I’ve updated this recipe since I originally posted it. Please see update notes below. Also note the bread pictured above is the variant with caraway seeds added. To learn more about how I created this recipe and what I’ve learned about bread-making, see this blog post: Gluten-free Bread Making — What I’ve Learned.
I never thought I would get a bread maker. I like bread occasionally, but it’s something I’ve lived (mostly) without for so long that I don’t mind not having it. But having a son with a wheat allergy and trying to figure out what to give him for lunches made a bread machine seem like a good idea.
I bought the T-fal Actibread machine on amazon (mostly because it was cheap, but it also had really good reviews) and it turned out to be a great purchase. It’s got 3 gluten-free settings plus a bunch of gluten-bread settings.
Don’t worry if you don’t have a bread machine though, see Tips & variations section below for oven-baking instructions. And if you have a different bread machine, check your manual to find comparable settings.
If your bread machine does NOT have a gluten-free setting, look for a setting that does not have a second punch down and rise. Gluten-free bread is more delicate and (from everything I’ve read) will not do well if it gets punched down after the initial rise.
Unfortunately, making a good gluten-free bread that’s NOT full of rice flour has been a gigantic pain. I couldn’t find any recipes that seemed worth the effort, so I’ve spent 6 months trying a variety of combinations of flours and liquids to get one that was worth the effort (with reliable results).
You’re welcome. 😉
Many sources will tell you that cassava flour can be substituted 1:1 for wheat flour. In some cases, that is true; for bread… not so much. Cassava absorbs a LOT more water than wheat flour, so it’s not a simple substitution, especially with regard to bread-making.
Cassava flour bread can come out suuuuuuuper gummy if the water to flour ratio isn’t right and/or if it needs to cook longer. If it’s only slightly gummy, you can toast it to make the texture a little better, but you’ll want to watch the texture of the dough. It should be more dry and crumbly than wheat dough would be, and if you have the instructions from the bread maker it will not look like the dough is supposed to look according to those instructions. (The machine instructions were helpful, just not for cassava flour.)
I’ve tried combining it with other grain-free flours, but I wanted a basic recipe with as few ingredients as possible to make life a wee bit easier, especially as far as what ingredients you’d (I’d) need to have on hand to make a basic bread for toast, sandwiches, French toast, or other bread-requiring events.
This is something of a dense bread with a low rise, but it’s tasty and works nicely for sandwiches (I prefer them open-faced), and is especially good as toast with a little butter and jam. It’s especially good for people with egg allergies, since there aren’t any eggs in it. I’m working on getting a higher rise by adding eggs, so stay tuned for that to come in the near future. 😉
Finally, as you may have noticed, this is high-carb bread, therefore it is not suited for keto or other low-carb eating styles. However, if that’s not a concern, this is a great option that tastes like “normal” bread. (Note: it’s the yeast that gives most of the bread-like flavor, and if you want to learn more about yeast in Paleo diets, read Sarah Ballantyne’s explanation here.)
If you can eat eggs, I recommend my Cassava Flour Sandwich Bread recipe. It’ll give you a fluffier loaf with a higher rise.
I’ve updated this recipe since I originally posted it. In working on a fluffier loaf that includes eggs, I came upon some new information, so I reworked this recipe to make it less dense. Here is the original ingredients list:
This is what the bread looked like with the original recipe
See how the top caves in a bit? The egg substitute and reduced flour makes it flatter on top. It doesn’t come out domed (like it would with more eggs), but it does make a difference since the bread isn’t so dense.
1. Place olive oil, water, and egg replacer into the bread pan. Stir and let it sit for a minute or two to thicken. Add the remaining ingredients EXCEPT YEAST in the order listed.
With a clean finger, make a small well in the top of the flour in the middle of the machine (over the beater). Pour yeast into the well and start the machine kneading on settings for a 2-pound gluten-free loaf.
4. Smooth the top of the bread and make the loaf dome-shaped (higher in the middle than the sides).
5. Let dough rise and bake according to machine instructions for a 2-pound gluten-free loaf.
NOTE: in the Actibread machine, this requires an extra 20 minutes of cooking time (program #11 for 20 min). The means you have to be there when the original cook time ends (watch the countdown timer) or else you won't be able to add the extra time.
6. Check internal bread temperature. In general, the temperature inside fully-cooked gluten-free bread should be at least 205 degrees Fahrenheit and the thermometer should come out clean (like a toothpick test).
7. Allow to cool on a baking rack for one hour before cutting. (If you don't it may still be gummy and harder to cut.)
Sugar is necessary to feed the yeast. You can substitute honey or maple syrup, but nonnutritive sweeteners (stevia and other no-calorie sweeteners) will not feed the yeast (and your bread won't rise).
No bread machine? No problem.
Turn your oven on to the lowest setting for 1-2 minutes, then turn it off (this provides a warm place for the dough to rise). Knead the dough by hand and shape into a loaf or place in loaf pan.
Let it rise for 45 minutes at 80-90 degrees (F). Remove from oven, bring oven temperature to 350 degrees (F). Bake at 350 for 75 minutes and check temperature for doneness (internal temp of 205 degrees).
For a "New York or Jewish Rye Bread"-ish flavor, add 1 tbsp caraway seeds during the last 5 minutes of mixing. They add a delicious flavor and apparently were originally put into rye bread because they counteract the flatulence that often occurs with high-fiber breads!
For Rosemary Olive Oil Bread, use rosemary-infused olive oil (if available, regular olive oil works just as well) and add 1 tbsp dried rosemary before adding the cassava flour.
For the past 20+ years, I've been cooking to accommodate a variety of food preferences, allergies, and styles. Lately, I've been working on paleo breads and baking with cassava flour since we've realized it's sooooooo much easier to send The Wee Man to preschool with sandwiches in his lunch. Visit our About Us page to learn more.Read More