The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Gluten Free baking

shuttervector's picture

Gluten Free baking

Dear Group,

A friend of mine was diagnosed with a serious allergy to gluten and needs to find some decent recipes. Thanks in advance for any recipes I could bake for her.


flournwater's picture

Inasmuch as you're listing your question of this forum, I suspect you're looking for gluten free bread recipes.

I believe I still have a pretty good gluten free bread recipe that uses Wendy Wark's gluten free flour mix.

I'll try to find it and post it later today.  Just keep in mind that if you thought working with standard recipes using conventional types of flour was difficult, you ain't seen nothin' yet.  My experience with gluten free baking has convinced me that an error as small as a tablespoon of ingredients or two minutes in timing will cause a crash and burn result.

Update: 080609

Take a look at your message file.  That recipe might work for you.

ejm's picture

flournwater wrote:

Update: 080609

Take a look at your message file.  That recipe might work for you.

I wonder if you could post the recipe (or link) for others who come in here with a similar question. Thank you!


flournwater's picture

This recipe was given to me by a close friend (a celiac patient) and it works quite well.

Easy French Bread
3/4 cup white rice flour
2/3 cup cornstarch
2/3 cup tapioca flour
2 tsp potato flour
2-1/2 tsp xanthan gum
2 tsp Egg replacement (packaged egg substitute, flax seed, banana, etc.)
1 tsp salt
2 tsp unflavored gelatin
1/3 cup dry milk powder (or some other non-diary product as a substitute)
1 tbsp granulated sugar
1-1/4 cups warm water (110 degrees)
1 tbsp active dry yeast
1 tsp white vinegar
2 egg whites
1-1/2 Tbsp vegetable oil
Lightly grease two 14-inch French loaf pans or one cookie sheet.  Dust witih cornmeal and set aside.
Place the dry ingredients (up to but not including the dry milk powder) in the bowl of your stand mixer.
Dissolve the sugar in the warm water, stir in the yeast, and set aside to proof.
When the yeast has proofed and has nearly doubled in bulk, add the yeast, vinegar, egg whites and vegetable oil to the dry ingredients in the stand mixer,  and mix with the paddle attachment on low speed until all ingredients are combined.  Increase mixer speed to high and beat for 3 minutes.  Spoon the slack dough into the prepared loaf pans or onto the prepared cookie sheet in two French bread loaf shapes.  Wet your fingers and lightly brush them over the tops of the loaves to smooth, then slash each loaf diagonally in three or four evenly spaced points along it's length. Place empty glasses or other objects around the perimeter of each loaf and allow to rise in warm location until double in size. This will take about 30 - 35 minutes if you use rapid rise yeast, about an hour with active dry yeast.
Bake in preheated 400-degree oven for 15 minutes.  then turn oven to 350 degrees and bake 30 minutes more.  Makes two 10-inch loaves.
We often mix up the dry ingredients and keep on hand in a zip-lock bag.  This makes bread making a shorter task as the measuring is done ahead of time.  This recipe tastes very much like regular flour bread.  A variation of this recipe can be used for pizza crust, which is made ahead and par-baked for 10 minutes or so, and finished off when ready to add toppings and bake....

ejm's picture

Thank you! This is great to have.

Just a note, my dad has been advised by his doctor to be on the safe side and use only cider vinegar.

This is a controversial issue though:

For the person with celiac disease there is obviously no problem with the use of cider or wine vinegar. We have recently demonstrated that, contrary to views held by some, there is no detectable amount of gluten (prolamin) in distilled alcohol. There can therefore be no possibility of gluten in distilled white vinegar which contains acetic acid equivalent to about 4% alcohol. Celiacs should therefore have no cause for concern about distilled white vinegar or foods such as pickles and condiments which may contain it.

-excerpt from Canadian Celiac Association: Celiac News (


I emailed Kroger about their Distilled White Vinegar. The dietician left a voicemail and said that at least 90% of the grain used is corn. However, the remaining 10% can be wheat or other grains. After final distillation, the vinegar is gluten-free and even certified gluten-free by a Celiac Disease Association. The dietician did say that 10% of the population (I assume the celiac population) does react to the vinegar. In that case, she highly recommends using apple cider vinegar for recipes.

-excerpt from Info On Kroger Distilled White Vinegar (

Personally, I'd rather not be responsible for making my dad sick so I'll use cider vinegar rather than white vinegar....


flournwater's picture

Thank you for the additional information.  That's something I had no prior knowledge about.

I have come to the conclusion that Celiac, much like diabetes, has many variations and that no single approach to ingredients in recipes applies to everyone in either case.  What I typically do is prepare a dish and give the recipe (I even include copies of nutritional information from the labels of the prepared commercial ingredients that I might have used) to the person to ensure that they know exactly what's in the mix before they consume any of it.  One friend of mine, a Celiac patient, is so sensitive that she can't even have gluten free bread that's been cut with a knife or bread slicer that was previously used (and not yet washed) to cut regular breads. 

ejm's picture

Here are some of the FreshLoaf threads on this subject that may help:

To find others, try using the search engine on the sidebar to the left.

HOpe that helps.


PiperBaker's picture

Flournwater is absolutely correct:  when you go into the realm of gluten free, seemingly "minor" errors more often than not turn into major issues.  If a recipe says "mix for 9 minutes 25 seconds,"  then you need to mix for the full amount of time, and not a second more.  OK, I exaggerate, but not much.  Once you have a really good feel, then you can begin to deviate from the recipe to try and improve it.  Just be ready to accept more spectacular failures than with regular flour.  Then again, when the bread actually comes out after you've tweaked it, it is more rewarding.

Once I get home I'll post a recipe I've used with success out of the Laurel's Kitchen Bread Book.  The other recipes above also seem like they'd be successful, based on my experience.

Good luck.

PiperBaker's picture

As promised:  

6 cups (900g) brown rice flour

1 tablespoon (16.5g) salt

2 2/3 cup (635 ml) tepid water


4 tsp (14g) active dry yeast

½ cup (120 ml) warm water


2 Tbs (30 ml) honey

¼ cup (60g) oil


¼ cup (28g) methocel—

            This is a gum extracted from cellulose fiber.  I used xanthan gum (derived from corn), but only 20 grams of it, since some people are sensitive to it and it causes gastro-intestinal distress.




Mix the rice flour and salt, and make a well in the middle.  Pour in the water, mixing gradually from the center outward.  [The goal is to get everything wet, and this method is pretty sure to do it.]  Once everything is moistened, beat vigorously for 10 minutes with a wooden spoon or an electric beater at medium speed to smooth and aerate the batter.


Let this mixture stand at room temperature from 12-18 hours.  [This is very important!  It hydrates the starch in the rice flour, which will enable it to form a matrix that gives a light crumb.] 


Preheat oven to 350F


Dissolve the yeast in warm water.  Stir the yeast solution, then the honey and oil into the now-soaked rice flour mixture and mix thoroughly by hand or machine until completely smooth and uniform.  Add the methocel (or xanthan gum) and mix thoroughly again; the dough will become very stiff. 


Spoon into three well-greased 8x4 loaf pans.  Wet your fingers with water or oil and smooth the tops.  Keep the loaves in a warm and humid place to rise, until the batter reaches the top of the pans.   Keep a close watch and as soon as the first tiny pinholes appear in the surface of the loaf, pop into the oven.  Bake for about 45 minutes, or until done.  Allow to cool completely before slicing. 

Scottyj's picture

Here is a gluten free web site for you to look at. I got it from

Here is the site.

Hope this helps.

jbaudo's picture

Bob's Red Mill has a GF baking and biscuit mix that I have used and it works wonderfully.  I have subsituted it directly for flour in some of my old recipes with excellent results.  The key is to have a really great recipe to start with.  Also always add xanthan gum or guar gum to the flour mix if it isn't already included in the ingredients. This gives it gluten like properties.  Bob's Red Mill also makes a really delicious GF cornbread mix that I have come to like better than the real thing. I have tried making my own baking mixes but they aren't always reliable.  Sometimes they work great and sometimes not.  Plus the specialty flours can get quite expensive so take this into consideration when you see that the GF baking mix is $3-5.  I have found that because the mixes are reliable and I don't have to mix and measure that they are worth it.

I am not sure what recipes you are looking to make specifically but I have a few tried and true one's that I can share if you want.  I have recipes for brownies, gluten-free sandwich bread, banana nut muffins, meatballs, spice cookies.  I may have more but I can't think of them right now.  I have also used several recipes from with success.  The dutch pancake is a favorite in our house  - my husband says it tastes more like a custard than a pancake but that is why he loves it so much!  Let me know if you want any of the recipes that I listed above and I will email them to you. Or if you had something else in mind let me know, I may havea recipe for that too.