Monday, October 25, 2010

Barbara's Gluten-free (Almost Whole Wheat) Bread

Fresh Gluten-free Bread, Ready to Bake

I grew up eating homemade whole wheat bread.  Every morning it seemed we ate homemade whole wheat toast.  Every day at school I devoured sandwiches made from homemade whole wheat bread. Even at a young age, when my mom was there, I was there with her in the kitchen mixing yeast and sugar, wiping flour on my face, kneading my little bit of dough while she kneaded 6 loaves of dough at a time.  I learned a lot from mom, one of which was that Whole Wheat Bread is a life essential and that it tastes best when you make it from scratch.   I came to enjoy making bread on my own.  When I went away from home and got my own kitchen, I started making bread for myself.  I would still make 6 loaves at a time, which is a huge amount for one person, but I'd put them in the freezer, and then they'd be ready when I needed them.  I didn't need to make bread too often.  

What I didn't know was all that wheat bread eating was causing my health problems.  It was good whole wheat bread, but it wasn't good for me.  I was over weight, had a cloudy head and was tired all the time.  Since then I have learned that I am gluten intolerant.  Living gluten free has changed my life.  Among other things, I have energy.  I don't need naps all the time.  My head is so much more clear.  And it is easy for me to maintain a healthy weight.  I have learned to be happy without eating bread.  (I really was addicted to it.)  It has been around 13 years since I first went gluten free, but in all this time, I have not found a bread that starts to compare to the bread I used to make.  But I've developed a recipe that comes closer then anything else I've tasted.  And I give thanks to God for making it happen.  All good ideas come from God.

I've learned that there are lots of different kinds of breads out there.  There are lots of ideas on what the perfect bread tastes like.   Only a few people enjoy a vegan whole wheat bread when they are eating gluten, so I can tell you from the start, this bread recipe will be only for a certain group of people who want a plant based bread, containing as many whole grains as possible, with no eggs, milk or refined fats.  This bread will surprise many people because it contains an apple and a stalk of celery, but those two ingredients are very important to the success of the bread, so don't leave them out.  The recipe requires a high quality blender, so if you don't have one, this recipe isn't for you.  But if your desires are similar to mine, I think you will find this bread to be very pleasing.  It rises well compared to other whole grain gluten-free bread recipes I have tried.  And the best of all, this recipe has excellent flavor for a whole grain, plant-based, gluten free bread.   It has been a long time since I've eaten Mom's homemade bread, but this bread gets closer to it then any I've tasted, given my other dietary restrictions.

Go ahead and give it a try.  Follow the directions carefully.  I've learned that many of Mom's rules for making whole wheat bread don't apply here.

Newly Shaped Loaf

Barbara's Gluten Free (Almost Whole Wheat) Bread
By Barbara @
January 2012 Edition

Step 1: First of all, if you keep your yeast in the freezer, get it out early and measure it so it will be room temperature by the time you are ready to add the sweetner and liquid. Then make some flour mix. You will use part or all of the flour mix to make the bread. You could make a large amount of flour mix ahead of time and keep it in the freezer, but make sure it is at room temperature before you mix up the bread.

Flour mix:
2 cups gluten free oat flour (grind in your blender from gluten free oats)
1 cup teff flour
2 cups sorghum flour
½ cup garbonzo or garfava flour
1 ½ cup tapicoa flour/starch
1/4 cup psyllium seed husks
2 Tbsp. EnerG egg replacer
1 Tbsp. xanthan gum

Step 2: In quart sized bowl mix together:
1/2 tsp. honey

1 cup very warm, almost too-hot water
1 Tbsp. yeast
Let set 'til foamy

Step 3: In blender combine:
1 fuji apple, medium to small in size, cored and sliced
2 large stalks of celery
¾ cup walnuts
1 cup flax seeds
1 tsp. rose hip powder (If you don't have this, You can sub 1-2 Tbsp. lemon juice, but the rose hip powder yields a little better result. This is to put an acid in the recipe.)
3 tsp salt
2 tsp. blackstrap molasses
3 cups warm water
Blend until thick and foamy. Then add to yeast mixture, when the yeast is ready. 

Step 4: (The first thing I need to remind you of is that this is not wheat bread, and therefore you will not follow the rules for making wheat bread.) When the yeast mixture is good and foamy, place the ingredients in the blender and the yeast mixture in  large bowl and mix well with a whisk or wooden spoon. Now add 2 cups of the flour mixture made in step 1 (above).  Mix until well combined, but don't over mix.  Add more flour mix, cup by cup, stirring well, until dough is dry enough to knead on the counter (probably about 2 -3 cups of flour mix), but still sticky. You may not need all the flour mix for one recipe. Scrape the dough out onto the flour covered counter and then spread some flour on top of the bread. Gently work the bread, turning it under and around. Do not work it hard like wheat bread. Work in just enough flour so you can handle it and shape it into loaves.  Your hands will still be sticky.  This is one of the major secrets of this bread, put in just enough flour to form loaves and work it in completely, but don't over work it, but do not work in too much flour, or over work the dough, or it will be heavy bread. Remember you are not working to activate gluten fibers in the bread, as there is none, but rather to just mix the bread well. It really does not take too long to do this.
Step 5: Shape into two loaves, and placed in oiled bread pans.  Cover and let rise for 30 minutes. 
Step 6: Place bread on a low rack in a cold oven set for 350 degrees Fahrenheit.  Bake for 90 – 100 minutes.

Cool and Ready to Slice
Step 7:  After the bread is baked, let it cool. It is quite sticky at first, but will be more firm the next day. It is best to keep it in the refrigerator.  If you aren't going to eat it right away, slice the bread and then store it in a zip bag in the freezer, taking out only as much as you need at a time, and letting it thaw to make sandwiches, or toasting it in a gluten free toaster, (so as to avoid contamination from gluten crumbs).


  1. This is such a different recipe then I have seen or tried. I don't have all the ingredients yet, but plan to try it soon. Thanks for posting the recipe and pictures.

  2. I will try this for my older son...the younger is also allergic to oats, nuts, and garbanzos.

  3. I have a hard time getting Fuji apples locally. What type of apple would you recommend using, if I can't get any Fuji apples. Also,I'm allergic to walnuts. If I substituted pecans, would it make much difference?


  4. First of all, yes, I think it would work if you try a different nut. Let us know how pecans work. I think it should be just fine. If you can't get Fuji apples, try using something else. I just did some searching around on the web concerning apples and pectin and learned that under ripe apples have more pectin then over ripe apples. Green colored apples may have more then red colored apples. Jonagold apples are supposed to have some the highest amounts of pectin. So see what you can get in your produce section, and let us know how it works.

    I really find this interesting, because I think I did not have as good of a success with my bread when my Fuji apples started getting soft. I may try a crisp yellow delicious or Granny Smith next time I can't get a good Fuji.

  5. In the last post, you answered what apples do, but I was wondering what the celery and the psyllium seed husks do.

  6. Celery adds amazing flavor to the bread. It tastes really blah without it. I know it sounds strange, but it is a very important part of the excellent flavor of this bread, that is really missed when it isn't there. Psyllium seed husks help with binding gluten free bread together. I haven't experimented with leaving out the phylium seed husks, so I don't know what happens when it isn't there. It works with it though.

  7. One more comment about the celery. I believe in God and He helps me often when I face a challenge. I had a gluten free bread recipe developed by another person with similar goals in bread, but the flavor was really blah. I needed something that tasted lively, and more like whole wheat bread. So I decided to pray about my bread making and asked God what I should do. After praying the thought of adding celery was impressed on my mind. Now, I've never imagined that someone might put celery in bread, but decided that I should try it. Wow! The flavor of the next batch of bread was greatly improved. From there I continued to make changes until I have the bread that I have today.

    But now my dad, a former baker at a deli, is here, and making bread with us. He is working on some more modifications of the recipe, including an improved way of handling the yeast. When we start getting consistent results and are finished with our experimenting, we we post the results.

  8. Another comment about psylium seed husks. If you can't find them in your local store, you can often get them in the pharmacy. Many people take them for fiber. So go to the fiber section, and read labels until you find one with just psylium seed husks. I know it sounds funny, but it is a real food item used by many people to aid regularity because of it's high fiber content.

  9. I also read that you could substitute psyllium seed husk with unflavored metamucil. I also found out that people could have sensitivity to Xanthum gum, which I think I do,so I made a batch without, and it turned out just great. In another post that I read from a baker, she puts her yeast right in with the dry ingredients. No proofing at all. Puts the dry ingredients into a mixing bowl, turns it on, and slowly pours in all the wet ingredients. It raised really well.

  10. your bread looks amazing. i'd make it but i'm allergic to oats!!

  11. Too bad about the oats allergy. I haven't tried this bread without oats, but it might be worth a try for you. See what happens when you make it with your favorite flour replacing the oat flour. It might not be quite the same, but it likely will still taste great, and be better then store bought bread. Let us know how it works if you try it.

  12. Hi Barbara, We spoke at GYC ... As promised, I want to pass along a link to 3 great recipes that I've been making. Millet Bread, Honey Buckwheat, and Sorghum. They are simple and delicious. Enjoy! The author of the recipes gave me a substitute for the eggs in the millet and buckwheat recipe: 30 grams of ground chia seed and 50 extra grams of water for a one loaf recipe. Let me know how the recipes work for you! Annie Morgan

    1. Thank you Annie, I am looking forward to trying these recipes. I'll let you know how they work for me.

  13. I made this bread and love it. It is so moist and spongy, completely unlike most gluten free breads, more similar to a few rare gluten free store bought millet versions. I will be making it again, in fact i just bought celery and apples so i'll be ready!

  14. Hi, nice post. Well what can I say is that these is an interesting and very informative topic. Thanks for sharing your ideas, its not just entertaining but also gives your reader knowledge. Good blogs style too, Cheers!
    Gluten free, wheat free bread is considered to be much healthier for your body and it tastes great when used for delicious sandwiches.
    - The wheat free bread

  15. I am really enjoying this bread! Here's a photo i posted on Facebook with these comments, "Eating gluten free for the past year or so has helped me feel really good so that i haven't worried about missing any gluten. But when in tried my friend Barbara's "almost whole wheat bread", i was happily surprised that it really is just what she says! This is one i'll be making again, and again. If you eat gluten free or have any reason to bake for someone who does, here's the recipe:"


So glad to share good recipes with you. Your comments will help improve the recipes. If you have a question, be sure to ask. If you try a recipe, be sure to come back and let us know how it worked for you. Always remember that taste buds do change and with time a person can learn to really love unfamiliar foods.