The most amazing gluten free Walnut Bread with sun dried tomato. Soft, lasting, wholesome, healthy and delicious. This easy-to-make recipe will restore your love of gluten free brown bread. Corn free, oat free; optional dairy free.
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Walnut Bread with Sun Dried Tomato – gluten free brown bread with attitude
Oh my! This Walnut Bread with Sun Dried Tomato may be my finest gluten free brown bread yet. The flavour and texture is incredible… Exactly what you would expect from ANY quality artisan loaf… And by that, I mean bread that is not usually gluten free. It’s soft and light of crumb, wholesome and healthy. A loaf that is delicious when freshly baked, yet is still soft and fresh the next day, the day after and beyond… And yes! That is without the need to toast it.
Rare? Without a doubt in the outside world… But not here at Gluten Free Alchemist. Because if a recipe does not come up to our exacting standards of equality with ‘normal’ bread, it gets ditched.
This Walnut Bread with sun dried tomato takes one of our favourite bread recipes for basic Artisan Rolls, and adds some attitude… Earthy, richly nutty bites of walnut… and nibbles of tomato that have been sweetened and concentrated by the sun… The result? A gluten free wholemeal flavoured bread that rivals the best wheat versions out there. Want some?
Can gluten free Walnut Bread with sun dried tomato be made dairy free and vegan?
Because I know it is always a key question, I’ll respond to this one first. And the good news is that if you cannot tolerate dairy, the recipe is super-easy to make dairy free as well as gluten free. All it takes is a simple sub of dairy milk powder for a non-dairy alternative (or use a richer dairy free milk in place of the water).
The recipe shared is not vegan as it contains eggs. However (and I stress that I have not yet tried it myself, but…) – My gluten free Vegan wholemeal (hand-baked) recipe, should make a good substitute as a base recipe for an alternative plant-based boule option. Just remember to add the walnuts and sun dried tomatoes.
Why make gluten free flavoured bread?
The simple answer to this question is because we can! And because we deserve to be able to eat what all the gluten and wheat-eating people get to take for granted.
Flavoured bread is one of the things I really missed after becoming gluten free. Visit an artisan baker or look on the internet and there are so many variations of flavoured breads to tempt and covet.
At Gluten Free Alchemist, jealousy has inspired and the website has a growing list of flavoured bread recipes that are as unique yet ‘normal’ as they are delicious. From Pizza Rolls and Pesto Rolls… To Cheese Bread (with optional walnuts and wild garlic) and even a Pesto Babka. My Walnut Bread with Sun Dried Tomato is now proudly added to the collection and for certain, will become a regular family bake.
Do I have to use the gluten free flour blend stated in the recipe to make this Walnut Bread?
When making gluten free Walnut Bread, the flour blend used is really important. I’ve made an obsession out of developing gluten free bread and without a doubt, the gluten free flours you use and combine really do matter.
I’ve tried other people’s gluten free bread recipes made with commercial blends and I’ve also developed my own gluten free “Store Cupboard’ loaf… Although some recipes are closer than others, they are never totally comparable to real bread. Even if you get a good bread experience when they are first made, they often go stale and dry within hours. That’s primarily (but not exclusively) because of the flour blend that is used to make them.
So… Yes. Please use the flour blend as stated in the recipe if you want the results shown here. The flours have been carefully selected and blended for texture, flavour, moisture retention, malleability and shelf-life.
The flour exceptions for those with additional intolerances
Regardless of who has developed them, it is always advisable to use recipes as stated (that is how they have been created to work). However, at Gluten Free Alchemist, we aim to make things as inclusive as possible…
For those with an additional intolerance, there may be a need to substitute one or two of the flours listed. The usual suspects for intolerance problems are:
- Corn – the recipe shared below is already corn free.
- Buckwheat – substitute with an alternative, such as oat flour or millet flour
- Potato Starch – try subbing with cassava flour, Mochiko (sweet rice flour) or arrowroot starch.
- Tapioca Starch – try using corn starch or arrowroot starch
I stress that I haven’t tried any of the above specifically, but give suggestions as a starting point to experiment and tweak.
Can I make gluten free Walnut Bread using a blend with oat flour?
Yes… If you can eat and love oats, you may also want to try using the second base recipe from my previous Artisan Rolls (with Oat Flour) which can be found at the end of the post I’ve just linked. Simply use the alternative flour blend in that recipe and then follow the rest of the instructions below for everything else. And remember to add the walnuts and sun dried tomatoes!
Do I have to use psyllium husk and flax in this recipe?
Without a doubt, yes. My gluten free Walnut Bread relies on both psyllium husk and flax for structure, texture and shelf life. In combination, these two ingredients bring bread magic that cannot be replicated by any direct substitution I have yet found.
Therefore, I do not recommend any substitutions. This includes the potential use of chia seed (which will result in very dense bread) and xanthan gum (which will not support either moisture retention or structure).
Tips for making gluten free Walnut Bread with sun dried tomato
- Use the right sized eggs – This Walnut Bread recipe uses UK large eggs. However, be aware that eggs are sized differently around the world. For best results weigh the eggs and use my International Egg Size and Weight Comparison Chart to know what size you should be using where you live.
- Weigh ingredients as stated and preferably using a good set of kitchen scales – This includes the liquid (which is less accurately measured by volume). I always use Dual Platform Scales, because they give the option to weigh the small ingredient amounts (yeast, salt and bicarbonate of soda) with complete accuracy.
- Do not substitute the gluten free flours stated except as discussed above.
- For all other possible substitutions of ingredients (milk powder/lemon juice/oil/etc), please refer to my download ‘Gluten Free Wholemeal Bread Recipe Substitution Guide and FAQs’. (see request box below)
- Don’t cut the walnuts or sun dried tomato too small – Walnut Bread with Sun Dried Tomato should taste of its name and include discernible pieces of nut and fruit.
- Use the oil from the sun dried tomato jar in the bread dough – If possible! It adds to the overall flavour and richness of the bread.
Mixing the dough
- Beat and knead the dough batter thoroughly – The easiest way to do this (because the batter is very thick) is using a machine with a dough hook. But when you think you have beaten or kneaded enough, scrape down the bowl and beat some more.
- For best results, use an electric mixer with a dough hook – If making large amounts of dough (such as a double batch) I use a Kitchen Aid stand mixer. And for smaller amounts, a hand-held mixer with dough hooks is ideal.
- Hydrate the dough batter fully – Let the mixture stand for a full 10 minutes between the first and final beating. This allows the dough to hold the moisture needed for texture and long-life. It will also enable the malleability needed to shape it.
Shaping gluten free dough into Walnut Bread boule and rolls
After beating the dough for the walnut bread, you may be sceptical that it is either kneadable or shapable. Trust me on this. It will be good! But the following tips will help you get the best results…
- Wear lightly-oiled vinyl food-safe gloves when kneading and shaping – It will make the job a lot easier. I get mine from Amazon or Sainsbury’s.
- Gently work and knead the dough in your hands or on very lightly oiled baking paper until it becomes smooth, pliable and shapable. The kneading also supports the development of a great bread texture. For quality and non-stickiness, I always use Lakeland Baking Parchment… No other make has ever worked as well for me (regardless of what I’m baking or making).
- Lightly flour the inside of the banneton when shaping a boule – I use 7 inch round bannetons with liners. This ensures the flour coats the surface well. But if in any doubt, give a light coating to the walnut bread dough before it gets placed in the banneton. Brown rice, buckwheat or sorghum flours are perfect for the task.
Proofing and Baking
- Proof the bread in a warm place, lightly draped in clingfilm, but unrestricted and leave it until almost doubled in size. This will take about an hour (dependent on the warmth of the air). If it needs a ‘boost’… Place the banneton on a tray and the tray over a bowl of steaming water.
- Bake a bread boule within the walls of a deep baking tin – While this probably isn’t entirely necessary, I reckon it supports the upward rise, ensures a more even heat to the bake and helps give a better crust.
- Add steam to the oven when baking – This supports the ‘oven-spring’ and helps create a better crust. Simply pop an oven-proof dish into the base of the oven before it’s turned on… Once the oven is at full temperature (just before the bread goes in), fill the dish with boiling water from the kettle. Or… If you have an oven which has a steam setting… Add a burst at the start, then after a further 5 and then 10 minutes.
What is the best way to store Walnut Bread with Sun Dried Tomato?
Like any home-baked bread (gluten free or otherwise), gluten free Walnut Bread with Sun Dried Tomato is at its softest on the day of baking. However, unlike most gluten free bread, it stays amazingly soft for a few days after baking. How cool is that?
To ensure the best life of the loaf or rolls, wrap well or place in an airtight container/bag at room temperature. Do not store in the fridge.
Can I freeze this gluten free brown bread?
Absolutely. Walnut Bread freezes well. As with all bread, it is best frozen on the day of baking, stored in an airtight bag or container.
Should I toast gluten free Walnut Bread?
There is absolutely no requirement to toast gluten free Walnut Bread, even if it is a few days old. The bread stays fresh and soft enough to be enjoyed just as it is without the need for a toaster! My best advice however is to ‘give it a prod’. And if you feel it needs some heat, either from toasting or warming in the microwave (or you just prefer your bread to be toasted or warm), then go ahead.
Ready to make Gluten Free Walnut Bread with Sun Dried Tomato?
Hopefully the above covers most if not all of your potential questions and that you are now excited to make my gluten free Walnut Bread with Sundried Tomato. If you have any remaining questions, please feel free to ask by way of comment or email. And as always, do let me know if you make the recipe and what you think. Better still… Take a photo and tag me on social media so I can see the results! (You’ll find me on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and Twitter).
Thanks for visiting Gluten Free Alchemist… Don’t forget to check out the other recipes in our Recipe Book Index (with 400+ photographed recipes to inspire).
** © 2019-2023 Kate Dowse All Rights Reserved. Do not copy or re-publish this recipe or any part of this recipe on any other blog, on social media or in a publication without the express permission of Gluten Free Alchemist. Or use for commercial purposes without prior agreement**
Walnut Bread with Sun Dried Tomato – Gluten Free Brown Loaf
- airtight container (to mix dry ingredients)
- whisk (hand or electric) + dough hook attachment (optional)
- measuring jug
- vinyl gloves (to make handling dough easier)
- oven-proof dish
- deep 8 inch non-stick round spring-form cake tin (for each boule)
- bread scoring blade (optional)
- 100 g sorghum flour
- 100 g teff flour (I use white teff flour)
- 160 g tapioca starch
- 40 g buckwheat flour
- 40 g potato starch
- 18 g milled (ground) flax seed
- 35 g ground psyllium husk grind in a blender (not 'psyllium powder')
- 6 g fine sea salt (= 1 tsp)
- 4.5 g bicarbonate of soda (= ½ tsp)
- 3 tbsp dried milk powder or 2 tablespoons coconut milk powder
- 7 g INSTANT dried yeast I use Allinsons Easy Bake – Note : This is an INSTANT yeast
- 3 large eggs combined weight in shells 195-200g (at Room temperature UK large (Canadian ‘Extra Large’; Australian ‘Jumbo’; and US ‘Extra or Very Large’)
- 3 tbsp sunflower oil (or the drained oil from the sun dried tomato for best flavour) or alternative such as olive
- 1 tbsp runny honey (24g)
- 1½ tsp lemon juice
- 370 g/ml hand-warm water This is just hand warm and NO HOTTER
- 70 g raw walnuts broken into smallish pieces (not fine-chopped)
- 100 g sun dried tomato drained and cut into small pieces (not fine-chopped)
To shape and decorate
- olive oil to oil hands
- 1 egg + a little milk for egg wash
To make the gluten free dough
- Mix together the dry ingredients (flours, flax, psyllium husk, salt, bicarbonate of soda and milk powder) in an airtight container and shake vigorously to blend.
- If making as loaves, dust the lining of the banneton basket(s) with a little brown rice, buckwheat or sorghum flour. For rolls, line a couple of baking trays with good non-stick baking paper. Or use one banneton and a tray for a combination bake.
- In a large bowl, lightly whisk together the eggs, oil, honey and lemon juice to combine.
- Add the hand-warm water and whisk through with the other wet ingredients. It should foam on the top.
- Next, add the yeast to the dry ingredients and shake through, before adding to the wet ingredients. (see NOTES)
- Beat well to blend (preferably using an electric whisk with a dough hook attachment). If you don't have a dough hook, use a sturdy silicone/wooden spoon and beat hard until well blended. The mixture should look like very thick porridge when done.
- Place the bowl to one side and leave to stand untouched for a full 10 minutes. This is important and will enable the flours to absorb the liquid and hydrate fully.
- After hydrating, beat the mixture hard again (with dough hook or spoon) until very stiff.
- Add the walnut and sun dried tomato pieces and mix through as evenly as possible.
Shaping the dough into a boule or rolls
- Lay a large piece of non-stick baking paper on the counter-top to work on.
- Preferably wearing close-fitting vinyl food gloves, lightly oil the hands with a tiny drop of olive oil. And also smear a tiny drop of oil across the baking paper.
- For a boule – Divide the mixture in half. and knead in the hands or on the oiled baking paper until you have a smooth, pliable, shapable dough.
- For Rolls – Pull off a piece of the rough-looking dough (judging the size as the dough piece = about half of the intended roll size) and gently work it into a smooth piece of pliable, shapable dough in your hand.
- Next shape the dough – For a Boule, shape into a rounded ball, gently pulling the sides of the dough under, to make an evenly-rounded top. If the flour has not coated the banneton well, lightly dust the top of the dough-ball with a little brown rice/sorghum/buckwheat flour).For Rolls, either shape into small buns (flatten slightly for burger buns), plaits, knot, twist or any other shape you love. (lightly re-oil hands as required)
- Turn the Boule dough-ball upside-down (so that the smoothed side is now underneath) and gently place it into the floured banneton basket. OR Carefully transfer the dough rolls as they are made onto the prepared baking sheets, Leaving a reasonable gap between each for expansion when they rise.
- When all the dough has been shaped into boules/rolls, lightly drape a large piece of clingfilm over the top (be sure the dough is not restricted) and place the trays in a warm place to prove for about an hour (dependent on room temperature), until the dough has nearly doubled in size. (If the room temperature is very cold, you can speed the process by placing the banneton on a tray (or tray with rolls) over a bowl of steaming (but not boiling) water.
Egg-wash and decoration – Rolls
- While the rolls are proving, prepare the egg-wash by lightly beating an egg with a little milk.
- Pre-heat the oven to 200 C/375 F/Gas 5. Be sure to place a heat-proof dish at the bottom ready to add boiling water before baking (boil a kettle in advance). OR set the oven to steam at three x 5 minute intervals once the rolls are ready to bake.
- When the dough for the rolls has risen, lightly brush with egg-wash.
Scoring the Boule and preparing to bake
- For the Boule(s) – When the dough has nearly doubled in size, remove the circular base from the deep cake tin and VERY GENTLY turn the banneton over, placing the dough-boule onto the round base (so that it is now smooth-side up again).
- If scoring the bread to make a pattern, do so now.
- Place the outer side for the spring-form tin carefully over the boule and tighten so that it is re-joined to the base.
- Just before baking, carefully fill the heat-proof dish with boiling water (or check the oven's steam setting) and then place the dough buns and/or boules into the oven.
- Rolls – Bake for between 14 and 18 minutes (approx)… possibly more depending on the size of rolls, until golden brown and hollow-sounding when tapped underneath. Boule(s) – Bake for about 30 to 40 minutes until crusty on the outside and hollow-sounding when the underneath is tapped.
- Remove from the oven and transfer to a wire rack to cool.
- Store in an airtight bag at room temperature or freeze on the day of making.
© 2019-2023 Kate Dowse All Rights Reserved – Do not copy or re-publish this recipe or any part of this recipe on any other blog, on social media or in a publication without the express permission of Gluten Free Alchemist