Fresh Fig + Rosemary Focaccia (gluten-free)

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When we moved to Houston three years ago, we planted a fig tree in the backyard. Planting a tree is such a hopeful act. Will it take root? Is it in the right spot? Will it flourish and grow?

Well our little tree has tripled in size since we planted it. However, for the first two years the figs it produced tasted terrible. Really awful. Like nobody wants to eat these things. I tried roasting them and tossing them with honey, which helped a little but not much.

Something special happened this season. Bam! The figs are awesome. They are so sweet and taste wonderful. I love going out into the backyard and finding the ripe ones and twisting them off the branches.

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So, I’ve been gathering figs. I find it’s best to pick them when they are ripe and refrigerate them right away. If they sit out, the go bad pretty quickly.

I came across a whole grain gluten free focaccia recipe and thought the figs would be perfect with it. Hail Merry, a raw food company out of Dallas, posted it recently. The recipe looked easy and quick…I like that! And oddly enough, I had all the ingredients in my pantry. There are a few different things, such as teff flour and potato starch, that you may have to go looking for if you make this. But Bob’s Red Mill carries a lot of this stuff.

The recipe is really straight forward. It takes about an hour from start to finish, because the dough only needs to rise for a half an hour. Not bad for freshly made bread.

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Fresh Fig + Rosemary Focaccia

Adapted from Hail Merry

Makes 1 8 or 9-inch round bread

1/2 cup teff flour

1/2 cup gluten free oat flour (I ground rolled oats in a spice grinder)

1/2 cup potato starch

1 tsp xanthan gum

1/2 tsp sea salt

1 Tbsp granulated sugar ( I used evaporated cane sugar)

2 1/4 tsp dry, quick rise yeast granules (1 packet)

1 Tbsp flaxseed meal

3/4 cup plus 2 Tbsp water, heated to 110 F

Olive oil

4-5 fresh figs, sliced

Fresh rosemary, chopped

Coarse sea salt

Spray an 8 or 9-inch round cake pan with baking spray and lightly dust with rice flour or sprinkle with cornmeal.

Mix all dry ingredients in large bowl of electric mixer. Pour warm water into mixing bowl; mix until just blended. Scrape bowl and beaters and beat at high speed for 2 minutes.

Spoon dough into prepared pan and spread it out the sides with a spatula. Cover with a light towel and let rise in a warm place (about 80 F) for about 30 minutes. Bread should double in size.

Place rack in lower third of oven. Preheat to 400 F while bread is rising.

Sprinkle about 1 tsp olive oil over top and carefully spread a thin film over entire surface of the bread using your fingers. Scatter fig slices on top and sprinkle with fresh rosemary and coarse sea salt.

Bake 8-inch bread for 20 minutes or 15 minutes for 9 inch loaf. Bread should be medium golden color and cooked through. Remove bread from pan and cool on rack for 15 minutes. Slice in wedges and serve. Best if eaten on the same day.

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