Gluten Free Bread

This is a very simple Gluten Free bread with a texture similar to wheat bread and suitable for many diets including Egg Free, Fodmap, Gluten Free and Vegan.


Creating a light and moist texture is a particular challenge when baking Gluten Free bread because these qualities must be provided by a combination of ingredients other than gluten.

So, the mix of flours – rice, potato, tapioca and cornflour – is what makes this a light loaf. I have found rice, potato and tapioca flour to be particularly good for Gluten Free baking. The inclusion of cornflour lightens the loaf further, as it does in shortbread where it gives the ‘melt in your mouth’ texture.

If you are using a commercial Gluten Free flour mix, replace the weight of rice, potato and tapioca flours with the mix and add the cornflour as per the recipe (360 gm commercial flour mix and 120 gm cornflour).

The simplicity of this loaf lies in the fact that it is like making a damper or soda bread. The yeast does not have to prove and there are no eggs, which makes the recipe suitable for Egg Free and Vegan diets too.

Adding the correct quantity of water requires a little practice. The texture of Gluten Free dough is different to regular baking. It is a sticky mix and it will absorb as much water as you add. The temptation is to add more liquid in the hope that the dough will become easier to manage. However, too much water will prevent the bread from rising.

When mixing your dough, initially add only 300 ml of water. This should be just enough for all the flours to hold together. Beat hard to give the mixture a smooth texture, adding a little more water only if necessary. For ease, use a food processor or a hand beater to mix the dough. The dough is very solid and hard to mix by hand; it is like a mini-workout’!

Like most Gluten Free bread, this loaf is best eaten freshly baked; but it is also good toasted on the second day…if there is any remaining.

When I bake this recipe I sometimes find there are holes in my loaf. I like this home-baked touch, illustrating there are no ‘additives’. I hope that you too enjoy this rustic look to your baking.
Gluten Free Bread, sliced

Diets for which Gluten Free Bread is suitable:

Diabetic, Dairy Free, Egg Free, Fodmap, Gluten Free, Low Calorie, Low Fat, Nut Free, Vegetarian and Vegan.

Ingredients

Preparation: 10 mins | Cook: 45 mins| Serves: 10+ slices

120 gm cornflour
120 gm rice flour*
120 gm potato flour
60 gm tapioca flour**
2 tsp sugar
2 tsp xanthan gum
14 gm (4 tsp) dried yeast (often 2 sachets, although check the weight of the sachet)
2 tsp salt
2 tbsp olive or vegetable oil
300-350 ml (12 fl oz) tepid water***

Method

GREASE and flour a 900 gm (2 lb) bread tin (use rice flour).
PREHEAT the oven to 200 C/400 F/Gas 6.
SIFT the flours, sugar, xanthan gum and yeast.
WHISK these dry ingredients to ensure they mix well.
SPRINKLE the salt over the mix.
POUR the oil and 300 ml of tepid water into the flour.
MIX the dough to combine the water and flours, using a food processor or hand-held beater if available.
ADD a portion of the remaining water if required to bind the flours. (The mix has a very different texture to wheat-based bread dough.The dough will drop off the spoon but it will keep its shape. The bread will not rise correctly if too much water is added.)
SPOON the mix into the tin and push it into the corners. Use the back of a spoon to push the dough down and make a flat surface. (Dampen the spoon with water to prevent the dough sticking.)
BAKE for 45 to 50 minutes. (It is cooked when the loaf is turned out and the bottom of the loaf has a hollow sound when tapped.)
COOL on a wire rack.

Serve

– As a fresh loaf.
– Toasted on the second day.

Notes

* For a more wholesome loaf use brown rice flour.
** Tapioca (cassava) flour can usually be purchased in Asian supermarkets and grocery stores. In Africa it is readily available in most supermarkets.
*** Water should be tepid, ie blood temperature. Run the water over your wrist; it is the correct temperature when it is feels neither cold nor warm.

Variations

– Flavour the bread mix with herbs.
– Mix in nuts (not for Nut Free diets) or top with seeds (not sesame seeds for Nut Free diets).
– Use this recipe to make rolls and pizza dough.

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