Learn what’s behind a gluten free baking. The hydration of gluten free bread, fermentation and a lot of tips to help you make your own GF bread.

It’s not easy to bake fluffy gluten-free bread, especially if you’re just getting started with gluten-free baking. To help you with this, you’ll find several resources on my website – under Gluten Free Bread and Gluten Free Cooking.

If you want to learn the basics of making gluten-free bread, check out this post Click here.

focaccia sin gluten

Hydration of a gluten free bread

To make gluten free bread, you need water, flour, starch, yeast, sugar, salt, and 1 or 2 gluten substitutes.

The hydration of bread, that is, the amount of water it contains, is very important. Hydration determines how spongy and moist the bread is. In other words, the more water the dough contains, the moister it’s. The less water it contains, the drier it’ll be. So be careful with the amount of water you use.

The amount of water will depend on the other ingredients and the type of flour you use.

Gluten free bread recipes tend to have a higher water content than “normal wheat bread” with gluten.

Bread recipes WITH GLUTEN, usually have a water content of 60-80%, but gluten-free recipes usually have a water content of 100% or slightly more.

Why do gluten-free bread recipes contain a higher level of hydration than others?

In other words: Why do they contain more water?

pan sin gluten
  1. Gluten-free flours and starches usually have a higher capacity to absorb water than regular wheat. In other words, they absorb much more liquid, especially during baking.
  2. In gluten-free baking, vegetable fibers (such as psyllium or xanthan gum) are usually used to replace gluten. Both are responsible for absorbing some of the liquid and forming a viscous mass that provides the “binding” in the dough. When measuring the amount of water, you must take them into account.

A gluten free bread with a low water content will result in dry bread.

Kneading gluten-free bread

First of all, you must understand that making gluten-free bread isn’t the same as making bread with gluten; especially when it comes to kneading.

Bread WITH GLUTEN is naturally more elastic thanks to gluten.

The opposite happens with gluten-free bread: because it lacks gluten, the dough isn’t as elastic and breaks.

You can achieve this elastic effect of gluten by adding important ingredients like psyllium husks and xanthan gum.

Keep in mind

hacer pan sin gluten

Do not add too much extra flour when kneading.

masa madre sin gluten


Controlling the fermentation time is very important. If you leave it for too little time it will not rise well in the oven and if you leave it to ferment for so many hours it will over-ferment, deflate and lose structure and you will be left with a flat bread with a tight crumb.


It is important to control the temperature, baking time and steam during baking.

Check out these two video recipes for gluten-free breads

video receta pan sin gluten
video pan sin gluten

The basic ingredients to make a GLUTEN FREE bread are: 1 SG flour, 1 SG starch, yeast, water, sugar, salt, psyllium husk and xanthan gum.

More gluten-free bread recipes

More info and posts about gluten-free cooking and baking