A boule of Gluten Free Crusty Bread right from the oven.

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Description

No doubt you’ve heard baking is both art and science but for me this recipe for gluten free crusty bread works every time. The bread bakers I know, love to talk about how it feels more than exactly how much flour to use. They love the process; the feel of the flour, the dough in their hands and the smell of yeast in the air.

I was never one of those people. I prefer measurements and I can follow instructions.

For everyday gluten free cooks mastering a handful of bread recipes will pay off in spades. The opportunities for warm crusty bread, fresh from any oven, are greatly diminished so you might as well give it a try. Like any recipe it takes repetition and good note keeping to perfect.

Baking by Measure or Weight

Everything from the size of your eggs, the humidity in the air and the temperature of your oven, all contribute to the success of a recipe. That is the science. The art is when you can bake it successfully, loaf after loaf. Honestly, knowing when it is cooked is the part I have not completely mastered but I’m working on it.

Many bakers swear by weighing flour and with the different flours used in gluten free baking it makes sense to me. I wrote a whole post about Gluten Free Baking By Weight but the reality for many home cooks (I think) is that cup measurements are just easy. In this recipe I’ve given you both. The weights will be helpful if you have tried and failed with bread recipes but I use the cup measurements so I know they work in my kitchen.

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Gluten Free Crusty Bread

Crusty Bread in a Boule or a Loaf

You can make this bread in a loaf pan if you want slices that would be ideal for sandwiches. I wanted to taste it dipped in extra virgin olive oil and good quality balsamic vinegar…so I formed it into a ball. This free form ball-shape is often called a boule after the French word for ball. It refers to a rustic loaf of bread that has been leavened with yeast. If you have ever been to France you will recognize the word “boulanger” which is the bread baker and “boulangerie” which is the bread bakery. Both of these words come from the root word “boule”.

No matter what shape you choose for your bread I wish you success.

I would love to see a picture of your loaf and hear how it turned out. Let me know in the comments below.


More Recipes – Breads

Ingredients

½ cup (77 grams) brown rice flour
1½ cups (193 grams) tapioca starch
⅓ cup (57 grams) potato flour (not potato starch)
¾ cup (77 grams) sorghum flour
1 Tbsp yeast
2 tsp salt
2 Tbsp xanthan gum
1½ cups lukewarm water (100°F or below)
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
¼ cup melted butter

Directions

1
DRY INGREDIENTS
2
Combine flours, yeast, salt and xanthan gum together in a large bowl. Whisk to break up lumps and combine evenly.
3
WET INGREDIENTS
4
Combine wet ingredients in a stand mixer with paddles. Gradually add the dry mixture continuing until it is all incorporated into dough. Using wet hands and a spatula dump the dough into a large bowl. Cover with a tea towel and let rest until the dough rises, approximately 2 hours.
5
The dough can be refrigerated at this point for up to 3 days.
6
Using wet hands form the dough into a ball shape. Place on a piece of parchment paper on top of a cutting board and let rest for 1 hour, loosely covered with plastic.
7
Set the oven racks so you can place a metal pan with water under the bread. Preheat the oven to 450°F and place a baking stone on the middle rack.
8
Dust the top of the bread with brown rice flour and make hash marks with a sharp knife.
9
Transfer parchment and bread onto the preheated baking stone.
10
Pour 1-2 cups of boiling water into the metal baking pan and place underneath the bread.
11
Bake for 50-60 minutes or until nicely browned and firm. Cooking times will need to be adjusted for the size of your loaf and temperature of your oven.

8 Comments

  • Rien says:

    Hello. Can i substitute xanthan gum with psyllium husk? With same amount or not?

    • Cinde Little says:

      Hi Rien. Psyllium husk powder in the best binder for yeast breads because it binds more effectively with water and bread dough has a lot of water. This then does a better job of strengthening the protein network so it can hold lots of gas and steam during baking. That’s what makes the bread light. Breads made with xanthan gum will be dense and heavy. However, if you’re keen to experiment then try it an see what happens. Some people like to do side by side experiments to see the difference themselves. 1 tsp xanthan gum = 2 tsp psyllium powder. If you’re more interested in making really good yeast bread then you should buy the psyllium powder. Best of luck!

  • Margaret says:

    How healthily is adding so much starch to a person diet? What does it do to their weight? Thank you p.s. yes I am gf not by choice

    • Cinde Little says:

      Hi Margaret, I think you know that adding more starch to your diet is not a healthy choice. As a general statement we all eat too many carbs; bread, baked goods, pasta, rice, potatoes and more. Many people who go gluten free slowly move away from all those high carb foods and incorporate more healthy whole foods into their diet. They probably cook more and eat better as a result. Yet they also want to enjoy all the foods they ate before a gluten free diet. That might be biscuits, pizza, quick breads, muffins, pancakes, cookies and on and on. A healthy diet is always a balance of whole foods and treats. There are lots of gluten free choices available now but most replacement items are less healthy than their gluten filled counterparts. For bread lovers out there they can learn to make all kinds of GF bread and choose ingredients that have a bit more nutrition, but I don’t think bread is ever going to be at the top of a list of healthy foods. Weight is a different topic since some people gain weight after going gluten free (as their body is able to absorb nutrients from the food it gets) while others maintain or even loose weight. So if you’re going to bake some bread I say make what you like and enjoy every bite!

  • Kate says:

    Hello! I can’t wait to try this recipe. Have you ever baked the loaf in a double dutch oven?

  • Sam says:

    Hey! What can I substitute the egg with as my son has an egg allergy too

    • Cinde Little says:

      Hi Sam. I haven’t used egg replacers myself but these are the 3 most common ones I see. I hope one of them works out for you!
      1 egg = a rounded 1/2 Tbsp dry egg replacer powder + 2 Tbsp filtered water
      1 egg = 1 Tbsp ground flax seed + 3 Tbsp filtered water
      1 egg = 1 Tbsp chia seed + 3 Tbsp filtered water
      Happy baking!

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Ingredients

Directions

  • ½ cup (77 grams) brown rice flour
  • 1½ cups (193 grams) tapioca starch
  • ⅓ cup (57 grams) potato flour (not potato starch)
  • ¾ cup (77 grams) sorghum flour
  • 1 Tbsp yeast
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 2 Tbsp xanthan gum
  • 1½ cups lukewarm water (100°F or below)
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • ¼ cup melted butter
  1. DRY INGREDIENTS
  2. Combine flours, yeast, salt and xanthan gum together in a large bowl. Whisk to break up lumps and combine evenly.
  3. WET INGREDIENTS
  4. Combine wet ingredients in a stand mixer with paddles. Gradually add the dry mixture continuing until it is all incorporated into dough. Using wet hands and a spatula dump the dough into a large bowl. Cover with a tea towel and let rest until the dough rises, approximately 2 hours.
  5. The dough can be refrigerated at this point for up to 3 days.
  6. Using wet hands form the dough into a ball shape. Place on a piece of parchment paper on top of a cutting board and let rest for 1 hour, loosely covered with plastic.
  7. Set the oven racks so you can place a metal pan with water under the bread. Preheat the oven to 450°F and place a baking stone on the middle rack.
  8. Dust the top of the bread with brown rice flour and make hash marks with a sharp knife.
  9. Transfer parchment and bread onto the preheated baking stone.
  10. Pour 1-2 cups of boiling water into the metal baking pan and place underneath the bread.
  11. Bake for 50-60 minutes or until nicely browned and firm. Cooking times will need to be adjusted for the size of your loaf and temperature of your oven.