Wednesday, 21 June 2017

Brown Bread Baguette - with perfect gluten free crumb (and a fantastic shelf-life) also nut free; soy free; rice free

I have been working on this gluten free Brown Bread Baguette recipe for a while. I wanted it to be as good as I could get before I shared it with you.

Since starting the Gluten Free Alchemist blog, bread has become a bit of an obsession for me. Really good gluten free bread can be a little elusive...... often dry, hard and crumbly and inedibly stale within 24 hours. Although gluten free bread has come a long way in the last five years and commercial loaves are unrecognisable from the hard bricks that pretended to be bread and required 'refreshing' to eat.... (need I say more?), even in recent weeks I have been fed 'good' commercial bread which has required a gulp of water with every mouthful in order to swallow..... the texture has been that dry.

Even being gluten free, that can't be right. So whilst I do buy the odd 'off the shelf' loaf here and there (the new Tesco artisan loaves are pretty good and Genius bread is still up there for a reasonable sandwich), for the most part, I still home-bake most of the bread we eat. I just think we deserve better.... and so do you!

In the last 5 years, the bread I bake at home has also come a long, long way, as I have discovered and experimented with new flours and been taught tips and tricks to add structure, body and moisture. Loaves that at the time I thought were amazing have been surpassed time and time again..... I am constantly looking for perfection and believe me, I have very high standards. It is only after making this baguette dozens of times that I have brought it confidently to your table too....

This is a bread-baguette that is soft and tender of crumb, yet appropriately springy in texture, with a delicate doughy-chew. Made with a combination of wholegrain (teff, sorghum, buckwheat and oat) flours, balanced with white (tapioca, potato and corn-starch) flours, it is as nutritionally-rich as it is delicious.

Whilst it is not crazily crusty on the outside, it is nonetheless robust both in its ability to hold together when cut, filled and eaten on the go, through to its amazing 'shelf-life'..... staying soft-fresh for several days. It is delicious with both savoury and sweet fillings and is divine slathered with butter..... Actually it is quite addictive..... This batch makes up to 4 slightly shorter baguette-loaves, but I challenge you to make them last....

Mr GF is more than a little impressed and another close friend of mine (a firm gluten-eater and home bread-maker) was genuinely shocked at how good this bread is..... If you don't believe me, you'll just have to try making some yourself! Although you may be looking down that list of flours thinking 'nah... too complicated...', I promise you that once you have the flours in your house, whipping up a few baguettes really won't take any time at all.... especially if you mix up the dry ingredients ahead of time when you have a spare moment. I have kept the dry mix ready for a good week before now and it has still worked without a hitch.

Either way, I make no apology for the mix of flours this baguette contains..... If you want fantastic bread, sometimes you have to get a bit creative..... and this is fantastic bread..... look at that crumb. It screams 'eat me'!

Not only am I sharing this recipe with my lovely readers, but I am also sending over to :

Cook Blog Share with Everyday Healthy Recipes

Free From Fridays with Free From Farmhouse and Le Coin De Mel

Cook Once Eat Twice with Searching for Spice

Recipe of the Week with A Mummy Too

Brilliant Blog Posts with Honest Mum

Fiesta Friday #177

A few of the other gluten free bread recipes on Gluten Free Alchemist :
Brown Bread-Maker Bread
Beautiful Bread Bouquet - Oat, Teff & Millet Bread
Brown Bread - Revolutionary Loaf
Brown Bread/Loaves with Doves Farm Brown Bread Flour
White Bread Rolls - gluten, dairy and yeast free 
Perfectly Fluffy Gluten Free Oat Bread
Pumpkin Seed and Sunflower Seed Bread (gluten & dairy free)
Pandebonos (South American Cheese Bread)

Brown Bread Baguette (makes 4 shorter or 3 long baguette loaves. Or you can make delicious mini-rolls using mini-loaf tins/non-stick muffin tins)


Dry Mix : (blend of first 6 flours also = 310g rice free flour blend from this post)
65g sorghum flour
30g white teff flour
30g buckwheat flour
90g tapioca flour
50g potato flour
45g cornflour (starch)

100g GF oat flour
1 tablespoon xanthan gum
1 teaspoon fine sea salt
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
4.5g vegegel or 7g gelatine
3 tablespoons milk powder
8g easy bake yeast (I used Allison)

Wet Mix :
1 tablespoon runny/clear honey
3 large eggs - room temperature
370g warm water at 46 C/115F

1½ teaspoons lemon juice
3 tablespoons sunflower oil

1 egg mixed with a little milk - beaten together
sesame or other seeds to decorate


  1. Pre-prepare a baguette tin (I have two of these with two baguette 'dips' each) by cutting baking paper sheets the length of each strip and folding lengthways to make a crease. The paper only needs to be a little higher than the edges of the tin, so I always cut a wide strip of paper and then cut in half lengthways, before folding.
  2. Weigh and mix together all of the dry ingredients in a large airtight container and shake vigorously to blend and break down any lumps (you can do this ahead of time).
  3. In a large bowl, beat (with a hand whisk) the honey, eggs and warm water at 46 C/115 F, until light and airy.
  4. Once blended, immediately add the lemon juice and sunflower oil and the dry mix and using either a dough hook on an electric beater or a wooden spoon, beat the ingredients together for about 5 minutes until you have a smooth, pale, well-blended thick dough-batter (thick dropping consistency).
  5. Divide the batter equally between the paper strips on a flat work surface and then smooth to baguette-shape along the fold line.
  6. Carefully lift the uncooked baguettes onto the baguette tray.
  7. Use a wet knife to smooth the tops and then make a series of diagonal line indents along the loaf at about 6 cm/2½ inch intervals. 
  8. Put in a warm place to rise for about 45 minutes (until more or less doubled in size).
  9. Pre-heat the oven to 180 C/350 F/Gas 4.
  10. Once risen, gently brush the tops of the baguettes with egg-milk wash and sprinkle with seeds if using.
  11. Bake for about 20 to 25 minutes until golden and firm.
  12. Remove from the oven and leave to cook on the tray for about 5 minutes, before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
  13. Enjoy warm or cold.
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  1. These baguettes look amazing Kate, I've let my flour stocks dwindle in recent months after sticking to using free from fairy flour but I really ought to restock as these flours can all be used together or individually in so many've inspired me to shop till I drop so I can make these beautiful breads xx

    1. Thanks Rebecca. It took me ages to get a mix I was happy with. That's the thing about GF baking..... Getting the right blend is so important and if you mess with it, the results can crash! x

  2. Wow! These look fantastic! I'm going to give your recipe a go with my flour plus the oat flour...I'm pretty confident it will be fantastic. I must send you some flour to try! It's much easier than mixing up the individual flours ;)

    1. Thanks Vicki. I need to try your flour properly don't I? Although I have to admit..... Part of the fun and challenge for me is getting the blends right for the bake. And as we are still getting prescription support, it makes economic sense to mix at home (although I have to admit, I have switched away from rice flours on the whole, thanks to your awareness-raising!) x

  3. Your baguettes look absolutely perfect, Kate, and the mie (the middle - can't remember what it's called in English doh!) looks airy and lovely! Thanks for joining in with #FreeFromFridays.

    1. Thanks Mel. I think it is my best so far..... Always room for more improvement though! x

  4. Magnificent - the only thing that stops me wanting to experiment is that finding GF oats in Australia is hard. It is interesting that you use both xanthum gum and gel which I guess holds the flours together to give that lovely texture in the photos - I remember when my niece became GF about 10 years ago and the bread was truly awful - thank goodness it has improved (though I feel for a friend whose brother was diagnosed celiac over 50 years ago) - and you are making a great contribution to good gf bread

    1. Thanks Johanna. My Dad was coeliac and I don't think anything was available then as an alternative. I am surprised though that you can't get GF oats over in Australia.... I always see Oz as way ahead on the GF front!
      The combination of xanthan and gel works really well, providing you get the balance right and you wouldn't know the gel was in there at all! x

  5. I absolutely believe you that this bread is amazing, it wouldn't look amazing if it wasn't! Thank you or sharing with #CookBlogShare:)

    1. Thanks Monika. You're welcome. The photos definitely did the crumb justice. It is that good! x

  6. Such a beautiful looking bread and all gluten free.

  7. I can't believe how gorgeous this bread looks. I know it is not easy to make gluten free bread (I have tried and failed) and this is incredibly well risen! Really well done, you are such a great baker. Ciao!

    1. Thanks Alida..... I agree, GF bread can be very tricky. It was become a bit of an obsession for me though..... I am constantly striving for better! x

  8. It looks like an amazing bread! It's impressive how much effort you've gone to to get it absolutely right. Thanks so much for sharing with #CookOnceEatTwice x

    1. Thanks Corina. You're welcome. I suspect I will continue to put in lots of effort to make bread even better still, with each new recipe!

  9. Hard to believe that delectable baguette is GF! Such a fab texture and crumb!

    1. Thanks Karen. It took a lot of work to get this good..... but SO worth it!! x

  10. Wow! This bread looks fantastic! Thanks for sharing at Fiesta Friday party!

  11. They look absolutely amazing Kate! had you not said (& had I not know you ate GF), I would never have known it was a GF recipe! I just love the fabulous airpockets - and I bet Paul Hollywood definitely couldn't get it any better. Fascinating that you added a gelatine / vege gel too! Pinning,
    Angela x

    1. Thanks Angela. I'll take that as an indication I've done a good job. It tasted amazing and has become our bread of the moment at GFHQ, but If it looks like 'real' bread, then I have done extra well.....

  12. I've just made this bread and it is great! I think mine might have been slightly too wet because it didn't hold it's shape brilliantly as it rose above the baguette tins, but it looks good and tastes good too. I was able to make it less salty (only half the amount of salt in the recipe) which would make my doctor happy ��! I find a lot of the GF bread that you can buy is quite sweet so it was nice that this didn't taste that way. The crumb is great. Whether it keeps well until tomorrow might be hard to judge because I keep nipping out to the kitchen for another slice! Thank you, Kate, for a great recipe. Helen x

    1. Thanks so much for letting me know. I am so pleased you like it! The trick is to use a little less of the dough, to allow room to rise, but still be supported by the tin (and just make more baguettes!), although I quite like it when you get slightly doughy collapsed bits. Some baguette tins seem to have less curve to them, so it's also good to get a deeper one as GF dough doesn't always have the same 'hold'.
      It's funny you should mention the salt. When I first started to develop the recipe, I was told there wasn't enough in it..... so I upped the amount slightly to meet other people's tastes. But either way, I would agree.... bread should be savoury!
      I hope it lasted!! (or that you ate it so quick because it was that good)!! xx

    2. Yaaay, I just made it again and it was perfect this time! I went wrong last time because I only had medium eggs - I now know that a medium egg and a teaspoon of milk works well in place of 1 large egg in this recipe (I used 4 medium eggs in place of 3 large ones last time and it made the dough too wet!)

      As the only GF person in our house, I am have divided the recipe into 3, so that I get one big baguette for me to eat over a couple of days. By making all the dry mix up and keeping it in a jar, as you suggest, it only takes 5 minutes to make, 5 minutes to mix, then it can prove and bake while I do other things so very quick.

      Thank you Kate. It is a brilliant recipe.
      Helen x

    3. Thank you so much for letting me know Helen. I am so pleased! I love it when someone enjoys and benefits from what I have created.
      I can see that 4 medium eggs would have been a bit too much, so fab to hear that you found an easy way round it. I tend to bake with large eggs, but if it's ok with you, I will add the suggestion of 1 medium egg + 1 teaspoon of milk in the recipe for those who don't use large eggs?
      Best wishes
      Kate x

  13. I think I already commented this on Twitter, but for a gluten free bread this looks stunning! Definitely your best yet!

    1. Thanks Kat. I am making a batch every week right now, it is that good. I agree it's got to be one of my best xx


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