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Gluten Free Loaf Bread

gluten free sandwich bread

Loaf bread for lack of a better name. Because this recipe began as an Irish soda bread for St. Patrick’s Day. But there’s hardly any baking soda involved. And is it kosher to bake soda bread in a loaf pan? Not sure, but I do know that this recipe was inspired by a reader who was searching for a good Irish bread. Lucky for us both. Because this is my favorite bread recipe for making loaves, buns, rolls, and pizza. See notes after recipe for details.

It always helps to be familiar with the thing you’re trying to recreate. I’ll admit from the start that I never had traditional (wheat based) soda bread before being diagnosed with celiac disease. But, like anyone else, I can poke around google and peruse old baking books. Many recipes for this bread exist. Like I’ve said before, there is no reason to reinvent the wheel. Unless of course, that wheel left you a feeling a little flat.

Converting a traditional soda bread to gluten free was a turning point in the decision to use yeast in this recipe. Not only for the leavening, but to enhance the flavor and texture.

Baking great gluten free bread does NOT have to be complicated. It just doesn’t. Do plan ahead, though. You’ll get the best result by mixing dough the day before you plan on baking and refrigerating it overnight. I see your wheels turning. This is the easiest way to enhance the texture and flavor of any gluten free bread. When it’s time to bake, stir a small amount of leavening into the dough. Your bread will rise to any occasion.

It would be a really good idea to read through the recipe and notes before heading into the kitchen. Otherwise you might do something silly, like preheat the oven or who knows what.

Gluten Free Loaf Bread

1 loaf

Please see notes after recipe for details on flours used, psyllium husk, binder equivalents, substitutions, and more. I love this dough recipe for buns, pizza, oh yeah, and loaf bread, too. It's easy to mix by hand, so no stand mixer is necessary. Make sure your psyllium has no gluten-containing ingredients added.

Ingredients

  • 3 1/4 cups sorghum flour blend (about 1 lb.)
  • 2 or 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons psyllium husk powder
  • 2 teaspoons instant yeast
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 1/3 cups water, room temp
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 2 eggs (or 1/3 cup aquafaba)
  • 1/4 teaspoon instant yeast
  • Pinch of baking soda

Instructions

In a medium bowl, combine: sorghum flour blend, sugar, psyllium powder, yeast, salt, and baking powder. Blend thoroughly.

In a large cup, combine water, olive oil, and eggs. Stir liquid ingredients into dry ingredients and blend thoroughly. Cover dough and refrigerate overnight.

The next day, remove dough from fridge and let sit at room temp for 20-30 minutes. Dissolve 1/4 teaspoon instant yeast and a pinch of baking soda into a tablespoon of water and stir into dough.

Grease a 9" x 5" pan well, even non-stick. Or use parchment paper to line a bread or baguette pan.

Preheat oven to 350°. Scoop dough into a bread pan and smooth top of dough gently with a dampened spatula. Brush top with egg wash, if you like.

A few minutes (10-15) in a warm room is all the bread needs before baking. Bake sandwich loaf for 60-65 minutes. That hollow thump sound on top of bread is a pretty good indicator that bread is done. Two baguettes typically bake for 28-30 minutes. In a round cake pan, bake time will be close to one hour. When in doubt, bake it longer.

Let bread cool slightly (about 10 minutes) before removing from pan onto a cooling rack. It's best to let bread cool completely before slicing.

Store extra bread slices frozen to defrost as needed.

http://freerangecookies.com/2014/03/13/gluten-free-loaf-bread/

easy gluten free loaf bread

Notes

Make a sorghum flour blend by combining: 2 parts sorghum flour, 2 parts tapioca flour, 1 part potato starch, and 1 part almond meal. Mix flours well in a large container. Use this blend to replace wheat flour in recipes. Brown or white rice flour can be subbed for the sorghum flour. Read about gluten free flour blends here. Find more gluten free bread recipes on my favorites page.

“What if I don’t want to mix a bunch of flours for a blend?” I understand. It can be a pain to locate and purchase so many ingredients. One option that works well: use Pamela’s Artisan Flour Blend in place of the sorghum blend and leave out the psyllium husk. I used Pamela’s for this batch of baguettes. The bread has a good texture, but it’s different from what you’d get with my bread blend.

Psyllium / Guar / Xanthan – For the bread pictured here, I used psyllium husk powder (read the label to make sure it has no gluten-containing ingredients added). The amount of binder needed in a recipe is dependent on so many things – which flours are used, what kind of fat, how the recipe is formulated, etc. For this particular recipe, 2 tablespoons of psyllium is roughly equivalent to 3.5 teaspoons of guar gum or 3 scant teaspoons of xanthan gum. The end result is slightly different with each binder. One isn’t necessarily better than another. Use whatever fits your budget, preference, and dietary needs.

I haven’t yet tested tapioca gel as an egg replacer in this recipe, but have used 1/3 cup aquafaba (bean juice) in bread with excellent results. Find directions for making tapioca gel on this brownie recipe.

Refrigerate dough up to three days if you like. Don’t forget to stir in that extra bit of leavening before you bake.

Adapt dough for buns, rolls, pizza

For burger buns, use a #10 disher to portion dough into greased 4” mini cake pans and spread out to sides. Or, drop dough into a bowl with extra flour to aid in shaping into balls. Place dough balls on a parchment lined cookie sheet and bake for 20-22 minutes. This recipe makes about 12 hamburger buns.

For dinner rolls, use a #16 disher to drop dough into greased muffin pans. Brush top with melted butter if you like. Bake 18 rolls for about 24 minutes.

For individual pizza crusts, use a #10 disher to drop dough into a bowl of cornmeal. For a chewier crust, add a few tablespoons of tapioca starch to dough before shaping. Line pan with parchment paper. Gently coat dough balls and shape as you like, sprinkling additional cornmeal as needed. Bake for about 12 minutes in a 350 oven. Remove crusts from oven, top with sauce, etc. and return to oven. Heat until toppings are bubbly, about 8-10 minutes. This recipe makes 8-9 individual sized crusts. Par baked crusts can be frozen to use as needed.

Many thanks to the cool kids at Nu Life Market for providing the sorghum flour.

Comments

  1. Hi there. We have been travelling down Gluten Free road for a few years now, and even branched off into tGrain Free Avenue. This week, we had a big bread drama in our house. The reason? Our local shop had a Gluten Free/Dairy Free bread in, and I bought some with the thought of lightening my load for the week, and giving the family a break from the Almond Chia Bread bread we have been eating lately. Here is the recipe: http://www.glutenfreegrainfree.com.au/gluten-free-bread-recipe/
    BOUGHT BREAD A BIG MISTAKE! After about three days, there were three grouchy, irritable, argumentative people in the house (I cannot eat any grains or yeast, so I wasn’t affected). It turns out the bread contains a preservative called calcium propionate (282 is it’s official number) and is known for triggering irritability, anxiety and behavioural problems. Solution: Late last night I quickly mixed up a batch of this Loaf Bread and got up early to activate and bake it. Result: The three of them are tucking into sandwiches for lunch – NO NASTIES! Time to mix another batch up!

    • So glad you liked the recipe, Fiona. I hadn’t heard of that preservative causing irritability but it doesn’t surprise me. Good thing you made the connection. By the way, that almond chia bread looks great.

  2. Hello,

    That looks wonderful!!!

    I am asking myself, ever tried storing the bread without freezing? what happens?

    I wanna take it traveling and I’d like to make sure it lasts for 3 days decently (doesn’t ned to be the freshest). Otherwise it will be only tortillas 🙁

    Cheers

    • Good question, Leila. But I haven’t stored the bread without freezing, so I don’t know. Edited to add: Good news! Look at Fiona’s comment on bread storage.

    • Hi Leila. Once thoroughly cooled to room temperature, we store the loaves in the fridge, in a plastic bag, and it is fine for a week +. For the first two days it is fine to be used fresh. After that we refresh it in the toaster, or toast it longer for… well…toast! However, I do think it would store unrefrigerated for three days, provided you aren’t in a really humid environment. Oh, and we choose not to use a microwave, but I imagine slices of bread could be refreshed in a microwave too.. Toasted sandwiches are great with this bread…mmmm!

  3. What can I substitute for the oil? I am trying to stay away from any oils. Would butter be a good sub?

  4. I heard raves about this bread on foodgawker. It is by far the best gluten free bread recipe that I’ve tried. I was skeptical about refrigerating the dough overnight. But it worked. Thank you for helping me make peace with gluten free bread.

  5. Hello!
    Just tried this, I have to say I love the flavor, but something seems wrong with my texture. It’s very cake-like, crumbly, dense. No air bubbles inside. Cooked for 65mins.
    I had to double the water quantities to make the dough stick together… But the batter was still very dense and heavy. Should I see it rise during the 10-15 min rest time? And what texture is your dough normally when you put it to the fridge for the night, and then when you put in the pan?
    Thank you!

    • Hmm. Did you use psyllium husk? A bread flour blend? I make this recipe at least once a week, and can’t imagine doubling the water. After mixing the dough, it looks like a very thick cake batter. Then after an overnight stay in the fridge, the dough looks puffy and expanded, similar to a brioche type wheat dough. Stirring in the additional yeast before baking will not cause an immediate expansion. But the dough will rise ever so slightly in a warm room before baking. Maybe another reader has some wisdom to offer? Anyone?

      • Hi there
        My conclusion is this: Make the bread once according to the recipe author’s exact instructions, and if it turns out differently, then tweak the recipe to suit your unique conditions. I make this bread often too, and it is lovely and does rise a little and does look like the image on the website. But the dough does not rise up and get puffy from its overnight fridge stay, it turns more into a clay like but crumbly blob. I do add more warm water, a little at a time unttil the crumbliness turns into a more stringy, very thick cake batter. The stringiness seems to be the clue here. Because once, experimentally, I added too much water and the batter lost some of its stringiness and the bread never fully cooked through, and was very doughy. We live in a reasonably low humidity climate (southern Australia), and the sorghum is Australia grown, so perhaps it needs the extra moisture. Just thinking out loud. Does that help a little?

        • Thank you, Fiona, I hope it helps Amy. I’m thinking now that I should take photos of the different stages.

          • Thank you, I will continue to experiment and let you know what I find out… Lately I have no time for that at all, but the winter shall be prolific!
            And what about the pan? Do you have a dark, non-stick pan, or a light-thin one? And anyone tried the pans with lid?

            And lastly, yes, photos of the different stages would be extremely helpful ! 🙂

          • For a loaf, I use a lightweight, light colored metal pan. For buns, I use dark pans. Whatever you have will be fine. About the photos (always a challenge for me) – I’ll try to remember “more process shots.”

  6. Do you use volume or or weight when measuring your flour blend? I think whether you use cups or grams would make a huge difference in your blend.

  7. What is a #10 or #16 disher? Have not heard these before.

  8. I tried – and loved! – this recipe. Thank you! I’ve posted about it here: https://gfandeasy.wordpress.com/2015/02/13/gluten-free-bread/

    • Helen, I’m so glad you liked the recipe! Just fyi, I usually smooth the top of dough with a wet spatula before baking. Gf doughs like that sort of pampering 🙂 And thank you for taking photos. It is so hard while you’re actually mixing and whatnot. I’ll be referring people to your site for a look.

  9. Stefano says:

    Hi,

    Is it possibile to use tapioca gel instead of eggs and psyllium in this recipe?

    If yes, how much gel is required?

    Thanks!

    • Stefano, I haven’t made this recipe with tapioca gel. I would probably use the psyllium husk, along with tapioca gel. Either that, or psyllium husk with about 1/3 cup aquafaba. Otherwise known as bean juice, aquafaba is the liquid you normally drain from a can of garbanzo beans. It can whip up just like egg whites. For baking, it isn’t necessary to whip the juice into a foam. I used aquafaba in my favorite bread recipe (along with guar gum in flour blend) with good results. Hope that helps.

      • Hi from Australia. I have made this bread using chia seed and extra water. The resulting loaf was just slightly moister and denser than loaves made with eggs. The family enjoyed the vegan version the most when it was made into hamburger type rolls. The rolls seemed to cook through more evenly than a bigger loaf. I used: 1/3 cup of ground chia seeds when mixing up the ingredients. Then little by little added extra water to the dough until the dough reached the same consistency as with eggs. You can also add an extra tablespoon of oil if you wish, to make up for the missing fats in the egg yolk. Hope that helps.

  10. Hi, could you please explain this in grams as I am from Europe and do not understand how to mix this correctly:

    Make a sorghum flour blend by combining: 2 parts sorghum flour, 2 parts tapioca flour, 1 part potato starch, and 1 part almond meal. Mix flours well in a large container.

    It is very difficult to find a good tasting bread that is gluten free. We tried a bread from glutenfreegoddess web-site using the same flours like you do here, but instead of almond, we have millet flour. The bread came out tasting bitter, despite following her recipe precisely, we made it in a bread-maker. So, now I have all these flours at home and really want to use them. This looks like a really nice bread. So, help me out, please? Thank you!!! Jana

    • Maybe don’t use millet? It could be bitter. It’s difficult to comment on a recipe from another site that I haven’t baked.

      About the bread flour blend I use – it’s simply a ratio to use as a general guide, as in 600g sorghum flour, 600g tapioca, 300g potato starch, 300g almond meal. Mix at whatever scale fits your needs. I use the bread flour blend for muffins, quick breads, and cakes, too. Sometimes I scale up and create lots of flour blend to have on hand (stored in the freezer). For the loaf bread recipe, you’d use about 454 grams from your master blend.

      Hope that helps.

  11. I made this yesterday, it was pretty dense and didn’t rise much. Should I have left it longer on the counter? Maybe my house is is not warm enough.

    • Hmm, here are some possible causes:
      Was your yeast okay? I usually store yeast in the freezer, in an airtight container.
      Did you stir that extra bit of leavening in before baking? This gives me the best oven spring.
      About room temperature – if your house is on the cold side, you might try heating oven to 100 degrees fahrenheit and letting bread “warm up” for 15 minutes before baking.
      Hope that helps, Charlene!

  12. Thanks for the recipe! Just tried it and it is GREAT! Have a question though. I’m not sure what is “stir in” extra levening the next day. I just spread the soda and yeast mixture over the dough. But when i transfer the dough into the load pan, it doesnt seem to be as puff as when i took it out of the fridge. is this normal?

    Thanks!

  13. Have you tried making hot dog buns with this recipe? Or with your Hamburger bun recipe. I am so happy with the hamburger bun recipe. Now I seek hot dogs. Thanks for the help.

  14. Love your recipe! I made bread rolls. I was low on sorghum so could only make half the recipe but I was thrilled with them – they’re delicious. My husband even said, you could serve these to anyone at a meal and they’d never know the difference. Off now to stock up on sorghum flour… (And to try our some of your other tasty recipes!) Oh, and I’ve posted a picture on Twitter, to share my joy with other coeliacs, too. @wendy_percival
    Thanks so much!

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