Vegan, Wholegrain, Gluten-free Bread (rice-free, millet-free, 99+% corn free)


This is the frequent question asked of me by my 18mo daughter, Fiala, whose difficulties prompted the creation of this recipe.  I don’t know why she called bread “bap” but she would live on it, if I let her.  And, frankly, that’s not such a bad idea.  Add some veggies, and you could probably live on it!

To say that this recipe challenged me is a wee bit of an understatement.  Gluten-free?  I can do that with my eyes closed, after 8+ years of cooking and baking to accommodate celiac disease.  Dairy-free?  A bit more difficult, but I’ve been doing that for more than three years now.  But rice?  Ugh.  That’s a STAPLE of gluten-free diets.  And corn??  That too.  Many gluten-free wholegrain bread recipes also contain millet, which is a high-fiber, high-protein powerhouse, light in color, mild in flavor… but Fiala can’t handle millet, either.  At all (it gives her caustic poop and eczema, if you must know).  AND NO EGGS???  What’s a mom to do?

I started with this recipe from Cinnamon Quill, but I had to substitute, as her recipe includes millet, and I was unsure of Fiala being able to eat arrowroot.  Try as I might, I just could NOT get the same results as she did.  If you can have millet and arrowroot, you may want to try her recipe, because, frankly, hers rises better.  At least, it rises better for her. 😀

Though it took me forever to craft the recipe you see below, it was worth the EIGHTEEN trials it took to reach consistently pleasing results with the recipe.  The hard-won bread is:

  • exceptionally tasty.
  • sturdy (and elastic) enough for sandwiches.
  • nicely moist without being sodden.
  • nicely textured — not too heavy, not rubbery.
  • rises nicely (not magnificently, but nicely).
  • slices well — thick or thin.
  • has a crust that is to die for — the BEST of ANY gluten-free bread I’ve ever eaten.
  • healthy!  Half of the flours are wholegrain, and the only added fat is from olive oil.

The only things I’m not 100% happy with are:

  • I wish it had a grand, voluminous rise.  It’s just rounded.
  • I wish the recipe worked with guar gum, instead of xanthan gum.  Alas, it doesn’t.

The first 12 times I made the recipe, I used guar gum, and not xanthan.  It just does not rise well at all with guar.  I have determined that xanthan helps the bubbles hold their shape when they are formed in the dough. With guar gum, the bubbles form, then pop, and the bread collapses.  However, if you are REALLY sensitive to corn, you might have to use guar.  (Xanthan gum is made from a bacteria that is fed corn sugar, allowed to ferment, then the fermentation is stopped, the resulting goo is dehydrated and ground.  So, being that it is partially derived from corn sugar, some who are super-sensitive to corn can’t have it.)

I haven’t figured out all the various nutritional values, but each loaf does have 26 grams of fiber.

This recipe is so ingredient-and-technique-specific, that I’m almost afraid to post it.  Please believe me, I have messed with EVERY SINGLE INGREDIENT to get the best results.  I guess I have visions of people trying to sub ingredients, or modify a step, and then end up with 2 large loaves of inedible bread.  So… modify at your own risk!!  (One thing that MAY work removing is the Ener-G Egg Replacer.  I tried adding that in when I was trying to make the recipe work with guar gum ILO xanthan.  It did work a little better, but now that I’ve switched to xanthan, it may not be necessary.)

I know some celiacs have trouble with oat flour.  If that includes you, I’M SORRY!  Truly.  I have made my own oat flour from both Bob’s Red Mill certified gluten-free oats, and from Cream Hill Estates.  (Don’t worry if there are teensy oat bits that don’t grind up perfectly;  it will still work.)  However, for the last five batches or so that I have made, I have simply used Bob’s Red Mill oat flour, and while it is not certified g.f., we’re not having any trouble with it at all.

Obviously, this is a big batch — TWO 9 x 5 loaf pans. I haven’t tried to halve it yet…

Edited to add:  I made this recipe right after I posted it, and… it didn’t turn out.  I inspected my notes, and saw that I wrote the wrong amount of tapioca starch below, which I have corrected (on the .pdf, too). I should scan my notes on this;  four pages of scribbles and calculations, things crossed-out and added… no wonder I confused myself.  However, that brings something to mind:  If you bake this bread and it doesn’t turn out, E-MAIL ME (or comment below). Chances are, if you experience a problem, I have, too, in my now-22 times of baking this bread, and if you’re willing, we’ll work it out together.  Except for:  I am at 1100′ elevation.  I do not know if/how that will affect your attempts, if you are higher or lower.

Vegan Wholegrain Gluten-Free Bread
click here for a .pdf of the recipe

  • 2 Tbsp yeast (not quick/breadmaker)
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 4 cups water, 95-105 degrees
  • 2 cups sorghum flour
  • 1 cup oat flour
  • ½ cup quinoa flour
  • 3/4 cup buckwheat flour
  • 2 cups potato starch
  • 2 cups tapioca starch
  • 2 Tbsp Ener-G Egg Replacer (dry)
  • 2 Tbsp xanthan gum
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • ¼ cup + 2 Tbsp olive oil

Prepare two large (9″ x 5″) loaf pans: I line them with nonstick foil, and smear on a little extra olive oil.

Combine water, yeast, and sugar, let proof for 5-10 minutes total, while you’re measuring and mixing the dry ingredients.

Combine sorghum flour, oat flour, quinoa flour, buckwheat flour, potato starch, tapioca starch, Egg Replacer, xanthan gum, and sea salt, using a whisk to mix thoroughly.

Stir the olive oil into the yeast mixture, and add to the dry ingredients. With a dough hook in a stand mixer, or a very sturdy wooden spoon and a healthy bicep, stir to combine all ingredients, about 3-5 minutes, until well-incorporated and smooth.

Scoop the dough into pans.  Dough will fill pans about halfway.  Then, cover your hand with a plastic baggie (or disposable glove), pour a little olive oil onto the baggie, and use it to shape the loaf into a loaf shape, tucking your fingers all around the edges of the pan, so that the loaf is rounded at the top.

While I’m mixing the dough, I put two Pyrex cups in the microwave, filled with water, to boil. (I use one 4-cupper, and one 2-cupper.) When the water has boiled, and the dough-filled pans are ready, arrange the uncovered pans and cups in the inside of the microwave, and shut the door. (This provides a warm, moist, controlled environment in which to rise.)  Don’t open the door while rising!

Let rise for a total of 45 minutes.  Dough will rise about 2 inches above top of pans.

While the dough is rising, preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Bake at 450° for 15 minutes.  Then, turn the oven down to 375 and bake for an additional 22-25 minutes. This should produce a well-browned, nicely-textured crust. When tapped, the loaf will sound hollow when done.

Turn out immediately onto cooling racks (or I just use a very large wooden cutting board).  Let cool at least 20 minutes before slicing. Use a serrated bread knife to slice.  Slices best when completely cooled.

Dough in pans, before shaping.

Frankly, I have had loaves with even BETTER air-pockets, but this is the best photo I have, currently.

They have pretty rustic tops.

For 12, 3 1/2" hamburger buns, divide half of the recipe into small "pans." I make the pans from nonstick foil, shaped over the bottom of a quart jar. Scoop dough, and smooth/shape as directed above for the loaves. Needs only about 20 minutes to rise. Place your foild "pans" on two cookie sheets and bake for about 20 minutes at 450.


About Karen Joy

I'm a partially-homeschooling mother of six -- 3 boys ages 19, 17 and 15 years old, and three girls: 11, 8, and 3. I like birding, reading, writing, organic gardening, singing, playing guitar, hiking, the outdoors, and books. I very casually lead a very large group of homeschooling families in the Phoenix area. I have a dear hubby who designs homes for a local home builder and who is the worship pastor of our church. I live in the desert, which I used to hate, but now appreciate.

Posted on May 1, 2010, in Allergies, Celiac Disease, Cooking/Baking/Food/Recipes, Dairy-free, GF Recipes, GFCF, GFCF Recipes, gluten-free, Vegan. Bookmark the permalink. 13 Comments.

  1. You are my hero! Way to stick with it and make something that nourishes the sweet family. Love you!!

  2. oh the hamburger buns look fabulous!!! I am iming to start trying some soaking for my GF/SF/DF and oat free bread soon. I simply can’t eat grains unsoaked or I get serious digestive upset (I’m still dealing with it 4 weeks later. my system is so sensitive!)

    the first thing I’m gonna try after that is buns. I miss buns. and yeast free buns I attempted just aren’t the same.

  3. Ok, I made some today. I ran out of potato starch so I had to sub tapioca for about ¼ c. of potato starch. I don’t think that small amount made a difference. I mixed all the grains together (excepting the tapioca and potato) last night with 3 cups of warm water and a touch of acid (raw goat whey, in this case) to reduce the antinutrients and start a fermentation process. So today I mixed the yeast and sugar in the remaining cup of water and proceeded with the recipe. I don’t have an electric mixer with a dough hook, so yes, my bicep got a workout!!

    It rose really nicely…as tall as a regular loaf with nice air pockets all throughout. I am deciding whether I like the taste, but regardless, the texture is perfect for sandwiches. (I really don’t care for the taste of tapioca flour…strange b/c it is supposed to be mild.) Really springy. How do you store your bread? Do you slice it all at once? Freeze it sliced? Or does it keep well on the counter in a bag? Thanks, Karen, for all of your experimenting!

    • YAY!! I’m glad you tried it. I find myself wondering how much the fermentation changed the taste. I think I’ll try it fermented next time. When I began making the bread, I used some Japanese buckwheat flour that must have been groats-only, because it was very yellowish in color, and very mild in flavor. I ran out of that, so have been using Arrowhead, but it is greyish and must include the hulls, because of the color and taste. I MUCH prefer the Japanese buckwheat, but now, I can’t find any in my Asian market!! I’m thinking about grinding my own, because I have plenty of raw buckwheat.

      All of that to say, if you’re using darker buckwheat flour, you may want to try flour made from groats.

      I keep mine loosely covered with a plastic produce bag on a big wooden cutting board on my countertop. It lasts for up to 3 days. I find that I don’t like to keep it totally covered, or the crust becomes very soft; I like the crustier crust!! However, now that it’s warming up, I find myself wondering if it will last the entire 3 days. I may have to make sure we eat it within two, or freeze the rest. I have only frozen it a few times before, and each time, I sliced it beforehand. Otherwise, I slice as needed.

      • Oh, I forgot to mention that I just sprayed my glass loaf pans with olive oil spray and the loaves fell out beautifully.

        I will have to look for the Japanese buckwheat. I have only used Arrowhead. I use it all the time, so I am used to its taste, but I am aware that it has a really strong taste. It sounds like a milder version would be yummy. Quinoa flour is also really grass-y tasting to me, but I still like it. It is the tapioca that I don’t like. Maybe it is just me, but tapioca has an astringent quality on the ‘outbreath.’ (I sound like a wine connoisseur!) On a good note, the bread tasted better to me this morning, so it is probably a matter of multiple exposures. Again, though, the texture is what is so exciting to me! Have you made pizza crusts with it?

        Last question…this bread is really $$$$ to make. How and in what quantities do you buy your flours? I usually just buy the small bags of Bob’s and Arrowhead, as that is available to me at my non-specialty grocery store. Do you buy in bulk or on the internet? Honestly, I had gotten used to almost no bread, as I found GF breads to be so pricey. But, a good bread is so nice.

        • I’ve never made pizza crust w/ it because we can’t do dairy, and pizza w/o dairy isn’t very good. But, come to think of it, my non-dairy kids CAN do sheep milk feta… I have both feta and pepperoni in the fridge right now. I think I WILL try pizza! I’ll let you know how it turns out. I’ll try baking it at high temp w/ no ingredients on it, add the toppings, and finish it off at 375.

          I haven’t figured out the per-loaf cost, but I will. It’s not expensive for me, because I get every ingredient except quinoa at the Asian market, but at only 1/4 cup per loaf, that’s only about 50 cents of quinoa per loaf, even though quinoa is stinkin’ expensive, at more than $10 for a 22 oz bag.

          Oh! Oat flour is from Bob’s Red Mill, but one $3.29, 22 oz bag will net 10 loaves, so that’s $0.33 per loaf. Sorghum = juwar/jawar/jowar flour (in the Indian aisle), and it is about $5 for a 3 lb bag, so that’s about $0.25ish per loaf. As mentioned, I have found buckwheat in the Japanese aisle, but even w/ Arrowhead, the cost is minimal, because it’s about $5 for a 2 lb bag. Potato & tapioca starch are at the Asian market for about 69 cents per 12 oz bag.

          So, I guess, all told, that would be about $2 – 2.25 per loaf. I’ll sit down and figure it out definitively. But, around $2 for a 2lb loaf is a LOT better than $5 for a 1 lb loaf of bad g.f. bread in the store.

          I also get my yeast at Costco. For a 2 POUND bag of Red Star yeast, it’s $3.99. That’s less than a 4 OUNCE jar of Fleischman’s at the grocery store.

          In 8+ years of g.f. baking, I have never bought any flour off the internet. That’s the ONE good thing about living in/near a metropolis: Every store imaginable in close driving proximity. I have, however, bought buckwheat groats… I have a whole case of it, in fact, in my pantry, and I think I’m going to put it to use in the bread.

  4. Jessle the Dog Walker

    Wow! Those loafs look AMAZING! Thanks for posting and I’ll soon be running off to give it a try.

  5. Hi again 🙂 On this one, is it possible to sub the egg replacer with flax or chia seeds? I can’t get past those strange ingredients on the label for ener-g, so I’ve been avoiding it. And, have you tried the 1/2 recipe? I find that when making new recipes that make a large amount, I am much more likey to jump in and not worry if it works or not on the half mark 😉 thanks, again!

    • Karen, I haven’t tried chia or flax. It’s worth a shot. However, I have tried it with guar gum (which is a ground-up seed) and it did NOT work. If you find something that does work, do let me know. Another g.f. whole-food friend of mine is also having no success making yeast bread without xanthan gum. I am not sure why, but the other gelling ingredients (like guar, flax, or chia) just do not seem to work in g.f. yeast bread. I’m currently making my newest bread, which has xanthan gum but no Egg Replacer (but… does have that hard-to-find mung bean starch). If you do make this recipe (above), you could probably make it with no Egg Replacer at all.

  6. I would just like to say { THANK YOU } !!!! 😊 Because of all your hard work you put into this glorious bread recipe I am now able to eat bread agian and enjoy it for the first time in years ! I have been using this recipe now for about 2 years and the results are always amazing. Sometimes the dough is runnier which is weird but I’m thinking it’s due to how well I grind my oat and quino flour. Anyways I just love this recipe. As we speak I have a couple loafs cooking in the oven. I’ve added extra sugar, cinnamon and raisins to this recipe as well and made raisin bread 😉 yum !

  7. This really sounds great. But i cant even have yeast. So what would i use instead of yeast. I have only stated being gluten, egg amd dairy free for 4 days now and have no clue where to start. I am allergic to so many things its not even funny.

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