feeding the starter. The process starts with discarding a cup of the starter. I always use this “discard” amount in a recipe that calls for sourdough “discard”. For ideas of how to use your discard, check out Gluten Free Sourdough Waffles or Best Ever Crispy and Savory Gluten Free Sourdough Crackers.

The next step is to add equal parts by weight of distilled or filtered water and gluten free flour. Next, stir thoroughly and cover loosely with a piece of parchment or a towel. Set in a warm place for 2-6 hours until it is bubbly and active. It will rise up and nearly double and then fall. You are then ready to use your sourdough starter or refrigerate it for later use.

There are many recipes you can use for starting your gluten free sourdough culture. Wheat By The Wayside is one website which has a very detailed recipe to start your gluten free sourdough starter.

Start with a “fed” bubbly starter

I first began by making sure the sourdough starter was well fed, as described above. Now, not all recipes call for fed starter, but I feel that in this recipe it is needed, because of the shorter rise time. I also have used Fleishmann’s Active Dry Yeast in this recipe, also. The yeast gives a much lighter and airier dough. According to Fleishmann’s, all of their yeasts are gluten free.

Choose your toppings and scatter or decorate method

Once the dough is rising, you can decide which toppings you’d like to include on your focaccia bread. You can keep this as simple as just topping with olive oil and a little coarse salt, or you can use sliced baby tomatoes, garlic and herbs, or olives, or go all out with a “painted design”. For this recipe, I used fennel (it’s supposed to be a wishy), tomatoes, scallions, olives, and apricots to make a scene.

Painting with food, anyone?

Do you like painting? 🎨🖌 I love to paint with watercolors. But sadly, there’s not as much time for that art form lately. But painting with food is pretty fun, as well, it turns out!

Decorating and creating a design, while testing out my newest Gluten Free Sourdough Focaccia Bread recipe, was lots of fun.

Simplify by choosing to “scatter” the ingredients

Then making this recipe several other times, I simplified the process, and just used a traditional olive oil, salt, tomatoes, garlic, parmesan, and both fresh and dried herbs. Both ways turned out so yummy, oven baked on both my twelve inch @lodgecastiron skillet and my @pamperedchef stone bar pan. Use whatever veggies and fruits you like to make your own masterpiece! 🖼You can also bake this on two smaller sized rimmed baking pans.

Enjoy this Gluten Free Sourdough Focaccia with a pasta

We love to serve this focaccia bread with a pasta. Try one of our pasta sauces for dinner. Maybe our Sun Dried Tomato, Chicken, Sausage, and Artichoke Hearts Pasta (Gluten Free) with your favorite gluten free pasta.

Sun Dried Tomato, Chicken, Sausage, and Artichoke Hearts is a light sauce to have with this Gluten Free Sourdough Focaccia Bread

So, get your gluten free sourdough starter ready! Then make and enjoy eating the delicious doughy treat!

Have a great weekend!

(updated 4/3/2024)

Gluten Free Sourdough Focaccia Bread

This Gluten Free Sourdough Focaccia Bread will even fool the gluten eater! We love focaccia here and are so thankful to have a new sourdough focaccia recipe to share with you.
Servings 12 pieces
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Dough Rest Time: 20-30 minutes/ Dough Rise Time: 1st rise – approximately 1-1 1/2 hours/2nd rise: 45 min. -1 hour 2 hours 15 minutes
Total Time 3 hours


  • 2 quarter sheet baking trays or 1 quarter baking sheet or stone and one 10-12" cast iron skillet


  • cups warm water
  • 1 tbsp Fleishmanns active dry yeast or other gluten free yeast
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • cups "fed" gluten free starter
  • 185 grams (1¼ cups, plus 2 tbsp) Bob's Red Mill 1 to 1 Gluten Free Flour or other gluten free blend with xanthan gum
  • 200 grams (1¼ cup plus 1 tbsp) Bob's Red Mill White Rice Flour, gf or other gf brand
  • 165 grams (1 cup, plus 2 teaspoons) Bob's Red Mill Organic Brown Rice Flour or 3 T white rice flour, gf and 6 T brown rice flour, gf
  • 192 grams (1 cup) Bob's Red Mill Potato Starch gf
  • 3 tbsp Argo cornstarch or other gf brand
  • 1 tbsp fine sea salt


  • Stir together the first 3 ingredients and let sit for 15-20 minutes until bubbly.
  • Mix together the flours and cornstarch. Add the sourdough starter, yeast mixture, and salt. Mix on medium high speed 4-5 minutes, with the paddle attachment, until smooth.
  • Add up to 3/4 cup (1 tablespoon at a time) total of a combination of Bob's Red Mill 1 to 1 gluten free flour, brown rice flour and white rice flour. Mix in by hand until combined. Start with a tablespoon of flour at a time. The dough should still be soft and " shaggy". Mix in by hand until combined.
  • Cover and let rest 20-30 minutes.
  • Spread onto a oiled (with olive oil) stone pans or sheet pans or large cast iron skillet. Smooth with wet fingers.
  • Cover with a towel to rise for 1-1½ hours or until 1½ times.
  • Add indents every inch or inch and a half, with your finger tip. Then drizzle olive oil across the top. Cover and let rise 45 minutes to an hour.
  • Add your choice of toppings: Add 2-3 crushed garlic cloves in indents, then sliced tomatoes, olives, or herbs. Or add a decoratation or design with fruits and veggies. Decorate using fennel, (wishy)  apricots pieces, rosemary sprigs, green onion stems, cut baby tomatoes (flowers), fennel (grass) and rocks (kalamata olives). Add parmesan cheese sprinkled across.
  • Drizzle more olive oil across both focaccia trays. Add coarse diamond salt if desired.
  • Bake at 425 at medium low rack and upper third rack for 10-15 minutes. Rotate the pans. Increase temperature to 450. Bake for 10-12 minutes more.
  • To brown the tops more, broil 4-5 inches from the burner. Cut into squares or into slices.


To simplify this recipe, top with olive oil, garlic, tomatoes, herbs, and cheese.
Course: Appetizer, Side Dish
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: decorated focaccia bread, focaccia bread, focaccia dough

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Gluten Free Sourdough Focaccia
Gluten Free Sourdough Focaccia
Gluten Free Sourdough Focaccia

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