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. Great recipe, thank you so much! And thanks especially to Jodi and everyone else for your helpful comments. If you’d all like to see my modifications, please visit my blog at this page http://www.glutenfreecookingschool.com/archives/finally-really-good-sandwich-bread/ for my attempts to address the “yeast-y” taste and how other flours can be used.

  2. Dah, I hit the wrong button! My blog post is at http://manycreativegifts.blogspot.com/2010/03/fluffy-gluten-free-bread.html

    Sorry!

  3. Elizabeth says:

    Arrgh – this is the 3rd gluten free recipe I’ve tried. (cornbread works lol).

    I’m gluten intolerant + diabetic so a brown rice bread that works is what I need.

    Okay here’s the problem I made the bread w a couple of substituions – but it didn’t work. Thick hard crust and wet doughy middle.

    were my substitutions at fault or was it something I did.

    3 parts brown rice fl
    3 parts potato starch
    2 parts soy fl
    1 part corn fl

    white vinegar (all I had)

    every thing else is the same.

    possible things that might have gone wrong
    1 – do I stir the yeast or is it supposed to be clumpy

    2 – do I need to pack the flour for measuring ie- perhaps just not enough fl

    Thanks

  4. Elizabeth says:

    Other question how high should the bread rise and are cake pans and bread pans interchangable?

    - Clearly a very experienced baker lol

  5. wow…just spent over an hour reading all the posts…I am not diagnosed celiac but have many of the symptoms. We don’t have health insurance right now so I am simply going to try the gluten free diet without the diagnosis. I can’t wait to go and buy the ingredients for this in the morning! I do have a few questions for you guys….
    1) I have the zojirushi bread machine already…which setting are you guys using??? the gluten free one? I also have the oster…it does not have a gf setting…which setting are you oster users using??? I like to have them both going at once…that way there is actually still bread left for the lunch time sandwich the next day!

    2)If deli meats aren’t gluten free then what sorts of meats do you put on your sandwiches….Peanut butter I have, but I really love my turkey/ham etc…do they make gluten free lunch meats?

    3)how long after you went gluten free did you notice symtpom relief???

    thanks for all of your help in advance and thanks to mary frances for the recipe and all you others for you variations and experience sharing!

  6. lili dugan says:

    Hello my name is Lili Dugan, I was wondering the time and temoerature to bake in a conventional oven.
    I appreciate ypor time to respond.
    Have a great week
    Lili

  7. I’m making this bread for the first time. And I’m wondering if the dough is suppose to be really wet. More of a batter then dough? And aslo what is the oven method? I know it’s on here I just can’t find it. Thanks.

  8. Alice Rodriguez says:

    I read somewhere to let the dough rise in the fridge for 24 hours so that is exactly what I am doing today. I will let everyone know how it turns out. I did proof the yeast and everything was room temp or warmer. I seem to get far better results when everything is about the same temp, 110. I am using a large turkey bag (completely sealed, not touching the bread in any way) to proof the bread and I cook in parchment paper lined bread(metal,these are heavy)pans.

  9. Hillary Schafer says:

    Thanks SO much for this bread recipe. I have never had any luck with bread machines even with gluten recipes but I bought the recommended Oster brand machine and used your recipe and to my amazement it turned out. I can’t believe it! My girls even like it! Thanks so much for your informative website. It is making my life much easier since going gluten-free. I love to bake and gluten free baking seemed overwhelming but with your gluten free all purpose flour mixes….baking is getting much easier! Thanks, you are a Godsend!

  10. I was just diagnosed with celiac and tried this recipe today. I mixed everything as instructed, dumped the mixture into my bread machine leaving the stirring paddle in place. Then I baked it on level 1 for a basic regular crust (1 1/2 lb.) I am delighted with the result. I will definitely be making alot of bread with this recipe!

  11. Elke, the reason your bread is rising so high and then falling is because Bob’s Red Mill All purpose flour mix has a completely different structure of protein, fat and starches than the flours that Mary Frances is telling you to use in her recipe. The starch content of wheat flour is closest matched by corn and rice flour. Xanthan gum has no protein, but acts as a leavener(riser) and stabalizer. I know quite a bit about the chemical structure of flours and other ingredients used in baking. You used 3 eggs instead of 2 whole eggs and 2 egg whites. Egg white increase the stability of bread so it doesn’t fall. The yolks add a smoother texture, but only 2 are needed because if you add more it adds a harder texture to the bread. You also microwaved your yeast which can kill it. The best temperature to ferment the yeast with is between 68 and 100 degrees farenheit. The microwave on high setting sends heat waves at about 400 degrees farenheit through food. To make your bread rise well: boil a pan of water and set it into an off oven with your bread above it. The warm temperature of the water will cause the bread to rise because yeast love moist and warm temperatures. After that leave the bread in the oven and take out the water quickly. The longer you leave the oven door open the more heat you’ll lose and the yeast will die and your bread will collapse. Turn the oven to 375 and check it after 25 minutes and check it every 10 minutes after that until it looks done.

  12. Here’s a great article on working with yeast, it really helped me: http://www.thekitchn.com/thekitchn/tips-techniques/working-with-yeast-be-not-afraid-072256

  13. Alice, this should help with yeast issues:

    34F – inactive (storage temp)
    60F-70F – slow action
    70F-90F – Best growth (fermentation and proofing temps for bread doughs)
    Above 100F – reaction slows
    140F – yeast is killed

    *Breads produced by long fermentations usually have more flavor than short-fermentation products
    Happy Baking!

  14. Melanie Carr says:

    This recipe is my favorite! As for the gluten free all purpose mix, I just use whatever mixture of gluten free flours I happen to have on hand at the time. It’s always turned out great! I’ve also not had apple cider vinegar on hand yet, and substituted lemon juice, which worked just fine.

    Thanks so much for sharing!

  15. Alice Rodriguez says:

    Ya, leaving it in the fridge did not work for me. Just trying a new West Bend breadmachine, didn’t like it. Ordering the Breadman with GF cycle. Let’s see if this one is “it” even though I can bake a mean bread w/o a machine. I like easy. At least with the West Bend I can set it and forget it. That IS really nice!

  16. I am allergic to soy(many others are also and may not even know it). it is in the all purpose flour master mix. what other flour can be substituted?

  17. Mary Frances – Just wanted to say THANK YOU for sharing your recipes. My brother, whose passion in life is golf, has was recently diagnosed with celiac disease. I made your sub roll recipe yesterday. My brother loved the rolls and “inhaled” the first sandwich before he even got to the golf course. Thanks to you, my brother is able, once again, to pack a sandwich to carry in his golf bag. The sun is shining, the birds are singing, God is in His heaven, my brother has a sandwich in his golf bag and all is right with the world!

  18. Rita Faulkner says:

    I have made the bread both in the breadmaker and in the oven. I must be doing something wrong. My bread doesn’t rise much and the texture is hard firm not soft. I hope I can get a bread made that tasts good, and soft like homemade bread usually is, without having to buy a bread mix at $5.00 in the store that is GF.

  19. I have tried making this bread as a single loaf and double loaf. The bread is only a couple inches high when I do it as a single loaf. So I tried a double loaf to make it a little bigger. It keeps on caving on me in the oven. I followed the directions for the oven recipe. Any suggestions on how to keep it from caving in?

  20. A belated thanks to Bonnie for posting the GF, egg, corn/sorghum, soy , nut and YEAST FREE recipe.

    I have tried a few different times using various flours and it always comes out tasty but DRY and CRUMBLY. I don’t usually use potato starch because of nightshade issue but I do use rices, beans, tapioca, quinoa or millet flours in various measurements with xanthan gum. I have not tried to use coconut flour yet.

    The last batch I even added the equiv. of 2 eggs using flax seed and it still comes out dry.

    I bake covered in oven with foil for 60 min. 10 min. uncovered to brown crust.

    Any ideas on how to get more moisture into final product or is this impossible with no EGGS?

  21. Mary Ann says:

    To both Rita and Kim:

    There are a lot of very good hints from the comments left here by other users. The ones that I found most useful are:

    To get the bread fluffy, beat it with a mixer for 4-5 minutes. The extra mixing adds to the volumn of the bread. Afterall, you are not using yeast and you have to get the bubbles into the bread somehow. I have a stand mixer and I just let it run by itself after I have made sure that the ingredients are all mixed together. Just set a timer, when the timer goes off I just pour it into a bread pan. Put it straight into the warmed oven. At this point you can turn off the heat and close the door. Remember, if you can’t keep you hand on the oven rack comfortably for about 30 seconds, your oven is too warm.

    I let my bread rise in a warm oven. When the bread has risen to the top of the baking pan (between 20-30 minutes), I turn on the oven and just leave the bread in the oven for the timed baking. This way the bread doesn’t go through a drastic temperature change. The same follows for the end of the bake, I just open the door and turn the oven off. I let the bread rest in the oven for about 20 minutes (again, no drastic temperature change). If you are unsure if your bread is done in the center (which is another reason bread falls), use a thermometer to check the internal temp. I can’t remember what the temp is suppose to be, but someone has correct internal temp in their comments here.

    All the GF bread that I have baked from this recipe have come out really high and very tender. In the beginning of the comments, Jodi, gives her flour mixture, which I like best. The flours are easy to find and cost the least. In fact, it was Jodi who gave the tip about mixing the bread mixture longer. Mary Frances, was the one who gave the hint about the internal temperature for the bread and about keeping the bread from drastic temperature changes. They are the experts and they know what they are talking about.

    Good luck, I hope this helps you.

  22. I tried this sandwich bread for the first time it was fabulous the first time I have enjoyed bread for a while.
    I baked it in the oven I cant find a gluten breadmachine here in canada but this works better tastes like real bread I am gluten and milk intolerant.
    thank you so much…

  23. I made this bread in my bread machine using the gluten free cycle and it turned out awesome! I don’t like the taste of the bread alone, but toasted or as sandwich bread it is great! Next time I am adding some italian herbs to jazz it up a little!
    Thanks!

  24. I did not have the ingredients for Joy’s GF Mix nor do I own a bread machine.

    Instead of her GF mix,I substitute 1 c. rice flour, 3/4 c tapioca or corn starch, 1 c. Masa Harina. That worked pretty well.

    But I wanted it softer and a higher rise. So, now I use only 1 c of water in step 1 and 1/2 c milk (heated and added into step 3). I also add 1 tsp baking powder and 1/2 tsp baking soda (may sound weird but it works).

    Put it in a greased (sprayed) bread pan and let it rise for 25 minutes or til doubled. Put it into a 350 oven for about 75 minutes (thumping for doneness and maybe adding more time).

    The result is soft, a nice crust, tasty, keeps well, etc.

  25. What a wonderful surprise!! This is absolutely wonderful. We appreciate this ever so much!!

  26. I made this bread today and it was the best that I have had since I became a Celiac. I am very pleased and can hardly wait for toast in the morning which I sadly miss. thanks for the recipe. Looking forward to trying your others.

  27. If anyone has had problems with the bread falling a little after you take it out of the oven, I have found a solution for this. Immediately after you take the bread out place it upside-down, resting the ends on two pots that are the same height. It’s worked great for me.

  28. yep!! my favorite of all the bread recipes i’ve tried so far!!! thanks, mary!!!

  29. I tried this recipe yesterday using the flax seed substitute for eggs and the flour mix you supplied. Bread fell (think it rose too long), nice moistness but not gooey, and the taste was good, but just not quite what I like. I think it was the soy flour. Going to try to sub tapioca or potato starch and see how it works.

    Thank you so much for sharing your recipe! It’s a blessing for those of us just beginning to learn GF baking.

  30. Heather Marcum says:

    I did not see masa harina in the ingredient list but saw it in the directions. I am a bit confused and want to know how much masa harina to use before I start.

  31. J. Adams says:

    I tried this recipe earlier this week using eggs and tapioca starch. I didn’t leave it in the oven quite long enough, and it fell. It’s a little hard to tell exactly when it’s done… any pointers other than “wait 60 minutes” ?

  32. Gluten Free in Chicagoland says:

    On obvious mistakes and persistence…

    Let me start by saying that I don’t own a bread machine. Used to have one, never used it, sold it in a garage sale. At the time, I wasn’t being gluten-free, so store bread was fine… not so much anymore.

    I’ve tried this recipe three times and, since I don’t own a bread machine, I made an obvious mistake and put the entire batter into a single loaf pan. In fairness, the above conventional oven instructions don’t say specifically how many pans to use, but the word pan is singular, so it’s implied.

    This time, unlike the last two tries, I’ve split the batter into separate greased baking pans and let it rise for much, much longer – so far, so good.

  33. Pretty good, very edible. First GF bread that would make a good peanut butter and jelly. The dough is almost batter like, was worried but baked fine. the bread itself is very soft but holds together no problem.

    I had always loved dark rich whole wheat bread with seeds and nuts. Any suggestions or tips on modifying or making additions to this recipe would be great.

    Excellent flour mix, I used a fava/garbanzo mix in place of the soy. Can’t wait to try the tortillas, thats how I found this site.

    Thanks

  34. Thanks for this recipe, started gluten free a few weeks ago, but just for me, to see if it would help my many health issues. My doctor had a puzzled look when I mentioned trying a gluten free diet. I LOVE to bake so thinking my baking days were over I found this site. Thank you, thank you, thank you. Sandwich bread was great ( I normally bake 8 loaves of whole wheat bread at a time), haven’t tried more than one loaf, but am starting to feel less discouraged by my diet. Also tried Arrowhead Mills baking mix for some muffins,they were very soggy, will try your baking mix next time.

  35. First of all, I love this website! Question: how do you substitute an oven for the breadmakers (yeast, temp., length?

  36. I have been on a gluten free diet for 4 years and have tried many diffent recipes this recipe is by far the best we have used for making bread thank you so much,we cooked ours in oven and it turned out great.This will be our go to recipe when bread is needed.:)

  37. I need to find out the temperature and baking time for this recipe. It sounds really good but I don’t have a bread machine. Any suggestions?

  38. haley24 says:

    hey scratch that last comment….I totally overlooked the conventional oven directions. another question though, how much regular instant yeast do I use in place of bread machine yeast?

  39. Nina Robart says:

    The notes say you can sub tapioca starch for corn starch. On another site I read that tapioca is not substituted 1 for 1 in place of corn starch. Did you mean for it to be substituted 1 for 1? Can it be substituted 1 for 1? Anyone tried it?

  40. this looks delish, i will pass this along to all of my gluten free friends

  41. Well, I am trying my second batch of this bread today. Last week was my first try and it tasted wonderful, but didn’t raise at all. I got my yeast from the local natural food store so thought is would be fresh. I confess I am new to bread baking and using a bread machine. I left the kneading paddle in last week, this week I will leave it out and see if that is indeed the trick!

  42. I use tapioca starch in my recipe, which is a version of this with different flours and a little more sugar. The kids LOVE it – even my son who doesn’t usually like GF bread. I’m sure you can just substitute 1:1 for it. Every site is different and depending on what you are making, the ratios will be as well.

  43. fantasticalice says:

    Has anyone ever used a food processor to mix GF dough??

  44. I have used the blendtec to mix my dough. Just remember to let it sit and rise before you bake it. It’s turned out the same, but without the pockets of flour I tend to get when I hand mix with a whisk.

  45. I use my Kitchen Aide mixer, with the paddle attachment. Turns out perfectly, every time. :)

  46. I love your site! I linked back to your gf flour mix posts and added you to my blogroll. Would you please add me to yours as well? Thanks for all the helpful info! I’ll send many people here for great tips and “real life” experiences. Hugs!!
    website: http://gffearlessly.com – gluten free fearlessly.

  47. Thank you! My daughter is delighted to have found a GF bread she enjoys eating. Also means I can pack sandwiches for school lunches!

  48. cindy sandberg says:

    Made this with a couple of modifications…turned out GREAT! The only attempt at GF bread I’ve made that I actually LIKED! Here’s what I did…for those of you who don’t do/like soy flour-I used oat flour(made in the food processor from GF oats). Turned out wonderfully. I didn’t have xanthan gum, so I used 4tsp. unflavored gelatin-I had read somewhere that you could sub 2x as much unflavored gelatin for the xanthan. Also, because I wanted to make sure it had a nice rise, I added an extra tsp of vinegar and threw a tsp. of baking soda in with the dry ingredients…thought it wouldn’t hurt to give the yeast a little help. The bread rose beautifully and has a great nutty “whole grain” taste and texture from the oat flour. I had a slice warm with peach preserves shortly after it came out of the oven and it was heavenly…especially since I seldom get bread since going GF! Thanks for pointing me in the right direction! I really don’t like any of the commercially available GF flour mixes and the proportions of flours in this recipe is just right!

  49. Mary, your website has been sooooooo helpful. I wish I’d found it first.

    I had a good flavored bread recipe (from flour adaptations I made) but had the same problems as you had. This recipe is so similar that I can’t figure out what’s making the difference. I have had some problems still, but I do cook mine in the oven and it doesn’t fall if I cook it at 350 for 80 minutes (20-40 mins with tin foil on top.)

    -Yeast sub: hopefully those asking saw the reference to using flax. I add some (1/2 cup) and decrease the eggs just to add fiber but haven’t tried using it to replace the yeast.

    -Flour mix: My basic GF mix is white rice and buckwheat. I grind my own buckwheat http://store.honeyvillegrain.com/search.aspx?find=buckwheat (whole groats–What I found at Whole Foods has too much flavor and makes the breads grey). Does not go rancid as brown rice can and adds more fiber.

    -beans give us gas too (they say you get used to it?!?) but bean flour enhances the flavor/texture much more than rice only so we use an enzyme (Bean-0; Transform Digest etc.) Our family is sensitive to wheat (not gluten) among other things so we do okay with spelt so for the bread we actually use it instead of beans.

  50. I read something in the lastest “Living Without” magazine that may be of some use for all us G-free bread bakers. Make three batches of bread, one exactly, one with 1 tablespoon MORE water and the next with 2 tablespoons more water. Cook the three batches in a muffin tin (cooks faster) and see what the difference is. You can read it for yourself in the Oct issue, pg 50.

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