This Keto focaccia bread is wonderfully airy, soft and chewy, just like a good focaccia should be. The easy recipe uses yeast, which gives it a fluffy texture and a great rise. A grain free, gluten free bread with only 2.2g net carbs per square.
Focaccia used to be my absolute favourite bread. That’s why I just had to come up with a low carb version!
I’m using a mixture of almond flour and whey protein powder in this recipe, because I find it’s better suited in terms of taste than coconut flour. I am seriously thrilled about the outcome of this keto focaccia. The protein powder helps to make it extra white and fluffy in texture. And the yeast, olive oil and rosemary give it the distinctive “real Italian” focaccia flavour.
Regular readers of my blog will know that I LOVE bread. When I started eating low carb about 6 years ago, I missed it so much. Feeling great, healing inflammation in my body and losing weight just could not make up for the lack of a crusty roll for breakfast or the occasional quick sandwich for lunch! So, after a few months of total withdrawal, I started baking my own.
Over the years, I’ve been posting my favourite bread recipes here on this blog – don’t miss this Almond Flour Keto Bread Recipe, my popular Everyday Low Carb Bread or these Keto Breakfast Buns. There’s been plenty of trial and error, but I think I can say that I’ve become a bit of a low carb bread baking expert. In fact, I’ve even written a Keto bread cookbook! Hope you’ll check it out 🙂
Back to this gluten free focaccia. We served it as a starter alongside a platter with roasted vegetables and cured ham. It’s delicious dipped in olive oil (you can add a splash of balsamic vinegar to that if you like). You can toast it for some extra crunch, but it’s equally lovely as is.
Of course, it would also make a great lunch. Simply slice it in half and serve it panini-style. I’d fill it with my go-to of parma ham, provolone cheese, tomato, lettuce and avocado.
How to make keto focaccia with yeast – step by step:
In the image above you can see all the ingredients you need. I’m using Sainsbury’s ground almonds. This is made from blanched almonds (no skins) and the same as regular almond flour in the US. If you’re using super-fine almond flour, you may want to reduce the amount by about 1 tbsp.
Another point worth making is that if at all possible, measure your ingredients with a digital food scale. It’s much more accurate than measuring cups and will yield a better bread. Also, all tablespoons and teaspoons need to be level and not heaped.
1.) Proof the yeast by adding it to the warm water (40C/105F) together with the inulin. Cover and put in a warm place for around 7 minutes to ensure it starts to froth and bubble.
If it does not, discard and start again! It’s essential that the yeast is activated.
2.) Mix the dry ingredients in a bowl – almond flour, unflavoured whey protein powder, baking powder, xanthan gum – and set aside.
3.) Beat the egg and the two additional egg whites in a food processor or in a bowl with an electric mixer until frothy, about 2 minutes.
4.) Add the olive oil, water/yeast mix and the flour mix to the eggs and continue mixing until well-combined. A sticky dough will form.
5.) Line a 25 x 15 cm casserole dish with parchment paper. Dip a spatula in water to prevent sticking and spread the dough evenly. Make indentations in the dough with your fingers and spread fresh rosemary and sea salt over the dough. Cover with a tea towel and rest in a warm place (on a radiator, for example, or in the oven on the lowest setting) for 45 minutes until the dough has fluffed up and increased in size noticeably.
Towards the end of the rising time, preheat the oven to 180 Celsius / 350 Fahrenheit and bake for 25 minutes. About 10 minutes into baking, place an aluminium foil lightly on top of the dish to avoid excessive browning. The keto focaccia is done when the top is golden and a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
Allow the bread to cool fully before slicing as the texture will improve. Toast if you wish, and enjoy with a drizzle of olive oil.
Gluten free focaccia tips and tricks
If you follow these tips, making a grain and gluten free focaccia is easy-peasy. It will rise like a dream and you’ll end up with a wonderfully fluffy texture.
Proof the yeast
Yeast is the key ingredient in this recipe and you must cuddle it. Don’t miss the step where you proof it to ensure it’s activated! It likes a water temperature of 40 C / 105F (think bath water). Too hot, and the yeast cannot activate, too cold and it will die. Seriously, if the yeast does not form a generous amount of froth, discard it and start again.
Do check that your yeast is fresh! This also counts for the baking powder, by the way. You can test baking powder by putting a little in water. It should start fizzing.
Room temperature eggs
Again, it’s all about the yeast. Bring your eggs to room temperature before whisking them. Because if you mix cold eggs into the yeast, you just won’t get a good rise. Trust me. I’ve tried it.
To warm up fridge eggs, put them in hot water for 3 minutes.
Draughts and temperature changes
You need to find a warm place where your keto focaccia can rise in peace. This could be on top of a radiator, in an airing cupboard or even in the oven on the lowest setting. Since yeast does not like draughts, always cover the bread pan or casserole dish you’re using with a tea towel.
Here’s a great tip to prevent the tea towel from sticking to the dough as it rises: You oil a piece of clingfilm and place it on the dough, followed by the tea towel.
Inulin versus sugar or honey
Inulin is a prebiotic fibre which has about 30% percent of the sweetness of sugar. You can read more about it here. I use it in this recipe to activate the yeast (and it also tastes great in my morning yoghurt). However, if you don’t want to invest in a bag, you can use honey or even sugar instead. Don’t worry – no sugar will remain post bake. The yeast “feeds” on it.
Note – you cannot substitute the inulin with either erythritol or xylitol.
Dairy free focaccia
To make this recipe dairy free, replace the whey protein powder with either egg white protein powder or with 2 tbsp psyllium husk (or 1 tbsp psyllium husk powder). I used psyllium in my first attempt at this recipe. The result is a little firmer, but also very good!
Note – some psyllium brands turn bread purple. I have used Green Origins. Just Natural and Bom Pom without issues. The NOW brand in the US also works fine.
Can I replace the almond flour with coconut flour?
I do not recommend it. Not only would you need to reduce the amount to about 1/3 because coconut flour absorbs a lot more moisture, you would also need to add additional fat to the recipe. Coconut flour behaves very different from all other flours. A better substitute may be a mix of sesame seed and sunflower seed flour, which could be used as a 1:1 substitution to almond flour (you may need to add a little more if you’re grinding it yourself). Of course, it would chance the flavour considerably.
How to store keto focaccia
Once the focaccia is fully cooled (which is done best on a cooling rack so the air can circulate around it and prevents moisture form forming), store it in a bread tin either at room temperature or in the fridge. It’s fine for about 5 days.
Alternatively, freeze the bread for up to 3 months. If you slice it before freezing, you can toast it straight from the freezer!
More keto bread recipes with yeast:
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Gluten Free Keto Focaccia Bread
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- 25 x 15 cm casserole dish
- Rosemary sprigs
- Sea salt flakes
- Proof your yeast by adding it to the warm water (40C/105F) together with the inulin. Cover and put in a warm place for around 7 minutes to ensure it starts to bubble.
- Mix the dry ingredients in a bowl – almond flour, unflavoured whey protein powder, baking powder, xanthan gum and set aside.
- Beat the egg and the two additional egg whites in a food processor or in a bowl with an electric mixer until frothy, about 2 minutes.
- Add the olive oil, water/yeast mix and the flour mix to the eggs and continue mixing until well-combined. A sticky dough will form.
- Line a 25 x 15 cm casserole dish with parchment paper. Dip a spatula in water to prevent sticking and spread the dough evenly. Make indentations in the dough with your fingers and spread fresh rosemary and sea salt over the dough.
- Cover with a tea towel and rest in a warm place (on a radiator, for example, or in the oven on the lowest setting) for 45 minutes to 1 hour until the dough has fluffed up and increased in size noticeably.
- Preheat the oven to 180 Celsius / 350 Fahrenheit and bake for 25 minutes. After 10 minutes place an aluminium foil lightly on top of the dish to avoid excessive browning.
- Allow to cool before slicing as the texture will improve. Toast if you wish, and enjoy with a drizzle of olive oil.
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