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« Asparaganza | Main | Panna Cotta »
Thursday
May132010

Gluten-free bread that doesn't suck

Look! It’s even the right shape.

UPDATE: While this recipe is great and will absolutely work, I’ve streamlined it a bit and think you might be best heading over to the newer post (also linked below in the recipe as the place to find the oven variation).

Everyone who comes over to my house (or encounters me in potluck scenarios) has asked for this recipe. I apologize for the delay, it’s not out of covetousness. I didn’t create it, I modified it from my beginner-baking, gluten-free bible, Gluten Free Mommy. [update: she’s gone on hiatus again, see below]

Her blog wouldn’t pull up for about a week at the beginning of this year, during which time I nearly had a nervous breakdown. After panic subsided, I realized that modifying recipes from their original gluten-full state was not as hard as I’d previously decided.

Thankfully, her site came back up, with new recipes. She hasn’t posted anything since, but at least I know she’s alive and well. [or moving blog hosts, contact me through the form on your right if you want the original, oven recipe]

I quit mourning for the disappearance of someone I still can’t get to return my email, and ended up equipped with a better sense of why certain flour combos or starches work better than others. The route of a little practicality beyond doggedly following recipes turned out to be the best thing that’s happened to my baking thus far. Meanwhile, Natalie’s probably just busy with her kiddos, not meaning to startle me into baking revelations.

Note for baking newbies: This may seem like a shit-ton of ingredients (especially if you have none of them so far) but you’ll get your money’s worth when you stop paying $6 for a loaf of disgusting bread (that must be toasted to taste like regular bread) and make your own just-like-everyone-else bread. That’s right. You can have regular ol’ peanut butter and jelly sandwiches on this bread.

I make a loaf weekly, more often if we have guests (or tasty preserves in the house.) We only pay for ingredients on an as-needed basis now (translate: unbelievably cheap, homemade, kick-ass bread.) And yes, it turns out better in the bread machine; I’ve baked it both ways many, many times.

Millet Oatmeal Bread
Adapted for the bread machine from original recipe by Natalie Naramor at glutenfreemommy.com, finally perfected from my very first attempt last fall. No breadmachine? See this post for the oven variation directions
 
1. Whisk the following together in a large mixing bowl:

1 cup brown rice flour
1/2 cup certified gluten free oat flour*
3/4 cup millet flour
1/2 cup tapioca flour
1/3 cup arrowroot starch, or cornstarch
1/3 cup sweet rice flour, also called Mochiko
1/4 cup flaxseed meal
1 Tablespoon xanthan gum
3 Tablespoons brown sugar
1-1/2 teaspoons salt

 
*Bob’s Red Mill makes gluten free rolled oats; save money by pulverizing the rolled oats into oat flour in a food processor.
 
I had a difficult time finding sweet rice flour. If you can’t locate certain items at local stores, try ordering them online.
 
2. In a separate, medium-sized bowl whisk together the following:
 
3 eggs (must be at room temperature)
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
1 Tablespoon molasses
4 Tablespoons
(half a stick) butter or butter substitute, melted
1 cup warm water
(80-105° F)
1/4 cup plain yogurt, buttermilk, sour milk or whatever you have
(also room temp)
 
You want your wet mixture to be at or just above 80° F so the yeast activates properly in the machine; use your basic kitchen thermometer and check the wet mixture’s temperature as you add the ingredients, you may need to alter the temperature of the warm water to bring the temperature up or down here.
 
3. Pour the wet mixture in the bread machine pan and then layer the flour mixture on top (not mixing the two.)

4. Create a small indentation in the flour with a spoon and pour 1 packet of active dry yeast (found in the baking aisle of your grocery store) in the hole.
 
5. Select the two-pound loaf size and use the Basic Rapid (or something similar) setting, which ends up being about 2 hours and 15 minutes. Some newer model bread machines have a gluten-free setting. As it gets going, you’ll want to scrape the sides with a spatula to make sure all the flours incorporate into the wet mixture.

6. Patience! The same goes for bread machine loaves as does for traditionally baked loaves, wait for the loaf to cool completely before slicing it. Don’t refrigerate the loaf. If you don’t eat the entire loaf within two days, slice and freeze it (in freezer-specific bags.)

Reader Comments (42)

So, what happens when you bake it in the oven? Does it still work?

May 13, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterDeanna

All of those Gluten Free Mommy links go to some blank WP blog. :(

May 13, 2010 | Unregistered Commentermelissa

Weird, Melissa! They worked this morning. Maybe she's in the process of 'moving' (she used to be at Blogspot). Mysterious GF Mommy!

Deanna, it definitely works in the oven; it just doesn't achieve the same shape and consistency as in the bread machine though. Slightly denser, regular GF bread shape (short and long shape from a loaf pan) and a mixer is super-nice in the case of oven baking it (though I've made it a number of times without my mixer, too.)

I'm happy to email anyone the oven recipe (while GF Mommy gets her blog together). Just let me know (and pass along your email when you leave a comment!)

May 13, 2010 | Registered CommenterKate

Kate!

I'd love the oven recipe. You know my email...

Liz

May 14, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterLiz

Your bread looks amazing! I just developed a Udi's inspired whole grain gluten free bread that is delicious, too.

Cindy
http://www.wheatlessfoodie.blogspot.com

May 14, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterWheatless Foodie

Thanks for posting this! I don't eat gluten-free but my mom does, so this will be a nice way to surprise her with a little treat on her next visit. I usually get mochiko at asian grocery stores and I've even seen it in the international section of regular grocery stores before.

May 21, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMarie

I'm supposed to compliment you particularly for this recipe but somehow I managed to post on the wrong one again.Nevertheless, I have the same praises for all your delicious recipes. Thank you!

October 22, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterjene ramos

Would love to have the oven recipe since I don't have a bread machine. Thanks. Great blog, by the way. Love your recipes & your writing.

November 1, 2010 | Unregistered Commenternancy lewis

I can't thank you enough! We are new to gluten free and even though only my daughter NEEDS to be GF, the whole family us joining her as I don't want to cook two meals or enjoy things that she can't. Hands down this is the best bread we've eaten! My bread machine didn't brown it like I wanted so I put it in the oven and darkened it up. Delicious. Her friend had no idea it was GF - he just thought it was homemade deliciousness.

July 29, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterWillow

SOO excited to have found your site - gluten free bread AND pear manhattans?!?! Thank you, thank you, thank you!

March 22, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterT. Dixon

the recipe calls for dry active yeast, however in my bread machine experience the rapid cycle requires instant yeast... just wanted to clarify before attempting the recipe! :)

also, you mention both the GF cycle and the basic rapid, which do you suggest? thanks! :)

April 6, 2012 | Unregistered Commentercourtney

Courtney, I use active dry yeast with great success, though you can use instant if you'd like. Lately I've experimented on a breadmachine with a gluten-free cycle, and I actually prefer the results from the basic rapid. Hope this helps!

April 6, 2012 | Registered CommenterKate

Tried this today...it is YUMMY, but have a question about how tall it should be. Not sure if it just didn't rise, but it's a pretty squat little loaf! About how tall would you say your normal loaf is?
Thanks so much!

July 16, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAllie D.

Hi Allie,
The bread will rise best in a bread machine, go figure! But if you're doing it by mixer/hand and oven then you'll want to do your best to mix it really well, which will help develop a finer thread and thus help to let the loaf rise even more. I've found my oven loaves sometimes can be blocky and short when mixed by hand. If you're mixing by hand, do your best and maybe pass off the mixing bowl to a spouse or friend for another 5-10 minutes of heavy mixing/arm work out! If you're using a mixer, then crank it up to high and maybe let it mix for longer next time. Hope that helps!

July 17, 2012 | Registered CommenterKate

What size loaf does this make for the bread machine? Is it a 1 pound loaf??

July 19, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterLola

Hi Lola,
It makes a 2lb loaf.

July 19, 2012 | Registered CommenterKate

hello
i am so happy i came to your website, love it.
is there anyway your recipes can be converted to 1.5 pound recipe? i really want to try to millet gluten free loaf you have posted. sound delish. thanks for any help you can lend.
cj

July 26, 2012 | Unregistered Commentercj

Hi CJ,
This recipe quantity will be fine to make with the 1.5lb pan/setting.
Enjoy!

July 26, 2012 | Registered CommenterKate

Sweet rice flour/Mochiko can be found inexpensively at asian food stores, if you're fortunate enough to have a good one around.

September 11, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterPNW GF

I can't use the flaxseed meal...what can I substitute with? I tried coconut flour last night with dismal results. The bread smelled GREAT but it didn't hardly rise at all and has a weird after-taste....too dense, too.
Help!

Kristy

November 16, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterKristy

Hey Kristy, in the future you can just use more brown rice flour and omit the flax. I think the coconut flour was too oily (we'd need to alter the wet ingredients ratio in order to incorporate it in this recipe). Let me know how it goes!

November 17, 2012 | Registered CommenterKate

I used my bread maker and the loaf didn't rise very much (only about half way up the side of my 1.5 lb loaf pan). The dough was pretty raw and about 125 degrees in the center after 2.5 hours in the bread machine. I really wanted this to work! I'll have to keep looking for that perfect GF bread recipe I guess. Oh, and BTW, it smelled devine while baking and the crust is delicious! I'm going to try sticking it in the regular oven to see if I can at least bring the middle up to bread done-ness temp!

November 21, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterS. Harris

S. - I've never heard that feedback before, and many friends have tested it in their bread machines maybe your machine is broken or ended up on a strange cycle by mistake? I hope you have better luck in the oven.

November 21, 2012 | Registered CommenterKate

Can I "make up" my own mix of flours? I have several gluten free flours I have been playing with making quick bread, muffins, etc...can I just mix those up and use your recipe?
Do we have to use the guar gum or the xanthan gum? Just yeast alone won't do it? Fairly new to this gluten free baking thing and lots of questions.
Thank you so much for any answers!!!

December 23, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterDianna

Hey Dianna,
You're welcome to experiment with combining your own flour combos, some will work better than others. In general I think a rice or grain + a starch + nut or other oilier flour is the best kind of combo. My recipe is based on lots of experimentation, so I'd only recommend experimenting if you're ok with the possibility of ending up with a denser bread on your first few tries. Definitely write down what combos you try so future attempts can be amended accordingly (or replicated)!

Using the xanthan or guar is what's going to make those non-gluten flours stretch when they're not normally able to do so. There are lots of resources out there for using other kinds of things besides those two ingredients, but I'm not an expert on that because I prefer to just use them. Best of luck to you.

December 26, 2012 | Registered CommenterKate

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