The words ‘Soft’ and ‘Gluten Free’ are rarely used in the same sentence – and for good reason… Most gluten free baked goods are dry, crumbly and taste like recycled rice cakes. Why for the love of Pete (whoever he is), can we put a man on the moon, but can’t make a gluten free bread that doesn’t require toasting it first so we can eat it without falling apart?!
Good news my friends… Soft, Gluten Free Sandwich Bread, Pizza Crusts & Hamburger Buns do exist! It starts with having the right combination of my ‘Erika’s All Purpose Gluten Free Flour Mix‘ paired with the perfect ratio of other ingredients and a careful cooking method. But that doesn’t mean you need to be a rocket scientist to make it… in fact this recipe is so easy, my kids help me with it all of the time and it still turns out great!
The special tools featured in this recipe are:
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- 1½ Cup Water or Milk (or Milk Alternative)
- 4 Tablespoons Honey
- 2½ teaspoons Dry Active Yeast (I use an organic round yeast instead of the rod type. I buy it in bulk at my local natural food store - just be sure your yeast is fresh and alive.)
- 3 Cups of Erika's All Purpose Gluten Free Flour Mix
- 1½ teaspoons Xanthan Gum (in addition to whats already in the GF Flour Mix)
- 4 teaspoons Baking Powder
- 1 teaspoon Salt
- (you can add sweet or savory seasonings to taste)
- 2 teaspoons Apple Cider Vinegar or Lemon Juice
- ¼ Cup Olive Oil
- 2 Large Eggs (see options for egg free below)
- In measuring cup, measure & warm milk to just above body temperature - should be warm to the touch (not hot or cold). Stir in Honey and add Yeast last. Set-aside & let proof for approx. 10 minutes.
- Combine Dry Mix ingredients in small bowl.
- Combine Wet Mix ingredients in bowl of stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix just for a few seconds.
- Add in the proofed Yeast Mix and mix again for just a few seconds.
- Add the Dry Mix and beat on medium-high for approx. 3 minutes. Dough will be wet, but thick and sticky!
- If necessary, oil and flour your 9x5 Loaf Pan or spray with non-stick coating. I use USA pans and do not need to coat them.
- Using a spatula, scrape the bread mixture into your prepared loaf pan and set on top of your stove to proof while the oven is preheating. Be sure to smooth out the loaf with spatula or wet fingers before proofing as the loaf will not smooth out itself.
- Preheat your oven to 375 degrees.
- It is important not to over-proof the bread - just let it rise until the mixture is approximately double in size (20-30 minutes depending on your room temperature.) Don't let it rise above your loaf pan… or just until it crests the top. Gluten free breads do not maintain their structure and will flow over the pan or collapse if left to over-rise or over-filled.
- Bake for approx. 30-45 minutes. If the crust is darkening too quickly, you can cover it with foil (tent open ended) and return to baking until done. (If it helps, I usually cook mine until I get an internal temperature of 210 - 220 degrees on my digital thermometer).
- Remove loaf pan from oven and let cool for 3-5 minutes before turning out onto your cooling rack. Allow to cool completely before attempting to cut into slices. I use my meat slicer to achieve even slices.
- I use a 9x13 Cake Pan, let rise as directed, & bake a thick flat loaf - once it cools cut it in half sideways and split it open to prepare with my toppings. Or, you can shape into rounds, let rise for approx. 15 min. and then bake on a Pizza Stone as directed. Once cooked, top with your favorite ingredients & return to oven and bake at 450 until done.
- Prepare as you would for Pizza in a 9x13 Cake Pan and then cut into 12 square 'buns', which can be split in half. Or, you can use a Hamburger Bun Pan (like the
- USA 6" Mini Round Pan I have by USA Pans) and fill each well ½ full and let rise until double in size. Bake as directed until done.
- Although some of you have had success with this - Due to the responses in the comments, I DO NOT suggest using Flax or Chia Seeds as a substitute for eggs. However, I have had some success using Chia & Ener-G egg replacers when making pizza dough and buns. I also have a tortilla and pita/flat bread recipes that are egg free! =)
- Feel free to add in seeds, nuts, raisins, cinnamon, etc…. Just be sure to stir them in by hand at the end before scraping the mixture into your pan.
Here’s a better look at the proofing & baking process.
Shape Dough in Pan using wet hands if needed.
Dough will retain most of the imperfections.
Leave Dough on Stove Top to Proof while Oven is pre-heating.
See how it’s starting to rise?
Dough has been proofing for about 20-25 minutes and is ready for the oven!
After 5 minutes in the oven.
After 10 Minutes in the Oven.
After 15 Minutes in the Oven.
After 20 Minutes in the Oven.
Notice how the original markings have stayed?
After 25 Minutes in the Oven.
If you think the crust is browning too quickly, you can tent it with foil.
I never have to do this, but your oven or pan may cook differently then mine.
Bread is done when internal temp reaches 200 – 220 degrees.
I always keep mine in for 1-2 minutes extra after it reaches 210 to ensure the inside isn’t too sticky…
I believe this also helps it retain it’s shape so it doesn’t deflate.
All Done… Enjoy!
I use the same recipe to make our gluten free pizza in a 9×13 pan.
I sometimes use Dairy Free Daiya Cheese – Mozzarella Style