The Ultimate Gluten Free Bread Recipe (Artisan Style Loaf)
Bread lovers, rejoice. This gluten free bread is the real deal – with a soft, chewy open crumb and a deliciously crisp caramelised crust. It’s also super easy to prepare, and it behaves similarly to regular wheat bread: it can be kneaded and shaped, and goes though two rounds of rising. And it’s vegan – no eggs or dairy products needed!
- 8 g (2 1/2 tsp) active dried yeast
- 20 g (2 tbsp) superfine/caster sugar
- 390 g (1 1/2 cups + 2 tbsp) warm water, divided
- 20 g (1/4 cup) psyllium husk (rough husk form)
- 130 g (3/4 cup + 3 tbsp) buckwheat flour
- 100 g (1/2 cup + 3 tbsp) potato starch (NOTE: this is different from potato flour)
- 90 g (1/2 cup + 2 tbsp) brown rice flour (needs to be very finely ground, “superfine”)
- 10 g (2 tsp) table or sea salt
- 12 g (2 tsp) apple cider vinegar
In a small bowl, mix together the yeast, sugar and 150 g (1/2 cup + 2 tbsp) warm water. Set aside for 10 – 15 minutes, or until the mixture starts frothing.
In a separate bowl, mix together the psyllium husk and 240 g (1 cup) water. After about 15 – 30 seconds, a gel will form.
In a large bowl, mix together the buckwheat flour, potato starch, brown rice flour and salt, until evenly combined.
Add the yeast mixture, psyllium gel and apple cider vinegar to the dry ingredients. Knead the dough until smooth and it starts coming away from the bowl, about 5 – 10 minutes. You can knead by hand or using a stand mixer with a dough hook.
Transfer the bread to a lightly oiled surface and knead it gently, forming it into a smooth ball. Place the dough into a lightly oiled bowl, seam side down, cover with a damp tea towel and allow to rise in a warm place for about 1 hour or until doubled in size.
Once risen, turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface, and knead it gently while forming it into a tight ball (see post for step-by-step photos). Flip it seam side down onto a part of the work surface that isn’t covered in flour and rotate in place to seal the seams.
Place the dough into a 7 inch round proofing basket that you’ve dusted with some brown rice flour with the seams facing upwards. Cover with a damp tea towel and proof in a warm place for about 1 hour or until doubled in size.
Once the dough has doubled in size, turn it out of the bread basket onto a piece of baking paper and score the top with a pattern of choice (the easiest pattern is a cross, about ¼ – ½ inch deep), using a bread lame or sharp knife. Take the hot cast iron skillet or Dutch oven/combo cooker out of the oven and then transfer the bread along with the baking paper into it.
For a skillet or combo cooker, this is easiest by sliding a pizza peel or baking sheet underneath the baking paper and then using it to slide the bread along with the baking paper gently into the hot skillet/combo cooker. For a Dutch oven, use the sides of the baking paper as handles to transfer the bread into it.
If using a skillet: place the skillet in the oven, pour hot water into the bottom baking tray, add 3 – 4 ice cubes around the bread (between the baking/greaseproof paper and the skillet), and close the oven door.
Bake at 480 ºF (250 ºC) with steam for 20 minutes – don’t open the Dutch oven or the oven doors during this initial period, as that would allow the steam to escape out of the oven.
After the 20 minutes, remove the bottom tray with water from the oven (for cast iron skillet) or uncover the Dutch oven/combo cooker, reduce the oven temperature to 450 ºF (230 ºC), and bake for a further 40 – 50 minutes in a steam-free environment. The final loaf should be of a deep, dark brown colour. If the loaf starts browning too quickly, cover with a piece of aluminium foil, shiny side up, and continue baking until done.
Transfer the loaf onto a wire cooling rack to cool completely.
Storage: The gluten free bread keeps well in a closed container or wrapped in a tea towel in a cool dry place for 3 – 4 days.
- Active dried yeast: You can use instant yeast, in which case you don’t need to activate it, but just add it straight to the dry ingredients along with the sugar. Add the water that would be used in activating the active dried yeast to the dry ingredients along with the psyllium gel and apple cider vinegar.
- Apple cider vinegar: You can use other types of vinegar, although I recommend sticking to apple cider vinegar if at all possible.
- Psyllium husk: YOU CAN’T SUBSTITUTE IT WITH A DIFFERENT INGREDIENT. But if you use psyllium husk powder as opposed to the rough husk form, use only 75% of the weight listed in the recipe.
- Potato starch: You can use corn starch, tapioca starch or arrowroot starch instead.
- Brown rice flour: You can use millet flour instead.
- Buckwheat flour: You can use white teff flour, sorghum flour or oat flour instead.
NOTE: All substitutions should be made by weight not by volume.