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Beet Focaccia with Dill & Beet Greens - Gluten Free

Posted Aug 26 2008 11:19pm
A November Daring Baker's Challenge

We are on the road today, traveling back from Atlanta where my family converged on my brother's home for the week. The Thanksgiving holiday's were wonderful and we had lots of great family time building memories and created a new tradition for playing cut throat Monopoly.

Before we left for Georgia, I made my Daring Baker's November challenge. This month's challenge is from Tanna of My Kitchen In Half Cups and the recipe is for Tender Potato Bread from the book "Home Baking: The Artful Mix of Flour & Tradition Around the World" by Jeffrey Alford & Naomi Duguid. We could make either a loaf of bread, rolls or focaccia.

I chose to make focaccia and due to my nightshade allergy, I substituted red beets for the potatoes and topped it with fresh dill and fine strips of young beet greens. My picture will be posted this evening when I return home, as I was having technical difficulties with the hotel's Internet service. (Update 9:20 pm: I updated the post with my pictures of my gluten free beet focaccia.)

Although I had to alter the recipe a bit to make it gluten and nightshade free, I chose to boil the beets since that was the way the potatoes were cooked in the recipe. However, it does take a very long time for beets to boil until tender. Alternative ways to cook the beets would be to roast them in the oven at 450 degrees for 1 to 1 1/2 hours or cook them in a pressure cooker. I added one tablespoon of cane sugar to improve the flavor of the gluten free bread dough.

Recipe

1 1/4 cup water
1 tsp salt, divided
4 oz chopped beet root (approximately 1 medium beet)
1 pkg gluten free dry active yeast
1 1/2 cups + 2 Tb brown rice flour
3/4 cup arrowroot starch
3/4 cup sweet rice flour
3/4 tsp butter or coconut oil/butter
2 tsp ground chia seed
1 Tb cane sugar
1/4 cup fresh dill, chopped
1/2 cup finely sliced young beet greens
olive oil for topping focaccia

1. Place the chopped beet in the water and 1/2 tsp salt into a sauce pan. Boil until the beets are tender. You will need to add more water periodically to keep the beets covered.

2. Drain the water off the chopped beet and save the water. Place the beets in a food processor and pulse until they are finely chopped.

3. Place the yeast into a medium bowl with 1 cup of brown rice flour and 1 cup of warm water (110 -115 degrees Fahrenheit). Allow to sit for 30 minutes to proof.

4. Dump the rest of the salt, flours, butter, chia seed and cane sugar to the food processor. Then pour in the proofed yeast mixture and process until blended.

5. Pour the dough into a large bowl greased with olive oil and allow to rise in a warm location for about 1 hour.

6. Lay out several rectangles of parchment paper that are approximately 9 x 12 inches. Divide the focaccia dough onto the parchment paper. Pat out the dough until it is about 1 inch thick and is a round or oval shape. Then cover the top with olive oil, chopped dill and finely sliced young beet greens. Allow the dough to rest.

7. Place your baking stone or baking tiles in the oven and preheat to 450 degrees Fahrenheit.

8. Press your finger into the dough making dimples prior to sliding the parchment paper onto the baking stone in the oven. Bake for 30 minutes. Allow the bread to cool prior to serving.

What did my family think about the beet focaccia? I was delighted that they all enjoyed the bread. The beet bread had a lovely flavor and the dill and beet greens added a spicy peppery touch to the bread. This recipe will be a keeper for us, although I will roast the beets in the oven the next time.
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