The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Really good Gluten-Free Flax Bread

sonia101's picture

Really good Gluten-Free Flax Bread

I've recently been baking gluten free bread as a friend has been diagnosed with celiac disease and I finally found a really nice recipe

My whole gluten eating family really like this bread, great flavour and can also be used for sandwiches as well as toasting.

I did make a few changes and I also cooked the bread in a dutch oven and found I got much better oven spring in the dutch oven over the pizza stone.

Gluten-Free Flax Bread

All ingredients at room temperature

brown rice flour (120 grams)
tapioca flour (70 grams)
surgham flour (33 grams)
potato starch (80 grams)
cornstarch (37 grams)
flax seed meal (37 grams
xanthan gum (7.5 grams)
active dry yeast (7 grams)
salt (6 grams)
2 eggs
2 egg whites
soda water ( 210 grams)
olive oil (23 grams)
honey (43 grams)
apple cider vinegar (8 grams)

Combine flours, flax, starches, gum, yeast, salt.
In the mixer, combine wet ingredients, then add the dry.
Scrape the sides, and mix on medium for 4-5 minutes.

Pour into a floured bread basket, the dough is really sticky but if you wet your hands you can help shape it

and let rise to top of the basket (took about 80 minutes)I covered the basket with cling wrap

The dough is really light and needs to be handled with great care!!! I put a piece of baking paper onto the top of the bread basket and then covered it with a pizza paddle and gently invert it onto the baking paper. I then gently lifted the baking paper/bread into the dutch oven.

Bake at 220 C / 425 F for about 40 minutes in a dutch oven ( I pre heated the dutch oven for 30 minutes)

 Remove from pan and allow to fully cool before cutting.




Mebake's picture

Looks lovely Sonia! Huge oven spring for a gluten free bread. I always pictured GF breads as dense sandwich style bricks, but your hearth loaf completely changed the way i look at such breads.

I'am glad to know that even Celiac desease patients could enjoy hearth breads.

Nice work!

bartwin's picture

Thanks so much for posting this. i'm going to try it. I, too, never saw a gluten free with this texture and crust! Looks amazing.

sonia101's picture

Thanks :) I must admit I always thought GF bread was like a brick and tasted disgusting also until I started playing around with the different flours and ingredients. Mind you it is really expensive as I'm feeding my sourdough starter everyday, so I have started grinding some of my own flour.

The amount of oven spring in the dutch oven really surprised me compare to my last loaf cooked on a pizza stone. My family can't even tell the difference between my wheat and GF bread anymore lol

This is the recipe above  cooked on the pizza stone, the one is the dutch oven had much softer crumbs, but both loaves were really nice!


Moya Gray's picture
Moya Gray

I'm impressed with your GF BREAD.   I have been doing GF now for about 2 months both in a machine and in the oven, experimenting with mixes and recipes from others.   although I have used different mixtures of flours (brown rice, sorghum, millet, with tapioca, potato and cornstarches) I've not been happy with the outcome. Although my GF loaves have had relatively decent texture, I'm longing for artisanal crust, texture and flavors.  So I began to wonder how I could adapt the no knead  recipes for wheated bread to a GF bread - and then I found your post!  You've answered my question! I'm so impressed with your loaf!    The crust and crumb look fabulous!  Now I'll have to try your recipe and Dutch oven method myself.  Thanks so much!



Moya Gray's picture
Moya Gray

Could you ( or other bakers)  tell me  whether I have calculated the hydration of this recipe correctly?

If I understand this correctly, one would divide the total volume of liquids by the total volume of all the flours/starches together. If this is correct I'm getting a 75% hydration. Is this correct?


Thanks for your help,



sonia101's picture

Hi Moya,

Sorry I would love to help you but I have no idea.

Moya Gray's picture
Moya Gray

Thanks anyway Sonia!

RobynNZ's picture

Hi Sonia

I write to thank you for sharing your GF formula, with particular thanks for the metric conversion.

My sister-in-law hasn't been diagnosed coeliac but has found she does better when she steers clear of regular bread. She has found the GF bread available in the stores here unappetising and expensive. At her home last week I adapted your formula for use in their bread maker (she's a school teacher and has 3 small children - handmade bread just isn't on the schedule). It was just a matter of figuring out the right amount of the 'yeast for breadmaker' that they had in stock.  I found all the 'flours' at a South Asian (Indian) grocery store. The loaf made to the weights you give cost $NZ4.50 for ingredients, 93 cents of that was the xanthan gum. This was about half the price of the loaves of similar weight commercially available here. The first day she was delighted, "this bread tastes wonderful!", she took sandwiches for lunch and happily made toast. I made the dry ingredients up as a premix for her.  A week has gone by so I called her tonight to find out if she was still as pleased. She told me she was so happy she'd felt like texting me everytime she had a slice. She did say that bread she'd sliced sandwich thin and frozen to store, was rather crumbly but that toast from frozen slices was great.  Your bread looks so delicious I imagine that it gets gobbled up and you don't have to think about what storage method will best extend it.  I'm thinking next time I'm over there I might experiment some more and see if perhaps preparing a water roux with maybe some of the rice flour might help. Where I live I don't have access to that range of ingredients or indeed a breadmaker. Do you (or anyone reading this ) have any suggestions for other things I could try? Perhaps I could try soaking the flaxseed meal. I want to keep the method as simple as possible so that she can just put it all in the breadmaker.

I thought I might play round with using baking soda and water rather than soda water too. This seemed to be the major change you made to the 'original' formula (which I haven't tested), what advantage did you find in using soda water?

(The first loaf I made by hand and baked in the oven just to confirm I could achieve the same result as you with the ingredients I'd purchased - I did and it was a good lesson in understanding the nature of the dough - meant I didn't get panicked as I used a torch to spy on the bread as it proofed in the bread maker, even when the first loaf collapsed in there because I used too much yeast, following the manual instructions. Went to yeast manufacturers site and used bakers % to come up with suitable quantity.)

I'm keeping an eye on your sourdough thread in the hope of hearing how that is working out for you.

With thanks again, Robyn

sonia101's picture

Hi Robyn,

So pleased the recipe worked out for you! I've found the soda water helps the dough rise better and from reading on the net people said the crumb was better with soda water, but saying that when I've ran out of soda water I've just used normal water. Boy Xanthan Gum in expensive in New Zealand, I think I'm paying about $4.00 AUD for 100 grams from Coles in Melbourne. Yes you are right, we always seem to finish the loaf so I've never had the need to freeze it.

I actually used this recipe  to make Pretzel rolls for a picnic on the weekend.......I just added a touch more flour so I could shape them and they turned out perfect, nobody even realised they were eating GF Pretzels LOL


RobynNZ's picture

Hi Sonia

And here I was thinking you were in the USA. The pretzel's look great - Picnic at Hanging Roak was it? I lived (and loved living) in Melbourne for a year and one of the treats that year was a trip out to Hanging Rock.

Haven't seen xanthan gum in supermarkets here, but larger volume online sources are somewhat cheaper than the lot I purchased at an intolerance speciality shop. I'll be at my SIL's place this week and so plan to do a bit more experimenting while I'm there. 

Please take a look at your private message box, I'll send a note to you there.

Cheers Robyn

sonia101's picture

Robyn......I'm laughing my head off, we ate the Pretzels on Saturday at Hanging Rock while watching the Rod Stewart concert!!! Small world lol

I'll keep an eye on my messages :)

honeymustard's picture

Thank you so much! I have started baking bread out of my home and--as my friends have requested for years--started charging them for it. But I have a few friends who are starting to request the gluten free stuff, and I wanted to make something different than the bricks offered in the freezer section here, too. This looks like it's exactly what I'm looking for.

Just one question: what is surgham flour? I work at a fairly well stocked health food store; we have lots of GF flours, but I haven't seen this one. If  I can't find it here, are there substitutions I can make?


sonia101's picture


You can normally find it in health food stores and also Bob's Red Mill sell Sorghum

You can also buy it at Indian grocery stores under the name “Juwar flour”

If you can't find it I would suggest reading the recipe ratings on the original link, many people have listed the flours blends that they used.