Multigrain Bread, Gluten-Free


When I was first diagnosed as gluten intolerant, the main thing I missed was good sandwich bread. I had a new baby and it felt like I had no time to do anything–much less make a meal for myself during the day. Sandwiches would be so easy to make and eat, I thought. But, because it took a few weeks to figure out what was going on, and I felt extremely sick every time I ate, I kind of gave up on making food, even sandwiches, during the day–and I just wouldn’t eat. This freaked out my husband, who went to work and would come home to an exhausted and hungry wife. So, he started making me sandwiches before he left in the morning (so very nice!). I would try to eat them, but I kept getting sick.

Of course, we found out that it was the gluten that was making me feel so awful. And at this point in the game, there was no commercial gluten-free sandwich bread out there and no thoughts that I would make it myself. I had a new baby, for goodness sakes. I couldn’t even read my mail.

First I tried gluten-free bread mixes. Most were awful. And, again, I had a baby, and then a toddler, and I felt like I didn’t have the time to mess with making bad bread. Then I found Cooking Gluten-Free! by Karen Robertson. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again–this book is great! Robertson has a wonderful sandwich bread recipe in the book. I started making this every week–and we loved it. Even gluten-eating people loved it (and who doesn’t love fresh bread?). Over the years, I’ve adapted the recipe to suit our tastes and needs.

This recipe is accurately called a multi-grain bread. I use a combo of flours that give it a nice flavor and texture. And I alternate between various sweeteners, depending on what taste I’m after. I mainly use a combo of honey and sugar for everyday bread. Sometimes I use molasses for a more hearty-tasting bread.

Every Thanksgiving, I make a loaf of this bread a few days before the big day and then use it for my stuffing. Yes, I do stuff our turkey. It’s safe if you put room-temp stuffing into a room-temp bird. I always have extra, which gets baked in the oven alongside the turkey. I always make another loaf the day after Thanksgiving, so we have bread for turkey sandwiches. And toast for any extra cranberry sauce we have.


Note: For info on how to do this bread in a bread machine, see my Bread Machine post.

Note: For info on why I use xanthan gum versus guar gum or seeds for a gluten-replacer, see my Let’s Talk Gluten Replacers post.  Please read this post before leaving a comment or emailing me questions about substituting for xanthan gum.

For recommendations on how to substitute for yeast, please see my post on Substitutions.

Note: For info on and answers to questions about baking problems/questions (or problems/questions you anticipate having before even trying the recipe), please read my Troubleshooting Baking Problems post before leaving a comment or emailing me with questions.

Multi-Grain Bread,Gluten-Free
-inspired by Cooking Gluten-Free!

Special Equipment Needed
-a stand mixer is very handy for this, but a hand mixer will do
-loaf pan, 9″x5″

Ingredients
3 extra-large eggs
1/4 cup (60 ml) vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vinegar
1 1/4 cup (295 ml) warm but not hot water
1 tablespoon sugar
3 TBL honey (or molasses, or more sugar)
1 1/2 tablespoon active yeast (I use Red Star)
1 cup (120g) tapioca starch/flour (they are the same thing)
3 cup (400g) other gluten free flour–this is where you can play w/whole grain gf flours:
-I often use 1 cup (155 g) brown rice flour, 1 cup (105 g) amaranth flour, 1 cup (140 g) sorghum flour
2/3 cup (60 g) instant dry milk powder (or you can substitute sweet rice flour)
2 teaspoon xanthan gum
1 teaspoon salt
Optional: 2 TBL flax seeds, or gf oats, or sunflower seeds
extra oil and tapioca flour for pan

If you can, it’s very helpful to bring all the refrigerated ingredients to room temperature.

Oil and flour your pan.

In a small bowl or a glass measuring cup, whisk 1 TBL sugar into warm water until dissolved, add yeast and whisk until dissolved; set aside to proof (get foamy)

In a medium bowl, mix all 4 of your flours.  Add dry milk powder (or sweet rice flour), xanthan gum, salt, and remaining sugar if using; as well as the seeds/flax if using.

In the bowl of stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat eggs slightly.  Add honey (or molasses) if using, vinegar, and oil, beat slightly to combine.  Add yeast mixture, beat slightly to combine.  Add flour mixture, beat on low to combine and then beat on high for about 3 minutes.

Scrape into prepared pan and smooth top with a spatula.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

You may put pan with dough on top of stove so it can use the heat of the oven to help it rise.  Let rise until double in bulk, about 45 minutes.

When ready to bake, use a pastry brush to brush top of bread with a little extra oil or melted butter.

Bake at 400 degrees for 10 minutes.  Loosely tent with aluminum foil and bake another 30 minutes (40 minutes total).

Remove bread from oven and let cool for about 5 minutes in the pan, then carefully turn out onto cooling rack to cool completely.

We usually eat this within a couple of days, so it lives on the cutting board in the kitchen, cut-side down. Store at room temperature–not in the refrigerator!

Enjoy!
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Comments

  1. kathYAline says

    Hi, I am new to GF baking.. I just tried this recipe using brown rice flour, millet flour, sorghum flour and tapioca flour, it came out awesome. I like it much better than wheat bread. Thank you, thank you for Sharing your recipe. Looking forward to trying some of your other recipes.

  2. Luana says

    I’ve been baking gluten-free for a few years but yet to find a good bread recipe without potato starch — until now. Thank you! It turned out great. I used brown rice flour/amaranth/millet/flax meal & sweet rice flour instead of milk powder. I used my food processor to mix. I didn’t do the foil tent and it came out just fine anyway. This will become my standard bread recipe now. Love that it’s a full-size loaf — unusual for gluten-free.
    Thank you!

  3. Julia Whelan says

    I have made this bread several times, and I LOVE it. Thank you for this recipe and allthe others. Your flour blend makes very delicious baked goods. Julia

  4. KE says

    Your photo does not do this bread justice! I used sorghum & brown rice for my whole grains (1 1/2 cups each) and this bread came out beautifully! So delicious! Thank you for the wonderful recipe!

  5. Carie says

    Hi Jeanne,

    I tried making this bread in my bread machine but I’m not sure it turned out quite right. It was super dense and chewy…is that how it should come out? I’m wondering if I should mix it all together first before placing it in the bread maker. Any tips? :) Your picture looks delicious.

  6. Carol says

    Sorry Jeanny but how do you substitute this flours by your all purpose flour? I’ve been looking at your bread recipes and none of them call for you flour-mix, so I found it hard to understand where can I use that mix? Sorry I am not only new to gluten-free, I am also new to baking…

    • says

      Carol: A few of my breads use a different mix of flours because I was aiming for a different taste situation. If you are looking for breads that use my flour mix, please check out the Soft Sandwich Bread, the Dinner Rolls, and the Cinnamon Buns. :) Also, please check out my “Baking Tips” tab for info on various baking issues you might encounter. Happy baking!

  7. Connie says

    My stepdaughter has celiac and it’s been a most interesting journey of learning gluten free cooking and baking. In the past few years, we’ve had a number of triumphs and a lot of flops. This bread was absolutely the best I’ve baked to date! Thanks so much for sharing your experience. I used brown rice flour, sorghum flour, and equal halves of teff and GF oat flour in place of amaranth. Truly a delightful fresh loaf of bread that came together quite easily. Our whole family loved it!

    I keep a wheat based sourdough starter that I bake with when my stepdaughter isn’t here… I’m going to try to catch some of that wild yeast in our kitchen into a GF flour for a GF sourdough next!

  8. Christina says

    Jeanne
    First thing I did when I got up this morning is your bread;it’s perfect and taste great! I was born and leaved in Germany most of my life. If you have ever been in Germany you would know that we love and I mean love our breads/ baked goods.Your Multigrain bread tastes awesome.
    Thank you so much
    Take care und machs gut

  9. says

    Jeanne,

    Thanks for this recipe! I am new to gluten free baking, but am trying it out to see if it helps with some health issues some in our family are experiencing. Your site is great!

    Here’s my question for you though. Normally when I bake (wheat) bread I make a bunch of loaves at once and then freeze them and just thaw out a loaf at time to use when we need it. I was wondering if this gf bread freezes/thaws well without affecting the taste and structure of the bread? I would imagine it would, but thought I would ask the expert! :) Thanks!

    • says

      Shelley: Yes, this bread should freeze well. Make sure it’s completely cool, and then wrap tightly so no air gets in. Also, I usually let it defrost in the refrigerator overnight before I use it. :)

  10. SA in Warwick says

    Thanks for answering so quickly. “If using” sounds optional, so that’s why I asked. Beside the 1 TBL of sugar used to proof the yeast, its another 3 TBLs of either sugar, honey or molasses (whichever is the baker’s choice).

  11. S A in Warwick, RI says

    Hi. Honey, molasses or additional sugar is listed in the ingredients for this recipe. The directions, however, say to add if using. Is this additional sweetener optional?

    • says

      SA: I have directions for using the additional sweeteners in the recipe. Look for “additional sugar if using” or “honey or molasses if using.” You need to use one of the three.

  12. Ilana says

    Hi there!
    First off, I have to thank you Jeanne, for taking the time to share your experiences & recipes. As a professional baker, I thought my life was kind of over when I was told I had to go gluten free. Over the past year your website has become my go to place to check out new recipes & slowly replace all my old wheat recipes. I just baked a loaf of your soft sandwich bread for soup & sandwich night & it was loved by everyone, even those who can consume gluten. It made an excellent turkey sandwich!
    Unfortunately I’m not just posting to heap praise on you, but to ask aquestion. 😉 When I make your soft sandwich bread I have a large amount of dough; when I put the raw dough in the pan it almost reaches to the top. I let it rise to the top then pop it in the oven. I get a slightly doughy bottom, but nothing terrible. My concern is when I make this recipe. There are 4 cups of flour in this as opposed to the 3 in the soft sandwich bread so I’m concerned about being able to fit this into my pan. The only substitution I make is egg replacer for eggs & I feel pretty good about my oven temp. And my loaf pan is metal & the size that’s called for. Any ideas as to what’s going on & if I need to be concerned about trying this recipe?
    Thank you!

    • says

      Ilana: I’m so glad my recipes have been helpful for you! The egg replacer is the issue in terms of the doughy bottoms to your breads. Eggs provide a lot of the structure to baked items. As for the bread fitting into your pan–this should fit just fine. Are you using a 9″x5″ pan? Be sure you’re using that size instead of the smaller 8″ ones. Happy baking!

  13. Lana says

    Hello! I have tried this recipe several times now. It tastes great, but the issue I am having as it comes out not fully cooked. I have tried it several times in the bread machine… then went to the “manual method” for improved results, but when slicing, still get a gum covered knife. I had to bake for about double the time. I have started using a oven themometre, and live at an altitude of approx 1800 feet. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. This is often the case with most of my gf baking. My daughter is on a gluten casien free diet, and I would love to get the hang of this soon! Much appreciated!

    Lana

    • says

      Lana: Hm. Since you are baking at high altitude, your gluten-free baked items should come out better than they normally would at sea level. Since you already have an oven thermometer, you’ve done the first thing I would have suggested to you. Are you making the recipe exactly as written? Are you using eggs or an egg substitute? Also, what kind of pan are you using?

      • Lana says

        Jeanne,

        Thank you for your reply. I believe that I am following the recipe as close as possible. I weigh out my dry ingredients rather than use measuring cups. I do use eggs. The one thing that I may have not measured as accurately is the water as my mixture came out very dry. So the last time I added a couple tablespoons. I use a single thickness breadpan that has a non stick coating.

          • Lana says

            Will do, it seemed incredibly dense! will have faith :) Thanks for your time, I will let you know how it goes.

            L

          • says

            Lana: It is denser than a wheat white bread. The whole grains and the alternative sweeteners contribute to that. But, it should look it does in my photo.

  14. says

    I would like to thank you for the energy you’ve put in writing this web site. I am looking to see otherblog post from you in the future. please also excuse my bad english as it’s not my first language.

  15. Mischa says

    I had gestational diabetes with my last pregnancy and chances are I will have it again with this one (hereditary) and was hoping you could help me with the nutritional values (mainly carbs) for this bread. I am wanting to stick with gluten free during pregnancy, and also control the diabetes completely with my diet. Hope you can help! Thanks and can’t wait to try this recipe!!

    • says

      Mischa: Unfortunately, I don’t have nutritional values for my recipes. I know that there are sites on the web that will do this for you–some are free and some charge a fee. I would recommend doing a search for one of those.

    • Dayna says

      I would try using sprouted grains like sprouted sorghum or millet. Sprouting turns the grains into vegetables. It reduces the amount of carbs and ramps up the vitamin and mineral content plus, because sprouting helps to break down some of the complex sugars, it makes it easier on the digestive system. I am trying this recipe for the first time today. Jeanne’s other bread recipe is fabulous so i believe this will be just as tasty. I am using 1 cup of white rice flour, 1 cup of sprouted sorghum, and 1 cup of sprouted millet. I also used sweet rice flour instead of the dry milk powder because that is what i had on hand. It is rising in the oven now. Hope this helps! I also have a question for Jeanne. The amount of dough filled my bread pan 3/4 of the way full. If i allow it to double in bulk, do you think it will it overflow during baking?

  16. Tracy says

    After several failures with an olive bread recipe from another site, I got brave and experimented! I decreased the salt by 1/2 tsp and added 20 chopped up green olives (along with the previous add-ins of rosemary and flax seed). And, as every recipe of yours, it turned out perfect! This recipe is my go-to bread that I now make every week. Can’t wait to try some more variations. Garlic bread maybe…

  17. Ali says

    I was wondering what you’d suggest for making an oat bread. My mother’s very fond of an Oat nut bread and I’m not sure about how to go about adding oats. I don’t suppose you’ve suggestions? :) By the way, I tried making the soft sandwich bread and I was quite pleased! Not like those nasty little GF loaves in the grocery store.

    • says

      Ali: I would recommend using oat flour as one of the cups of flour. And you can sprinkle oats on top of the loaf right before it bakes. Be sure to use oats that are labeled “gluten-free.” Happy baking!

    • says

      Beth: Yes, you can use your bread machine. That said, you will need to tinker with the setting in order to get the one that works the best. This bread works best on the “gluten-free” setting on my Breadman bread machine.

  18. Tracy says

    Love this bread! I used the flours as listed, except millet flour in place of the amaranth and added flax seeds. I also added a tbsp of fresh rosemary. Made the best ham sandwiches! Thanks for another great recipe.

  19. Cheryl says

    I’m curious, why does this recipe call for less xanthan gum compared to your soft sandwich bread which requires more? Thanks

    • says

      Cheryl: Good eyes! It is because the Soft Sandwich Bread is designed to be a bit more smooth in the crumb than the Multigrain Bread. Also, I developed each of these at different points and didn’t pay compare the xanthan gum amount in either. It’s so interesting–I should go look at the amount in all of my bread/roll recipes.

  20. lisa says

    Have you found an ‘egg-free’ , gluten free, dairy free bread recipe? These allergies have slaughtered our diet, and the struggle to get a little one to eat everyday is exhausting. School lunches are the hardest.

    • says

      Lisa: You can make any of my bread gluten-free and egg-free. For the egg, use 1 TBL of ground flax seed, mixed with 3 TBL hot water. Let sit for about 15 minutes (until it gels and cools). Then use this for each egg in your recipes. The bread won’t rise as much as bread with egg, but it will be fine and will taste great. The flax adds some nutty crunch to the the breads, too.

  21. Cheryl says

    Hi Jeanne, I am ready to make this lovely-sounding loaf, but I am wondering what to do with the optional flax seeds, oats, or sunflower seeds you mention in the recipe. Am I supposed to put them INTO the dough, or on top of the dough? I am leaning toward mixing sunflower seeds into the dough, but I don’t want to make the recipe until I know which one you had in mind. I am so happy to see a multi-grain loaf offered here!
    Thanks!
    Cheryl

  22. suzanne says

    Our family loved this bread recipe. I left out the xantham gum and used 1tsp cream of tarter and 2 T flax seed. I also used no sugar only honey and for the grain I used quinoa and teff. I love your flour mix and enjoy all your recipes. Thanks for sharing.

  23. Amanda says

    Hi there, love this recipe it made the nicest loaf of bread. My question is what can i substitute the amaranth flour with, i cant stand the smell or the taste of it. Thank you

    • admin says

      Amanda: More sorghum is nice. Maybe millet? Teff would be fun to try. I would experiment. And I’m so glad you like the bread!

  24. Christine says

    I recently bought a Zojirushi bread maker with a customizable cycle so I can totally program the preheat, knead, rise and bake times. Why would you say to use the “regular” setting? Wouldn’t that have more rises than necessary for GF flours? I can’t wait to try this recipe, but will wait to hear from you regarding this. Thanks.

    • admin says

      Christine: I say that because I don’t have a programmable bread machine. The “regular” cycle has the length one needs for this bread. The GF cycle does not. Hence, I say use the regular cycle.

  25. Robbie says

    Aloha Jeanne,
    I just saw this recipe and want to try it; however in my previous comment on the AP Flour mix I stated that I’m trying to also do the Type ‘O’ diet and Sorghum is not good for me. Would I be able to use Quinoa flour instead? I just bought Instant yeast as I am planning to use a Bread Maker . . . can I use that instead of the Active Yeast?
    Look forward to hearing back from you . . . Robbie

    • admin says

      Robbie: Sure, go ahead and use quinoa and see what happens. I think the best thing to do is to experiment and see what happens. Also, instant yeast should be fine! Happy baking!

  26. Lucinda says

    Your bread recipe sounds great and the best part is I can use my bread machine to make it! Thank you for all your hard work on your recipes it is always nice to use them. Lucinda

  27. Shaundrah says

    Can you give me the instructions for baking this in the bread machine? I would really appreciate it. I have not been successful at baking bread in the over, but have no issues with the bread machine. Thanks!

    • admin says

      Shaundrah: I have baked this bread many times in the bread machine. Tips: use the “regular” setting–not the gluten-free setting. Put the eggs in first and then the yeast water. Then the other liquids. Mix all of the dry ingredients in a bowl and then add to the bread machine. Using a plastic or wooden spoon (so you don’t scratch the container) pre-mix the dough until it is wet. This helps the machine mix it well. Then turn on your machine and let it go. I usually check it a few times in the beginning to make sure that it is mixing well. Happy baking!

  28. KellieKnits says

    I just had my first piece of toast with peach jam in months! I made this in my bread machine yesterday. The texture perfect and the flavour is divine AND I didn’t have to go to the local specialty bakery and pay $9 for it. I love your site and can’t wait to try more. Thank you for giving me hope!

  29. Willie says

    I have this bread comming out of the oven in a few minutes, I would like to make cinnamon and raisin bread. Can I just add those two ingredients?
    I am also looking for pizza dough recipe, do you have one?

    • admin says

      Willie: Yes, I’m guessing it would be fine to just add raisins and cinnamon–although you will have to play with the amounts. Also, I have a pizza crust on the site–look under Recipes!

  30. casandra says

    Would this recipe work without the brown rice flower? My son has just been diagnosed with egg, rice, and wheat allergies.

  31. Theresa Schaefer says

    I always put my bread in the frig as we use very little at times and don’t want it to spoil. Why are you saying not to refrigerate?I love your site and am sharing it with others. My neighbor liked the Multi-grain so I am giving her the recipe.ZF83

    thanks,

    Theresa

    • admin says

      Theresa: The fridge changes the consistency and caused most home-baked goods to become hard and dried out. Please note that while home-baked goods do spoil more quickly because they are not full of preservatives, they do stay good for a few days at room temperature. If you don’t eat it within a couple of days, I would wrap the remainder very well and freeze it.

  32. Angie says

    I’m trying to find a bread recipe that’s gluten free & egg free for my daughter. I’ve used Ener-G several times but am wondering if something else would be better. Do you know if it would work in this recipe?

    • admin says

      Angie: This recipe works fairly well with an egg replacer. I use 1 TBL ground flax seeds to 3 TBL hot water for each egg. Let sit for about 15 minutes and then whisk. The bread will be a bit more dense than it would be with eggs, but it tastes great!

  33. Regee says

    This is rising as I type:-)
    I used a .5cup millet & amaranth each (instead of 1cup amaranth).
    Also guar gum, coconut oil, 1T honey, 2T molasses, & milk powder.
    I’m excited to bake this, my last loaf was ‘hole-y’ (large holes thru-out the loaf) & after the 1st day only tasted good toasted……….
    What’s your opinion on yeasts? I accidentally got rapidrise, so it didn’t take but about 20 min. to double in bulk
    Thanks for sharing!!

    • admin says

      Regee: I like active dry yeast because I think that it gives the bread the right amount of time to rise. But, science says that yeast is yeast, so I think it’s fine to use what you have.

  34. Kelly P says

    I have learned I have a much easier time baking by weight instead of cup for flour. Can all of these flours use the 140 grams per cup rule of thumb or do I need to look up individual flour weights?

    Also, thank you so much for your recipes and flour mix. I have tried other flour mixes and the smell of the end result was always off putting. Your blend is amazing. I have decided your GF white bread with nutella is heaven on a plate.

    • admin says

      Kelly: Greetings! I have just updated the post to include weight measurements! Thank you for reminding me to do that! And I’m so glad you like the other bread recipe, too! Yay!

  35. Rachel says

    I love your site and your recipes have been a complete success for everything I’ve tried so far. I’m in the middle of trying this one and wondered if you had any suggestions on how to successfully substitute yeast. I suspect one of my sons is sensitive to it and would love to avoid it if I can. I got confused about the flours though. In the ingredients list, 3 C is called for, but when mixing, it lists 4 C total. I went with the 4 C and the dough seemed really thick. I also noticed you said gf flours can often be stickier. How “sticky” should the dough look?

    • admin says

      Rachel: I know where your confusion is: the 1 C of tapioca flour is one of the flours I mean when I say 4 C total of flours. This bread does have a pretty sticky dough–but a stand mixer should be able to handle it. I also make it in my bread maker–and it works fine.

      About yeast: unfortunately, there really is no substitute for yeast in a yeasted bread. If your son is sensitive to it, I would make a quick bread (i.e., one that uses baking powder or baking soda) that is more on the plain side (i.e., not sugary). As I think through my recipes, I don’t have one that would fit the bill for a sandwich bread. I will put that on my list of recipes to try to develop when I get a chance. In her book, The Gluten-Free Almond Flour Cookbook, Elana Amsterdam has a couple of recipes for non-yeasted quick breads that might fit the bill for what you’re looking for. They are nut-based–her base flour, as you can tell, is almond flour. I haven’t baked from her book yet, but I know it gets good reviews, so you might want to check it out.

      I hope this helps!!

      • Rachel says

        Thanks for all the info. I’ll have to look into that. Learning to bake gluten free is turning out to be quite the struggle so I’m very grateful for all the recipes you’ve worked out and share with us all. Keep up the great work.

        • admin says

          Rachel: Yes, it is a steep learning curve. But keep at it!! And I’m always happy to help and answer questions!

  36. Tehara says

    Had a question for you…why do you oil and flour your pan, I have always just oiled mine, does the flour help it rise up the sides? I’m still struggling with getting my bread to stay risen, but it tastes good :-)
    Thanks,
    Tehara

    • admin says

      Tehara:

      Thanks for the question! I oil and flour my pans because gluten-free dough tends to be more sticky than wheat-based doughs. So, the flour provides some extra de-stickification (that’s the technical word for it…:) ). Actually, flouring the sides wouldn’t help it climb up the sides. Also, you’re right–gf baked goods are notorious for having troubles rising. If you are having problems getting the bread to rise, I would find a warmer place to let it rise and let it rise longer.

      Thanks!
      –Jeanne

      • Lisa says

        Thanks for the tip. I did try a simular method with chia seeds. I let them soak and gel for 15 mins as well. The bread came out tasty, but very dense and had a sticky texture to it.

        Ill try your flax seed idea today. :)

        • says

          Lisa: Yeah, the seeds/water replacement for the eggs is going to create a denser bread that you get with actual eggs because eggs provide a lot of the structure that makes bread fluffy. You could also try cutting back on the amount of water that you mix with the seeds in order to come up with a ratio that is to your liking. Happy baking!

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