Gluten free bread

I am challenging myself.

I know how tough a gluten free diet can be. So before I get into gluten free bread, I will explain why someone needs to have a gluten free diet and what gluten is.

That will be challenge number one… hmm or would it be one and two? It will be more easily done as I know the reasons and what gluten is.

Next challenge is some recipe or recipes for bread that contains no gluten but is like real bread, well is real bread.

Next challenge is to bake them, so they have to taste good, not be just contain “safe” ingredients. Or my roomies will give me dirty looks for experimenting with their taste buds…. such delicate things that they are. lol. And it will be tough as they don’t even like grits… well two of them, so it was split, but I digress. 

So if you are curious read on.


If you are on a gluten free diet, please let me know how I did. 🙂



What is gluten? This is a protein found in wheat flour. Not just wheat though also in other flours. Rye, Barley, spelt and that cross between rye and wheat.. triticale. Possibly more. Gluten gives bread its elasticity.  I work dough when kneading it to elongate the gluten strands to make a bread with more strength and it makes it chewier. Bread without gluten is more cake like. It has nothing do to with the rising of a bread, but helps the bread keep its shape and strength. Because of the elasticity, it traps gas, and allows all those bubbles to form in bread, thus more tender. It retains moisture and the bread keeps longer. So tis challenging to make bread that we may like as much, without it.

Flours with no gluten?… well some: rice, Oat, buckwheat, cornflour, millet, quinoa , chickpea, sorghum, potato, and more, some may be harder to find. I found chickpea flour and bought some the last time in the bulk store. I have some oat flour from my last trip.

So why gluten free?

There are medical reasons, someone who has fibromyalgia may find a gluten free diet is much better as gluten may cause flair ups, people with celiac disease will have a gluten free diet. Some people have a Gluten Sensitivity, this is thought to be a pre celiac disease condition but not necessarily so. IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome), many find going gluten free helps them with this. Wheat allergies are also common, so obviously you would want to avoid gluten as it is a wheat protein. Cancer… it is thought that gluten can weaken cells and make them more vulnerable to cancer. Autism as well, autistic children on gluten free diets seem to do better, hence my understanding of gluten. 🙂

Going gluten free right now is a trend as well, is this bad? NO, people should eat what they are comfortable with, or not. There are a lot of facts indicating gluten free is a better diet. Perhaps it really is. Many say when they go gluten free that they feel much better.


Now unless you have never read a label on prepared food, flour is in a lot of things we buy, flour contains gluten. Pizza, beer.. It sneaks in some prepared meats. Really to buy prepared foods risks coming in contact with gluten. Labeling is not always as accurate as we think either. When consuming gluten can cause you incredible pain, tis nice to be able to avoid it, and perhaps still enjoy food.

The Bread

Making bread that will be gluten free is more of a challenge, first off many of the flours that contain no gluten are much denser. The lack of gluten is going to contribute to this as well, as gluten makes a bread more spongy.

Now because the flour is more dense, more care needs to be taken with it. Pouring the flour into the measuring cup from a bag causes the flour to pack down. If you scoop it in gently this does not happen. I know this sounds basic, but this is true with wheat flour as well, rye flour is more noticeable as it is denser. So scoop the flour when measuring. With bread, accurate measuring is always important.

Now the gluten makes the bread spongy, so adding something else to make it spongy  is key. Egg whites will do the trick, consider meringue. Light and fluffy with lots of air pockets. The whole egg is a good idea as it will add taste and protein to the bread. Remember gluten is a protein. Eliminating it is removing protein from your diet. 

Bread does not keep as well, so adding some Ascorbic acid will help with this. (vitamin C) Aimee says she has lots of that, so I am good there. Tis handy to have a microbiologist kicking about. 😉 She said the yeast will like the acidity too and grow better.

The bread will not have as much strength, so cooking in pans will keep a nice bread shape. Because the flour is dense, tis best to make bread that is not expected to be very tall, so don’t over fill the pan. The bread when rising may not support the weight and fall upon itself and a tough loaf will result. Pans with lids, if you can find them, work well as steam is kept in the bread, keeping it moist. A bread maker could make a better loaf as it does this. Keep the oven moist, a pan of water and spraying the bread and oven with a mister helps as the bread bakes.

The dough from what I have read will be different, more sticky and spongy as more liquid is needed.

Moisture will be a problem too, so adding ingredients that will increase moisture will be helpful. Olive oil is good and I usually use this in my bread. mayo apparently too works. Interestingly enough that is oil and eggs. hmmm.

Knowing when bread is cooked is important, cooking too long dries it out, too short a cooking time and it is a doughy mess. Temperature is an easy way to know when the bread is cooked. The core temp should be about 200 f.

What to bake?

Well as I mentioned, I have chick pea flour and I love chick peas, I suspect there is a lot of flavour there. Most recipes are for flat bread though, and I do not want a flat bread. Oh I like flat breads, but that is not what this challenge is about. Finding a bread recipe using only chickpea flour didn’t go so well. Likely for good reason, a more neutral flour I think needs to be added or as the main flour.

I wonder if I can find sorghum flour at my bulk store, or another neutral flour.

I did stumble across this recipe. 

150g chickpea flour

130g cornstarch

140g tapioca flour

1 tsp. Xanthan gum or guar gum

1 tbs. Fructose

1 ½ tsp. Salt

¼ tsp ascorbic acid or ½ tsp. Lemon juice.

1 tbs. toasted sesame seeds

2 Jumbo eggs

200g warm water

3 tbs. vegetable oil

2 tsp. Bi carb soda


Combine dry ingredients. Mix together eggs, water and oil. Beat together dry ingredients with liquids. Transfer to a lightly oiled 9×5 inch loaf pan. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise to the top of the pan. Bake 200c for 35-40 minuetes or until loaf sounds holow when tapped. Remove from pan and let cool on a wire rack.

Makes a delicious crusty loaf that freezes well.

I need to visit the bulk store to see what flours I can buy. I would like to find a rice flour. I need a bit more oat flour and chickpea flour as well. I plan on breads featuring both of those as I think I can tweak more flavour with them. 

Many recipes call for Xanthan gum or guar gum too which give gluten free breads the texture we are accustomed to. So I have to find a place to buy this as well, or work out a substitute.  I really would like a substitute as they are linked to migraines. Fruit pectin is one choice, there are others so I need to research more.

So I am ending this post incomplete or at stage one? Perhaps I have taught you something as I worked through it. 



About sensuousamberville

I am a Practitioner, teacher and student. I think we should always be students, we should keep our minds open, to continue to learn. :-) Now a mother of two little ones.

22 responses »

  1. My dog is weirdly allergic to gluten :/ odd dog ha x

  2. Why do I feel like a guinea pig suddenly. Oh I know, you are going to tell me that it is yummy and good for me, and expect me to taste it first. But you know what? I will. 🙂

    Jalapeno peppers would be good in an oat bread. 😉

  3. Amber, I can’t tell you how excited I am that you’re trying Gluten free bread. I can give you some of the 411 on it as we have been gluten free for years. My daughter has been allergic to wheat/ gluten since she was 6 mnths, she is now almost 10. I’m doing a mini photo post of this vegan place i visited that made a chocolate chip cookie that was gluten free and vegan – it was delicious.
    Okay… so I’m getting a bit carried away, what with foodie excitement coursing through me… anyway, you did a great job with your gluten explanation. Those with wheat allergies can’t have oat or garbanzo depending on how allergic they are because there is a cross pollination with wheat there. Don’t ask me the science behind it, because it took my allergist a while to explain it to me 🙂 no, but seriously, it’s difficult trying to find gluten free anything, to taste the way regular food, would. Once you get it going though, gluten free tastes infinitely better. My gluten free flour is a box by a company called the Gluten free pantry. Um, it is a mix of rice flour, tapioca starch, potato starch, guar gum and salt. That is my base for bread, pizza dough, cookies and brownies. I pay a lot for a box but I figured I would pay the same to buy potato starch, tapioca and guar gum separately. I always have xantham gum in my pantry though.
    Garbanzo and Oat are really great for bread, so give them a try and see how you go. I did check the bulk bins for flour separately but it came to the same price or perhaps a little cheaper.
    I have now been diagnosed with an Ovarian condition and every bit of research I have done leads to women saying… get off the gluten so symptoms stay minimal. I figured it out anyway, because I try to be gluten and dairy free as much as possible and when I do eat a bit more wheat/gluten than normal, my skin gets a little itchy and I bloat very quickly. I will do more posts as I go along… still jumping up and down with excitement that we can talk about gluten free food now.

    • lol, I am smiling a lot. So what I read, xantham gum is better for bread than guar gum, both are migraine triggers though, 🙂 of which I don’t want extras of. I wonder if eggs will replace them. I want to make regular bread that is tasty and not cake like. I am sure it is a challenge. I love challenges.

      Also what I read was, when people became gluten free, they felt better over all, now this was not people that had allergies, just those that chose to do so, which is interesting.

      Oh and I love long comments. 🙂

      Garbanzo has gluten too? that sucks, I read eggs can also for similar reasons.

      If you having an itchy reaction to gluten, I think it is safe to assume your body doesn’t want it. There is a lot too, about how it effects the body. Tis just sneaky the way it appears in so much food and we can’t trust labels.

      *grins and hugsssss*

      • Amber, it’s so true. I have to agree. I’m not allergic to wheat or gluten, but that itchy elbow means I can’t tolerate too much of it. Overall, I feel a lot better, energy wise too. Gluten can be so heavy on the body. I think Garbanzo has wheat, I don’t know its gluten content, I do know that those who eat gluten free, use a lot of garbanzo – does that help? 🙂
        I would definitely try eggs in your recipe.
        We eat this gluten free bread with quite a few ingredients but it tastes like regular bread, um, the binder is eggs. The base is tapioca and potato starch and brown rice flour, egg whites, tapioca maltodextrin, evaporated cane juice, xantham gum and a couple of other things. Way too many ingredients for me but it’s light and fluffy and my daughter loves it. We were eating a rice bread which was cake like and heavy. This is so much yummier, even makes a great grilled cheese sandwich. It is UDI’s brand white sandwich bread. It is such a pain that xantham and guar gums cause migraines but it is in every gluten free product. They say guar is better than xantham. Who knows, though 🙂 🙂

      • well gluten free testing is about to meet Amber. lol. I will figure out things, I like simpler things in foods.

        I have heard gluten free gives you more energy, that is very interesting.

        I keep reading that chick peas are gluten free. There should be no wheat unless cross contaminated.

        I saw some substitutes for the gums, I need to poke around more. I think eggs will do it, but then it would be like an egg bread, which is yummy, but not what you want all the time.

  4. Ok…an area of cooking I am totally unfamiliar with. There are a few people at my workplace that eat gluten free (by choice? due to allergies? I am not sure…I should ask.)

    It sounds like it take a little bit more to do when baking….AND when buying products from the store … but there are options…and a lot sound yum for sure.

    Perhaps the next time I have to bring in a potluck dish I will try something …bread? Not sure…but will write down some things so I know where to look if I try this.

  5. ok I’m sorry – I eat everything and anything. 😦


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