vegan • plant-based • dairy-free • gluten-free • sugar-free • jump to the recipe

Bread is often one of the biggest challenges when moving to a plant-based gluten-free diet. Gluten-free products are readily available in supermarkets nowadays, but they’re usually low in nutritional value, they’re rarely vegan, and they’re almost never organic.

Once you crack a gluten-free bread recipe, you have a lot more freedom and flexibility – for everyday lunches, pack-ups for picnics and travelling, or toasted as a teatime snack. Personally, when figuring out bread recipes, we’re after something that slices easily, freezes well, and doesn’t crumble apart. As well as being nutritious and filling, we want it to be as quick as possible to make. Ideally we also don’t want it to have any overpowering flavours, so it goes with anything – e.g. nut butter, soy cheese or houmous.

That sounds a lot to ask from a humble loaf, but this one ticks all the boxes. It even toasts well – unlike some of the pumpernickel types you can buy. Of course, making your own bread is never going to be as easy as popping to the bakery, but being in control of the ingredients is important when taking extra care of your diet. We aim to make everything from scratch using wholefoods – mostly so that we can pre-soak dry goods to reduce antinutrients. If you’re not up to that just now, we’ll give you some ways to cut corners.

Gluten-Free Quinoa Seed Bread


About the ingredients

Quinoa

This ancient grain – technically a seed – has a great nutritional profile. Packed with protein it includes all 20 amino acids, and it’s also high in fibre. This makes for a satisfying bread that can help you feel fuller for longer than one that’s purely starch-based. For variety you can substitute some or all of the quinoa for amaranth and/or teff. These will both be higher in carbohydrate and lower in protein than quinoa. Amaranth can be a bit sticky if you substitute the full 300g, so it’s worth giving the loaf an extra 5 minutes or so of baking.

Brown rice flour

Using this starchier ingredient along with the quinoa gives the loaf a more familiar bread-like texture and flavour. Rather than seeming like ‘health food’, it heads towards a traditional wholemeal loaf – a little like soda bread. Brown rice flour is cheap and pretty easy to find. If you want the freshest flour, with reduced antinutrients, you could have a go at making your own.
How to make your own flour »

Coconut oil

We use coconut oil because it’s stable when heated. Other oils, such as olive, can turn to harmful trans-fats when they go above their ‘smoke-point’ (depending on the type of olive oil, this can be around 200°C). We recommend keeping some coconut oil in the cupboard if you don’t already. It’s so useful for all kinds of cooking and baking, as it’s pretty much odourless and flavourless.

Psyllium husk powder

This is essential to the recipe, but it’s cheap and fairly easy to find. Psyllium husk is well-known for regulating digestion, and lowering cholesterol. Its high fibre content gives it a great capacity for soaking up moisture, so it helps to hold dough together in gluten-free baking.

Chia seeds

Not only are these rich in essential minerals and healthy fats, they also help to even the texture of the bread, in a similar way to psyllium husk. For an extra smooth texture, they’re best ground up in a blender, but you can also use them whole. If you don’t have chia, you could use flax, but that’s definitely better ground than whole in this case.
More about chia seeds »

Additional seeds (e.g. pumpkin, sesame, sunflower)

These are optional – they give a nice texture, as well as some extra nutritional value. If you want a nuttier flavour, you can pre-roast them, but it’s not necessary. Do make sure they’re properly dehydrated if you pre-soak them though, or your mix will be too soggy. You can use any seeds you like, but you might find sunflower seeds go green – especially if used raw. It’s where naturally occurring acid in the seeds reacts with the bicarbonate of soda. This is totally safe, it just looks a bit weird.
More about processing seeds »

Gluten-Free Quinoa Seed Bread Mix


Gluten-Free Quinoa Seed Bread

Gluten-Free Quinoa Seed Bread

Yields8 Servings

 300 g quinoa (whole, uncooked)
 300 g brown rice flour
 3 tbsp coconut oil (plus extra for greasing the tin)
 3 tbsp chia seeds, ground
 3 tbsp psyllium husk powder
 1 tsp salt
 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda (baking soda)
 60 g seeds (e.g. pumpkin, sesame, sunflower)

1

Have these handy:

  • A large mixing bowl
  • A spoon for mixing
  • A food processor or high speed blender
  • A 2 lb bread pan/tin (Not sure of the size? Check it holds 1 litre of water)

Optional:

  • A sieve
  • Non-stick baking paper
2

Soak the quinoa, ideally for 24 hours, changing the water after 12. To reduce antinutrients it's good to add a tablespoon of vinegar, whey, yoghurt or lemon juice to the water.

3

Sift the rice flour, chia, psyllium husk, bicarbonate of soda and salt into the mixing bowl and stir to make sure it's combined evenly.

4

Thoroughly rinse and strain the quinoa, then put it in the blender with the coconut oil and 300 ml of warm water. Blend at high speed until it forms a smooth batter. Stir this into the dry ingredients.

5

Add the seeds to the mixture, and start kneading the dough by hand. Eventually the psyllium will absorb any excess moisture, so the dough stops sticking to the side of the bowl. Leave it to rest for about 15 minutes.

6

Preheat the oven to 200°C (390°F).

7

Line the bread pan if you prefer, and lightly grease it with coconut oil.

8

Lift the dough into the pan, and press it lightly into the corners. It should be about level with the top of the pan.

9

Bake for around 45 minutes – ovens vary, so just keep an eye on it the first time. When it's ready it'll be golden brown, and will sound hollow when tapped.

10

Take it out of the pan and leave it to cool completely on a wire rack before slicing (unless the aroma completely dashes your patience).

Ingredients

 300 g quinoa (whole, uncooked)
 300 g brown rice flour
 3 tbsp coconut oil (plus extra for greasing the tin)
 3 tbsp chia seeds, ground
 3 tbsp psyllium husk powder
 1 tsp salt
 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda (baking soda)
 60 g seeds (e.g. pumpkin, sesame, sunflower)

Directions

1

Have these handy:

  • A large mixing bowl
  • A spoon for mixing
  • A food processor or high speed blender
  • A 2 lb bread pan/tin (Not sure of the size? Check it holds 1 litre of water)

Optional:

  • A sieve
  • Non-stick baking paper
2

Soak the quinoa, ideally for 24 hours, changing the water after 12. To reduce antinutrients it's good to add a tablespoon of vinegar, whey, yoghurt or lemon juice to the water.

3

Sift the rice flour, chia, psyllium husk, bicarbonate of soda and salt into the mixing bowl and stir to make sure it's combined evenly.

4

Thoroughly rinse and strain the quinoa, then put it in the blender with the coconut oil and 300 ml of warm water. Blend at high speed until it forms a smooth batter. Stir this into the dry ingredients.

5

Add the seeds to the mixture, and start kneading the dough by hand. Eventually the psyllium will absorb any excess moisture, so the dough stops sticking to the side of the bowl. Leave it to rest for about 15 minutes.

6

Preheat the oven to 200°C (390°F).

7

Line the bread pan if you prefer, and lightly grease it with coconut oil.

8

Lift the dough into the pan, and press it lightly into the corners. It should be about level with the top of the pan.

9

Bake for around 45 minutes – ovens vary, so just keep an eye on it the first time. When it's ready it'll be golden brown, and will sound hollow when tapped.

10

Take it out of the pan and leave it to cool completely on a wire rack before slicing (unless the aroma completely dashes your patience).

Gluten-Free Quinoa Seed Bread


Storage

Once the loaf has cooled, store it in an air-tight container for 3-4 days, or up to a week in the fridge. It also freezes well – either as a whole loaf or individual slices.


Not up to making your own bread?

The best shop-bought ones we’ve found are by Biona – available in most health-food shops and some supermarkets. The Rice and the Rice & Sunflower ones are vegan; the Millet and the Buckwheat Rice come close, but do contain honey. They all contain yeast, which won’t suit everyone. Obviously the ingredients won’t be pre-soaked, but rice is not super-high in phytates, so these are a pretty good option.






Got any tips or questions of your own about gluten-free bread? Leave us a comment below, we’d love to hear from you.

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