Victory: gluten-free bread with no weird gums in it.

bread

Since so many people have trouble with gluten these days, I’ve been trying to learn about gluten-free baking. There are some good resources out there (Gluten Free Girl is great), but the recipes usually include things I don’t have in my kitchen, like xanthan gum and guar gum, and lots of obscure starches.

Gluten-free bread is supposed to be impossible without these slimy, gummy additives: they create the structure that allows the bread to rise. Hmmm. I know something else that’s real slimy. Why not try to use the slime in flax seed instead?

Today I made gluten-free bread with ingredients I already had around the kitchen. And it’s good! It tastes good! It looks like bread, it tastes like bread, it has no gluten in it, and it was easy to make.

Since it was my first try and I wasn’t really expecting it to work, I just made a small loaf and didn’t measure very well, but here’s the gist of what I did:

Whip up a few (I think it was two or three) leftover egg whites with two small eggs. Add about a half a cup of milk, some salt (maybe 1/2 tsp? maybe a bit more?), and a little dry yeast (again, maybe 1/2 tsp). Whip again.

Grind up about half a cup of flaxseeds in the blender. Whisk them into the egg-milk mixture. Let them sit for a few minutes to get nice and slimy.

In the meantime, grind up about the same amount of millet in the blender. Add it to the flax-egg-milk mixture. Let it sit for a few minutes to absorb.

Now mix in somewhere between 1/2 and 1 cup of tapioca flour. The dough should be wetter than a non-gluten bread dough, but it should be nice and sticky and stretchy from the eggs and flax.

Let it rise in a warmish place for, say, 45 minutes.

Put it in a small greased breadpan, muffin tin, or other baking dish, and let it rise for, oh, maybe half an hour.

Bake at 450 for about half an hour, or until it’s nice and brown and smells good and sounds hollow when you tap the bottom.

Happy new year!

42 Comments »

  1. Amy Hitzig said,

    January 1, 2010 @ 12:29 am

    Yippee!! Thanks, Rebecca – I can’t wait to try this bread…I love that it doesn’t contain xanthan gum…something I do not have, and which is expensive if I try to stash a quantity. Happy New Year! & lots of love…

  2. Karen Bayne said,

    January 3, 2010 @ 8:58 am

    Lovely, really lovely. I may bake this as a birthday gift for a friend who has recently left gluten behind. Thank you so much.

  3. baby herb-er said,

    January 4, 2010 @ 7:13 pm

    Oh Thaank you! That loaf looks like it really is bread. So many of those “bread” recipes are disgusting! Looks & taste!

  4. lovinglandbase said,

    January 10, 2010 @ 11:50 pm

    hi rebecca.

    i wasn’t sure where to ask this but on your twitter you said:

    “Loving field bee balm (Monarda fistulosa) for its ability to calm acute autoimmune flare-ups.”

    i was wondering if you’ve wrote a blog about this or if you’ve discussed this at the herbwifery forum? i’d love to know more about how you’re using monarda in this way.

    thanks!

  5. Ottawa Gardener said,

    January 17, 2010 @ 1:26 pm

    This is a really useful post to me as my youngest has Celiac Disease and I’m always looking for good ‘not weird’ healthful recipes.

    Thanks.

  6. Light said,

    January 19, 2010 @ 4:49 pm

    I knew a girl for years who has Celiac and forwarded this to her. She uses it in complement with low-level laser therapy and reports such great results. Thanks so much for this!

  7. Denny said,

    February 5, 2010 @ 8:17 am

    Generally I do not post on blogs, but I would like to say that this post really forced me to do so, Excellent post

  8. Norma said,

    February 5, 2010 @ 9:36 am

    Excellent post, I can always use a new recipe to add to my collection, especially if it will help me stay healthy.
    Thanks

  9. Suzanne said,

    February 8, 2010 @ 9:33 pm

    This bread looks wonderful! I haven’t had much luck in making a good gluten free bread so I’ll give your recipe a try!

  10. Cheryl said,

    February 18, 2010 @ 9:07 pm

    Thanks for the recipe! This bread has the best texture out of ANY gluten free recipe I’ve tried. I changed it around alittle the third time and rose it over night and it rose higher. Thanks again :)

  11. Leslie said,

    February 18, 2010 @ 11:43 pm

    mmmm…looks good!

  12. glutenfreed said,

    August 17, 2010 @ 2:30 pm

    This looks amazing! Can’t wait to try it. I’m always on the look-out for simple g-f recipes that don’t contain a lot of extra ingredients too. I recently started a blog about my own journey with gluten intolerance, including recipes that I have created or adapted, and my most recent entry was about a simple g-f pie crust (it was a Victory! moment for me too!). I think you’d like it! https://sites.google.com/site/glutenfreed/

  13. Lorie said,

    September 5, 2010 @ 1:52 pm

    I just made this and mine was pretty dense, should I let it rise longer?

  14. jeanette said,

    November 16, 2010 @ 2:55 pm

    I must try this! Must. This bread looks so good. I could use a good piece of bread right now. Thanks!

  15. Jacqui Bushell said,

    December 31, 2010 @ 7:55 pm

    Dear Herbwife,
    I’ve enjoyed your blogging. Thanks for your efforts!
    I’m a country Herbalist in the Blue Mountains outside of Sydney. I’ve been putting together a cookbook over the last few years as I could never find recipes of delicious foods I could actually eat…. ie dairy, sugar and gluten free. So I’ve been inventing lots. Gluten free bread aka ‘styrofoam stodge’ has been my achilles heel. Yours works really well. I’ve done a few variations on it; fruit loaves, chia seeds, quinoa etc. If you permit, I would like to be able to include it in my cookbook, with all acknowledgements of the source, in whatever way you felt might be appropriate. I am hoping to get the cookbook printed and supply it to students and locals this year… and would love to include a good recipe for bread.
    Thanks
    green blessings,
    Jacqui

  16. Amy said,

    January 1, 2011 @ 5:45 pm

    Hi, this recipe looks nice and simple–I had been wondering if flax seeds would substitute for that icky xanthan gum, and alas, it seems to be true! I just have one question…Will I dull the blade on my Cuisinart food processor if I put try millet in it?

  17. Herbs Daily said,

    January 18, 2011 @ 8:59 am

    Great victory indeed :) gluten-free baking is very good

  18. Donna said,

    January 18, 2011 @ 3:30 pm

    I can’t wait to try this!!! Thanks for the tip! I’m going to post this as resource on my Gluten Free Favs page on The Brighter Side: Living With Lyme! Feel free to pop in and share on the blog regarding gluten free cooking! Love to hear from you! Oh, this looks so good… I’d much rather spend the extra funds on flax seed than goofy gums! :O) Donna

  19. sivana lavine said,

    January 22, 2011 @ 1:57 pm

    Hi – I just came across your post on the gluten free bread. I was wondering if you ever made the bread again and if you have more exact measurements? I would love to make this and I am especially interested because I have a bad reaction to xanthum gum. Thank you!

  20. Kristina said,

    January 30, 2011 @ 5:05 pm

    This recipe sounds better and more practical than many other gluten-free bread recipes I’ve come across. Perhaps I could request same as last comment – would it be possible to post exact measurements? Thanks so much, I will check back – I really like your blog.

  21. Jenny Chen said,

    February 7, 2011 @ 7:22 am

    Can I just say that you’re ingenious?

  22. anavar said,

    February 15, 2011 @ 4:11 am

    Thanks for this information. Pure genious. Thanks.

  23. Jimmie Martin said,

    March 9, 2011 @ 10:01 am

    I haven’t tried this recipe yet but have gathered up the flours and such to do so. I have flax seed meal instead of the flax seeds and hope that will work on a 1:1 measurement for that. As for the Millet Flour, I ordered 4 bags from Amazon.com for a decent price. As I usually bake at least 2 loaves of bread each week, I needed to add this recipe to my collection and I have also seen where the millet flour was used in a pie crust for Chix Pot Pie. Haven’t tried that one yet either but it is on my list for Sunday baking.
    I have tried several recipes for GF breads in the past and found that they do not work well in my breadmaker but no worry, I have been having excellent luck with the premix’s from Gluten Free Pantry and Bob’s Red Mill. But I am always looking for a change and an adventure into something different! Thanks for the recipe!

  24. Jimmie Martin said,

    March 9, 2011 @ 10:03 am

    Oh, I do not use my breadmaker for any GF breads. I bake the old mixer and pans in oven method and they come out well.

  25. Julie said,

    June 2, 2011 @ 12:43 pm

    Hi Rebecca!
    I’m really excited to try to make your recipe.. I have a friend who is gluten free, and I wanted to try out different breads/brownies/cookies etc to give her for her birthday coming up. Just a real quick question.. is rice flour an OK substitute for the tapioca flour you called for?

  26. J. said,

    June 9, 2011 @ 9:40 pm

    I’m not an expert, but my experience has been that tapicoa flour is “stickier” than rice flour, causing things to hold together a little better. But that’s just my opinion, I guess. They also taste a little different, although I would think the taste of rice flour would be okay–if it stuck together well. I do use rice flour in some things, usually combined with other flours.

  27. Suzanne said,

    June 10, 2011 @ 1:16 pm

    Thank You SO much! We are struggling with allergies to the gluten and the strange gum stuff! I just spent half a day trying to make some eatable bread and all I have to show for it is a messy kitchen and some yucky tasting lumps! Can’t wait to try this!

  28. margaret oak said,

    September 24, 2011 @ 5:21 pm

    Thank you for such a great recipe, not using xantham gum! I read where xanthan gum comes from and wasn’t that thrilled about using it on all my breads. Do you have a suggestion for people who can’t digest flax seeds(it’s too much fiber for people w IBS)?
    I would really appreciate your thoughts!

    Thank you so much!

    M.

  29. Pamela said,

    April 27, 2012 @ 10:33 am

    I am always looking for good gluten free recipes without xanthian or any type of gums since they are an msg and make me sick whenever I eat them I also cannot have dairy but will substitute coconut milk which is hard to find without guar gum or citric acid but not impossible. It you can’t have gluten you are often affected by msg in it many forms so always something to look out for. You can find out more information on the truth in labeling website if you are interested

  30. KE said,

    May 25, 2012 @ 12:33 pm

    I just made this w/ oat flour subbed for the millet. Oh my goodness! It is so good!!! Thanks so much for the recipe!

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  32. Sybil said,

    January 1, 2013 @ 5:11 pm

    Thank you so much!! I was getting so frustrated with all these recipies that have a million different ingredients and most of them are just darn expensive!!! Bread should be simple! I just tried this recipe with a slight variation on the flours, I will let you know how it turns out!!!

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  39. Tito said,

    September 24, 2013 @ 11:03 am

    Hi, I have to say I was surprised the way this bread turned out. I was a bit worried about the size of it before baking (as it didn’t rise much), but it rose like a champ in the oven even though it fell once settled :)…. It tastes great and extremely high in nutritional value. Definitely a victory! Now to double this recipe and use warm milk instead ;)

    For those wondering about measurements, find all the directions here from this adapted recipe. http://www.instructables.com/id/Gluten-Free-Bread-without-icky-gums/

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  41. NWesolek said,

    November 8, 2013 @ 7:11 pm

    Hi – I am trying this recipe for the first time today, November 8, 2013. I just found your post! I used whole eggs instead of just egg whites, almond milk, and rice flour instead of tapioca flour. I doubled the recipe and I also added 2 TBS chia seeds, 1/3 C sunflower seeds, and 1/4 C honey powder for a little sweet. I had only one problem…my bread dough didn’t rise! … Is there a rising agent that you used and forgot to put it in the recipe? or is that what the tapioca flour does? … I would appreciate any help with this! Thanks so much :)

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