Wednesday, 3 February 2016

Gluten Free Brown Bread - Revolutionary Loaf.... Update!

A few days ago I posted the recipe for my amazing bread-maker brown sandwich loaf which (I am thrilled to see) has been met with a positive response. It is a wonderful loaf...... full of flavour and with the perfect texture that us gluten-avoiders thought we could only dream of. I am still really excited to have managed to develop the bread, which has firmly put sandwiches back in my life and has revolutionised gluten free lunch!

I have however received a few comments as to whether the recipe works made by hand without a bread maker. In my enthusiasm for achieving great bread that I could make in the bread maker (it is great that it is no longer sitting idle on the worktop), it would seem that some of you (who don't have a bread maker) have been feeling left out...... For this I am sorry!

In an effort to make sure this is a more inclusive bread, I have now tested the recipe twice using exactly the same ingredients, but mixed and baked by hand to find out the answer to the question. I think you can see by the photos that the answer is a definitive YES!

I have slightly changed the order of mixing the ingredients, but otherwise the recipe is the same. The method of course includes the usual hand-baking processes of 'kneading' by dough-hook or knife (you rarely make a gluten free dough that is kneadable by hand) and of course, allowing the dough to rise (you don't need to 'knock back' gluten free dough, so will only rise it the once).

You will see that I made two one pound loaves. I did make a larger loaf which was as good in texture and structure as the smaller loaves, however I forgot that the tin I made it in (which was quite old) had lost some of its coating and this meant that the loaf stuck and broke as I tipped it out. Having thrown the tin away, I could then only find smaller tins in my cupboard...... hence making the two on the second run. I also made sure I lightly oiled the tins with butter-wrapping just in case!

A small amount of dough was used to further test the bread as mini-loaves. I have a particular liking for little loaves as I think they are extra fun for picnics and make for an easy breakfast of warm bread slathered in butter and marmalade.

I can safely say that the dough makes the most amazing little loaves! I haven't tried making standard rolls, but I think they would be easy to make by using a muffin tin and the dough may well be just about 'shapable' into rounds on baking paper (but I haven't tried this yet).....

As with the bread-maker loaf, the hand-baked version has an incredible texture and along with it's machine-baked brother, is the best gluten free bread I have had...... Of course the advantage with hand-baking is that while it takes longer to prepare, the resulting loaf will also look far more rustic and attractive and gives you the option of sprinkling oats and seeds for decoration too.

My head is whirring with all sorts of variations and permutations and I can't wait to experiment further to see how far I can take it!

I have also been considering how to substitute the dairy milk powder for those of you who are dairy free. Although I have not yet tried it, my research indicates that there are a number of alternative (non-dairy) milk powders on the market. These range from nut based, to soy and rice milk powders. My favourite-looking alternative is an almond milk powder made by Ecomil....... I  hope to check it out personally soon..... Alternatively, I would hazard a guess that some ground almonds (substituted by equally amount) would also work equally well......

I am sharing this amazing bread with the following linkies, as I want as many people as possible to know about it and hopefully enjoy it as much as we are :

Simply Eggcellent with one of my favourite bloggers, Dom, over at Belleau Kitchen. This month 'anything goes'.

Tasty Tuesdays with Honest Mum.

Recipe of the Week with A Mummy Too.

Bready Steady Go, this month with Utterly Scrummy Food For Families (and Jen's Food).

Brown Bread Revolutionary Loaf - Hand-Baked Version (makes 2 x 1 lb or 1 x 2 lb loaves + approx 3 mini loaves/rolls)

Ingredients (all spoons are levelled)

100g brown rice flour
40g brown teff flour
160g GF oat flour (easy to make as in this post)
50g potato starch flour
60g tapioca starch flour
1 tablespoon xanthan gum
1½ teaspoons fine sea salt
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
4½g vege-gel powder - I used Dr Oetker (or 8g gelatine powder)
3 tablespoons milk powder
14g active dried yeast - I used Allinson's Easy Bake Yeast

3 large eggs
1 tablespoon runny honey
1½ teaspoons lemon juice
370g (by weight) hand-warm water at 46 C/115 F

3 tablespoons sunflower oil

1 egg and a little milk beaten together for glazing
a sprinkle of GF oats for decoration

Method - by hand

  1. Prepare your bread tin by base-lining with baking paper and very lightly oiling the sides.
  2. In a large bowl, weigh and whisk together the flours, xanthan gum, salt, bicarbonate of soda, gelatine/vege-gel, milk powder and yeast, making sure the ingredients are fully and evenly combined and all lumps are broken down.
  3. In a medium bowl, beat together the eggs, honey, lemon juice and warm water until fully combined, frothy and airy. 
  4. Make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients and add the oil then the rest of the liquid. Fold together until the mixture just comes together as a wet sticky dough.
  5. Use either a hand mixer with a dough-hook attachment or a flat knife to mix the bread dough to ensure it is fully combined (I used a dough-hook for about 3 minutes)
  6. Spoon the mixture into the bread tin(s) so that it is about half to two-thirds full. Cover lightly with cling-film and place somewhere warm to rise for about 45 minutes until the dough has about doubled in size.
  7. Pre-heat the oven to 180 C/350 F/Gas 4.
  8. When the bread is risen, brush with the egg-milk mixture to glaze and sprinkle on a few oats for decoration.
  9. Bake for 30-40 minutes (loaves - 30'ish for smaller loaf; 40'ish for larger loaf) or 15 minutes for mini rolls, until the top is golden and a knife inserted comes out clean.
  10. Remove from the tin(s) to a wire rack and leave to cool. Best eaten completely cool or slightly warm. Will stay fresh for 3 to 4 days!
 Gluten Free Alchemist © 2013-16 unless otherwise indicated


  1. Wow I love seeing recipes develop on blogs - I have a favourite sourdough that I recently tried as a fruit bread and it worked easily with few tweaks - could be a variation if you like that sort of bread

    1. I know what you mean Johanna. There is something fascinating about the process and growth both of bloggers and recipes.
      Your sourdough fruit bread sounds interesting. If you can point me to it, I will have a look!

  2. You are brilliant!! I recognise that excitement when you've nailed a recipe! I thought this was fab with the tweaks I made to get it more suitable for us...and btw I just skipped the milk powder and it was great. I meant to use almond milk instead of water but forgot!!!!

    1. Thanks so much Vicki. I'm really pleased that you made a great version for yourselves and good to hear that the absence of milk powder didn't create a significant problem. Now almond milk sounds like a great idea!!!!

  3. This bread looks lovely. Great you have a version for breadmakers and one without

    1. Thanks Alison. It has a fantastic texture and a great taste. I love that I can make it in the bread maker.... it has made life so much easier. But then there is something extra special about a hand-baked loaf and regardless how great bread-maker bread tastes, it never looks as attractive as a hand-baked version! So this recipe is a win-win!

  4. This looks superb! Thanks for linking up to #tastytuesdays x

  5. I found your blog about a week ago (via Frugal in Norfolk I think) and have spent hours and hours reading and dreaming of GF baking which looks and tastes like "real food". Thank you so much for all your recipes and hard work, I have only tried GF dumplings so far which we had in a yummy pressure cooked beef stew - all so good. I am very impatiently waiting for delivery of an order of all the GF flours that I cannot get locally (about 5) but have gathered today that order held up as 1 item out of stock, I do hope that it all comes soon, I just need to be able to eat some carbs that are not rice or potato. Thank you once again. Ali in Shropshire (there seem to be a few of us around LOL)

    1. Thank you so much for your kind comments Ali. I am really pleased that you have found my blog and so thrilled that you enjoyed the dumplings! I hope your flour arrives soon and that you find more recipes to enjoy. There are so many of us needing to eat gluten free these days and I just won't accept that we can't all enjoy great food. So if my hard work helps others to feel good about eating again, then I am chuffed to bits!
      If you come across anything you don't understand or need advice with, just let me know! x

  6. oh I think I prefer the look of this... a bit more rustic looking but I get that the bread maker one is better for traditional sandwiches... a brilliant loaf nonetheless! Thanks for linking to Simply Eggcellent xx

    1. Yeah..... hand-baked bread always looks better doesn't it?! But yes..... the bread maker version makes perfect sandwiches and saves loads of time..... which in my world is a real bonus!

  7. Made this a few days ago but only used 1 sachet of instant yeast and it rose fine. The only problem we seem to have is after thawing. That is the time when the slices seem to fall apart more but this one at least held together more! Lovely taste and texture.

    1. Thanks for trying my loaf Dc. So pleased you liked it x


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