Finally, Really Good Sandwich Bread: Our Favorite Gluten Free Bread Recipe

Gluten free bread is a staple of our diet.

When John first started a gluten free diet we searched through grocery store after grocery store hunting the elusive frozen rice bread that our internet searches indicated should be there.

We finally found some and, upon trying it, promptly spit it out. It was horrible!

John kept eating it though, because what else is one to do when you don’t know how to cook and your girlfriend is away at grad school.

By the time we married the following year, we had a bread machine and Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free Bread Mix. Thus started the four year saga of baking gluten free bread that was either dense, wet, full of air holes, or incredibly misshapen.

At last count we’ve been through three different recipes plus innumerable variations of each when I just couldn’t keep my hands off the recipe (which would be at least 95% of the time). But do not be disheartened – Finally, after four years, I have worked out a recipe that consistently turns out really good sandwich bread.

One of the reasons that I really like this bread recipe is that the flours in it are relatively inexpensive. And, at least in Birmingham, they are widely available. I can get all of the different flours at our local Wal-mart.

The bread is also very easy to make, especially once you have the recipe memorized from making it frequently. I even do shortcuts now and often  mix everything up in one bowl. However, if you’re trying this recipe for the first time, I do recommend that you follow the recipe as closely as possible.

Finally! Really Good Gluten Free Sandwich Bread

1 Tbsp. bread machine yeast
1 Tbsp. sugar
12 oz. water (1.5 c) (105 degrees or a little less than hot)

11 oz. (approx 2.5 c) GFCS’gluten free flour mix
2 tsp. xanthan gum
1 tsp. salt

3 eggs (or 9 Tbsp. water and 3 Tbsp. ground flax seed)
1 ½ Tbsp. oil
1 tsp. cider vinegar

Instructions

1. Start by combining the yeast and sugar in a small bowl (I use the smallest in my set of three nested mixing bowls). Add the water while gently stirring the yeast and sugar. Let this mixture sit while you mix the rest of the ingredients – bubbles and foam should form if the yeast is happy.

2. Combine the flour mix, xanthan gum and salt in the largest mixing bowl and stir well.

3. In a third bowl, whisk the eggs, oil and vinegar until the eggs are a bit frothy.

4. By this point the yeast mixture should be foamy, so you can pour the two liquid mixtures into the flour mixture. Blend the dough with a mixer for 4 minutes.

Bread Machine Directions:

Scoop your dough into the bread machine and smooth the top of the dough. I bake my bread using an 80 minute setting that allows for 20 minutes of kneading, 18 minutes of rise, and 42 minutes of baking. However, since I don’t use the paddle in by bread machine, I’m effectively doing a 38 minute rise and a 42 minute bake. (The advantage of not using the paddle is that you don’t end up with a hole in the bottom of your bread.)

Conventional Oven Directions:

Scoop the dough into a greased loaf pan. Allow the dough to rise in a warm area until is is about 1 inch from the top of the pan. Then bake at 375 degrees for 50 – 60 minutes.

Other Notes:

  • If you are allergic to corn I’ve developed a corn free version of this recipe that uses tapioca starch, almond flour, and guar gum. The recipe is currently available as part of the Gluten Free Bread 101 class
  • If you’re looking for a gluten free milk bread recipe, you can make this bread using milk instead of water. In fact, I originally developed it with milk and then switched it to water to cut down on the cost and to make it casein free. If you are on a dairy-free diet, then you may use a plain gluten free non-dairy milk..
  • If you are allergic to eggs, use the flax substitute listed in the recipe, or follow the instructions on your favorite egg replacement powder. When I use the flax eggs, the bread is usually slightly wetter than otherwise.


Comments

  1. @Eileen: Yes, please let us know. I would like to know what their 100% natural plant derived ingredients are.

  2. This is what I found on the gluten sub.

    Orgran Gluten Substitute

    Soya free. Egg free. Yeast free. Dairy free. Wheat free. Gluten free. Suitable for vegans. Lactose free.
    This gluten-free gluten substitute is a revolutionary new development that will give starch and other gluten free flours of your choice workability and versatility and make gluten-free baking easy. This product will provide structure and will mimic the physical protein found in wheat in a way that will allow you to make a dough or batter with similarities of consistency and characteristics to wheat based products.

    Usage: simply add 20g to every 100g of gluten free flour and mix well. Suggested flour blend: rice + maize + potato.

    Ingredients: superfine rice flour, pea extract, maize starch, vegetable derived gums & cellulose: guar gum, methylcellulose, carboxymethylcellulose, monoglycerides from vegetable.

    Nutritional information per 100g:
    Energy 1280kj/303kcal
    Protein 8.3g
    Carbohydrates 56.7g
    of which sugars 0.9g
    of which starch 55.8g
    Fat 0.8g
    of which saturates nil
    Dietary fibre 1.2g
    Sodium <0.1g

  3. Kimberly says:

    This is the best GF bread that I have made so far (2 years in)….
    I used brown rice flour, tapoica starch, sorgum flour, & almond meal in the proportions suggested to make the flour mix; I mixed it by hand in my stand mixer & baked it in my conventional oven.
    This is the only bread that I have made that did not dry out in the week that we were eating it. Thank you so much!!!

  4. Jennifer says:

    I made your bread today for my GF sister and she was so happy she could have cried. It was so wonderful! I used cornmeal I ground from popcorn in my wheat grinder (cleaned first, of course) and I also ground my own rice flour. This made the whole thing really inexpensive. We also made the pastry… incredible! I am so pleased. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

  5. Wickedgoodbaker says:

    I can’t wait to try this bread recipe. I love reading the post comments and questions as it helps me so much when trying a new recipe.

  6. Hi I want to try this recipe however I am allergic to yeast. Can you suggest a substitute?

  7. Hello,

    I would love to have a recipe for a gluten free loaf of bread or wrap without the yeast or the bean flours that doesnt crumble at the first bite. Yeast affects me badly ever since I became pregnant, meaning it uhm, now causes me the same problem bean flours do. We do not own a bread machine, I make everything by hand and bake it in the oven even when electric beaters are suggested. If anyone has a quick and easy as possible recipe I would appreciate it so much. Thanks!

  8. Hi!! Sorry it has taken me so long to let you all know about the gluten sub.

    I used it in another bread recipe and it actually made the bread feel like gluten bread. It had a bit more elasticity. You could bend a piece of bread and it didn’t break!

    I still want to try it in your Really Good Sandwhich bread.

    I will let you all know when I do.

  9. Thank you so much for your awesome website! I have a niece with Celiac’s and her mom goes crazy trying to find food that allows her to avoid cooking two completely separate meals as she has 3 other children who have no special diet needs. Simple things like gluten free biscuits, bread, and all-purpose flour mix will make her life a WHOLE lot easier. Thanks again!

  10. On the issue of gluten free “regular” foods for kids … I made meatloaf for my kids the other day and they devoured it. I mixed catsup, mustard, gf worchester sauce, salt, pepper and oreg and basil in a bowl, Then mixed it into a veal, beef and pork (ground) meatloaf mix, and added rice crispies that I had mixed in the food processor to fine consistency to bind it. Then I shaped it into a loaf and covered the meatloaf in a the same mixture and added onions to the pan and roasted for 35 to 40 minutes until done. Wonderful. Who would think … Rice Crispies are a wonderful thing.

  11. Hi,

    Whenever we make bread (not in a bread machine) or any recipe that have gums in it we always beat the ingredients for at least 4 minutes.
    I had read somewhere.. this helps with height and helps the gums do their job.

    Have found it does make a difference. :)

  12. To #66 Jodie – You’ll want to be very careful with adding processed cereal as binders to meatloaf. If you’re using the name brand Rice Krispies…it is not gluten-free. If I remember correctly, there is barley malt in that cereal. I can’t eat it without getting ill. :-(

  13. Nope. I use the Organic Rice Cereal Brand with no barley or malt flavoring.

  14. My son has PDDNOS, OCD and a few other issues. We had him tested for allergies and found out he can’t have wheat, barley, malt, oats, sugar (cane), sugar (beet), yeast, yeast (brewers), milk, orange, red dye, yellow dye, nutrasweet and chocolate. We are having a very difficult time finding things for him to eat. I need recipes for poppyseed muffins, bread, hot dog buns, donuts & deserts including ice cream.

    Thank you!

    Sheri

  15. I have loved reading this website for sometime but never seemed to find the time to add my 2 cents. My 2 daughters and I have combined food allergies that include wheat, dairy, gluten, corn, soy, eggs, candida, flax and sesame. So I love the recipe ideas. I have done some research and found millet and sorghum flours at indian grocery stores and rice, tapioca and potato starch flours at asian grocery stores for 1/2 the price.

  16. What can I use instead of cornstarch and corn flour in your gluten free flour mix?

  17. Wonderful website, very helpful and interesting. For those of you in the colder climes (I’m in Panama), you can easily proof your doughs by just turning the light on in your oven. After mixing/kneading your dough, set your covered dough bowl in the oven with the light on. Close the door and let rise. It easily reaches 80F temps. The top of your refrigerator is also a good warm place for this purpose.

  18. Looking for a Butter Substitute? Use Coconut Oil. Make sure it’s organic, expeller COLD pressed. Many many benefits for incorporating coconut oil in your diet. http://drbenkim.com/articles-coconutoil.html Do your own Google search to verify, lots of info out there. Coconut oil has been a godsend for us.

  19. I’d try tapioca starch or potato starch or a combination of both.

    Jodi

  20. I made the recipe last night. I used white rice flour instead of brown, I used sorgham instead of soy flour, and I used corn flour instead of mesa. I thought I had enough corn starch but noticed during the mixing of the flours that I didn’t, so my ratio was:

    1 c. white rice flour, 1 c. corn starch, 1/2 c. sorgham and 1/4 c. corn flour. I used the other ingredients like it said in the recipe.

    However, the bread did not rise at all and is still gooey. But, this morning, it has a nice “thick” texture but was still flat (and when the crust is cut off -as that is the way my daughter eats bread – it makes for a very small piece of bread).

    I am using my boyfriend’s mom’s bread machine. It has an “express 80 minute” setting (which when started – starts at 120 minutes) and even though I took the paddle out, it still made the sound like it was mixing the dough instead of going to a straight baking mode.

    Any ideas on what I did wrong? My daughter liked the bread but I think it needs to be a little less dense so she can actually eat it as a sandwich and not like toast with butter or cinnamon sugar on it.

    Also, what can I do to make this type of bread a cinnamon raison bread that is like a “snack” bread (but without the raisons)?

  21. @Julie: A couple of thoughts: the flour substitutions and ratio changes were probably enough together to throw the recipe off. Corn flour is much less absorbent than masa harina, and soy flour has more protein than sorghum.

    Did your yeast get bubbly before you mixed it in? Did you stir the dough well to develop the xanthan gum? My machine doesn’t go straight to bake mode either, so that shouldn’t be the problem.

  22. I did let the yeast get bubbly like the directions. I just bought more corn flour (couldn’t find the mesa) and I have a whole bag of sorgham left. Should I increase the corn flour and sorgham?

    Thanks.

  23. Julie: I use similar proportions to yours and used to use similar ingredients and never had a problem with the rise. It has to have been your yeast. Was it foaming or just bubbly?

    J

  24. it should look like a serious head of beer before you mix everything together.

    J

  25. Another amazing version of this bread! Try this mix of flours etc. and you will be amazed at the results. 1 1/4 cup of brown rice flour, 1/2 cup of potato starch, 1 cup of corn starch. I used three eggs instead of two, and 2 tsp of vinegar instead of 1, and 2 tbs of oil instead of 1. The rest of the recipe remains the same except that I took the advice above and after everything is mixed together I beat everything for 4 minutes with the electric mixer. Totally insane fluffy bread. My bread looked like a boule and my entire family ate it with gusto (celiac and not)

    J

  26. @Jodi: Thanks so much for your input!

  27. The yeast was foamy. I’ll try again tomorrow. Maybe something was a little off.

  28. Thank you so much for your blog, and the cooking & experimentation that you do so that I don’t have to be so overwhelmed.

    I have baked this great bread recipe a few times, and today I omitted the cider vinegar. I think today’s bread was lighter than it’s ever been. I’m not sure if it’s a coincidence, but you might want to try it and see if you get the same results!

  29. I tried this recipe using Bob’s Redmill GF All Purpose Flour instead of your AP flour mix and I subbed 4 tsp gelatin for xantham gum (didn’t have x gum). The dough came out runny like pancake batter. I proofed on top of oven with damp cloth and it rose easily to top of pan, then overflowed pan. When I baked, it smelled heavenly, but a giant trough sunk in middle of loaf. Do you think it needed more flour? I wish I knew how to attach pic of loaf. It was so funny lookin’.

  30. I ran across this recipe while doing a search for gluten free bread recipes… I will be looking at all the recipes now, it was so good!!! I also used the bob’s red mill flour mix, but I used 2cups of bob’s flour mix and then 1/2 regular white rice flour… I also, accidently, put 2Tbls yeast in the bread, instead of the 1… if anyone has even enjoyed a “yeast roll” this tasted JUST like it…

    Just my 2 cents… but this was the easiest, best recipe for gluten free bread I’ve tried (and I’ve tried a TON!)

    Thanks!!!!
    Kirby

  31. @Suzi: I’ve never gotten good results substituting gelatin for xanthan gum. The gelatin just does not thicken the batter up like the xanthan. I don’t know that more flour would have helped, since the extra flour doesn’t contain anything to help hold all the dough together.

  32. @John: Snap…I just realized that I’m logged in as my husband!

  33. Hi Mary Frances,

    I would like to bake your really good sandwich bread, but I can only use nutritional yeast instead of the active dry yeast. Are they interchangeable or is there a ratio that is used in lieu?

    Also, I can’t have sugar so I have to use Agave, so I’ll use the amount of water, less the amount of agave, so the liquid is balanced out. Does this sound okay, in your opinion?

    Thank you so much in advance.

    Diana

  34. I found out that nutritional yeast is non-activated, so it won’t work for bread. :( I’m going to ask my naturopath if I can use regular active dry yeast and use virgin coconut oil to stop any overgrowth of yeast/candida that could happen. I hope she won’t have a problem with that. Going gluten-free was tough enough, but to also go yeast- free, that is a little too much. Gluten free soda bread tastes hideous to me… I don’t think I have good recipes for that, as I’ve tried a couple.

  35. Mary Frances,

    Do you think that honey could be used instead of the sugar? I would take the measurement of honey from the wet measurement. Any advice will be greatly appreciated.

    Diana

  36. @Diana: yes, I think that I’ve used honey before.

  37. @Diana: Converting the recipe to a soda bread is on my to-do cooking list, but it’s anyone’s guess as to when I’ll get to that one =) I haven’t been doing a very good job of making bread regularly for a few months.

  38. I still have not tried this in my zojirushi, but seriously, I’m ready and will do it before the new year. On the 80 min setting, should I set it to have a preheat or do I just get it to bake immediately for 80 mins? After reading all of these it seems I should mix it up, dump it in w/o paddles, no preheat, rise for 20 mins, bake for 60 mins. Is that what you mean by an 80 min setting?

    If anyone has ground rice and millet for this, I’d love to know the amount of flour you ended up using. I’ll have to use my bought tapioca and potato starch, but want to mill the rest if I can.

    Sheri-the Vita Mix can make something like ice cream with just fruits and veggies. It is expensive, around $400, but can do it and the kids all liked it (had a sample in the store).

    Take care everyone!

  39. Mary Frances,

    Sorry for leaning on you for so many things. I’m just used to baking bread the old fashioned way, without any restrictions. :/

    The question I have is, have you ever used molasses to proof the yeast in the bread?

    As always, your opinion (guidance) is appreciated.
    Diana

  40. @Diana: I haven’t, but I would think it would work since it still has the sugars that the yeast needs to feed on.

  41. @Psalm40: it’s more of the rise for 20, bake 60. The setting that I use would generally be mixing/needing during the first part, but my bread only rises since I don’t have the mixing blade for the machine.

  42. Thank you Mary Frances,

    I’m just trying to find all of the options I can with as many variations as I can to perhaps make a gluten free pumpernickel-like bread. Knowing that I can make this yummy looking bread that you developed, gives me quite a skip in my step. :)

    Diana

  43. Hi again, Mary Frances,

    I don’t have a gluten free bread maker, so I was wondering what temperature you would suggest to set my oven to, to make this? I want to try it today.

    Thank you,

    Diana

  44. I made the bread today and the taste was great. It didn’t rise as high as it was supposed to, but I know what I did wrong and what I need to do the next time I make it. It was great to taste something that good. :)

  45. @Diana: I’m so glad it turned out! I need to go back and update that post. You’re questions have reminded me that there is a lot of info from readers in the comment that really should be put into the main post.

  46. I dont have a 80 min setting on my bread machine. I did as the recipe says and just hit the white medium setting and 2 lb loaf with paddle in. The loaf only came out 3″ high but was wonderful, cooked all the way thru and the crust is great not overly done. new to bread making and gluten free for my 6 year old, my question is what size loaf does this make. Also when you put the yeast in the bowl to get troffy is that like letting it get a head start so no neading and rising in the cycles are needed? Can i make this by doing liquids then dry then yeast like I usually do? I just love the bread and the sugar cookies are wonderful too. Thank you for this site Mary Frances.
    Newbie Kelly

    • Hi Kelly,
      When you put the yeast in the bowl to get frothy, that is called “proofing the yeast”. It lets you know that the yeast is good and let’s the yeast get to work. However, the bread still needs the kneading and rising cycles. The bread is a 1.5 lb loaf, but you can get it to be taller by mixing the ingredients before you put them in the bread machine and making sure to mix the dough for several minutes to allow the xanthan gum to develop. The bread machine knead cycle doesn’t seem to quite do the job. If you mix it all outside the bowl, then you can (but don’t have to) leave the dough blade out of the machine.

  47. I wanted to share with those of you that can not eat casein, that ghee is casein free. Casein is similar to clarified butter except that all the milk solids are removed. It is found in Indian Grocery Stores. You can also buy organic ghee in your local health foods store. The organic ghee is very, very expensive. I think I paid $15 for a pound of it.

    I have used it cup for cup to replace butter in recipes however as I sit here thinking about it, you may want to use a cup less 1 or 2 tablespoons since regular butter is not pure fat.

  48. I made the really good sandwich bread again, with a little twist. I put honey to proof the yeast (which worked great, btw) and added about 2 tsp cinnamon and a cup of raisins. The cinnamon raison bread turned out perfect. It smelled so good when it was baking, too. Makes great cinnamon toast. I put some virgin coconut oil on it and that just made it even better.

    Thank you, Mary Frances, for this wonderful recipe. :)

    Diana

  49. Mary Frances, you’re so welcome. I hope you enjoy it as much as I am. The cinnamon is really good for your blood, and if you use virgin coconut oil, it has many nutritional properties, such as controlling the flora in your digestive system and keeping your whole system in check. The coconut flavour tastes really good with the cinnamon & raisins and goes really well with the flavour expectations.

    I think my next try is to make that pumpernickel-type bread that I mentioned in a previous post by adding molasses and carraway seeds. I want to make a spinach dip to go with it for New Years Eve. I just have a few things to figure out with the dip ingredients to suit it to my diet.

    Even after all of my diet restrictions are lifted, I’m still going to use this recipe, as it’s so yummy and easy to make. I don’t miss the wheat whatsoever. :D

  50. I am needing to get a new breadmaker….I’m ready to enter the world of gluten free breadmaking! It looks like in your sidebar that there should be a link to the breadmaker you recommend, but nothing is clickable. What breadmaker do you recommend?

    Thanks!

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