Believe it or not, one of the questions that I get about veganism a lot is ‘Can you eat bread?’ (The answer is a definite yes, because yeast are not animals.)
I myself wondered this when going vegan many eons ago, and was happy to discover that bread was indeed vegan.
Most bread, that is.
Bread, friends, should have four ingredients: flour, water, yeast, and salt.
You can add spices, herbs, fruit, vegetables, etc., but the base of the recipe should be those four ingredients only, possibly with sugar so that your yeast can munch on and get to work quickly. (Obviously challa and other egg bread variations are an exception, but we’re talking about ‘bread bread’ here, okay?)
Now, go look at a package of sliced bread at your grocery store. I’ll be over here making and eating a sandwich before you’re done reading the ingredients.
It’s with this spirit that I approached this month’s Gluten-Free Ratio Rally. (See Karen’s post at Cooking Gluten Free for the rest of the ralliers!) I knew that the ‘flour’ part of those four ingredients would take some whole wheat, some starch, and some ground seeds (to replace the gluten), but the other ingredients would remain water, yeast, and salt.
I took inspiration on the process from Shauna’s gluten-free bread recipe at Gluten-Free Girl and The Chef, who taught me that ‘gluten-free bread dough doesn’t look like gluten dough.’ Now you know, too. (It turns out that our two approaches to the ingredients ended up pretty similar too, so I’m going with great minds on that one.)
Flour—conventional wheat flour—contains whole grains, starches, and gluten. (If you remove the starch, then you’re left with seitan or wheat gluten, which is delicious but decidedly the worst thing ever for those with a gluten intolerance.) Depending on what you’re making, you can substitute different gluten-free flours and starches for flour.
Bread is tricky though, because it’s sticky. It’s not like a cake with a delicate crumb that just needs some carbonation. It needs a cloak of stickiness as it cooks. I imagine that most of the ralliers will be adding eggs to their recipe and using those lipoproteins and albumen to bind. (Eggs and/or gums, but something about gums just unsettles me. I’ve never cooked with them, and I’ve never needed them.)
Flax and chia seeds work wonders, however. (I imagine that psyllium husk would do the same, but I’ve never tried it.) You can use ground flax and chia (either both or one or the other) to replace eggs in a bunch of vegan recipes, and I used them in Vegan Gluten-Free Bagels with great success.
So you’ll need those, but not just for this recipe!
Beyond that, I’ll assume that you have water and salt. Feel free to replace the whole grains in the recipe below to get a different flavored bread, and by all means play around with seasonings and additions to make it your own.
Other than that, enjoy this vegan gluten-free goodness. I’m making mine into a vegan, gluten-free grilled cheese for a moment of innocent bliss.
Here are the ratios that I used for this bread:
- Flour to water: 5:4
- Whole grains to starches: 17:8 (just over 2:1)
And here are my past Gluten-Free Ratio Rally posts:
- May 2012: Vegan Gluten-Free Bagels
- Nov 2011: Vegan Gluten-Free Pumpkin Pie with Pumpkin Seed and Ginger Topping
- July 2011: Vegan Gluten-Free Homemade Pasta, in Creamy Artichoke Tagliatelle
- June 2011: Vegan Gluten-Free Cardamom and Rose Water Cream Puffs (with Rad Whip!)
- May 2011: Vegan Gluten-Free Simple Scones with Clotted Cream and Strawberry Jam
- April 2011: Vegan Gluten-Free Apricot-Orange Bread
Vegan Gluten-Free Bread Recipe
By June 6, 2012Published:
- Yield: 1 Loaf (3 Mini Loaves, 2 Boules, 6-8 Burger Rolls, 16 Dinner Rolls) (6-8 Servings)
- Prep: 2 hrs 5 mins
- Cook: 15-25 mins
- Ready In: 2 hrs 20 mins
Bread. No gluten? No gums? No eggs? No problem.
- 16 g active dry yeast (2 'packets,' 4 ½ t)
- 20 g vegan sugar
- 1 T flax seeds ground
- 1 T chia seeds ground
- 400 g warm water (40-45ºC/100-110ºF)
- 100 g almond flour
- 100 g oat flour
- 60 g brown rice flour
- 40 g quinoa flour
- 40 g buckwheat flour
- 80 g potato starch
- 80 g sweet rice flour
- few pinches salt
- oil or non-dairy milk for brushing
- In a small bowl, combine the yeast, sugar, ground seeds, and water. Whisk vigorously to combine and set aside.
- In a large bowl, combine the flours and salt. Whisk to combine and distribute evenly.
- Once the wet mixture is frothy (i.e. the yeast has proofed), add it to the dry mixture and stir to incorporate.
- Don't worry when it doesn't look like bread dough with gluten. It will be somewhat stiff, but still very sticky.
- Oil a large bowl and turn the dough out into it. Cover with a damp towel and let rise in a warm spot (top of the fridge has never failed me) for two hours. After two hours, it will have risen, and will be spongy (the picture below was for 1/4 recipe).
- Once the dough has risen, preheat the oven to 230ºC (450ºF).
- If making loaves, turn the dough into a loaf pan (oiled if not non-stick) or divide into mini loaf pans. If making boules or rolls, divide and roughly shape into desired end result on a ceramic stone or parchment-lined baking sheet.
- Bake. Rolls will be on the shorter side, loaves longer. The end result will be rolls that sound hollow when tapped on the bottom, or loaves with golden brown, crusty sides and a golden top.
- Remove from the oven and let cool 5 minutes before removing to a cooling rack to cool completely before serving. Excellent when served immediately, but also good as sandwich bread or soup companions the next day.