Whole Grain Gluten-Free Bread

Whole Grain Gluten-Free Bread
Whole grain gluten-free deliciousness.

Just when you think you have it all figured out, life snakes you a curve ball and rattles your position. Just a little a bit. Just enough to make sure you're still awake, still paying attention. Because what is life about if not change? Change is the only constant. Change is our true companion.

Nothing stays the same.

Especially persnickety celiac tummies. I know this from readers. I know this from gluten-free bloggers. I know this from personal experience. We start at A, oblivious. We skip and stumble to D. We settle in. We think G or J is pretty cool. Then Q throws us into a tizzy.

We discover gluten is an enemy. Then maybe milk. Or mustard. Or kidney beans. You name it. Fill in the blank. Most of us with celiac disease end up with a few additional culprits on our Need to Avoid List. Maybe not right away. But over time, many of us will have to fine tune our repertoire of ingredients.

If we want to stay healthy.

If we want to grow stronger, not fatter.

If we want to feel trim, not bloated.

Which brings me to bread. (What celiac conversation doesn't lead to bread, I ask you?)

This whole grain bread is high in protein- without bean flours.

If you've been reading the blog for a while now, you know I've had my share of unfriendly food encounters. Moo-Cow Dairy appears to remain my sworn enemy, shoulder to shoulder with gluten in unholy matrimony. But other once problematic food stuffs have softened their commitment to make me miserable. Eggs are now kinder. Almonds have deigned to flirt, kiss, and make up.

Move eggs and almonds into the Yay! column.

But guar gum and onions have stepped up their assault. And a once beloved gluten-free choice now appears to be less kind, if not absolutely backstabbing in her fickle, gaseous betrayal.

The humble chick pea. And her flour.



So I am scrambling to rustle up some alternative whole grain goodness without those FODMAP indigestibles. I've been playing around with various whole grain gluten-free flours, and baking up loaves of bread. They've been pretty tasty. I'm not unhappy. And my profile no longer looks like I'm six months pregnant.

Another check in the Yay! column.

Monday I baked a whole grain loaf without xanthan gum, just to see what would happen. And it was good not great. It crumbled. A bit. Though it tasted good. I used three eggs, thinking the egg whites would help replace xanthan's binding prowess. I'm sure it helped some. But not quite enough. But I didn't use a seed gel like flax or chia gel (I don't do well with flax, so I haven't tried it in years). I'm not gel experienced.

Perhaps flax would work in this recipe, if you'd prefer using it instead of xanthan gum. Experiment with it and let us know. For the version I baked yesterday, I ended up using a teaspoon of xanthan gum. I seem to have no issue with it.

Unlike broccoli.

Another strumpet.

Using parchment paper makes taking the bread out of the pan super easy
Warm from the oven whole grain gluten-free bread.

Whole Grain Gluten-Free Bread Recipe

I used my old favorite Gluten-Free Multigrain Sandwich Bread as a template for this new whole grain bread recipe. My goal was to eliminate starch, and boost the protein power without resorting to bean flour. Quinoa flakes add a hint of oatmeal-like texture. Almond meal gives this tender bread a lovely, fragrant flavor. The crust on this loaf was pleasingly rustic.

Warm your oven by turning it on briefly.

Line a 9-inch ceramic loaf pan with a piece of parchment paper, leaving extra length on each side, so that the paper rises above the top of the pan (as shown).


1 package rapid dry yeast (2 1/2 teaspoons)
1/2 cup warm water (115 degrees F)
1 tablespoon buckwheat honey
3/4 cup sorghum flour or brown rice flour
3/4 cup almond meal/flour
1/2 cup millet flour or GF certified oat flour
1/2 cup buckwheat flour
1/4 cup quinoa flakes
2 tablespoons coconut flour
1 teaspoon xanthan gum
1 teaspoon fine sea salt
1/4 cup olive oil
3 organic free-range eggs, beaten
1/3 to 1/2 cup warm water

Proof the yeast: Sprinkle the yeast into one half cup warm water and stir in the honey. Set aside to let the yeast get happy.

In a large mixing bowl whisk together the dry ingredients: brown rice flour, almond flour, millet flour, buckwheat flour, quinoa flakes, coconut flour, xanthan gum, and sea salt.

Make a well in the center and pour in the proofed yeast. Add the olive oil and eggs. Start beating it together. As you beat, add the 1/3 to 1/2 cup warm water a tablespoon at a time, until the batter is smooth, like a thick muffin batter. I used a half cup of warm water, but you may need less (or slightly more) depending upon humidity and altitude.

Scoop the bread dough into the prepared baking pan and smooth out the top. Sprinkle with quinoa flakes.

Place the pan in the center of the warmed oven and allow the loaf to rest and rise for 50 minutes.

Turn on the oven to 350 degrees F. Bake the loaf for 55 to 60 minutes, until crusty and browned. Remove from the pan and place the loaf on a wire rack to cool.

Delicious warm. Fabulous toasted.

Rise time: 1 hour Cook time: 1 hour

Yield: One 9-inch loaf

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Slices of fresh from the oven whole grain gluten free bread
Slices of crusty gluten-free whole grain bread.

Whole grain gluten free bread in my favorite ceramic bread pan
Using parchment paper makes removing the loaf super simple. 
Loosen ends with a knife. Grip the paper and lift.

GFG Notes:

For substitutions- 
Medium weight flours can replace medium weight flours. Brown rice, sorghum, certified gluten-free oat and millet flour are all friendly companions. Quinoa flour,  cornmeal and buckwheat flour are heavier choices. *Make sure your sources for millet, buckwheat, oat, cornmeal are indeed gluten-free. Check to see if batches of milled grains are tested.

I used a touch of coconut flour in this recipe to add moisture and give. If you remove it, you may have to play around with liquids (coconut flour absorbs oil and liquid).

Quinoa flakes add lightness and protein.

Almond meal is tender and soft. To replace it, I'd suggest trying another whole grain flour with a sweet taste.
Buckwheat honey can be subbed with your favorite local honey, or raw organic agave nectar.
For egg-free breads see my gluten-free bread recipes; for yeast free see my soda breads and quick breads.
Please understand that changing ingredients impacts the taste, and texture, and often changes the amount of liquid you need. I'm only guessing at what will work.

We froze the leftover slices and I toasted some for breakfast- and wouldn't you know? This bread makes beautiful toast.
Gluten-free breads without white starches (starch adds springiness) are more fragile than their refined starch infused sisters. But other attributes (flavor, nutrition, happy tummies) make up for this.
This bread is low fructose/fructan for a FODMAPs friendly loaf- though the small amount of coconut flour might be too much fiber for some- listen to your own body and use the foods it tolerates best. 


Anonymous said...

Hi Karina,
Just found your website. Have been eating gf for years. Your website is fantastic, interesting, beautiful to look at, life-altering. I thought all my symptoms were in my head. You have just eradicated years of doubt!
Love, from your newest fan.

Iris said...

Have you experimented with cutting out yeast to help with the bloating? I haven't been able to bake a really good loaf of bread for a long time because of the yeast, but my stomach does much better without it!

Anonymous said...

this looks wonderful.. You are so right about the fickle celiac belly. I have been GF for 5 months but I am still having symptoms - extreme bloating, stomach pain, diarrhea , generally feeling icky not to mention the headahes and sinus trouble.. I have determined that it must be the dairy .though, I didn't want to believe I was in the 50% that would have to go dairy free as well as GF but alas it is pretty hard to ignore when you've swollen to almost double your normal size and your tummy is churning mess a mere few hours after eating greek yogurt .. sigh.. but hey we gotta do what we've gotta do.. thank you so much for your blog.. you have encouraged me so much on this journey.

Miss Kodee said...

This looks so good and I like the idea of quinoa and increased protein. However I have an almond allergy - what can I substitue that with?

Valerie @ City|Life|Eats said...

This looks brilliant Karina - I have been experimenting with grain-free for a while, but lately have been hankering for some good whole-grain bread, and this came at just the right time :) I am out of brown rice flour and millet, but do have gluten-free oats so will likely grind those up and try that.

Incidentally, sorghum and starches are not my friends either - one of the reasons I have not made as many of your wonderful baked goods as I would like.

And yes, change, the only constant in my diet. All the best to you.

Valerie @ City|Life|Eats said...

A quick question - do you use the blanched almond flour or the almond meal that still has the almond skins?

Karina Allrich said...

Valerie, I use almond meal that is quite fine and soft- no skins.

Miss Kodee, If you can use another nut meal- like hazelnut flour- that will work; or as I mention in the notes, use your favorite medium weight gluten-free flour. Certified gluten-free oat flour will also work as a good sub.

xox Karina

Tasty Eats At Home said...

Oh no, I'm sticking my fingers in my ears and going "lalalala" about your sorghum situation. You and I seem to circle around the same food issues, I'm finding (I can't do beans, flax, too much broccoli, seem to have issues with too many starches, and right now I'm trying out the no-onion, low-FODMAP thing. Only on day 3, but not looking 6 months pregnant either, so I'm hoping this means I may be on to something) and I like sorghum and don't WANT to give it up! Haha. I do like the look and sound of this bread. I have found through Ali over at Nourishing Meals that chia + psyllium husks seems to sub for gums pretty nicely. (I made her bread recently - it was great!) I love using chia - no tummy issues and it's quite gel-y. I'm hoping to experiment more with those foundations. I am glad you've started to find some answers for your ongoing sensitive tummy issues - I hope you find the perfect bread soon, although this one sure looks delicious. Toasted with a schmear of almond butter and I'd be in heaven.

Anonymous said...

Dear Karina,
From my own experience, quinoa and rice are not very compatible ... Cynthia Henderson

Nutella Love Affair said...

This gets me in the mood to go and bake bread! The smell of fresh baked bread is the hardest thing to handle after going gluten-free.

The InTolerant Chef said...

I'm glad you found a great sounding bread that works. I don't get it either, every now and then "something" sets me off that has never been an issue before. SO... do I wave goodbye forever, or just give it the brush off for the time being? It's so hard to know. Sigh, unrequited love seems to be the coeliacs lot in life, at least in the culinary stakes!

Tamara said...

Hi Karina - I made this recipe, and it turned out great. My husband (who is actually the gluten-intolerant one) and I ate it warm from the oven, slathered in peanut butter, and we just couldn't stuff it in fast enough. :-)

Thea said...

Amen. Have been GF for 20 years. Although, others followed....first corn, then beans (chick peas are ok), amaranth, and the latest is dairy! I like the "lalalala on sorghum comment" - haven't tried sorghum but will give it a try. Argh....thank you for the creative recipes! ;-)

Caneel said...

This is a beautiful loaf of bread! And yes, it does seem we end up having to cut back on other things sometimes. *sigh* But you make a good point - it's for our own good.

John Valenty said...

I completely understand what you mean about gluten not being the only thing to be bothersome. I can't have gluten, corn, rice, or tomatoes, which is frustrating because most gluten free products are made with corn or rice. It's been a lot of experimenting, and I'm definitely going to try this recipe with a few substitutions.

Podiatrist in Charlevoix said...

So that's been the problem with my other recipes! I've been trying to leave out xantham gum because in my happy oblivion I somehow thought that it wasn't an important ingredient. And all my breads ended up being crumbly and gross. Glad I read this, really explains a lot.

linda said...

I find that flax is a better substitute for eggs than gluten/xanthan gum.

Does this recipe work out ok if you use glass or metal loaf pans instead? I don't have a ceramic one and already have so much bakeware! :)

This looks like an interesting recipe which I'll no doubt make soon. I like the idea of using parchment to help lift the loaf out.

Karina Allrich said...

Ceramic and glass pans help gluten-free bread bake slower- allowing the middle to bake evenly with the outer loaf. Metallic pans bake and brown the outside faster than the middle. Sometimes this is a problem. Karina

DesertHen said...

This bread smelled heavenly while baking in my oven! I only had a metal bread pan and it still turned out very well. It was so yummy while still warm from the oven!Looking forward to toast in the morning. Thank you for another wonderful recipe!

Frasier Moments said...

Yum! Yum! Yum!!! Thank you for this fantastic recipe!

PinkRoses19 said...

It is so incredibly frustrating as those changes come along. Having only been GF for about 18 months, when I SUDDENLY could no longer eat raw onions my world crashed. They are in the yummy salads I can get from the local bagel shop, and the tacos I adore from the local burrito bar. Onion were an ingredient found inside many of the food choices I made to make myself feel 'normal' and 'adjusted' as a young professional dealing with eating out often for work reasons.

Well I guess Im not the only one whose tummy changes its mind. Oh well. Good thing your yummy bread recipe doesn't have onions-or gluten!

Anonymous said...

Hi Karina,
I recently bought the breadman pro tr 875 at the suggestion of your ryeless rye recipe. Do you know if this recipe could be made in the breadmaker? I assume I would have to open midway through the cycle to shake on some quinoa flakes.. But other than that, is there a reason you made this loaf in the oven?

shend said...

Hmmmm, buckwheat honey, will have to get some and try it--sounds interesting. I have a feeling this will be the GF bread I love. My only reservation is the coconut flour because I am on the Geno Type diet and that is a no no. I am sick enough I need to be completely compliant to that diet. I also think molasses would be a good addition maybe instead of honey. I am no baker so I can only give substitutions a try.

Cindy said...

Karina, I'm still trying to figure things out, too. I've found that milk isn't working for me as well. I suspect that some grains, other than those with gluten, may be a problem as well, so your recipes are appreciated. Haven't tried yet, but I've read that gelatin and pectin can replace gums.

Anonymous said...

Karina, nothing would please me more than a gluten free loaf of bread that is not flat and heavy. I will try this recipe- one question: what can I use instead of cereal flakes? Thanks for the continued great recipes, no one has failed me!

Meghan LittleStudio said...

Oh this looks delicious! I just found out this morning (from a trial) that, although I can't have chicken eggs, I can have duck eggs. Wouldn't you know it? There is a small farm up the road who happens to have them! I literally started salivating reading this recipe. It has been so long since I've had a good multigrain bread that I'm thinking, to Hell with the Time of Use power thing, I'm going to bake this afternoon and get me some good bread out of the equation. Thank you for your quest to bring us all delicious, safe foods. We are eternally in your debt. (maybe not first born debt, but debt, lol).

Camron said...

Karina, Thank you for sharing this recipe. I actually had all of these ingredients available in my kitchen except for the millet so I used an equal substitution of sorghum. The loaf came out beautifully and it was nice to have a sandwich for lunch on bread that had more taste than the GF frozen bread from the grocery store. The crust had a nice crunch while the inside stayed moist without being heavy or doughy. It also sliced very nicely without crumbling or having to make the slices large. Thanks again! I am adding this one to my favorite recipes.

Stephanie, The Recipe Renovater said...

Karina, Such a bummer about having to find so many substitutions, and hurray that you've persevered and come up with this delish looking concoction. There's a quote I love, "Creativity loves constraints." While you might not always love new constraints being added, it absolutely seems to bring out your creative side.

FoxRunStudios2 said...

I'm with you on the "no white" detox. I live that way and it suits me fine! No potatoes, sugars, grains, rices, flours, or corn. I thought I could get away with corn bread, but it turns to sugar which turns to other awful symptoms for me--enough to keep me away 99% of the time! In the fruit category, only berries and only occasionally. I eat protein and veggies and plenty of nuts. I work in a food store so I recommend your site to a lot of my customers! Keep up the good work.

Rach said...

Very nice! Also nice - I got my copy of Allergic Living today :)

gfe-gluten-free easily said...

Gorgeous! I like using quinoa flakes to add protein, texture, and a bit of a unique taste to baked goods. Might have to try some of those other substitutions to avoid my own "strumpets." ;-) xoxo, Shirley

Spring said...

Can't wait to try this- so tired of beany or starchy bread! Can I ask... would quinoa flour AND flakes be too much quinoa? Sadly, buckwheat doesn't like me.

freeeatsfood said...

I am SO excited to try this bread. Consider it baked....tomorrow in my kitchen. I do feel like the fundamental requirement of a GF baker is adaptability. I constantly feel like I'm adapting, subbing, contorting to accommodate new allergies, intolerances, my celiac, etc.! It is a wild ride, but now I love the challenge. Like you, almonds used to make my body revolt...now, I seem to be able to tolerate them. Go figure. I guess we all keep learning, changing and healing. Thank you for helping with the journey.

Jeanette said...

Yeah, a whole grain gluten-free bread recipe! Just wondering if I can't use eggs (due to an allergy), will a chia seed or flax seed substitution work for the bread to rise enough?

anne artist said...

i have read that in england xanthan gum is replaced with fruit pectin. i do not know the amount substituted. if it is one for one, etc.

Sophia- Red Lotus Jewelry said...

Ahhhhh, the eternal quest for a great tasting GF bread. It looks delicious I must try it!

Anonymous said...

I just learned about your blog. Thanks for sharing and supporting the Celiac and other sensitive/allergic communities. I haven't tried this yet but I've heard that liquid lecithin can be used as a substitute for the "gums" that we need to use to hold GF baked goods together. Here's a definition of lecithin Biochemistry . any of a group of phospholipids, occurring in animal and plant tissues and egg yolk, composed of units of choline, phosphoric acid, fatty acids, and glycerol. Happy Baking! Lee

Kirsten said...

Oh yes..... sooooo difficult trying to figure out what's what! I've had my suspicions about sorghum but haven't found anyone else saying they a problem with it until now. BTW, made and LOVED your wholegrain strawberry muffins but alas, no good for my bloating issue. Was it the skins on the hazlenuts, the sorghum, or is it just too hard to digest brown rice flour... who knows???? And so I keep on trying..

My Pink Door said...

Must try... thought oats were my friend until today!

Tammie said...

Hi Karina - I made this bread this afternoon. I didn't have any seeds to add so I mixed in some chopped walnuts instead and sprinkled the top with flax meal - delicious!!! My bread did sink a little bit in the center as it cooled but nothing too major. Besides, this bread tastes so amazing that I don't care how it looks =) Thanks for another wonderful recipe!!!

Dianna said...

hi karina! just wanted to say your post really made my day. for the past 2 years I have been pulling my hair out trying to figure out what foods cause me the tummy issues that seem to have sprouted up overnight! it drives me bonkers because everytime i feel like i am on the verge of figuring it out, my body throws me for a loop and i'm back at square one. it's nice to know that there are others like you who are dealing with similar issues and figuring it out step by step. so thank you and i can't wait to try your recipe!

Maris said...

It is so wonderful to have bloggers like you out there helping others. This braed looks pretty perfect to me.

themommybowl said...

Aw, bummer on the sorghum. There have been days where I feel the same way. Mostly I just try to avoid all grains these days. But, if I use it sparingly I can usually get away with sorghum. Millet on the other hand.... Our fickle tummies. *sigh*

Kalyn said...

I am so impressed with your ability to adapt and improvise and come up with something delicious-looking time after time!

Jill said...

Yes! I do feel like getting a grip on what my tum can tolerate is like shooting at a moving target while blindfolded. Sometimes I get too comfortable, sometimes I get too adventurous...but I don't ever stop trying to get it right! Thank you, Karina, for reminding me that change is beautiful. xo BirdyLeaps

j3nn said...

That looks so spongy and wonderful! I like the use of the various flours and flakesl the texture looks perfectly hearty. I saved the recipe, looking forward to trying it. Yum!

Carrie said...

mmm... I can't wait Karina! You always tempt my kitchen!! I'm thinking this bread may make an appearance this weekend!

Anonymous said...

I would love to try this except I cannot have eggs due to severe allergy. Could someone pretty please suggest something. Is egg used to make it rise or help hold shape?? I know using flax helps in a lot of recipes but I dont know about this one. Any suggestions anyone that maybe have tried without the eggs?? Thanks soooo much !

Liza said...

Hi, Karina, I love your blog!
Do you have tips for cooking this in a bread machine?


Anonymous said...

Maybe grains aren't the best choice overall. I finally quit them all and simplified my life. I eat lots of veggies and veggie juice and feel much better.

Cathy said...

I have huge FODMAPS issues and so glad to see you addressing this. My diet has become very limited, but the good news is almonds are a go for me as well. Not so much whole grains and even brown rice has small amounts of fructose and can bother you if you are sensitive. I have switched to white rice flour, lots of almond flour and some starches to balance it all out. Quinoa is a question mark and works for me sometimes. Honey is all fructose by the way and better sub is maple syrup, which is my best friend. I Love it drizzeled over lactose free yogurt with homemade almond granola (no oats). The plus side of eating lots of almonds is it helps with cholesterol control! Thanks for the recipe and will try it this afernoon. IBSfree.net is a great FODMAPS resource by the way.

Michelle Hankes said...

Hi Karina!

I love your blog and I have learned so much from you over the years about how to eat gluten-free. You have been such a taste-saver!

I saw that you, the same as I, have issues with guar gum and so many people I know also have issues with xanthan gum. I wanted to let you know about an alternative I have found after doing a lot of research and testing.

Karaya Gum.

It works just like xanthan gum, in one-to-one equivalency in any of my recipes, and I have gone to it exclusively as my gum of choice. I buy it at JoAnn's or Michael's in the baking section, under the name Gum-Tex (which is 100% Karaya). It's made by Wilton and typically, it's used as a base for gum paste flowers and decorations, but in gluten-free baking, it works like a charm. It has a slight vinegary smell when you open the package, but I can assure you, the flavor doesn't stay in even my most delicate baked goods. And it costs about $10 per 6 oz. container, which is on par with xanthan gum. But, here's the trick: Joann's offers 40% coupons almost every month and I use one of those to get the karaya for only $6. It's also sold on Amazon and probably at other craft stores that sell decorating supplies.

I have tried to write to several gluten-free magazines, hoping they would post this alternative somewhere in their magazines, but for some reason, they just haven't. So, for any of Karina's readers that have issues with both xanthan gum and guar gum, or just want to rotate things so your bodies stay happy, try Karaya gum.

For anyone concerned about possibility of gluten contamination, karaya gum was posted as a safe condiment on the University of Chicago's Celiac Disease Center site. Here's the link for more info:


Happy eating, everybody!

Karina Allrich said...

Thanks again, Everyone- for all your enthusiasm, shares and ideas. xox

MoonHorse said...

Hi! I love your blog! I have a question.. I live in Argentina and we don't have quinoa flakes, can I replace it with something else? Thank u!

Mommy Weiss said...

Last week I tried to make this bread in my bread machine on the gluten free setting. The middle sank it was so sad, but the bread tasted wonderful.

This morning I decided that I needed to try to make it in the oven instead (with two toddlers being able to throw everything in the bread machine and not worry until it beeps 2+ hours later makes life much simpler), and it was completely worth it! I try to avoid gums as they bother my 2-year-old so I tried it with a flax meal paste. I subbed out one egg and made a paste with 2 T ground flax meal and 4 T boiling water. It worked wonderfully.

caroline phoenix said...

Hi Karina,
I am on the look out for a sprouted grain bread that is healthy for my four children...all gluten, dairy free family. Loved the nutritional value of the sprouted grains in an Ezekial 4:9- type bread, but loath the gluten, etc....any experiments with this as of yet? If not, would love to get some pointers, as I am new to bread making. Thanks in advance!

Dhu said...

Hi Karina,

I am so grateful to you that this recipe brought back bread in to my newly GF life. I followed this recipe but subbed brown rice flour with rice flour (brown rice flour unavailable in India), subbed buckwheat flour with sorghum flour (unavailable in India) and 1/2c yoghurt instead of water.

My bread turned just as picture perfect as shown in yours above. Everyone at home loved this.


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