Fluffy White Bread, Gluten free, Vegan Recipe

 Fluffy, white, soft, flexible, light gluten-free bread. I've been using this recipe for about 10 years.  It's the recipe I pull out when I'm baking for a gluten eating crowd, because people always love it.  When my niece was young she would only eat white bread.  She could eat half a boule on her own.  Now I think she'd old enough that she only restrains herself out of politeness.  But that's how I know when something is really good, is when a kid who's too young to be polite, and normally eats gluten bread, will devour half a loaf.


 

I've tried many variations on this recipe.  It rarely fails, even with some wild ideas I've had.  I always get a really good rise and the dough is really nice to work with.  It's kneadable and shapeable.  If you're new to gluten-free but know bread baking, this is the recipe that you should start out with to try gluten-free because the process is relatively "normal."  It's a double rise, and it uses some techniques I learned growing up for how to let the bread rise, degas, shape, and bake.

Why two rises?  Some say that gluten-free bread can't do a double rise.  The reason this seems to be so is that some binders like xanthan gum can become compressed with additional handling.  Also, gf flour seems to run out of food for the yeast more quickly than wheaten flour.  In this recipe, I only use psyllium husk as the binder because it doesn't lose its elasticity with kneading.  I also have you set aside some of the flour mix to add in later on the second rise so the yeast doesn't run out of fuel.

Whole Psyllium Husk

First, a look at psyllium.  This is the gluten replacement in this recipe, the thing that will make the dough kneadable and flexible enough to rise.  If you're really looking for a white loaf, the type and brand of psyllium you use are important to the color.  Some brands can discolor the bread and lend them a red or purple tint. Here are my two recommendations for a truly white psyllium that can be found on Amazon USA:

- Terrasoul Psyllium Husk Powder


- Himalaya Organic Psyllium Whole Husk

If you would like the bread to have the finest, lightest crumb use the powder.  If you want to add some extra nutritional content to the bread with a very minimal difference in texture, use the whole husk.


Fluffy White Boule Bread Recipe

Egg free, dairy free, vegan, gluten free, rice free

makes one 2-lb round loaf
Mix time: 10 minutes
Rise time: 2-3 hours
Cook time: 35-45 minutes

Mix the flour blend in the bowl of a stand mixer or a large bowl and then set aside 75 grams for the second rise. 450g flour:

  • 100g GF Oat flour (or substitute: sorghum flour)
  • 50g millet flour (proso millet)
  • 150g tapioca flour/starch
  • 150g potato starch (NOT potato flour)

After setting aside 75g of the flour mix, add to the remaining 375g flour:

  • 27g whole psyllium husk - OR - 20g powdered/ground psyllium husk
  • 3g active dry yeast (a scant 1 tsp)
  • 12g soy protein powder (optional, you may omit or substitute: whey protein (a milk product), pea protein, rice protein, dried milk powder, buttermilk powder, or any other protein powder)

Mix the dry ingredients together, minus the 75g of flour set aside.

Add the liquid:

  • 490g water at about 100°f/32°c.

Mix the water into the dry ingredients until a smooth batter or dough forms.  Let the mixture rise for 45 minutes to an hour, or until a finger dent in the surface stops filling back in right away. (This is called the finger poke test.) Once the dough has fully risen, punch it down and mix/knead in these additional ingredients:

  • 75g reserved flour from the original flour mix
  • 8.5g salt (about 1.25-1.5 tsp)
  • 24g sugar (this is 2 Tbsp)
  • 12g (1 Tbsp) Apple cider vinegar (optional: omit or substitute lemon juice or gf white vinegar)

Mix these ingredients just until fully combined.  The dough should form a workable mass.  Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface. If it's too sticky/loose to handle, let it rest ten minutes.  If it's manageable you can move to the next step right away.

Shape the dough into a boule.  A simple way to do this is to knead it a few times until a ball forms, then place it seam side down and tuck in the sides.  Alternately you can use any traditional shaping technique you like.  Place the dough into a floured banneton or a bowl lined with a heavily floured towel, seam side up.  If you don't have a rising vessel you can oil the surface and let it rise on a piece of parchment paper or foil, seam side down.  Cover with the mixing bowl or cover loosely with a towel not touching the upper surface. Let rise at room temp about 30 minutes.  

Preheat the oven to 450°f/230°c so it's ready by the time the dough has risen, about 30 minutes from shaping.  If you are using a cloche or dutch oven baking vessel preheat that with the oven.  If you don't have a baking vessel you will have to add steam to the oven. There are many tutorials on this subject online, but it can take some experimentation to get it right for your individual oven.  I use this Emile Henry baking cloche currently: 


 

I like the cloche style vessel because it's easier to get the bread out mid-bake versus a dutch oven.

Once the bread has risen about 50%, place it on the base of the baking vessel seam side down.  Use lightly floured parchment paper or foil underneath if desired. (If you are using steam instead, this is the time to add it to the oven.) Score the bread with a lame or a sharp knife using the pattern of your choice.



Bake the bread for 15 minutes covered/steamed.  
 
 
After 15 minutes remove the cover or steam and bake directly on the rack for another 20-30 minutes, or until the crust is nicely browned and the bread makes a hollow sound when thumped on the bottom.  Cool on a cooling rack for at least 30 minutes, but preferably until it's completely cool for better texture.
 

Slice and enjoy!
 




Comments

lynette said…
First time I have ever managed to make a perfect loaf of gf bread and one that actually tastes good too, thank you so much
Gina said…
Lynette, That’s so great to hear, I’m glad you liked the recipe!
Yogita said…
Instead of boule can we make it into a loaf shape too ?
Will the bread hold its shape... Thanks
Anonymous said…
Oh that looks delicious. Can I replace the millet flour with another kind? I have no access to millet unfortunately. Thanks. Minca, South Africa
Gina said…
Hi Yogita,

You can certainly form the bread into a batard shape. However, I don't recommend using this recipe to make a loaf in a tin. I haven't had success with converting this recipe into a sandwich tin loaf. See some of my sandwich bread recipes to find more ideas for sandwich loaves.
Gina said…
Hi Minca,

Substitute the millet with whatever you like the flavor of. Maybe buckwheat would work well. You could also try teff or more sorghum, but these grains might need a little more water to get the same fluffiness. The only thing I don't recommend is rice flour.
Robbie_00 said…
Help!
Gina,
I used your above recipe but used sorghum flour in place of the Ivory Teff (didn’t have it) and Oat flour in place of the Millet flour.
I also added 1 tsp. of yeast because I wasn’t sure how active my sorghum starter was. I mixed as directed and place the fairly wet dough in a 7” floured banneton. Imagine my surprise when after 3 hours I checked the dough and it had overflowed the banneton onto the counter. I wasn’t expecting that!! I put the dough into a 9” banneton to finish rising.
Should I cut short the 6 hour rise and chill the dough and bake? Or let it continue to rise for the entire 6 hours before chilling and baking?

Robin
jess said…
How important is the grind of these flours to overall success? As in, should I order superfine flours and wait for them to come in or can I just use Bob’s Red Mill from the store? This winter I’ve decided is my winter of bread and I am making this first, while I start my millet sourdough starter. Excited!
jess said…
Oh, and what size banneton are you using? Thank you!
Gina said…
Hi Jess, thanks for asking! The grind of the flours does not need to be anything in particular. I use Bob’s Red Mill for all the flours in this recipe, and they are stone ground. In fact I grind my own millet now, though I used to buy the flour. I have several round bannetons. The one I used for this recipe is about 8”.
Anonymous said…
This looks amazing! Is there something that could be substituted for the potato starch? Unfortunately I can't eat it. Thank you!
Gina said…
Typically I’d say just use more tapioca flour. In this case I’m afraid the bread might come out too soft and unstructured though. I’d try corn starch or any other starch to sub for the potato starch.
Vera said…
Hello I have a question about the yeast as I'm a bit confused. I thought active dried yeast was the stuff that you need to bloom first with the water and sugar but your recipe doesn't do this. Should I be using the instant yeast that you can add straight to the flour mix and don't need to activate first?

Thank you.

Can't wait to bake this as it looks fabulous.
Gina said…
Hi Vera, you are absolutely right that it’s usually instant yeast that’s added directly to the dry ingredients. It’s formulated for that. You can certainly use instant yeast if you like. However, I have a few tricks for making this method work for active dry yeast. The double rise essentially does what blooming does, it activates the yeast and the second mix distributes it evenly. Instant yeast has more live yeast so it might be a little faster rise if you use it. Gf bread tends to overproof easily so keep an eye on it!
Nathan said…
Hi Gina,

I just tried this recipe twice, and was incredibly impressed with the rise I got out of both loaves. They both baked beautifully, but unfortunately both suffered from collapse and gummy texture. Even the surviving part of the crumb underneath the top crust was gummy and looked nothing like the photos from your post. I baked the recipe as is, using psyllium husk powder rather than whole, and no protein powder as I don't have any on hand and you mentioned it could be omitted. The first bake was 25 minutes and sounded hollow when tapped. The second bake was 40 minutes (figured I'd try it, since I've never really overbaked a GF loaf) and it STILL suffered the same fate. Crust tasted amazing, so I'm determined to figure it out!
Gina said…
Hi Nathan,

I’m sorry it didn’t work for you! It sounds like you are having a cave form under the top crust. This is usually caused by over proofing and/or too much liquid. This is very common in gluten free recipes because gf bread can over proof really quickly. Also ingredients can vary a lot from brands to brand. Try reducing the liquid by 20g and proof it about 15 minutes less than what you’ve done before on the last rise. Or another approach is to reduce liquid and proofing more drastically and work your way back up to your max level that works as you see the results of each bake. I hope that fixes the problem for you!

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