This focaccia is very much like what New Yorkers call either a Grandma pizza or a Sicilian pizza. It’s cheesy and saucy and will bring back fond memories if you grew up with those neighborhood classics. One of its unique characteristics is the use of cheese both in the dough and as a topping. However, if you aren’t a cheese lover, you can make the dough without the cheese and forgo the cheese on top. This makes it a marinara focaccia, which is also quite delicious.
- Yield: 9 by (13-inch) focaccia
- 2 cups (8 oz / 227 g) almond flour
- 1 cup (4 oz / 113 g) sunflower seed flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon xanthan gum
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 4 egg whites (5 oz / 142 g), at room temperature
- 1 cup (8 oz / 227 g) chicken broth or vegetable broth
- ¾ cup (3 oz / 85 g) grated mozzarella, fontina, or Monterey Jack cheese, plus ¾ cup for topping
- Preheat the oven to 400°F (204°C). Line a 9 by 13-inch baking pan with parchment paper or a silicone mat, then mist the bottom and sides with spray oil (preferably olive oil cooking spray).
- To make the sauce, combine the tomato puree, olive oil, garlic, and pepper in a small bowl and whisk until thoroughly combined. Taste and add salt as needed; if using tomato puree you will probably need as much as ½ teaspoon, but if using tomato sauce you may not need any salt, depending on the brand.
- To make the dough, combine the almond flour, sunflower seed flour, baking powder, xanthan gum, and salt in a large bowl and whisk until well mixed.
- Put the egg whites in a medium bowl. Using an electric mixer with the whisk attachment at medium-high speed (or a strong arm with a sturdy whisk and good endurance), beat the eggs for 3 to 5 minutes, until fairly stiff peaks form.
- Add the broth to the flour mixture and stir to make a smooth batter. Fold in ¾ cup of the cheese, then gently fold in the egg whites with a rubber spatula, deflating the egg whites as little as possible to make a smooth, sticky dough that is slightly fluffy.
- To assemble and bake the focaccia, gently transfer the dough to the prepared pan, then spread it in an even layer with a spatula. Oil your fingertips, then dimple the dough all over the top. Spread the sauce evenly over the surface.
- Bake for 25 minutes, then rotate and bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until springy when pressed in the center. During the last 5 minutes of baking, sprinkle the remaining ¾ cup cheese over the top.
- Let the focaccia cool for about 5 minutes before removing it from the pan, cutting it into portions, and serving.