If you are new to the gluten-free diet and find that you cannot bake a decent gluten-free bread or are looking for the best gluten-free bread to purchase, you are not alone. Just about everyone I know had trouble in the beginning. Nowadays, you can definitely purchase a wonderful gluten-free bread or baguette. Below, I provide suggestions for the best brands of gluten-free breads and how to bake your gluten-free bread successfully!
Canyon Bakehouse®, Schar®, Udi’s® and Rudi’s® bake wonderful gluten-free bread in original (white), whole/multi-grain and cinnamon raisin. They can be found at your local grocery store, Whole Foods Market, many health stores, and online.
If you wish to bake your own bread please read the tips below.
A gluten free bread recipe with multiple choices for flour and starches. All work out very well for sandwich bread.
- 1 cup + 2 tablespoons water, warmed to 100 - 115°F
- 1/4 cup instant non-fat dry milk (optional, but very helpful)
- 2 1/4 teaspoons instant yeast
- 1 1/2 tablespoons sugar, agave, or honey
- 1 1/2 cups of your favorite gluten-free flour or combination of oat, sorghum, white rice, brown rice, or millet
- 1 cup + 2 tablespoons potato starch or (cornstarch - not potato flour)
- 1/2 cup tapioca flour/starch (or cornstarch)
- 1 tablespoon xanthan gum or 4 teaspoons guar gum (or a mixture of both)
- 3/4 teaspoon fine sea salt or salt
- 4 egg whites (3 for rice flour based breads)
- 1/4 cup of cooking oil (extra virgin olive grape seed oil, etc.)
- 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
- Preheat your oven to 170-200°F; the lowest it goes. Optionally, allow your dough to rise in an 80 to 84 degrees F environment.
- Add yeast, sweetener of choice, and if using, dry milk, to the warm water; stir and allow to sit for 5 or more minutes to activate and proof the yeast. (This will cause the mixture to become foamy on top. If it doesn't, that means you heated above 120 degrees F or your yeast is too old.)
- To a large bowl, add flour(s) of choice. If you wish to make it more nutritious, substitute no more than a 1/4 cup rice bran, oat bran, millet, amaranth, teff, corn, buckwheat, or qiunoa flour. for some of the flour above. These are heavier flours. (Bean flours are of a medium weight but can make a moist or gummy bread.)
- Add the starches (Bob's Red Mill makes a non-GMO cornstarch.), gum and salt; whisk together well; set aside.
- Beat the egg whites using an electric mixer until it is foamy, about 30 seconds.
- Add oil, vinegar, yeast mixture; mix for a about 10 seconds.
- Add in the flour mixture all at once; blend until all dry ingredients are moistened enough not to fly out of the bowl; beat for 4 minutes on high speed. (You want the dough to be loose, not stiff at all. You should be able to spread it out using a silicone/rubber spatula.) If it is too stiff, add additional water. If it is too loose, like cake batter, add more flour (not starch).
- Oil an 8 x 8 x 4-inch (or 9x-inch) loaf pan; add dough to the pan; sprinkle the top with filtered water and smooth out with a rubber spatula.
- If adding a topping such as oats, sesame seeds, etc. add them to the top of the bread; with moistened fingers pat them gently into the top of the dough.
- Turn oven the off; place the pan in the center of the oven; leave door open 4 - 6-inches; allow the dough to rise until the dough reaches about 1/2-inch over the top of the pan, measuring from the center. Rice-based breads rise faster, usually in 25 - 35 minutes, where heavier dough takes up to 45 minutes. If the dough cracks on the top, it ready to bake.
- Once risen, remove from oven and preheat oven to 375°F.
- Optionally, you may slice the top of the bread with a serrated knife, diagonally, in 2 - 3 places. This often allows steam to escape during baking.
- Place loaf pan back in the oven and bake 37-40 minutes. (If you bake by temperature, bake until it reaches 200°F.) Rice breads bake faster and heavier breads need as long as 1 hour or more.
- Immediately remove bread from pan and place on cooling rack.
- Slice with a serrated knife, electric knife or electric slicer.
- If your bread turns out gummy, bake it longer next time or at a higher temperature, tenting with foil when it almost reaches your desired color. If the bread sinks in the middle or sides, bake it longer next time or at a higher temperature. Alternatively, you can also reduce the liquid a little.
If you want your bread to be higher in volume and a lighter texture, substitute 1/4 cup of starch for Expandex®, a modified tapioca starch. It is a processed substitute, but works wonders in gluten-free baking.
Gluten-free breads stale fairly quickly. Things that extend shelf life are Expandex, soy, sugar and salt. It may be left at room temperature for 1 day, though.
Never refrigerate bread as it accelerates staling. Freeze and defrost as needed. Microwaving on low works well. Or you can microwave a moistened paper towel and cover the frozen bread to defrost faster.
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