The Fresh Loaf

A Community of Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts.

Gluten Free Help

Bread winer's picture
Bread winer

Gluten Free Help

After a very long time of baking most of our own breads I had to admit that I am gluten sensitive - thankfully not intolerant, e.g. celiac.  I've done very well with quick breads and my son prefers my GF yeast waffles to the good old days.  My DIY gluten free bread has been a journey with consistent disappointment.  Today's loaf is probably the closest I've come, but, it was dense and soggy on the bottom quarter inch.  But the good news is that the crumb was nice and airy, albeit too moist as well.  I've done endless research and tried a plethora of recipes.  Basically, I hydrate at 120 to 125%.  One hour first proof, and almost an hour after panning it.  Then an hour in the oven at 350 to core temperature of 200 F.  Flours are a combination brown and white rice flour, sorghum and tapioca starch.  Binding is supported by psylium fiber powder and pea protein.  No egg, no milk, just water.  I can probably solve the wet crumb with a longer bake time.  But the bottom is just flattened out crumb-goo.  Any thoughts?  Will be appreciated.

Abe's picture

Don't need a bulk ferment (1st proof) and final proof. Try one proof then baking. 

Here is a good gluten free recipe using buckwheat groats and is leavened using a spontaneous ferment. 

My method differs slightly. 

  • Wash and drain (the best you can) the buckwheat groats. Or use a sieve and run under the tap. 
  • Add enough water to just cover the groats then leave for few hours. 
  • which time a lot of the water will have been absorbed so top up so it's just covering again. 
  • Soak for 12 hours. 
  • Blend the groats then add 2%, of the weight of the groats, salt (so if 500g groats are used then 10g salt) and mix thoroughly. 
  • Cover and ferment for 12-24 hours until bubbly. 
  • Fold in seeds and portion out into prepared loaf pan. Rest for 1-2 hours just until the mixture looks like it has risen some. 
  • Bake. 
tpassin's picture

Here's a 100% buckwheat loaf that riffed off a different recipe of Abe's.  It uses 100% buckwheat flour.

Neither of these is going to be anything like a wheat loaf, nor will they be very good for sandwiches, but oh my! they make good buttered toast.


Moe C's picture
Moe C

This is an interesting thread, with all its winding offshoots. The thing about this recipe (if one gets it right) is that the result looks like bread and springs back when squeezed. It's made with raw, soaked white rice (suggested it's probably short grain, non-glutinous rice). Anyway, hope it's of some help.

tpassin's picture

Here's a corn-buckwheat-rye loaf I posted about a while ago.  It's not completely gluten-free because it's got rye, but maybe it will be all right for people with some non-celiac sensitivity to gluten -

clazar123's picture

An actual recipe and detailed technique as well as pics would be useful in problem solving but I have a few thoughts. 

If you are at 120-125% hydration, I take it that this dough has a batter consistency-no kneading involved. Correct?

I would expect that a ideal loaf with this recipe would have a fairly even crumb like a sandwich bread. 

I would concur with Abe that GF breads do not need a long bulk ferment and then a final proof. Because GF batter/dough has a harder time hanging onto the bubbles, it really is mixed, risen in the pan to 3/4 double and put in the oven well before double. 

You say you bake at 350 for an hour. I don't know how big your pan is so it is hard to judge if that is appropriate timing. Sounds about right for a 4x8 standard bread pan but the moist bottom is a concern. Do all other baked items come out ok on the bottom?  How long do you cool the loaf in the pan? 

You mentioned there is no egg or milk but is there any fat of any kind?  It might soften the crumb a bit, lengthen the shelf life and give it a pleasant mouth feel. Milk,egg,butter,oils all contribute to flavor in a GF loaf made from bland flours. Using whole grain GF flours help with that,also. Brown rice, sorghum, millet, teff(especially nutty tasting).

Did you know you can make a nice sandwich loaf using baking powder rather than yeast? it is much easier to work with in GF baking. If you want a bit of a yeasty flavor, I add a few tablespoons of nutritional yeast.

Keep baking some deliciousness and post back.

Bread winer's picture
Bread winer

Latest attempt is about to go into the oven.  My 120% is shaggy, not batter-y.  I am using a pullman loaf pan.  I cool it in the pan for 20 minutes then onto a rack.  I use psyllium a TBS of husk powder and 1/4 cup of pea protein powder and a teaspoon of xantham.  Loaf was 14 oz of flours which is a kitchen sink of stuff, brown, white rice, sorghum, cassava and about 20% tapioca starch.  .  As I stated, 120% hyrdation.  I bake to an internal temperature of 205.  

My quick and sweet breads turn out fine.  My yeast waffles are to die for.  A little fussier with carrot cake and banana bread.  

Lawdy lawdy I miss my spelt breads.  But, I don't miss the inflammation or jabbing myself with immuno-suppressants twice a month.   

Thanks to all for comments.  

clazar123's picture

It is hard to assist when there is no real measured amounts to the ingredients, especially with a GF bread. Your recipe as I interpret it from what you wrote:

*14 oz (is this weight or volume?) GF flour mix with brown rice, white rice, sorghum, cassava flour and about 20% tapioca starch. (There are all kinds of ratios out there of whole grains to starches in GF flour mixes. Changing the ratios can change the texture of the baked good. The article I link to below has more info on that. Tapioca starch can give quite a chewy texture-rubbery if too much. There are some gummy candy recipes made with high percentage tapioca starch.)

*Pea protein powder 1/4 cup ( I have never worked with pea protein powder but from what I read, it seems to make for a denser crumb. I would think it is a thirsty ingredient but really have no experience with it. If other adjustments are not yielding the texture you want, then try decreasing this one a bit and see if the texture moves towards where you want it to be)

*Xanthan Gum 1 tsp (Try cutting this down to 1/4 tsp or even eliminating it since you have psyllium in the recipe already)

*Psyllium husk powder 1 tbsp (Is this very finely ground psyllium husk powder-almost a flour consistency? If yes, then 1 tbsp may be too much. Try using the whole or the medium ground psyllium. HERE is a really good explanation and a few recipes.)

Hydration in GF baking can be tricky. Even though there is a good proportion of hydration, the flours/starches and esp. gums may not have time to properly hydrate before baking. Any "drier" components, just like a whole grain wheat bread, may continue to rob the moisture from the crumb after baking. The writer in the link provided had an interesting way of dealing with that. She would hydrate the psyllium fully before mixing it into the other ingredients. Much like a preferment,biga or even a tan zhong would be used in wheat baking. 

I think you are on a learning curve to develop this recipe. I encourage you to get a notebook and track your adjustments. Try changing 1 thin at a time and see if it is going where you want it to go. 

In my experience with GF bread, I was always disappointed if I strove to make a GF loaf exactly like a wheat-based loaf. The components are too different. However, I did bake some delicious GF breads that had their own unique characteristics. Have fun. Keep posting.

OOps-forgot this link. about building GF flour blends .


Moe C's picture
Moe C

So, how did the latest attempt turn out? Pictures wouldn't hurt either.