Thursday, June 23, 2011

gluten & dairy-free multi-grain bread recipe

You may have wondered to yourself why I never post bread recipes on here. I mean, it’s taken me almost a year to do so! And what is a world without bread?! It’s what every newbie gluten-free person craves and tries to replace right? It’s not that I don’t like making bread, I actually love it and in my pre-gluten-free days it was one of my favourite things to do at home, at work, where ever. I was even known on the odd occasion to pop over to my mother’s house and whip her up a batch of cumin flat breads, roll them out and freeze them; stacked neatly with baking paper between all ready for her to cook when the urge took over.

But here’s the thing…

When my body decided (during my first pregnancy, but it took a lot longer before I figured out what the problem was) that it no longer agreed with me eating gluten and dairy, it also decided that it would no longer tolerate me eating yeast also. Yup. Awesome right? So not only was my body telling me I couldn't eat gluten and dairy, along with my vegetarianism and breastfeeding diet (which went something like this; strictly no wind causing foods, broccoli, cabbage, onion, garlic, beans, chickpeas and legumes. No sugar and no stimulants, yep you guessed it, no chocolate) there really wasn't much left to eat. I had a new born (screaming in pain) to deal with and there was no way in hell I was going to be found baking bread. Full stop.
Lucky for me though, as mentioned in my favourite gluten & dairy-free goodies there are two companies in New Zealand who produce amazing gluten, dairy and yeast-free breads. I was sold. Easily. I didn’t even attempt to make my own gluten-free bread until the kids were way past the baby stage (i.e sleeping more than 1 hour stretches at night) and even then I was never that happy with the results. And for the amount of money spent on ingredients I could have easily just gone to the shop and brought what I still think is the best gluten-free bread out. Making gluten-free, yeast-free, dairy-free bread ain’t easy. I have often thought how great it would be to do "work experience" at Dovedale or Vernerdi just so I can learn their gluten-free sourdough recipes! It's one thing I really want to master. One day. If only it was as easy as regular sourdough.

Since moving to Australia however, I have had to re-think my gluten-free bread buying ways. The bread here, really really stinks. We made do, for the first month or so, buying this hideous chalky crap from the supermarket. It still contained yeast and dairy, but was at least gluten-free. We got sore tummies, all three of us (remembering Si can eat anything!). I got over it real fast, but as we were still living with family and had no spare money to invest in my usual stock of gluten-free flours (it costs a lot to move countries!) I did what chefs would call the most shameful of crimes… I started buying gluten-free bread mixes, in a box! That took a lot for me to admit and the chef in me has been tossing up whether or not to admit to this one at all. But here’s the thing. When faced with the decision to feed myself and the kids chalky white starch-filled nutrition less bread cardboard or swallow my pride, get over myself and buy what looked to me like the best bread on offer; gluten, dairy, yeast and sugar-free made with wholegrain sorghum flour, you know which one I went for and why. (And no I haven't been payed to promote their product, just so you know).

We mostly just eat that bread still, but every now and then I like to make a loaf of gluten-free bread, yeast and all. Just to see how our tummies react. I’ve made this one a few times over the past few weeks, first in the bread machine my sister-in-law gave to us but I wasn’t so happy with the results. (I might just use the bread machine to make Si regular wheat bread). The flavour was great but it sunk in the centre once cooked making the slices look like they had cat’s ears (Ada loves this bread and affectionately calls it “cat bread”). My guess is it over-proved in the machine, or maybe it didn’t like the fact that I left it to cook, alone, while I picked up Ada from kindy and then stopped at the park on the way home for a play, leaving it sweating away in the machine? Anyways, whatever the initial problem was I wanted to try this recipe out in the oven, knowing most people don’t own bread machines and all. Our tummies are still not 100% happy with the yeast, but not so bad that I wont be making this at least once every week or so. The texture is amazing; light, fluffy but with a good spring. Moist and not in the slightest bit chalky. It’s perfect to eat on the day of baking, the large air bubbles throughout beg to be filled with melted butter and honey. (Yes, I still have crumpet withdrawals). Or a simple smear of ripe avocado, sea salt and freshly ground pepper. It stores well in the fridge for 4-5 days and toasts up beautifully.

So, even though our tummies aren’t 100% when eating yeast, I thought it was about time I shared some of my trials with you all. And I’d be interested to hear your thoughts, if you too can’t really eat yeast. What bread, if any, do you eat?

Recipe loosely based on this one, from Karina @ gluten free goddess (who has just made gluten free wholegrain olive bread that looks a lot like focaccia, if your'e interested!)

Update! I've finally started making my own gluten-free sourdough bread, the recipe's in my up-coming book.

gluten-free multi-grain bread
Feel free to play around with the flours to suit what you have at hand, but substitute them by weight not cups to get the most accurate results. If you find your bread is browning too fast and is not fully cooked, simply turn your oven down a little and cook for a further 5-10 minutes.
Makes 1 loaf.

  • 1 packet (7g/2 teaspoons) instant yeast 
  • a pinch of raw sugar
  • 1/2 cup (125ml) rice milk (or other non-dairy milk)
  • 3/4 cup (185ml) water

  • 2/3 cup (115g) brown rice flour
  • 1/3 cup (60g) cornmeal (fine polenta)
  • 1/2 cup (62g) millet flour
  • 1/2 cup (85g) potato starch
  • 1/2 cup (56g) ground almonds (almond meal)
  • 2 teaspoons guar gum
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt

  • 2 eggs, beaten lightly
  • 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons honey 
  • 1/2 teaspoon rice vinegar or lemon juice
  • sesame seeds or other seeds to sprinkle on top

In a small bowl combine yeast and sugar. Pour rice milk and water into a small saucepan and heat to blood temperature (check this by dropping a little milky water onto the inside of your wrist, it should feel neither hot nor cold. You are aiming  for a temperature of between 35-46 C/95-115 F). If you accidentally heat the milk too much, rather than using it hot and killing the yeast, simply set aside to cool to desired temperature. When you have the milky water at the right temp, pour over the yeast/sugar and mix to combine. Set aside covered with a clean tea towel for 5 minutes to ferment.

Place all the dry ingredients into a large bowl and whisk to fully combine. Once the yeast has done it's thing for 5 minutes and is starting to bubble away, add this to the dry ingredients along with remaining ingredients and whisk to form a smooth batter. This will not look like regular wheat bread dough that you can knead, more like a pancake or muffin batter. Continue whisking for 2-3 minutes until the mixture thickens ever so slightly. Pour into a greased loaf tin, scatter the top with sesame seeds or others of your choice and set aside to prove.

Once the dough has nearly risen to the top of the pan (around an hour) turn your oven to 220 C/425 F. When the oven is hot place the bread onto the middle shelf and cook for 10-15 minutes until golden brown, turn the oven down to 180 C/350F and cook for a further 20-25 minutes or until cooked. To test, you can turn the bread out of the pan and tap the bottom of it. It should sound hollow. Remove the bread from the oven if cooked and cool on a wire rack. Slice once completely cold and store in the fridge for 4-5 days.

This post is linked to: slightly indulgent Tuesday @ Simply sugar and gluten free
                                  : sugar free Sunday @ flip cookbook


  1. wish I had money and time to make this, looks fricken mean!

  2. Hi Emma,

    Your so right about the choice of gf bread in NZ! Last visit I tried a buckwheat sourdough....oh just bliss!!!!!

    I notice some of the Bob's Red mill flours are coming to the local organic store; I look forward to trying Amy's recipe(from SF & GF) for sourdough bread.

  3. GF breads are fickle! Took me a few years to come up with a good recipe too. One thing I did learn, my GF bread does not like too much kneading. I mix by hand, take the paddle out of the bread machine and it works every time! My recipe is also loosely based on Karina's recipe. We love it! So wonderful to have fresh homemade gf bread that tastes like real bread!

  4. This bread looks mighty fine Emma.
    I have a chef friend here in Nelson who has developed her own gluten, dairy and yeast free sour dough recipe that surpasses that of Dovedale etc. I will try and get my paws on it and email it to you xx

  5. Love the inclusion of almonds and millet.. the bread looks wonderful and I find myself drawn to the avocado too!

  6. Alain~ Wow I haven't come across any Bob's red mill flours yet. I'd love too though! Thanks for the heads up on Amy's recipe. I'll check it out.

    Ina~ Thanks I will try your way in my bread machine next time :-)

    Jamara~ God how much would I love you if you could get your hands on that recipe! Although as a chef, I do understand if she isn't keen to share ;-)

    Kelly :-)

  7. Love the story - by that I mean reading someone else's GF saga...

    I may just be getting closer to giving making bread a go - especially with all the above votes of confidence : )

  8. Thanks heaps for this recipe (and all the others). Having found out I have Coeliac Disease 6 months ago your blog has been a life saver. For someone who loves baking the fact that the recipes work first time and don't need conversion into Australian Metric Measurements is wonderful. This bread recipe is the best one I've tried so far (and was happily eaten by 3 non-GF people). Thanks heaps again. Nat.

  9. You are so very welcome Nat, glad you guys liked it. It's always a bonus when gluten-eating people like our food eh ;-)
    Thanks for letting me know you tried it.

  10. Hi,
    I've recently discovered your blog and I'd like to agree with Nat your recipes have been a lifesaver AND delicious! I've yet to try making my own bread as here in the deep south of NZ it's cheaper to buy venerdi or from the lovely baker at the local farmers market. However, I have heard of making a gluten free yeast free sourdough starter with water kefir and brown rice flour. Apparently you use the same amounts of flour and water as a gluten recipe but you just add a few drops of kefir. I'm trying to convince a friend who loves to bake bread and has lots of time to give it a go, will let you know if it works! Jesse

  11. Yep I'm with you Jesse, it always worked out cheaper and nicer to just buy Venerdi in NZ! I miss that bread. I've read about adding water kefir to gluten-free sourdough starter and am keen to try it out when I get my hands on some new water kefir over here. Thank heaps xx

  12. I just made this bread (with some flour substitutions based on what I had on hand) and it came out beautifully! Thanks for the recipe!

  13. Thanks for supporting the gluten free family.

  14. Thank you for sharing! How can I make this vegan? Would flax or chia get the same results and should I still use the guar gum?

    1. I've not tried this recipe using chia or flax eggs, so I have no idea sorry. Try it out and let me know if it works and yes I'd still use the guar gum.

  15. This recipe sounds great. Have you ever made this into rolls using large muffin tins or something similar? If so, how did you split the cooking time?

    1. No I haven't made this recipe into buns before. Let me know if it works out!

  16. hi, i made this recipe last night, i'm not sure if my bread pan was too big, either way I LOVE IT, so dense, not very moist, but i'm toasting it anyway. i substituted wholemeal SR flour and spelt in place of potato starch and quinoa flour. I think ill slice and freeze for quick snacks with avocado and goats cheese as i'm not gluten or lactose intolerant

  17. Hi. What would you recommend instead of the polenta? We can't have corn. Thank you!

    1. Sorry it's be years since I've made this bread so my suggestion is only that, a suggestion... I'd probably sub in another 60g ground almonds. Or 60g of extra brown rice flour. So long as you keep it the same volume by weight, you should be ok :-)

  18. I have just made your gluten free sourdough for the first time. It tastes really nice
    However it didnt rise at all. My starter is quite runny and I'm not sure if it needs to be thicker?

    1. The starter should be nice and thick and full of big bubbles. I have a feeling you've used the wrong flour or ground linseeds. Email me and we'll see if we can get to the bottom of this xx

    2. Hmmm I've made it twice now. It tastes delicious but neither of mine have risen either. Starter is nice and thick but no big bubbles

    3. Did you follow the recipe to a 'T' Auri? Rebekah had left the ground linseeds out of the recipe... This is not a recipe to play around with (sadly), as years of testing went into perfecting this one! Each ingredient has it's place and is vital to the end results. Two really important things to consider, have you used a super fine brown rice flour? And have you used ground golden linseeds? You must follow all the steps and use the ingredients stated in the recipe. In the cooler winter months my bread takes around 8 hours to rise before baking. Your started doesn't sound like it's ready to be used just yet if there's no big bubbles. Try adding another few tablespoons of kefir to it to boost it. Your started needs to be fully alive before you can make the bread. xx

    4. Thanks :) I've concluded it's probably the brown rice flour I'm using, It's a tad gritty, but I followed everything else to the T. I didn't want to waste the starter so made bread as per your recipe, but added 1 teaspoon of baking soda and it rose beautifully. not Ideal but I'll get my hands on some super fine brown rice flour and start again :)

  19. I bake a sweet potato loaf and a linseed loaf both from the new Hemsley & Hemsley book, very simple ingredients and super quick to make. I believe both of these are without yeast. Also without dairy, eggs gluten, grain, refined sugar and wheat! They stay moist and toast very well which is a rarity for gf bread!


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