The Best Whole Grain Gluten Free Bread You Will Ever Have
Ever since I found out I had celiac disease and needed to go gluten free I have been on the search for a truly delicious whole grain bread, and until now I have for the most part come up empty-handed.
While it is wonderful that there are so many gluten-free options for people who need to be gluten-free today, I also think that in many ways we have just replaced processed gluten-containing products, with other even more processed gluten-free products that people for some reason think of as being "healthy".
Let me make something clear, just because something is gluten-free does not mean it is "healthy". While a gluten-free, or a limited gluten-containing diet may indeed be healthier for some people (like folks with celiac disease, or non-celiac gluten sensitivity) that does not mean that all gluten-free products are healthy for us. In fact, I would argue that when it comes to things like baked goods, often times the gluten-free products are filled with more additives, and are more processed than the original option they are trying to emulate, and bread is the perfect example.
When it comes to making bread there are actually very few ingredients needed: flour, yeast (sometimes this isn't even needed), water, eggs, and salt. Depending on the bread one or two other ingredients may be added, or the eggs may be removed, but generally speaking, an incredible bread can be made with less than five ingredients, what matters most is the flour.
This is where gluten-free bread making gets tricky because the flour is actually the problem as it is what contains the gluten, and so for the past decade or so we have been adding and combining gums, starches, and flours to try and get an edible end product.
Initially, I really didn't think about the laundry list of ingredients that goes into many gluten free packaged breads, or the many starches and gums I had to put into my own homemade gluten free breads, but with time and as I transitioned more and more into a sustainable lifestyle, it started to really bother me that everyone seemed to just have accepted that gluten free breads would need to be made with many highly refined, nutrient depleted ingredients.
So started my quest for the perfect whole grain bread. Guys it wasn't easy, and I had a few non-negotiable standards that this bread needed to hit:
It had to hold together in a sandwich
It had to be able to be eaten both toasted and un-toasted, no more of this "my bread will only taste good if it is toasted BS"
It had to be free of gums, and starches
Approved by non-celiac/non-gluten free people as worth eating
Doesn't need milk, buttermilk, butter
Can be made without a bread machine
After many many flops I finally ended up with what I would argue is going to be the best gluten free bread you will ever eat, not to mention one of the best for you. To say that I am proud of this recipe would be an understatement, because honestly this recipe was probably one of the most challenging recipes to nail down, and also one that I truly think will help normalize bread for people with celiac disease or other gluten sensitivities, and allow them to enjoy truly delicious, whole grain bread that is good for their bodies, and delicious enough for the whole family to enjoy.
This Homemade Gluten Free Whole Grain Oatmeal Bread is filled with whole grains, healthy fats, and can be made at home without the help of a bread maker. It is also simple enough to make that a new cook or someone new to gluten free baking I think will be more than capable of handling this recipe.
bread making real-talk
Before I get into this recipe I do just want to note that depending on where you live/the quality of the flour you buy, how fresh your yeast is, and literally the level of humidity in the air your bread could turn out different than mine. Making bread from scratch can be affected by so many factors, and sometimes my bread will flop for no reason what so ever. But this recipe overall I have great success with (haven't had a poor rise yet, fingers crossed)
I also would not recommend making any substitutions to this recipe. Gluten-free baking is very temperamental so I have no idea what would happen if you adjusted the ingredients in any way. I developed this recipe and chose each ingredient for a very specific purpose so just trust me and ideally make it as I have written it out for you below.
So how about we get to the recipe shall we?
HOMEMADE WHOLE GRAIN OATMEAL GLUTEN FREE BREAD
makes one loaf or approximately 20 slices
Initial Rise "Sponge" Ingredients
1 cup warm water
1/2 teaspoon dry active yeast
1 teaspoon honey
2 tablespoons psyllium husks
1/2 cup millet flour
1/4 cup white rice flour
1/4 cup quinoa flour
1 cup gluten free oat flour
3/4 cup hot water
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 tsp sea salt
1 teaspoon honey
1/8 teaspoon dry active yeast (basically a pinch)
1/3 cup white rice flour
1/3 cup quinoa flour
2/3 cup millet flour
1/3 cup pumpkin seeds
1/4 cup gluten free oats
Sea salt (pinch)
Initial Rise "Sponge" Methods
In a small bowl combine the millet flour, white rice flour, and quinoa flour. Whisk well until evenly combined.
Next, in a large bowl combine the water, yeast, honey, psyllium husks, and add the flour mixture.
Whisk together until well combined, and then cover the bowl (I use bees wax wraps) and allow the sponge to rise for 2 hours.
Making The Dough
Next, take a medium size bowl and combine the oat flour, water, olive oil, and sea salt.
Then add your three eggs, honey, and yeast to the oat flour mixture.
Take a small bowl and again combine the white rice flour, quinoa flour, and millet flour. Hold this flour off to the side, we will use it in a moment.
Pulling It All Together
Once your sponge has risen, add the oat flour mixture to the sponge, and mix well with a spatula.
The add the remaining flour mixture (white rice flour, quinoa flour, and millet flour) and mix well with a spatula until all the flour has been evenly combined.
Cover the dough and allow it to rise for about 30 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F and after 30 minutes remove the cover from the dough, and mix the dough well with a spatula to deflate the rise, and remove any air pockets.
Next, grease a standard loaf pan (9x5") well with olive oil or coconut oil, and pour your dough into the pan.
I like to take a spatula and even out the dough, pulling more towards the center to give the bread that rounded shape.
Next, top the dough with your gluten free oats, and pumpkin seeds. Sprinkle with a little sea salt and pop in the oven for ~45 minutes.
Remove from the oven after roughly ~45 minutes, or once the top begins to brown, and allow to cool entirely before removing from the pan.
Store in the refrigerator for about one week. I also would recommend cutting the bread into slices as you need them to keep the bread from going stale quicker.