The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Wheat free

Mako's picture

Wheat free

I'll start this discussion since I asked for the category.

I'm lookin for any books/resources for wheat free baking, after making a dozen loaves of bread for Thanksgiving I come to find out yesterday that I'm allergic to wheat.  bummer.


is there a BBA for alternative breads?


clazar123's picture

There have been so many requests for breads that address so many different needs.What a great idea to have this as a separate forum.I have friends that have allergies and will be curious to see what develops here.

Linzq's picture

I too, am very interested to see what develops here... while I don't have any intolerances mysellf, a few good friends are on gluten-free diets, and I like to be able to feed them.

While testing out some gluten-free recipes, I have discovered that I really like the flavours of other grains in baked goods (eg. amaranth, buckwheat, and brown rice flours) like muffins, etc. -- I can only imagine how delicious they'd be in breads.

ladychef41's picture

My best friend found out he had celiac less than a year ago. I have been working on coming up with some bread recipes for him since that's what he seems to miss most. In my experimenting, I have purchased a couple of books to use as "references". Have also made some of the recipes from Bette's book and have had OK results.

The books I have at this time are;

The Gluten-Free Gourmet Bakes Bread by Bette Hagman

She also has other GF books available. You can find most of her books online at Ebay or Amazon


My most recent purchase; or actually a gift from a friend that works at CIA is;

Gluten-Free Baking with The Culinary Institute of America by Richard J Coppedge Jr.

The recipes in these book are quite interesting and I am making one of the cookie recipes from the CIA book today. The only drawback to these books I see is that they both use different flour "blends". The CIA book has 5 different blends and Hagmans has 4. I know they all serve their purpose, but seeing as the ingredients for GF are SO expensive, it's a little daunting to think about having to invest so much in just "flour mixes". And most recipes call for a combination of these "blends", so it's not like you can decide you like one particular "blend" and stick with it. Hopefully, with GF becoming more popular, "flour" ingredients will come down in price a bit and make them more affordable.

I've made Hagman's "New French Bread" and added some herbs to it, and it turned out pretty darn good...

But these are 2 books I would recommend.




Carol Rain's picture
Carol Rain

Hi Wendy; I have some recipies I've developed on my own for quick breads, cookies, muffins, (and an excellent fruit/nut cake) and a list of regular foods that I've managed to live on for the last fifteen years and stay in excellent health (as long as I stay on the diet) if you're still interested (I've just found this site).

I have Celiac and many allergies that seem to come with the territory that make eating normal food virtually impossible. I'm allergic to any form of grain (including spelt, barley etc.) and rice, dairy products, eggs, soy, chocolate, cinnamon, bananas, apples, oranges, meats, potatoes...........I cried a lot for the first year because just plain old eating became a major chore never mind the difficulties of socializing and everyone thinking I'm crazy.

My baking is therefore; grain free, dairy free, egg free and I try for low sugar. For all of my baking I SIMPLY USE CHICK PEA FLOUR also known as garbanzo bean flour. To make the flour "hang" together I add a couple of heaping tablespoons of TAPIOCA FLOUR/STARCH to two cups of chick pea flour, this seems to act like gluten would. Then the regular ingredients; baking powder etc. Make sure the baking powder, baking soda etc is also wheat free (find it at health food stores)- you'd be shocked as to what products wheat is added to - for bulking up volume = $$$ for the manufacturer. Another additive is the "silicon" they put in with salt because it prevents it from not clumping, but tell me who really wants to eat silicon?

I'm going to explore "real" bread making soon - haven't had time so far - too busy living.

The East Indian names for chick pea/garbanzo flour are chana, besan or gram (not to be confused graham) - but I would still make sure it's PURE chick pea flour. The reason I'm giving these East Indian names is because East Indian owned stores (where I live) or supermarkets that cater to the East Indian community are the most affordable places to buy the flour. Health food stores will have it also (they will call it organic) and charge a heck of a lot more, they probably buy from the same sources as well.

If you want any recipes just ask.


Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

That is made in Germany.  Hammer Mühle ( They have quite an assortment of glutenfree mixes.  I bought their Mehl-Mix hell (hell means light) for white bread and contains starch (potato & corn) flour (corn & rice) and guarkernmehl (E412 much like xanthum gum  E415).  Claims to be free from wheat starch, milk, egg and soja.  Got on sale half price for €1.94 per kilo.  Their site sell several types of mixes some include not only rice but chestnut flour, and teff.


Janknitz's picture

Has some GF recipes--I haven't tried any of them personally, but I have heard from a few people who did  that they're pretty good. 

Mako's picture

I'm sure that gluten free is equivalent in bread baking circles but apparently my allergy is to wheat, not gluten... 


I'll have to see, thanks for the info, time to look up King A for all my alt.grain needs


I usually buy 50 pound bags of wheat montana (1 bag white, 1 bag wheat) at the local wheat montana store (bakery and deli I'm lucky).  The price will be a shock.



CatieB's picture

Dear Mako,

I also am an, "I am allergic/intolerant of wheat, but gluten is ok for me" individual. I had the IgG, IgA, and IgE testing, which revealed an accurate diagnosis of my issues with this grain. I can use Rye, Barley, Wheat free Oats (sometime cross contamination makes oats unsuitable, so I buy certified gluten free oats. They do not contain wheat or gluten in the grain.)

Out of desperation I have had to buy gluten free products or bake some which are usually loaded with starches to make up for the structure needed for rising and tenderness. I ended up with the proverbial "beer belly" or "carb belly" as it is now called I have never had a belly in my whole life! I have worked to lose weight I gained going gluten free, as well as the belly, and now have a handle on lowering carbs when baking.

I would love to find bread recipes that use these three grains, as well as all the other artisan or ancient grains used or centuries. They are delightful and I have enjoyed using them. But I need to be able to bake a good loaf of whole grain bread in a Zojurushi machine, or can use my mixer to mix up complex doughs.

One of the best books out there for new GF or celiac people is by Dr. Stephen Wangen, Healthier Without Wheat. It answered so many questions, laid out exactly the differences, and has an organizational 'tree' of grains, showing the earlier generations, and which ones are wheat free, or gluten free, or are earlier sources of wheat. Very helpful. 

I am now researching this site I just joined. Does anyone have any wisdom, recipes or tips to share?

I would appreciate any new ideas. I have tried many already, but I am still searching for a satisfying bread and pizza crust!




clazar123's picture

If you have a true wheat allergy,you may need to be aware of how you will react to grains in the same taxonomic family as wheat-ie genetically related to wheat, such as rye and barley.And beware the claims that spelt and kamut can be substituted without worry.They are very closely related to wheat and an almost no one with a wheat allergy can substitute them.Even if they can initially, they usually develop allergy symptoms in short order.Now they have more things they react to.

This is a little technical but actually reading in between all the tech jargon provides a pretty good summary. Wheat allergy and celiac (gluten intol) are very closely related in terms of what triggers the symptoms and sometimes both allergy and celiac can be triggered by non-wheat proteins in other grains that are very similar to the wheat protein that causes your symptoms now.So as far as practical suggestions on what to eat or avoid, follow celiac recommendations since the triggers are almost identical.There is a difference in wheat allergy but the difference is usually what happens at the cellular level.

"All grasses not in the tribe, Triticeae, were consequently classified as safe, including rice, corn, various millets, ragi, teff, Job's tears, wild rice, and oats (see attachment III). Plants that did not fall in the grass family, such as the dicotyledenous plants, which are very distantly related to the grass family, would be highly unlikely to have seed proteins toxic in celiac disease. Some of the dicot seeds of interest include all beans, buckwheat, quinoa, and amaranth."

Wheat,rye and barley are from related families.(Look at the illustrations at the bottom of the page in the link). Oats are from a different but very similar family (protein-wise).There are other grains that are more distantly related that are safer for people with celiac or allergy to eat.

The family trees give a great visual representation.And this is the kind of article where you highlight the gems buried in each paragraph-just the author's writing style.

I'm glad this new forum topic started.There are many people that can benifit.Bread comes in many forms!

ladychef41's picture

VERY interesting and enlightening article. Thank you very much for posting the link!



CVG's picture

I am new to this site, so I haven't explored all the forums quite yet.

I am looking for a source of European flours, as I may have an allergy to US-produced flours (not sure of all the details yet--just starting this inquiry with my doctor--but wheat-based foods in Europe never bother me the way they sometimes do here). So I would love to find a source for Spanish or French flours. Any suggestions?

Many thanks.


Mako's picture


I'd reccommend you start a new thread for this question :)

I'd look at Bobs Red Mill -

or you could always get someone to freight you 22 kilos of flour (~50 pounds)


Carol Rain's picture
Carol Rain

Hi Charles; I have Celiac and many allergies that seem to come with the territory that make eating normal food virtually impossible. I'm allergic to any form of grain including spelt, barley, rice etc.

Now here's an episode similar to yours; I live on the West coast of Canada and once visited the East coast in mid January. West coast climate is usually very mild - sweater weather but damp feeling. Prince Edward Island in January is very, very cold - at least to a "wet coaster" it is. While I was there (2 weeks) I didn't seem to react to any of the foods that I normally can sneak only a tiny bit of before I feel ill or break out in hives, so needless to say I went to town and even drank alcohol which is totally off limits for me normally.

How I feel this little "holiday" (in the best sense of the word) possibly happened is explained in a small book called; Allergies - Disease in Disguise" by Carolee Bateson-Koch (Amazon has it).

She describes the immune system reacting to allergies as; picture a glass of water filled to the very top and then some - you've seen how the water surface can look convex created by surface tension - and one more drop will make it overflow as if a dam has broken. Imagine your immune system as the glass filling up with allergic substances that it has to handle and when a really big one is added it just instantly overflows (different substances will illicit different strengths of reactions).

So when you are taken out of your "normal" living conditions; house allergens, external air pollen type/count, exhaust fumes, water source, every day North American diet choices etc. your glass of water may not be as full when you are in an entirely different environment - lower load on your immune system. Therefore you can handle wheat when you are away (until your body possibly builds up more allergies to it's environment again).

Warning about allergy testing; I've been tested 3 different ways and only the old fashioned "making you into a human pin cushion of 10 - 20 years ago" way seemed to be accurate for me. The other two methods tried to tell me I wasn't allergic to anything when I know I am (almost ending up in a hospital a few times is tell tale).

Hope this helps.






ladychef41's picture

Great info from everyone..


Carol, I would love to have any recipes you have and care to part with. I just did my first order of GF Snickerdoodles for a customer today and they went over quite well. I found out about the Indian "flours" quite by accident and realized how much cheaper they were. There is also a "health food" store up here by my bakery that sells a lot of the GF ingredients in bulk and is actually much cheaper than any I've found!

Any recipes are appreciated that anyone cares to offer!



nancys's picture

Great information. Thanks for the information about chick-pea flour.  

I have been looking for GF recipes for my daughter who is teaching kids, some of whom have food allergies.  Another site for gluten free bread recipes is:

There is some discussion of flour substitutes, and several categories for GF recipes including breads.  You should be able to cook your way through any day without seeing a single wheat berry; )