If you haven’t heard of Udi’s gluten free bread, you’re missing out on a great textured gluten free bread that is also dairy-free. However, if you’re into gluten free baking or avoiding processed food, this recipe may help you. It is the softest gluten free bread I have made thus far, and works wonderful for sandwich bread, as well as kid-friendly. It turns out a decent sized slice, and when the crust cools it softens like gluten sliced sandwich bread.
My first attempt at creating bread like Udi’s Gluten Free Whole Grain Bread turned out delicious, but I had to cut off the ends of the bread to allow the steam to escape so it would not continue to cave in on the sides and bottom. I continued to improve upon this recipe and finally achieved a good result.
Though I used Expandex modified tapioca starch in the first recipe that I made, with the improvements made in later attempts it rose just as much without the use of Expandex (modified tapioca starch). Udi’s gluten free bread is made with tapioca maltodextrin (update 7/25/2014: and now with modified tapioca starch). I avoided it and all of the rest of the chemical-like additives which make many gluten free baked goods, as well as other baked goods, have a better texture. I avoided the use of a mold inhibitor (cultured corn-syrup, citric acid). Instead, I substituted apple cider vinegar. Instead of using dry molasses which contains molasses and maltodextrin, I used regular unsulphurated molasses. In addition, I avoided ascorbic acid which contains ascorbic acid, microcrystalline, cellulose and cornstarch. I used 1/8 teaspoon of Vitamin C in earlier versions as a preservative, but it is not needed. And instead of using sunflower oil I used grape seed oil. However, you can use any neutral oil. I’ve even used extra virgin olive oil.
Udi’s gluten free bread contains evaporated cane juice (less processed sugar) in addition to the natural sweeteners. Sugar makes gluten free bread soft, especially when rewarmed. In addition, it feeds the yeast. You may skip the evaporated cane juice, if desired, as the the molasses and brown rice syrup were enough to proof the yeast, but feel free to add some, as the more sugar you use, the softer the bread. When viewing the order of the Udi’s ingredients the evaporated cane juice is pretty high on the list, meaning the quantity is pretty high, though I only suggest 2 teaspoons.
As I try different methods that turn out well, I will update this recipe.
UPDATE March 15, 2013: Now that I have more experience in gluten free bread baking, I am updating parts of this recipe. This particular bread just wasn’t baked long enough. I have updated the baking time from 35 minutes to 45 minutes. That should do the trick, though I haven’t tried it myself. It will not be as soft as you see in the photo when baked longer. Therefore, it’s up to you if you wish it soft, or prevent the sides or bottom from caving in a bit. I prefer soft.
Update February 6, 2022. Several years ago I created a recipe testing out gum Arabic. In addition to xanthan gum in equal amounts, it creates a very soft bread even one fully baked. Give it a try!
Udi’s-Style Gluten Free Whole Grain Bread Recipe
Best texture gluten free bread ever! Very soft! Still being perfected, though. You need to slice the ends off during the cooling process.
- 1 cup filtered water, heated to 110-115°F
- 2 teaspoons evaporated cane juice or sugar
- 2 teaspoons unsulphurated molasses
- 2 teaspoons brown rice syrup
- 2 teaspoons instant dry yeast
- 1 1/8 cup brown rice flour
- 3/4 cup tapioca starch
- 3/4 cup potato starch
- 1/4 cup teff flour
- 1/8 cup (2 Tablespoons) flax seed meal
- 2 teaspoons xanthan gum*
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/3 teaspoon gluten-free baking powder (I use Rumford's)
- 1/4 cup neutral cooking oil (I used grape seed oil.)
- 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
- 3 large egg whites, at room temperature
- Grease or spray oil a 9×5 inch loaf pan.
- Preheat oven to 170 – 200°F (lowest possible).
- Mix warm water with brown rice syrup, molasses, and yeast in a cup larger than 8 oz., as it may bubble over; set aside until foamy on the top, no more than 5 minutes.
- In the bowl of your mixer, beat the eggs at high speed in a large mixing bowl until large bubbles form, about 20 seconds.
- Whisk together the dry ingredients; set aside.
- Add the oil, vinegar and yeast mixture to the egg whites and blend on low for a few seconds.
- Add dry ingredients all at once and mix on low speed until all dry ingredients are moistened. Then beat on high for 1 minute.
- Add dough batter to prepared pan and distribute and smooth the top using a rubber spatula. You'll want to meet all sides of the pan. If you miss the corners that will still be okay. It will fill in upon rising. To even out top, drop a few drops of filtered water on top, and spread evenly with a rubber spatula, or dip spatula in water several times.
- Place the bread pan in the oven. Turn oven off. Allow the dough to rise until the center is about 1/2” over the top of the pan, about 22 minutes. It will rise more while the oven is heating and during baking.
- Remove pan from oven and preheat oven to 375°F.
- Place the pan on the center of the rack in the center of the oven and bake for about 45 minutes or more.
- Remove the loaf from the oven and immediately remove it from the pan (careful it will be hot), and set the loaf on a cooling rack to cool. If you do not remove it right away the steam will make the crust soggy.
- Slice off the two ends to allow the steam to escape, or it will begin to sink in on the sides and bottom.
- Once cooled, it will shrink a little bit. Slice it with an electric slicer, electric knife or serrated knife. You'll get about 13-16, depending upon how thick you slice it.
If you desire a darker bread, use additional molasses or substitute more molasses for some brown rice syrup or evaporated cane juice.
For corn-free dieters, use guar gum instead of xanthan gum.
You can skip the evaporated cane juice and substitute with more brown rice syrup and molasses.
Update - April 9, 2012: I tried using only 1 1/2 teaspoons yeast this time around. I allowed it to rise about 1" over the top of the pan. In the past it continued to rise, way too much, during the baking process. This time it ended up even with the pan after baking. No more denting/caving in on the sides or bottom. However, I'd like it to a little higher and lighter next time. Perhaps a longer rise will help or 1 3/4 teaspoon yeast.
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