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The Whole Foods Kosher kitchen

Gluten-Free Bread and Challah Rolls Recipe

Posted on 7th of September, 2011 by Lévana


Gluten-free Bread and Challah: Since there seems to be an inexhaustible demand for it, here’s my two cents. Let me start by saying I am constantly tinkering with this recipe, and as delicious as it is, it is still a work in progress.

There’s no way commercial gluten-free bread offerings will hold a candle to your homemade gluten-free bread preparation, made with much more valuable ingredients than the  insipid and nutritionally worthless ingredients contained in most commercial gluten-free bread offerings (who needs them?). So this is not just gluten-free bread, but delicious and nutritious as well.

This gluten-free bread recipe is quite elastic, and might well be the solution to your gluten-free bread cravings. This is quite a place to include some super foods ingredients your children might ordinarily resist if they were offered in recognizable forms. Here’s all I ask if you want to pull this off perfectly: Don’t shape the dough into loaves until you get more experienced. Rather, shape into rolls. There will be much less room to end up with a dried-out bread.

There’s plenty of room to explore with quality gluten-free flours.  Here I go all out with the wonderful gamut of flour, only the best: Oat flour is especially delicious and hearty; almond flour, coconut flour, rice flour, fine cornmeal etc…. Teff flour and Buckwheat flour will be good but extra dark and extra pungent, I would say use them in combination with the more delicately flavored flours just mentioned. Also, whatever flour combination you end up with, be sure to include the tapioca, as it is a great emulsifier.

If you intend to explore with gluten-free baking more often, I urge you to look into Xanthan Gum: An emulsifier that will do in great part the job the gluten won’t be doing. Easy to use, dependable and widely available in health-foods stores and online. 

The addition of flax meal is optional, but makes this bread much more nutritious and more deeply flavored and satisfying. Likewise, replace some or even all of the warm water with warm milk or dairy-free milk (or part coconut milk)

This is a nice large batch, enjoy it now and freeze the rest, sealed very tightly,  for later use.

This gluten-free bread recipe needs only a little tweaking to adapt to gluten-free challah. Scroll down for instructions!

Attention fellow frequent Gluten-Free bakers friends: Gluten-free flours can err on the expensive side in health food stores. Explore online, and do as I do: Order 5-pound containers of any gluten-free flour at a much more reasonable price. You will do much better making your own Gluten-free bread flour mixture: Explore, mix and match with different gluten-free bread flours, taking good note as you go along, then when you arrive at the perfect keeper, make a large batch of your very own favorite delicious nutritious Gluten-Free Bread flour for future gluten-free bread batches.

I was very happy with my last batch: equal parts almond flour, fine corn meal and oat flour. So, 4 cups of each. For nut-allergic diners, I recommend replacing the  almond flour with brown rice flour.



6 ½ cups warm water (or part milk or dairy-free milk)

1/4 cup dry yeast

1/4 cup sugar, agave or honey

12 cups gluten-free flour, packed, alone or in any combination (oat, rice, millet, quinoa etc… If you are using almond, coconut, cornmeal, buckwheat or teff flour: use in combination with the first flours mentioned)

2 cups tapioca flour

3/4 cup flax meal (health food stores) optional

1 cup olive oil, vegetable oil, or coconut oil

1/4 cup xanthan gum

2 tablespoons salt


Preheat the oven to 350°F. Mix the water, yeast, and sugar in a bowl and let the mixture foam. Add all remaining ingredients and knead about 5 minutes, in a dough mixer or by hand. Let the mixture rest about 30 minutes. The dough will rise a respectable size, albeit less than regular dough.

Shape small rolls and place on  cookie sheets lined with foil or parchment (you will get about 3-4 dozen) or in muffin molds. Bake, one sheet at a time, about 30 minutes, until golden.

Again, until you get more practice, you will do much better making rolls or small loaves than making a whole challah, since this dough will rise less than a regular flour bread dough.  For Shabbos bread, use all oat flour (it is the only GF flour you make HaMotzi on. Same dough as above, with 4 to 6 eggs added, 1 less cup liquid, a little more oil, and a little more sugar or honey, to taste. Brush with egg wash, and top with sesame or poppy seeds if desired.

Play with your dough, as I do: no exact amounts. Practice makes perfect, your bread will and taste better with each batch. Take some of your risen dough, and add some goodies. Add your favorite seasonings, short and sweet selection: minced onion, zaatar, rosemary, minced olives, minced sun-dry tomatoes. Incorporate your selection thoroughly in your piece of dough. Shape into a flat thin rectangle, poke all over with a finger, brush with oil , and bake in a preheated 425 degrees for about 30 minutes, or a little longer. Or shape into a flattish round loaf, sprinkling the bottom and the top with GF flour for easier handling, score all over with a sharp knife, and bake in a preheated 425 degrees for about 30 minutes, or a little longer, until firm on top and on bottom.

Filed under: Almond Flour Recipes, Bread Recipes, Coconut Flour Recipes, Coconut Milk Recipes, Coconut Oil Recipes, Cornmeal Recipes, Flax Meal Recipes, Gluten-Free Bread Recipes, Gluten-Free Challah Rolls Recipes, Gluten-Free Grain Recipes, Kosher Recipes, Recipes, Tapioca Recipes, Xanthan Gum

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37 Questions

  1. Julia Bakall, on Said:

    Dear Levana, I live in Sweden and I would like to use the kg and Liter systems for my baking, using your recepees. What do you suggest me to do?
    Thanks a lot.
    Julia B.

  2. Lee, on Said:

    I enjoy your writing. Your enthusiasm jumps off the page.
    I’ve been trying to make oat challah for a while but since it’s only for myself and I’m not wanting to make large challot, I’m not able to try it out that often. what I miss most are the crusty outside and chewy insides of my “almost” water challot I used to make for myself. For wheat challah, I use 2 eggs to 5lbs of whole wheat or light wheat flour, about 1/4 c. oil and only a dollop of honey melted in with the yeast. So I’m wondering if there’s any possibility of getting similar results with oat challah. What do the eggs and oil do for it? I find that most of the time, my oat challah dough breaks – does that mean not enough liquid?

    I know many women make heavy challah doughs with lots of eggs, oil and sugar but I find it too sweet and cake-like.
    If I don’t use all the eggs and oil etc. will I end up with a hockey puck? Thank You for your time and expertise. Shabbat Shalom.

  3. Janet, on Said:

    I would like a recipe for gluten free chala but i am not allowed any gluten oats almonds and yeast.
    Thanks for your help.

    • Lévana, on Said:

      Hi Janet,
      So: Oats are no trouble, they are gluten-free as long as they were not processed in machinery processing gluten. The GF label must be clear.
      No almonds: that is no problem at all, pick from the flours you CAN have.
      No yeast: It pays to try, skipping the yeast, and adding a little more xanthan. Make a small batch, see how far you get. MY bet is, it will be very good.

  4. Milca, on Said:

    Levana thank you so much for the recipe. I am knew to Gluten -Free Baking and I tried the recipe of the bread and it was lumpy and not manageable at all. It also did not rise.
    I wonder if you have a video tutorial to see how is this made.

    • Lévana, on Said:

      Milca, mine works, and for quite a few people. It comes out delicious. Wondering what might have gone wrong. Trying to help you retrace. Please tell me: Did you follow the recipe? What flours did you end up using? Did you make 100% you used tapioca flour in the flour mixture? Did you fill the molds really high, in prevision of the fact that gluten-free breads don’t rise anywhere near as much as gluten flour breads? Let’s start with addressing these questions.

    • Milca, on Said:

      Levana I used equal parts brown rice flour, potatoe flour and corn meal. And I used the 2 cups of tapioca

  5. arlene, on Said:

    is this enough to lehafrish challah
    how far apart do you place rolls on pan
    how much guar gum to use instead of
    xanthan gum.
    thank you.

    • Lévana, on Said:

      Arlene I would use Xanthan.
      You do Lehafrish Challah only if it the flour is all oat, and in this case, yes this amount is enough to make the Bracha.
      1inch apart is enough.

  6. Carrie, on Said:

    The challah recipe is amazing! I have tried every type of recipe for four years and this has been by far the best.
    My questions are regarding the shaping. Is the photo of gluten free rolls? And how do you shape them?

    I used all oat flour (plus the tapioca) and it was lovely GF dough that rose well. But I could not make smooth rolls like in the photo. I used water to smooth the outside but it was still very rustic. The taste was phenomenal so really I don’t care so much about the traditional look, but I am curious how you do your shaping, for rolls and loaves.

    • Lévana, on Said:

      Carrie I’m so glad! I hate to give you this trite answer about shaping: Practice Practice Practice! Its OK if they’re not perfectly shaped at first. Make ropes, roll the ropes in GF flour, and make a loose knot with the ropes.

  7. Melanie, on Said:

    Hi Levana,
    Would you be able to share the exact amounts of each of the GF flours that you use in this recipe, to equal 10 cups GF flour.
    I know that finding the right amount and the right blends of GF flours is truly the key to a yummy end product. Thanks a ton! Melanie

    • Lévana, on Said:

      Melanie, I change the flours and the amounts of each flour all the time, according to what I have on hand. But I can tell you that some of my favorites are: Almond flour and oat flour. Fantastic flavor and light texture. Coconut flour is great too. And just as I instruct you in my recipe, tapioca flour is always present no matter what the other flours are, this is why I single it out.

  8. rose, on Said:

    Is the lead picture your Gluten free rolls or are those standard wheat/bread rolls? If they are gluten free will you please give the measurements of each flour you used? If not, will you please list your favorite combination of gluten free flours and how much of each you use?
    Thank you!

    • Lévana, on Said:

      Rose I am constantly tinkering with amounts. My honest opinion is, GF rolls come out this nice (as in the picture) only when there are more eggs, oil, honey etc… than I like. I am always prepared to end up with a more plebeian look in exchange for nutritious and delicious bread rolls. So for example, this week I made GF Challah rolls using: 8 cups oat flour, 2 cups almond flour, 2 cups coconut flour, 2 cups tapioca flour. The flavor was fantastic.

  9. Malka, on Said:

    Here is recipe from Binah magazine:

    GF Challah

    4 oz yeast
    1 3/4 cups warm water
    2 tbsp sugar
    4 eggs
    1 cup oil
    1 cup rice or other milk
    6 cups oat flour
    1.5 tbsp xantham gum
    2 tsp salt
    1/2 cup sugar
    1/2 cup tapioca starch

    Oven set to 375

    In glass bowl place yeast and warm water and 2 tbsp sugar

    All wet ingredients in mixer except yeast mixture

    All dry ingredients in bowl

    Slowly add the dry into wet mixing and also adding yeast mix in.

    Once all in, mix on high for 10-15 min

    Scoop out the size you want into greased pans or muffin tins

    Let rise 1/2 hour

    Bake 35 minutes and remove from pan right away

  10. Malka, on Said:

    Two notes. If you want to wash on this bread use oat flour. The others don’t qualify for the brocho. Second, yes, GF challah can rise. I’ve done it for years from a recipe from binah magazine. It’s not the same as a gluten challah and you cannot knead it but it certainly does rise.

    • Lévana, on Said:

      Malka yes it does rise but considerably less than regular wheat challah. I must include this information so my readers know what to expect.

  11. Lévana, on Said:

    You are right, the fact that there is yeast suggests they might rise, but with the total absence of gluten they’re not rising anywhere. The inclusion of yeast still insures the fermented flavor we like in bread. I make pizza with this dough as well, and it’s delicious.

  12. Julie, on Said:

    Ahh I thought the yeast makes it rise! Then they came out perfect with rice flour and I used unsweetened almond milk :)
    I recommend this recipe!!! 3 of my friends tried it already

  13. Julie, on Said:

    So I made them; they are delicious but the dough didn’t rise that much – did I mess up or was it not meant to rise much?

  14. Julie, on Said:

    Can I substitute milk powder with liquid soy or rice milk for this recipe? maybe use less water and then use milk instead? if yes, how much?

    • Lévana, on Said:

      Yes, sounds good. Do not exceed the amount of liquid given, and use milk and water in any combination, even all milk