Focaccia-Style Flax Bread Recipe

Close-up Flax seeds (Linum usitatissimum)
Douglas Sacha / Getty Images
Total Time: 40 min
Prep Time: 15 min
Cook Time: 25 min
Servings: 16 (1 piece each)

Nutrition Highlights (per serving)

161 calories
9g fat
13g carbs
5g protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 16 (1 piece each)
Amount per serving  
Calories 161
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 9g 12%
Saturated Fat 2g 10%
Cholesterol 68mg 23%
Sodium 342mg 15%
Total Carbohydrate 13g 5%
Dietary Fiber 1g 4%
Total Sugars 1g  
Includes 1g Added Sugars 2%
Protein 5g  
Vitamin D 0mcg 0%
Calcium 87mg 7%
Iron 1mg 6%
Potassium 90mg 2%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calorie a day is used for general nutrition advice.

This recipe is called "focaccia" because it is baked in that style—flat on a sheet pan, brushed with oil and then cut into squares or slices. However unlike traditional focaccia this recipe does not contain any yeast or flour. While the texture is not as chewy as traditional focaccia due to the absence of gluten, the incorporation of rosemary oil and flaky sea salt helps bear a very similar resemblance in flavor. The "bread" is delicious warm out of the oven or reheated in the toaster for a crispier crumble.

This focaccia uses ground flaxseeds in place of flour so is completely gluten free and very high in soluble fiber which is beneficial for lowering cholesterol and maintaining bowel regularity. Flaxseed is also a source of healthy polyunsaturated fat such as omega-3 fatty acids, the B-vitamin thiamin as well as manganese and magnesium.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 large sprig fresh rosemary (rinsed and dried))
  • 2 cups flaxseed meal
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 6 eggs (beaten)
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 teaspoon flaky sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried or fresh rosemary leaves

Preparation

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare a pan (9.5 x 13-inch sheet pan with sides works best) with lightly oiled parchment paper or a silicone mat.

  2. First, prepare rosemary oil by combining 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil and a large sprig of fresh rosemary in a small pot. Heat on low until oil is warm to the touch but is not simmering (about 3 minutes), remove from heat and steep until rosemary turns dark olive green (about 10 minutes). Remove rosemary sprig or strain and set rosemary oil aside.

  3. In a large bowl, whisk flax seed meal, baking powder, 1 teaspoon fine sea salt, and sugar.

  4. Add the beaten eggs, water, and 6 tablespoons (about 1/3 cup) rosemary oil to the dry ingredients and combine well. Make sure there aren't obvious strings of egg white in the batter.

  5. Let batter set for 1 to 2 minutes to thicken up a bit (but don't leave it too long so it gets past the point where it's easy to spread.)

  6. Pour batter onto the prepared pan. Because it's going to tend to mound in the middle, you'll get a more even thickness if you spread it away from the center somewhat, in a rectangle about 1 inch from the sides of the pan or to your desired thickness. (It does not contain yeast so will not rise like regular bread.)

  7. Using a pastry brush, gently brush the top of the "bread" with a thin layer of remaining rosemary oil (about 1 tablespoon) and sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon flaky sea salt and rosemary leaves. Bake for about 25 minutes, until it is firm and springs back when you touch the top.

  8. Let cool slightly and then cut into whatever size slices you want.

Variations and Substitutions

  • Use different olive oils for different flavors. For a neutral taste, use plain extra virgin olive oil. Or replace rosemary with different herb(s); use a combination of herbs such as Herbs de Provence (thyme, rosemary, basil, oregano, parsley, tarragon, and lavender) to make a Provencal oil using the same method as the rosemary oil and turn the recipe into Provencal "Focaccia".
  • Add grated parmesan cheese for a cheesy bread either in the batter or sprinkle on top before baking.
  • Make flax croutons by dicing the "bread" into cubes, leaving out overnight to dry and then tossing with olive oil or leftover rosemary oil and baking on a parchment-lined sheet tray or foil at 375 degrees F for about 15 minutes or until they start to brown and become crispy.

Tips

  • Double or triple (or quadruple!) the amount of olive oil and rosemary sprigs in the recipe to make extra rosemary oil. Store in a tightly sealed container (a glass jar works great) in the refrigerator for 2-3 weeks or freeze in ice cube trays for later use.
  • If you don't have a pastry brush to brush the oil on top before baking, you can drizzle the oil on top and use your fingertips to gently spread it into a thin layer.

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