Learn how to bake your own bread at home. Easy step by step recipe for homemade gluten free bread!
Homemade gluten free bread isn’t the same as bread with gluten. Preparing gluten-free bread isn’t very difficult, but you need to pay attention to some things and use specific ingredients to make it well.
If you want to bake bread WITH GLUTEN you only need water, salt, yeast, and wheat flour. But if you want to bake GLUTEN FREE bread, you need much more. That is, you need water, salt, yeast, gluten-free flour, and, most importantly, a gluten substitute, a (gluten-free) ingredient that gives the dough homogeneity, elasticity, and sponginess.
The formula for a good homemade gluten-free bread is: = 1 gluten-free flour + 1 gluten-free starch + yeast + sugar + water + one or two gluten substitutes such as psyllium husks and xanthan gum.
If you use two gluten substitutes like xanthan gum and psyllium, you’ll get a fluffy, elastic crumb that’s easier to work with.
For more on gluten-free breads and some tips, check out my post: Baking Gluten-Free Bread – The Basics
TIPS for the best homemade gluten-free bread
The key to fluffy and delicious bread.
- Don’t forget to add a gluten substitute.
To get an elastic dough, it’s important to add ingredients such as psyllium husks and xanthan gum. Combine the two to get the best result.
- Combine different flours and starches to get better results.
- Fermenting and steaming in baking
It’s almost as important to let the dough rest long enough as it’s to steam it when baking. Proofing time will help you get a big, fluffy dough, but if you don’t add steam in the first 15 minutes of baking, the bread won’t rise enough.
Mix the psyllium husks and xanthan gum. I recommend using both for a more elastic and spongy dough. You’ll see that it turns out much better than if you use just one of each.
Check out how easy it’s to make this homemade gluten free bread.
Here’s how to make your gluten-free bread
All the ingredients you need to make gluten-free loaf bread
- Water. As with any bread recipe, you’ll need water, you can use tap or bottled water.
- Sugar. To activate the yeast, you’ll need sugar. I used white sugar, but you can also use brown sugar or honey.
- Dry Yeast. For this recipe, I used a 7g packet of dry or bread yeast. You can also use fresh yeast, but I don’t know exactly how much you need to substitute for the dry yeast.
- Apple Cider Vinegar. The apple cider vinegar adds some acidity to the dough, which helps the yeast activate and make the bread rise.
- Olive oil. I used mild olive oil, but you can use any oil.
- 2 Gluten substitutes. For this bread, I used psyllium husks and xanthan gum. I found that by combining the two I get a better texture to the bread, the crumb is much fluffier and softer.
- Salt. Very important to add flavor to the bread.
- Gluten-free flours and starches
When you start making your gluten-free bread, always stick to the recipe and avoid substituting or omitting ingredients.
Flours and starches for making gluten-free bread.
For best results, it’s advisable to use more than one type of flour and starch.
For this bread recipe, I used:
- Brown rice flour. If you don’t have it, you can substitute it with white rice flour.
- Serrano wheat flour. You can replace it with millet flour.
- Sorghum flour. You can replace it with buckwheat flour or oat flour.
- Tapioca starch. It’s also known as cassava or cassava starch. If you don’t have it, you can replace it with cornstarch. You’ll get a different result if you replace the starch with flour.
- Cornstarch. Yes, I used two starches for this recipe and the result is spectacular. If you don’t have cornstarch, you can replace it with potato starch or tapioca starch.
Starch is an important ingredient in this recipe because it makes the bread spongy and provides a good crumb.
IMPORTANT NOTE: If you substitute the ingredients given in the recipe, you’ll not get the same result. With the substitutions I gave, you won’t get exactly the same result, but it’s close enough and you’ll get a good bread (not the same, but good).
Always use flours that are certified as gluten-free.
Make your own gluten-free bread at home
This recipe for homemade gluten-free bread has 4 parts.
- Mix the ingredients and form them into a ball.
- Knead it and let it rest for 1 hour to ferment.
- When the dough has risen, knead it again and shape the bread. Let it rest for 1 hour to rise and ferment.
- When the dough has risen, bake it.
Check out the step by step recipe for this gluten-free bread
Gluten free bread step by step
1. Mix the ingredients and form a ball.
First, put the warm water in a large bowl along with a tablespoon of sugar and a packet of dry yeast for bread. Stir a little, cover and let stand for 10-15 minutes to activate the yeast.
In another bowl, mix all the dry ingredients: Add the flour, starch, psyllium husks, xanthan gum, and salt. Mix a little to incorporate all well.
Once the yeast is activated, add two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar. Mix well and add the flour mixture little by little.
Incorporate all the flour and mix well until all the ingredients are incorporated.
2. Knead the dough
Moisten your fingers with 1 tablespoon of olive oil and start kneading with your hands.
Add the 4 tablespoons of olive oil as you knead. Knead until a ball forms.
Once you have formed a ball, spread some oil on a surface and place the dough on it. Wet your fingers with water or oil and knead for about 5 minutes to form a ball with a slightly softer texture.
*Important: The dough is very very sticky, wet your fingers with water or oil to knead it well. You can also put a little oil on the surface so it doesn’t stick too much. At this point, I don’t recommend adding flour to the work surface. Don’t worry if the dough is too sticky and too wet, we’ll add additional flour during the second kneading.
Spread a little oil on the bottom of a bowl, put the dough on it, and drizzle it with a little oil.
Cover it with plastic wrap and let it rest for 1 hour.
3. Let it rest for 1 hour.
4. When the dough has risen, knead and shape the bread.
Once it has rested, sprinkle a little white rice flour on the surface and knead it well. At this point, you can use as much flour as you need to knead (but don’t add to much flour).
Form a ball, spread a little olive oil on the bottom of the bowl and place the dough on top.
Drizzle the dough with a little oil and cover it with plastic wrap.
5. Let the bread rest for another hour.
*Half an hour before the end of the resting time, preheat the oven to 250ºC and place a cast-iron pan in the lower half of the oven.
6. When the dough has risen for the second time, bake the gluten-free bread.
Once the bread has risen (after 1 hour of fermentation), place the dough on baking paper and cut the surface with a sharp knife.
Place the gluten-free bread (with the paper) in a hot cast iron skillet and place 3-4 ice cubes on the sides of the bread without touching it. (put the ice between the pan and the baking paper). *I recommend you watch the video to see how this is done.
Place a container (oven safe) with water in the bottom of the oven.
Place the pan with the bread in the bottom half of the oven. Bake at 250-240ºC for the first 20 minutes. After the first 20 minutes, take out the container with the water, cover the bread with aluminum foil, and bake for 40 minutes at 200-230ºC.
Important!!! If you see that the gluten-free bread is already too brown, put some aluminum foil on the bread to prevent it from getting too brown.
When the homemade gluten-free bread is ready, take it out of the oven and let it cool on a rack for at least 30 minutes. You mustn’t cut it until it’s completely cold, because the bread is still cooking and you need to let it cool completely on its own. If you cut it before the time is up, the crumb will be very moist and firm.
Can the packet of dry yeast for bread be substituted with fresh yeast?
Yes, you can substitute and use fresh yeast, but I don’t know exactly how much fresh yeast you need.
Can psyllium husk be replaced with another ingredient?
No, psyllium husk cannot be substituted. It’s an important ingredient to replace gluten and to obtain an elastic and homogeneous dough for kneading.
Starch shouldn’t be substituted for flour. Starch helps to obtain a soft and spongy crumb.
Can xanthan gum be replaced by another ingredient?
No, xanthan gum cannot be substituted. It’s an important ingredient to replace gluten and obtain an elastic and homogeneous dough that kneads well.
Can I substitute the dry yeast and use baking powder or baking soda instead?
NO. Don’t use baking powder or baking powder instead of dry yeast.
Baking powder or “Royal” type baking powder is used for cakes, cookies and brownies… . Baking powder makes cakes rise, but it’s not enough to make bread rise. It’s important to always use dry baker’s yeast or sourdough starter to bake bread.
Can I frozen the bread?
Yes, you can freeze baked bread, but I recommend that you freeze it in slices.
You can use a cast iron skillet or a dutch oven to get a crispy crust.
Can you use a cast iron skillet instead of a baking dish?
Yes, but the results will be different. For gluten-free bread, I’ve found that cast iron skillets work better. The bread rises much more when I use the baking dish.
Can you bake the bread in a regular baking dish/pan?
Yes, you can, but the result may be different, the bread will not be as round and high. The key to getting the bread to rise during baking is to add steam in the first 15 minutes of baking. I do this by adding a container with water to the bottom of the oven and adding the 3 ice cubes to the cast iron skillet.
I recommend you watch the recipe video to see how to get steam in the baking.
More info and posts about gluten-free cooking and baking
- Learn the basics to make glutenfree bread
- Types of gluten substitutes for gluten-free baking
- Types of Glutenfree flours for cooking and baking
- How to make a glutenfree sourdough starter