An easy gluten free bread recipe that can be made using basic white gluten free flour and store-cupboard ingredients. The ingredients stated are for a single 1 pound loaf. Use double the quantities for a two-pound loaf.
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Why I Developed this Easy Gluten Free Bread Recipe
Okay… This Easy Gluten Free Bread may not be the prettiest, but it is amazingly good. Soft and light, with that ‘just baked’ doughy texture.
I’ll be honest, it is a bit of a rushed-through recipe at the request of some readers who have been struggling to get hold of gluten free bread due to the current lock-down circumstances. But ‘rushed through’ is no reflection on quality. It may be ’emergency’ bread, but it has still been through a number of iterations and tests to ensure it tastes good and has great texture.
When asked for a good gluten free bread recipe, my first port of call would usually be suggesting one of the many found on Gluten Free Alchemist. My best Wholemeal gluten free bread recipe is honestly incredible and has been a game-changer for many people. If you have never tried it, check it out. I also have a Gluten Free Vegan Bread (wholemeal) recipe which (if you can’t or won’t eat dairy or eggs) may change your bread-eating forever.
However, it does need a number of harder-to-source ingredients and in the current climate, people are asking for an easy gluten free bread that can be made from basic gluten free flour and store-cupboard ingredients that are accessible.
You asked and I have (hopefully) delivered!
What makes this Recipe Different from Others on Gluten Free Alchemist?
Baking with commercial gluten free flour blends can be very hit and miss. I have yet to find any single one that works across all types of recipe. Even the flours that claim to be ‘all purpose’ need often to be tweaked for good results. And at Gluten Free Alchemist, good results and particularly great texture are everything. It’s not good enough to settle for dry… or cracked… or holey… or frankly sub-standard. So we usually blend our own gluten free flours and adjust for recipes that need it.
The Flour Blend
For this easy gluten free bread recipe, I used a semi-replication of the well-known UK brand Doves Farm (Freee)… specifically their bog-standard plain white flour. To be fair, I didn’t have any Doves in the house and wasn’t in a position to go supermarket searching for obvious reasons. However, I have used what I think are similar approximate ratios of rice, potato, tapioca, corn and buckwheat flours.
Gluten Free Alchemist bread recipes would generally use a greater ratio of protein-rich flours as they provide good structure. But this particular gluten free bread uses a blend which is predominantly starch-based. On the upside, it is consequently a bit ‘whiter’, which I guess may appeal to many (and particularly children).
Based on the many loaves I have made (and eaten) however in the last week, I think (crosses fingers) that the recipe will work with a variety of flour blends.
Xanthan or Psyllium Husk?
For bread-making, I now almost always use ground psyllium husk as my gluten-replacer. It has better nutrition, adds great structure and (in my humble opinion) makes a huge difference to the texture of gluten free bread.
Given that most people won’t have quick access to psyllium husk however, I have developed this easy gluten free bread using xanthan gum, which is more likely to be in the gluten free larder or available in the supermarkets.
Actually, the crumb texture achieved is pretty amazing using xanthan gum. But I have also tested the recipe with psyllium husk. Use either that you have available… For every 1½ teaspoons xanthan gum, substitute with 2 tablespoons psyllium husk.
I don’t have all the ingredients… Substitutions for Easy Gluten Free Bread
Although this recipe does require eggs and yeast, a number of the other ingredients can be easily substituted if you don’t have those listed in your larder.
I used basic white caster sugar when testing this recipe, however this can be substituted for other sugars. Use granulated sugar, brown sugar, honey, maple syrup, or any other that you have available.
This recipe has been tested with a number of different milks, both dairy and non-dairy. All worked fine. The important thing is to ensure it is heated to the required temperature to activate the yeast. This is effectively hand warm (I heat mine using a thermometer to 42C).
My easy gluten free bread has been tested with sunflower, canola and olive oils. However, any good-quality liquid oil should work for the recipe (although I would avoid coconut oil due its different behavioural properties which are likely to affect the moisture levels and crumb).
Both cider vinegar and lemon juice have been used to test this recipe. However, you can also sub with other mild-flavoured vinegars such as white wine vinegar.
Baking Powder/Bicarbonate of Soda
I have used a combination of bicarbonate of soda and baking powder for this recipe, mainly to get the lift, but without any tell-tale bitterness of soda. If you only have baking powder available, use 1 teaspoon baking powder for every ½ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda. And don’t forget to check your baking powder is gluten free.
Equally, if you only have bicarbonate of soda… for each teaspoon of baking powder, replace with just ½ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda.
My easy gluten free bread has been developed using UK large eggs which weigh on average, somewhere between 63 and 70g each in their shells. For EACH egg, this is equivalent to approximately 58 to 64g egg yolk + white. Thus, if you are using smaller eggs in particular, it is really important to weigh and make up the extra egg weight, both for moisture and structure.
How long will Easy Gluten Free Bread keep?
As you can imagine, I have eaten a lot of bread this week and in varying combinations of ingredients. However, this bread has kept surprisingly well in all its guises… and certainly 2 to 3+ days with continued softness. During this time, it makes good sandwiches. The elasticity of the loaf does start to deteriorate slightly from the day after making, but the bread still tastes good and toasts extremely well.
Tips to Make this Easy Gluten Free Bread
The recipe I have used has been tested predominantly using 1 pound loaf tins, but should scale up well to a larger 2 pound size. It is best made in a taller bread tin to support its structure, however, if you only have lower-level tins, just take care to fill to no more than two-thirds and ensure the initial rise is not more than 1½ cm above the top of the tin.
Measure as accurately as your equipment will allow
Accuracy in baking (particularly gluten free baking) can make the difference between a success and a fail. Once I realised how important it was to get it right, I invested in a set of precision kitchen scales which allowed for micro measurements for things like yeast and gelatine.
Check the Milk temperature Before adding the Yeast
Yeast can be a fussy beast. To activate well and be happy, it needs a temperature which is not too hot and not too cold. I always check the liquid temperature using my Superfast Thermapen 4 food thermometer for best results.
Whisk the Wet Ingredients
Remember to whisk the wet ingredients at all stages. Whisk the sugar and yeast into the warm milk. Whisk the oil, vinegar and egg in the bowl. And whisk again after adding the milk mixture to the bowl (before the dry ingredients). One of my absolute favourite kitchen gadgets for whisking wet ingredients in bread making is my Nova Multi-Quirl push whisk. I bought it on spec from a street stall in 2012 whilst on holiday in Dorset and I never looked back! It’s my go to equipment for liquids and batters…
The batter for this easy gluten free bread benefits from a good beating not only to help blend the ingredients thoroughly, but also to help develop the structure. For best results beat for about 5 minutes before transferring to the bread tin. If beating with a wooden/silicone spoon, give it some welly! I prefer however to use the amazing dough hook attachment for my K-Mix hand-mixer. It works a dream!
Let Me Know if you Make my Easy Gluten Free Bread
Given that this is a very speedily-developed recipe, I would really love to hear from you if you make my Easy Gluten Free Bread. Which flour did you use? Did you make any particular substitutions? How did you find it worked? Any feed-back would help me enormously in giving further advice should people need it. And it will also help steer the way to a more definitive version with specific flours for the future…. Post C-crisis!
And please PLEASE take care out there. It’s a difficult and strange time. Stay safe xxx
Looking for more Bread Ideas?
Why not explore our dedicated gluten free Bread Recipes Index? And for everything else, we have more than 400 recipes to inspire. You’ll find them all categorised in our on-line Gluten Free Recipe Book.
Easy Gluten Free Bread from the Store-Cupboard
- 1x 1 pound loaf tin (or for double the ingredients 1x 2 pound loaf tin)
- baking paper
- Kitchen scales
- glass/heatproof bowl
- microwave or hob and saucepan
- cooking thermometer (optional)
- measuring spoons
- whisk (hand or electric) + dough hook attachment (optional)
- Mixing bowls
- wooden/silicone spoon
- oven-proof bowl/pan filled with water
- wire rack
- 190 ml milk (=190g) dairy or non-dairy
- 1 tbsp caster sugar or alternative (honey/maple syrup/granulated)
- 4 g dried Easy Bake yeast – gluten free Just over 1¼ teaspoons (I use Allinsons)
- 185 g gluten free plain white flour such as Doves (Freee) If you blend your own, see NOTES below
- 1½ tsp xanthan gum or 2 tablespoons psyllium husk
- 1 tsp gluten free baking powder
- ½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
- ½ tsp fine sea salt
- 2 tbsp sunflower oil or alternative such as olive oil/canola oil
- ¾ tsp cider vinegar or lemon juice
- 1 large egg weight in shell approx 67g : Weight of yolk + white approx 62g)
- Prepare a one pound loaf tin by greasing the inside with a little oil/butter/spread. Base-line with non-stick baking paper and coat the inner sides with a light dusting of flour.
- Weigh/measure the milk into a microwavable bowl or jug and warm in the microwave on medium, in short bursts to 42 C (should feel about warm hand temperature). Alternatively heat about two-thirds of the milk in a saucepan and add the remaining cold milk to bring the temperature down. If the temperature feels too hot, set aside for a few minutes until it feels right.
- Add the sugar and yeast and whisk lightly to combine and dissolve. Set aside for 10 to 15 minutes until the yeast has activated and the mixture is frothing.
- Meanwhile, weigh and mix together (either stirring in a bowl or shaking in an airtight container) the flour(s), xanthan gum, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and salt. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, measure and whisk together the oil, vinegar and egg.
- Once the yeast mixture has been allowed to activate, add to the bowl and whisk into the other wet ingredients.
- Add the dry ingredients and beat well with either a dough hook attachment or a wooden/silicone spoon for about 5 minutes. The mixture should be well-blended and resemble the consistency of thick wallpaper paste.
- Transfer the mixture to the bread tin and smooth the top with the wet back of a spoon.
- Place the tin (uncovered) in a warm place to rise for between 30 minutes and an hour (dependent on temperature). I prove in a low temperature (60 C) oven, with the tin placed on top of a thick tea towel. Prove until the dough has risen to about 1½ to 2 cm above the tin.
- Heat the oven to 180 C/350 F/Gas 4. Place a heat proof dish with boiling water in the base of the oven to add moisture during baking.
- Bake the loaf for 20 to 25 minutes (if making a larger loaf, increase the timing to 35 to 45 minutes). Check part-way through baking and if you think the loaf is browning too quickly, carefully place a piece of foil over the top to protect. Check the loaf is done using a skewer, which should come out clean.
- Immediately and carefully remove the loaf from the bread tin (use a flat knife to gently loosen any stuck points around the top and sides). If you want a crustier outer crust, place the loaf (without the tin) back in the oven for no more than a couple of minutes, before putting on a wire rack to cool completely.
- Store at room temperature in sealable bag.