Wednesday, June 6, 2012

44 Ratio Rally: Gluten Free White Bread

This month's Ratio Rally is bread! Gluten free bread, one of the hardest baked goods to produce gluten free. I've had many attempts in the past few years to make a good gluten free bread with a comparable texture and crust to wheat bread. This recipe is the closest thing that I've made to conventional wheat bread. Thank you to Karen for hosting this month, and being so helpful in this recipe! Check her post here. Now, onto the ratio:
(and yeast)

Now this ratio may seem really simple, but don't be fooled. The types of gluten free starches use can definitely affect the texture. For example, use primarily potato starch, and you'll end up with a heavier, dense bread. A good gluten free flour blend for bread will need a mix of heavy and lighter starches.

For this recipe, I decided to use a blend of sweet rice flour, potato starch, tapioca flour, and millet flour. I also normally try to avoid xantham gum for my ratio rally posts, but I decided to include it in this recipe for some added structure since I've had difficulty with breads in the past.

Onto my tips/lessons learned from the ratio rally this month. Here's the three big ones:
1. Don't worry about kneading gluten free bread dough. In practically any traditional bread recipe, the instructions will guide you to knead your dough. Don't worry about it for gluten free's practically impossible to do, and all I've ever ended up with is a texturally tough dough after adding all the starch needed for it to hold some form during kneading.
2. Eggs are your friends. Eggs can work wonders in lightening up sandwich bread, it works wonders to aerate the dough.
3. Steam in an oven = CRUST. If you bake your bread in an environment where it's exposed to steam, it will produce a lovely, mouth-watering golden crust. I don't fully understand the science behind why, but believe me, steam works all sorts of wonders. I detail this in the recipe, but you can produce this by placing a pan in the oven while it preheats, and then add water to the pan when you put the dough into the oven to bake.

Also, in some of these pictures, you'll see that I've added some toppings. Before placing the small rolls in the oven, I sprinkled some herbs such as thyme, oregano, and basil on top for a aromatic topping. Feel free to experiment will all sorts of toppings to find your favorite. Also, for the recipe behind the french toast pictured above, check out my recipe that I posted last week, here.

Be sure to check everyone's recipes below!

~Aunt Mae (aka ~Mrs. R) | Honey From Flinty Rocks | Millet Chia Bread & Variations
Adina | Gluten Free Travelette | Seedy Sandwich Bread
Angela | Angela's Kitchen Our Family's Basic |  Gluten Free Dairy Free Bread
Brooke | B & the boy! | Buckwheat-Oat Bread
Charissa | Zest Bakery | Cherry Pecan Pot Bread, Gluten Free
Claire | This Gluten-Free Life | German Vollkornbrot (Seeded Bread)
Erin | The Sensitive Epicure | English Sandwich Bread (gluten-free & egg-free)
Jenn | Jenn Cuisine | Gluten Free Boule
Jonathan | The Canary Files | Gluten-Free, Vegan Mediterranean Soda Bread
Karen | Cooking Gluten Free | Gluten Free Sandwich Bread and Gluten Free Naan
Meaghan | The Wicked Good Vegan | Vegan Gluten-Free Bread
Meg | Gluten-Free Boulangerie | Ciabatta (gluten-free, egg-free/vegan)
Monika | Chew on This! | amaranth skillet flatbreads, amaranth mini pita rounds
Morri | Meals with Morri | No Knead Sun-dried Tomato & Basil Flatbread (yeast free & grain free) 
Pete & Kelli | No Gluten, No Problem | Gluten-Free Challah
Rachel / The Crispy Cook  | Gluten Free Chickpea Sandwich Bread
Tara | A Baking Life Gluten-Free Sandwich Bread & Boule

Gluten Free White Bread
Active Prep Time: 20 minutes
Inactive Prep Time: 3 hours
Bake Time: 55 minutes

12 oz warm water
1 tsp yeast
2 tsp salt

2 eggs
1 tbsp oil
2 tbsp honey

7 oz sweet white rice flour
5 oz potato starch
5 oz tapioca flour
3 oz millet flour
1 tsp baking powder
2 tsp xantham gum

In a medium bowl, combine the water, yeast, and salt. Let sit for 5 minutes.

To the water, whisk in the eggs, oil, and honey. Whisk in the rest of the ingredients until well combined. Tightly cover with plastic wrap, and cover with a towel. Let sit for 3 hours. Expect the following before and after in terms of rising volume:

Distribute the dough into a greased bread pan, and cover again. Place a pan with about 1 inch height into the lower rack of an oven, and preheat to 450F. Once preheated, place the bread in the oven, and about 1 cup water into the pan on the lower rack. Close the oven and bake for 10 minutes at 450F. Reduce the temperature to 375F, and bake for another 45 minutes.

Enjoy, and be sure to consume the bread within 2 days or else it will go stale. Once cooled, store in an airtight container.


  1. This looks wonderful and airy, and perfect for French toast!!

    1. Yeah! I forgot how good fresh bread is compared to store-bought.

  2. Looks beautiful!! I was diagnosed with Celiac in November and I still haven't tackled homemade bread.... I'd love to try this, but I don't have millet flour. Do you think there's a good substitute for it? If not, I might have to go on a special mission to find it.... :-)

    1. Substitutes I'd recommend are buckwheat flour (I know, sounds like it has gluten, but it doesn't!) or sorghum flour. Hope that you've had an easy time adjusting in the past few months!

    2. Ooh! I have sorghum flour! I'll try it and let you know how it comes out. Thanks so much!

    3. Awesome! I didn't try it with sorghum flour in this recipe, but its normally a really good substitute for millet. Excited to hear how it turns out!

  3. Ah... dinner rolls! These look fabulous. Simple, risen, tasty goodness! YUM.

    1. Yup! My loaf pan is a little small (haven't used it in years, so I forgot how small it is), so I baked the extra batter in some ramekins to make dinner rolls!

  4. My goodness, this looks good. Like pb&j good. Like grilled cheese good. Like cinnamon toast good.

    Okay, now I'm hungry again.

    Beautiful job.

  5. My husband has instructed me to bake up your bread recipe, and PRONTO! Great job for the Ratio Rally.

  6. I also use steam in the oven for baking bread, it does make a nice crust - congrats TR, beautiful looking loaf!

  7. Great tips. We always do the pan method at the bakery for the baguettes. It really does work wonders!

    1. Thanks! Its amazing what a little steam is able to do!

  8. Awesome post, TR! Informative, accessible, and positively droolworthy. :)

  9. I am also alergic to potatos so can't use the potato starch...any suggestions for what to use instead of that?

    1. I'm thinking you could probably try substituting half arrowroot, half tapioca for the potato starch. That would be the first substitute I would try.

  10. Ah, bread....its a tough one in the gluten free diet. I have struggled to make the perfect bread. I am getting better. I'll try this recipe! Thanks for linking up at our Gluten Free Fridays recipe party! We had over 120 recipes! :) Thanks for making it a huge success! I have tweeted and pinned your recipe to the Gluten Free Fridays recipe board on Pinterest! :) Hope that you'll join us next week! Cindy

    1. I definitely will! I'm excited to see how it grows!

  11. Has anyone tried this recipe in a bread maker?

    1. I personally haven't, I don't have one so I haven't experimented with bread makers for gluten free bread.

  12. Do you have an egg substitute recommendation?

    1. Not any that I know of, I'll talk to one of my friends who is egg free and see what they use.

    2. I've heard that ground flax seed makes an excellent substitute for eggs. (I tbsp + 3 tbsp water = 1 egg)

  13. Hello. thanks for the tips and can't wait to try it. So many g.f. bread recipes don't require one to proof the year first like for wheat bread. Maybe your method makes the difference for lightness and rising. Can't wait to try.
    Question: Does the bread freeze well?

    1. I've found that it does, as long as it thaws in the refrigerator.

  14. just from observation...has anyone tried doing this recipe like making a mousse?or perhaps soufflee?..I have just recently as in two days ago realized that i can no longer have wheat products....I guess im looking hard for substitutes...

  15. Any idea why no matter what gluten free bread recipe I make, the outside is done but the inside is doughy? Help! Suddenly gf and two lunches to pack....boys need their pb&j!

    1. Hey! So here's my potential ideas:

      1. It could be the ratio of flour to the other ingredients. Depending on the gluten free flour blend you use, you may have to adjust the ratio to the other ingredients if using a traditional wheat recipe.

      2. It could be something related to the temperature of the oven?

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