gluten-free bread

Gluten-Free Bread and Challah Rolls Recipe

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?).

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, sorghum flour, chick pea flour 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.

 

Ingredients

  • 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

Instructions

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.

GLUTEN-FREE EGG CHALLAH:

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.

FOCACCIA AND HERB LOAVES:

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.

59 replies
  1. Ahuva
    Ahuva says:

    Hi! Could I bother you to write out specifically the ingredients for the oat flour egg challah (not just in relation to the original post but specific amounts for a whole recipe please)? This is all overwhelming as it is and I don’t want to mess up. Thanks!

    Reply
  2. Devorah
    Devorah says:

    I made a small batch of these GF oat rolls for my new son-in-law for last night’s Chanukah party since we made regular bagels for everyone else. My son kneaded the dough by hand because the bread machine was in use (something we never do ;), and it made a really nice dough. My only change was that I subbed half potato starch (as per online substitution tips) for the tapioca, because I didn’t have any.
    I shaped them into logs to make them a little different, and on a whim, I boiled them then baked them, like regular bagels, complete with everything topping. (The dough was too crumbly for regular shaped bagels, but held nicely as “bagel sticks”.)
    My daughter was so happy that her new husband wasn’t left out if the fun, and my son-in-law really enjoyed his fresh, hot “bagels”. They were really good!
    We will be trying other variations! :-)

    Reply
    • Lévana
      Lévana says:

      Devorah this sounds great! Would be fun to make pretzel buns too: Just what you did, but adding baking soda in the boiling water! Theres nothing I don’t make with oats. Even oat milk. I have been enjoying my Matcha Latte, made with with oat milk

  3. Jen
    Jen says:

    I have to eliminate corn so xanthan gum is out for now. Can this be made without xanthan and what would you replace it with?

    Reply
    • Lévana
      Lévana says:

      Jen I poked around online, and this is what I found:
      Most commonly, Xanthomonas campestris is fed glucose (sugar) derived from corn, soy or wheat. This glucose comes from the starch of the plant and contains no protein, which means if you have a corn, soy or wheat allergy, you can likely enjoy xanthan gum. The bacteria that grows our xanthan gum is fed wheat glucose.Feb 19, 2014
      What is it? Wednesday: Xanthan Gum – Bob’s Red Mill
      http://www.bobsredmill.com/blog/featured-articles/wiw-xanthan-gum/

    • Lévana
      Lévana says:

      Sharon, sorry no I wouldn’t recommend this. I can’t see how apple sauce will be a substitute for the oil. You need the oil in this recipe.

  4. Sandra
    Sandra says:

    I made these this past week for Sukkot. They were wonderful in flavor, but a little hard. Cutting them in half was almost an arm work out! I used Pamela’s GF flour mix. I also followed with all other ingredients. I’m wondering if I should not have added xan gum or tapioca flour because I used Pamala’s GF flour mix.

    Reply
    • Lévana
      Lévana says:

      Sandra My rolls are very nice and soft. The recipe is tried and true. I am not familiar with the mix you use, plus I gave exact instructions for the mix I use, so I cannot tell what went wrong with yours.

    • MG
      MG says:

      I did not see any mention of sorghum flour in the post. Which flours would you combine it with (in addition to oat and tapioca)? If you have used sorghum, have you had good results?
      I made this recipe using the oat, coconut, almond, tapioca mixture and it was the closest I’ve gotten to the regular challah I’m used to in taste and texture, but I’d like to try to get it even closer. Thank you so much for this recipe!

    • Lévana
      Lévana says:

      MG, I was just giving some examples of gluten-free flours. The idea, as I explained, was to explore with all gluten-free flours in any combination, staying close to the recipe when following the ratios. Thanks to you, I just added sorghum flour and chick pea flour. I love sorghum, and recently combined it with chick pea flour and brown rice flour in a scone recipe, and was delighted with the results. Take a look at the recipe! https://www.levanacooks.com/recipe/vegan-vegetable-scones-recipe-gluten-free-and-regular-versions/

  5. Julia Bakall
    Julia Bakall says:

    2016-Jan-01
    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.

    Reply
  6. Lee
    Lee says:

    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.

    Reply
  7. Janet
    Janet says:

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

    Reply
    • Lévana
      Lévana says:

      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.

  8. Milca
    Milca says:

    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.

    Reply
    • Lévana
      Lévana says:

      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
      Milca says:

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

  9. arlene
    arlene says:

    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.

    Reply
    • Lévana
      Lévana says:

      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.

  10. Carrie
    Carrie says:

    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.

    Reply
    • Lévana
      Lévana says:

      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.

  11. Melanie
    Melanie says:

    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

    Reply
    • Lévana
      Lévana says:

      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.

  12. rose
    rose says:

    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!

    Reply
    • Lévana
      Lévana says:

      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.

  13. Malka
    Malka says:

    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

    Reply
  14. Malka
    Malka says:

    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.

    Reply
    • Levana
      Levana says:

      Debra I just realized I gave you the wrong answer, so sorry about that! I missed the GF part, I thought you asked about King Arthur’s regular AP flour. So the correct answer to your question is: if their mixture already includes tapioca, use only that mixture, if not, yes, use their mixture plus tapioca, using the ratios I have recommended in my recipe.

  15. Lévana
    Lévana says:

    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.

    Reply
  16. Julie
    Julie says:

    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

    Reply
  17. Julie
    Julie says:

    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?

    Reply
    • Lévana
      Lévana says:

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

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