Amazing Gluten Free Pumpernickel Bread

When recently asked if I had a gluten free pumpernickel bread recipe, it gave me pause for thought as the gluten version of pumpernickel bread is made with rye flour, as well as others. Could I duplicate rye? Buckwheat flour is very close as a whole grain, and in color. Though many varieties of pumpernickel are a bit sour, I skipped the sourdough starter so that it would be easier for you all to make. I am not a fan of rye bread though this is not only my new favorite gluten free bread, it is my gluten-eating husband’s as well. It was amazing with swiss cheese! Pumpernickel is known for a soft crust, and this one definitely meets those expectations. Enjoy!

I created this recipe for KitchenAid using their Artisan 5-Quart Stand Mixer, which is what I own. A powerful mixer really makes a difference in gluten free bread baking, as it whips more air into the dough batter, creating a lighter bread. It prevents the breaking of weak beaters as well. This machine can easily make 2 loaves of this bread at once. That’s my kind of machine!

Out of all of my gluten free bread recipes, I have noticed that the use of 1/4 cup of fava bean flour makes all the difference in a high rising bread. Most bean flours create a bitter flavor in baked goods, however, fava bean in this small amount does not. Fava bean is much milder then the others.

Update: Bob’s Red Mill no longer sells fava bean flour. So, I suggest using soy flour or brown rice protein powder.

Gluten Free Pumpernickel Bread


Yield: Makes 15 slices, not including ends.

Gluten Free Pumpernickel Bread

A sweet, yet savory, gluten free pumpernickel bread with several substitutions and variations. Our favorite new gluten free bread!


  • 1-2/3 cups milk (cow, rice, etc.), heated to 115°F (no higher) (I used non-fat.)
  • 1/3 cup unsulphurated molasses
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons instant dry yeast
  • 1 cup buckwheat flour (135 g)
  • 1 cup potato starch* (148 g)
  • 3/4 cup cornstarch* (88 g) (Bob's Red Mill cornstarch is non-GMO.) (or more potato starch)
  • 1/2 cup sweet white sorghum (flour (55 g)
  • 1/4 cup fava bean flour (33 g)
  • 1 Tablespoon unsweetened gluten free cocoa powder (Hershey's or Ghirardelli Natural)
  • 1 Tablespoon caraway seeds
  • 2 teaspoons xanthan gum (or guar gum for corn-free)
  • 1 teaspoon guar gum (or xanthan gum)
  • 3/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon gluten free baking powder (Rumford's, or Featherweight for corn-free)
  • 1 large egg
  • 3 large egg whites
  • 1/4 cup oil
  • 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar


  1. Preheat your oven to the lowest temperature possible, between 170 – 200°F.
  2. Add molasses to the warm milk; stir to dissolve; add yeast; stir and set aside for 5 minutes.
  3. Whisk together the dry ingredients; set aside.
  4. Add egg and egg whites to the large bowl of your mixer until it reaches a frothy, creamy consistency, approximately 2 minutes on No. 10 speed (high).
  5. Add the oil, vinegar and yeast mixture to the eggs and blend on No. 2 speed (low) for a short time.
  6. Add dry ingredients all at once and blend on medium speed for 3 minutes.
  7. Grease or spray oil a 9×5-inch loaf pan.
  8. Add dough batter to prepared pan and pat with a little cold water using a rubber spatula and distribute dough evenly. Add drops of water, about 12 or more, to the top of the bread and with a wet, clean, spatula smooth out the top.
  9. If adding seeds to the top, sprinkle them over the dough. Dip your fingers in water and gently pat the seeds into the dough.
  10. Turn the oven off and place the bread on the center rack. Leave the door open about 30 - 60 seconds to allow some of the heat to escape. During the rising process, leave the door cracked open approximately 6-inches. Allow the dough to rise until it is about 1/2-inch over the top of the pan, about 30 - 40 minutes. If you are not pressed for time, do not rise it in the oven, but a slow rise, in a warm environment, about 80°F. This may prevent that mushroom affect on the top (or lessen the baking powder to 1/8 teaspoon).
  11. If using the oven for rising, remove the pan from the oven and preheat the oven to 375°F.
  12. Place the pan on the center of the rack, in the center of the oven and bake for about 1 hour. Tent the bread with foil (I use Martha Wrap - parchment lined foil to avoid aluminum from seeping into the bread) after 10 minutes of baking. Be sure to tent, lapping over on all four sides.
  13. Once baked, your bread should rise about 3-inches above the pan. It will shrink about 1-inch upon cooling. Remove the loaf from the oven; immediately remove it from the pan and set the loaf on a cooling rack to cool completely before slicing.
  14. Slice with an electric slicer, electric knife, or serrated knife.



For egg-free: Substitute the eggs with Ener-G Egg Replacer by mixing 3 tablespoons egg replacer + enough water to make 3/4 cup.

For corn-free: Try substituting the cornstarch with potato starch and the potato starch for tapioca flour/starch; and use all guar gum instead of the xanthan gum.


For a savory bread add 1 - 2 tablespoons dried onion flakes to the dry ingredients.

Skip the caraway seeds for a kid-friendly version.

This particular gluten free pumpernickel bread recipe is on the sweet side. If you would like to make it less sweet, reduce the molasses to 1/4 cup and add 1 1/2 tablespoons of cooking oil.

If you're not a huge fan of caraway seeds, like me, 2 teaspoons is perfect. It provides flavor without overpowering.

10 Replies to “Amazing Gluten Free Pumpernickel Bread”

    1. Hi Mary,

      Bean flour provides a wonderful rise and I have’t found anything that substitutes it well, but you can probably get the same affect using tapioca flour. It will just have more of a chew, which is fine in this recipe due to the high-fiber buckwheat flour. The one thing you will probably have to do, though is reduce the liquid as legumes absorb plenty of water.


  1. Email question:

    “Hello. I love your website — very informative. I was diagnosed Celiac about 15 years ago. I recently purchased a Blendtec blender and was wondering if I can use that when your recipes call for food processors or heavy duty mixers on high? I owned a Vitamix for years so I am more familiar with those type of processors. Just curious. Thank you.

    “Also your Gluten free pumpernickel bread recipe looks wonderful. I have been searching for a pumpernickel recipe for a long time. You said add sugar to the yeast but it doesn’t state how much sugar. Does it matter how much sugar you use?”


    My response:

    “A blender will not work for this recipe. A stand mixer is necessary. You can try a hand beater, but you will need to beat it much it longer if it has less power than a KitchenAid mixer. The KitchenAid mixer I use has 325 watts.

    “As far as the sugar, that was an error. Thanks for bringing that to my attemtnion. You mix the molasses with the warm milk. I have updated the recipe.”


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.