Howard Middleton's tomato and chive focaccia - Bake a difference

Howard Middleton’s tomato and chive focaccia

This gluten free and dairy free focaccia makes good use of the spongy quality of gluten free bread flour.


  • 450g white gluten free bread flour (blend of rice, potato and tapioca flours with added xanthan gum)
  • a pinch of salt
  • 2 tsps quick yeast
  • 2 tbsps caster sugar
  • a large handful of chives, chopped or snipped
  • 350 ml non-dairy milk (I used hemp but you could use unsweetened soya)
  • 2 tsps balsamic vinegar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 6 tbsps extra virgin olive oil, plus extra for greasing and drizzling
  • about 500g heritage tomatoes (variety of sizes and colours)
  • 1 tbsp capers
  • 2 tbsps pitted black olives, sliced
  • 20g pine nuts
  • freshly ground black pepper


By using a variety of heritage tomatoes (also called heirloom) you can play around with the colour and pattern of the topping.  An anodised aluminium baking tin (about 20 x 30cm) produces a good crispy crust but you could also use a square or round cake tin.

  1. Line the baking tin with well oiled baking parchment.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together the flour, salt, yeast, sugar and most of the chives.
  3. Warm the hemp or soya milk (in a pan or microwave) and beat in the eggs and vinegar.
  4. Pour the liquid into the dry ingredients and mix well, then add 6 tbsps of oil and continue mixing.  You should now have a very sloppy unpromising looking mess – more like a thick batter than a dough.
  5. Spoon this into the prepared baking tin, level it out as best as you can, then cover and leave it to rise in a warm place for about an hour.
  6. Preheat the oven to 220C (200C fan).
  7. When the dough has risen, slice the tomatoes (or halve any cherry or small plum tomatoes) and arrange them in a grid pattern on top. (If you have used a round cake tin you could opt for concentric circles instead).
  8. Place the sliced olives and capers in between, then scatter with pine nuts and any leftover chives.
  9. Season with black pepper, drizzle generously with olive oil and bake for about 40 minutes.


Recipe donated by Howard Middleton for Bake a difference
Photo of Howard copyright: Kirsten Johnson