The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Help with Gluten Free Bread

Ramie's picture

Help with Gluten Free Bread

I have just found out I have Celiac, much to my disappointment, as I had just found this site and was starting to make homemade bread.

But I have found a Gluten Free Flax Bread that tastes very good, but it is a little dry to eat. I really don't have enough experience baking bread to modify recipes and I was wondering if adding more oil, right now it's 2 tbsp. if that would help. I could write out the recipe is someone could help me.

Thank you.

flournwater's picture

Providing the recipe for your flax bread would help, of course.

That said, baking bread is both science and art.  Baking gluten free is science, art and magic.  I cook/bake for people with special dietary needs (celiac and diabetic) and I will testify to the fact that cooking for the diabetic is far less difficult than cooking for the celiac patient.  My recommendation for you is that you embark on your journey into gluten free bread making using Wendy Wark's flour mix formula.

The results won't always be perfect and you'll have to learn to make adjustments from one recipe to the next but, IMO, it's the best foundation for learning the magic in gluten free baking formulation.

Ramie's picture

The recipe is as follows for the Gluten Free Flax Bread

1 1/4 cup gluten free flour - which I bought as is from the bulk store

1/4 cup garava flour

1/2 cup potato starch

1/4 cup cornstarch

1/4 cup flax seed meal

2 1/2 tsp xanthan gum

2 tsp active yeast1 tsp salt

2 eggs

2 egg whites

1 cup water or milk

2 tbsp vegetable oil

2 tbsp honey

2 tsp vinegar

If you could see where I might make adjustments so the bread is not so dry.

Thank you very much.

Ambimom's picture

A study published in February, 2004 in Applied and Environmental Microbiology with the tantalizing title "Sourdough Bread Made from Wheat and Nontoxic Flours and Started with Selected Lactobacilli Is Tolerated in Celiac Sprue Patients," describes the results of an Italian research team which, encouraged by preliminary findings of their earlier work in vitro, designed an in vivo experiment to test their findings. The team's premise was that lactobacilli, chosen for their ability to hydrolyze or sever protein (gliadin) fractions might be key in processing wheat flour so that its toxic properties would be neutralized and therefore not harmful to celiac patients.

flournwater's picture

The title of your post is not accurate. There are many strains of lactobacilli, and the study you list qualified its findings with the words "... Selected Lactobacilli ..." which would not support a generalized statement that "sourdough can be tolerated by celiacs".  There are no degrees of Celiac disease.  But patients do vary in the degree to which they are affected by the symptoms.  I have one associate for whom I cook  who is so severly affected that a measuring spoon used to handle flour in one recipe and then used to measure another ingredient into another "gluten free" recipe is enough to contaminate the food to the extent that she suffers intense discomfort for many days following ingestion of the otherwise "gluten free" recipe.

I would never suggeste that a celiac patient experiment with selected lactobacilli unless under strict medical supervision.

Sam49's picture

Your statement about sourdough and celiac extends beyond the research findings.  I've read it and about a dozen other similar research reports from around the world on the subject.

Certain lactobacilli found in some sourdough starters, when given a 24 hour period to feast on the entire body of dough, not just the starter, will consume close to 100% of the gliadin in the dough and will produce a bread that can be tolerated by some, and maybe a high percentage of, celiac patients.

However, that does not mean that all sourdough starters contain this particular strain of lactobacilli.  Many other strains tested in various research projects consumed a much smaller percentage of the gliadin. 

I was excited when I first saw a summary of this research and a over-generalized conclusion such as yours, because my GF has a moderate wheat intolerance (enough to make her almost completely give up wheat containing products) and her brother is full blown celiac.   When I read deeper, and I have professional training in reading and interpreting statistics based research more sophisticated than these works, I realized that we were a long way from sourdough for celiacs.

If sourdough starters with the right combination of yeast and lactobacilli had been tested and proven to be really reliable for all celiac sufferers AND were readily available to everyone, then the conclusion would be valid. 

We are quite far away from that.

I have no idea what strains of lactobacilli are in my starter, but I know that despite 24 rises of the whole dough, my GF still cannot tolerate more than one half-inch slice of a small diameter baguette per night without bloating sensations.



SydneyGirl's picture


I recently came across this recipe for gluten-free sourdough. I haven't tried it, but it sounds feasible. It seems to be a very standard approach to making sourdough - start with 100g of flour + 100 g of water. After 2 days feed at least twice with a further 100 g each flour/water. 

It is based on this flour mix:

If you can't read German, here is the mix: 


200 g Buckwheat flour

200 g Millet flour

200 g Teff flour

250 g Corn starch

150 g Tapioca starch

6 Tbs Grapeseed flour

2 Tsp Carob flour

2 Tsp Psyllium Husks 


bottleny's picture

Not long ago KA's blog posted a recipe for gluten-free sandwich bread. You can try it.

Ramie's picture

Thanks everyone for the information and recipes.

I haven't made any of the rice flour breads, but I have tried some store bought and while it is tasty, I find to be more like a cake than a bread. Perhap with the brown rice it will be different, so I will try the Wendy Wark flour mix.

Buckwheat flour also sounds interesting.

As well as being Celiac, I am on a lactose free diet, high fibre and Weight Watchers, so it's a challenge.