Gluten Free English Muffin Bread from GFOAS Bakes Bread

Gluten-Free on a Shoestring Bakes Bread is my first full-color book. It’s true! Believe it or not, when I wrote my first book, I tried to get my then-editor to agree … more »

Gluten Free English Muffin Bread from GFOAS Bakes Bread

Gluten-Free on a Shoestring Bakes Bread is my first full-color book. It’s true! Believe it or not, when I wrote my first book, I tried to get my then-editor to agree to a book with no photos. I wanted a book filled with hand-drawn illustrations (mostly because I didn’t know which was my elbow and which was my …). Thankfully, my editor explained why that wasn’t a great idea. By my second book, I was begging for full color, instead of a photo insert. Except I had, like, no juice. My literary agent, who has plenty of juice in the industry, just couldn’t make it happen on account of my lack of juice (if it can be done, she’ll make it happen—it just couldn’t be done). But when it came time for the Gluten Free Bread Revolution, the tide had started to turn.Today I’m sharing with you another favorite recipe from the book: gluten free English Muffin Bread. Light, tender and soft, with a soft crust that you can sink your teeth into, this bread is something truly special—and there’s no long refrigerator rise, so it’s ready in just a few hours (most of them not active time).

Gluten Free English Muffin Bread from GFOAS Bakes Bread

*Okay, getting a full-color cookbook made? It actually it didn’t work like that at all. It was more like, okay, this is a line in the sand. The definitive gluten free bread book has to have tons of photos throughout. We have to be able to show that gluten free bread will never be the same. We have to be able to show the step-by-steps. It has to happen, or we’ll pack up our toys and go elsewhere. That’s how it happened. First they said, “um, no.” And we said, “okee dokee” (but much less nice under my breath). And they said, okay, fine. We’ll do it. But we’ll only pay for some of the photos. So … the rest was on me. And I paid through the nose! But honestly? I don’t regret a single day, or a single dollar. (Don’t ask my husband if he feels the same though!) I’m all in on this one. ALL IN! This bread is different than any other gluten free bread you’ve ever made—or had.


More than a couple of you have reported shedding a tear when you first saw it, or when you first smelled it, or tasted it (better yet). When I finally hit on the basic formula that served as the basis for these new recipes, I definitely cried–and shoved the bread into the face of pretty much everyone I knew. Look! It stretches! It lasts! It tastes like BREAD!


This gluten free English Muffin Bread is an interesting example of yeast bread: it is a very wet dough that you don’t really shape in the “traditional” sense. But that’s not because it’s gluten free. That’s because of the nature of English Muffin Bread. It has a first rise, but it’s super short because a super wet yeast dough will double fast. Then, all that’s left is to deflate it, then scrape it into a loaf pan and smooth the top, then dust it with more flour. Don’t skip that step! It creates a ‘cloak’ for the dough to rise into, and creates a more even rise.


You will be amazed by how quickly it doubles in size. And look how smooth!


And in just about 35 minutes, you’ll have an amazing loaf of soft and tender gluten free bread. Just promise me you’ll let it cool completely before you slice into it? This loaf in particular, with its high moisture content, must cool before being sliced. And to store it, slice it thickly (because it’s amazing that way!), and place a small piece of parchment or waxed paper between each slice and the next before bagging and freezing. This is good practice with any bread that is high in moisture like this one, so the slices don’t stick to one another as they freeze. It’s not necessary with most of the other breads in the new book.

Without further ado, gluten free English Muffin Bread for all!

      Cook time: 35 minutes       Yield: 1 loaf yeast bread

3 cups (420 g) Gluten-Free Bread Flour, plus more for sprinkling*

1 2/3 teaspoons (5 g) instant yeast

1 tablespoon (12 g) sugar

1 1/2 teaspoons (9 g) kosher salt

1 2/3 cups hot milk (110°F)

Coarsely ground gluten free cornmeal, for sprinkling

Makes 1 cup (140 g) flour

100 grams (about 11 1/2 tablespoons) all-purpose gluten-free flour (71%)**

25 grams (about 5 tablespoons) unflavored whey protein isolate (18%)

15 grams (about 5 teaspoons) Expandex modified tapioca starch (11%)

**For the all-purpose gluten-free flour in Gluten-Free Bread Flour, you can use either the High-Quality All-Purpose Gluten-Free Flour (below) or the Make-It-Simpler All-Purpose Gluten-Free Flour (below that). For this recipe, the High-Quality All-Purpose Gluten-Free Flour is best. It is a copycat recipe for Better Batter gluten free flour, so the commercially available Better Batter all-purpose gluten-free flour blend will also work well.

42 grams (about 1/4 cup) superfine brown rice flour (30%)

42 grams (about 1/4 cup) superfine white rice flour (30%)

21 grams (about 2 1/3 tablespoons) tapioca starch (15%)

21 grams (about 2 1/3 tablespoons) potato starch (15%)

7 grams (about 1 3/4 teaspoons) potato flour (5%)

4 grams (about 2 teaspoons) xanthan gum (3%)

3 grams (about 1 1/2 teaspoons) pure powdered pectin (2%)

90 grams (about 9 tablespoons) superfine white rice flour (64%)

31 grams (about 3 1/2 tablespoons) potato starch (22%)

15 grams (about 5 teaspoons) tapioca starch (11%)

4 grams (about 2 teaspoons) xanthan gum (3%)

  • In the bowl of your stand mixer, place the flour, yeast, and sugar, and use a handheld whisk to combine well. Add the salt, and whisk to combine. Add the milk and mix with the paddle attachment until the dough is smooth. It will be very wet. Cover the bowl with oiled plastic wrap, and set in a warm, draft-free location to rise until nearly doubled in size (about 40 minutes).

  • Preheat your oven to 350°F. Grease well an 8 1/2 by 4 1/2-inch loaf pan and sprinkle the bottom and sides with cornmeal. Once the dough has doubled, stir it down to deflate it a bit. Scrape the dough into the prepared loaf pan, smooth the top with a wet spatula, and sprinkle the top with flour to create a cloak. Cover with oiled plastic wrap and place in a warm, draft-free location to rise until the dough is about 1/2 inch above the sides of the pan (about 1 hour). Remove the plastic wrap from the loaf pan and slash down the center of the loaf at a 45 degree angle and about 1/4 inch deep with a sharp knife or lame. Sprinkle the top of the loaf lightly with cornmeal, and place it in the center of the preheated oven. Bake until the loaf is lightly golden brown, registers 185°F in the center on an instant-read thermometer, and sounds hollow when thumped on the bottom (about 35 minutes).

  • Remove from the oven and allow to cool in the loaf pan for about 10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely. This bread in particular must be completely cool before slicing as it is very tender.

  • From the book Gluten-Free on a Shoestring Bakes Bread: Biscuits, Bagels, Buns, and More by Nicole Hunn. Excerpted by arrangement with Da Capo Lifelong, a member of the Perseus Books Group.  Copyright © 2013.



P.S. See you on Facebook from 8:30 pm EST to 9:15 pm EST tonight for another LIVE Q&A about Gluten Free Bread! Get your copy of Bakes Bread + your questions ready!

  • Holly

    Can the cornmeal be left out or replaced? We have a corn allergy here.

    • Nicole Hunn

      Hi, Holly, You could use something else with a coarse grain, if you like, but it’s fine if you just leave it out. Maybe … oat flour?

  • John Lachett

    I can smell this bread. I can actually look at it and smell it directly through my monitor.
    This will be the second bread I try (the first being the pizza dough) as soon as my ingredients arrive! Half of them should be here today and half before the week is out. And YES. I may be making pizza for Xmas dinner!!!!

    Your GFF,
    John L

    • Nicole Hunn

      Pizza for Christmas sounds like a good decision, John!

  • LyttleO

    I would like to say say THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU for ALL of the pictures. All the step-by-step pictures are incredibly helpful to a newb like myself and eliminate lots of questions like is my dough/batter too dry/wet, how much flour am I suppose to “dust” with, is it suppose to look like this at this stage?, etc. (I do alot of 2nd guessing). Speaking of newb questions…I only have a kitchenaid hand mixer with the standard beaters that it comes with and I got the dough hooks. Can I use the beater attachment is place of the paddle attachment in a stand mixer? I don’t think there is a paddle equivalent for a hand mixer.

    • Nicole Hunn

      Good question (and I’m so glad the pictures are helpful – you’ll get your sea legs and stop second-guessing in time, I bet)! I haven’t tired this recipe with the beaters, but I would actually be more inclined to have you do this one by hand. Just put as much elbow grease as possible into it, to get the sort of dough you see in the photos. The beaters will sort of “whip” the dough, something you definitely don’t want!

  • Jeanette

    Navan Foods says my expandex is in! I will be able to make this soon!

    • Nicole Hunn

      Hooray, Jeanette!!

  • Mare Masterson

    This one is Expandex free, correct? If so, I may just have to find my loaf pans in the garage and get to baking it!

    • Nicole Hunn

      It isn’t, Mare. It calls for Gluten Free Bread Flour, which is defined in the post as containing the same blend of all purpose flour + Expandex + whey protein isolate as the other recipe I posted. Sorry!

      • Mare Masterson

        I edited my response because I saw the Expandex. I did post a question about the warm draft free environment though in that edited response.

        • LyttleO

          Yes the “warm draft-free environment” would be the heating pad and towel setup described in the book if you do not have a home proofer.

  • DrLovEee

    I was so disappointed when I finally got the book. ( I pre-ordered on day one.) I even asked for a bread proofer for my birthday–giving myself every advantage. Then it got ugly. There I am reading the book and I don’t have whey isolate and Expandex ( whatever that is) modified food starch. I search in person. I search online. Three weeks later I still don’t have Expandex….why, oh why didn’t you tell us months ago what to have at the ready? Oh. I know you were busy baking, refining, photographing, writing, eating real bread. I forgive you for being so well loved that EVERYONE is out of Expandex. I will toast to your success–as soon as I get my hot little hands on the Expandex I NEED to make bread. My homemade Meyer lemon rosemary marmalade is waiting….

    • Nicole Hunn

      DrLovEee, I did, in fact, explain in an extensive post on the blog nearly a month before the book’s publication date what you will need to make the recipes in the book. That post is here: Getting Ready for Gluten Free on a Shoestring Bakes Bread.

      For sources for Expandex, which I have been pursuing for months on end to get ready, please see this page on the blog: Gluten Free Resources. As you’ll see on that link, I have found another source (one I had used for years and then disappeared, but my husband helped me find again just the other day, as I announced on Facebook) that has ample supply. Please click on that link for the telephone number to order by phone, 7 days a week.

      • Donia Robinson

        DrLovEee, despite this new and improved method for baking bread, I still love Nicole’s previous breads. As far as I’m concerned, there’s no shame in the wet batters! ;) There are many recipes posted on the blog and in her first two books that don’t require any of the “weird” ingredients, don’t require a starter or slow rise, and don’t require any shaping besides a nice smoothdown with an offset spatula or wet hands. Some days I’m just not that organized or energetic. (Nicole always is, I think! ;) So while you wait for those other ingredients, there is still much GF goodness to love on the blog and in her other two books.

        • DrLovEee

          Thanks Donia–I agree. Having worked my way page by page through the first two books and many of the blog posts. I just got excited about this new and improved version. Two kinds of which are doing their thing in my fridge at this moment…It was just hard to take the waiting–you know? Happy baking to all. And to all happy bakers.

      • DrLoveEee

        Ohhh Nichole, how did I miss it? I think I read it everyday, but something fell through the gluten-free cracks. I am not cheesed with you…only with having a hard time finding the stuff to do what you do. (Yes, I want to walk like you, talk like you, Youuuuuu.)
        Thanks for the resources. I tried some already–they were out–but perhaps that was then and bread is closer than I think. Appreciate all that you do–even if I was cheesed. xoxoxoxo

  • Jennifer S.

    I LOVE YOU! The book is absolutely beautiful, well planned and thought out. The pictures were a must have and I thank you sincerely for putting your own money on the line for us. You are the greatest GF recipe developer, blogger, writer, photographer, cookbook writer, and queen that I know. I’ll follow you anywhere, my dear regardless of all the insensitive comments/questions you get. THANK YOU FROM THE BOTTOM (and top) OF MY HEART!!!!

    • Nicole Hunn

      That means so much to me, Jennifer. It really really does. You’re the best! *mwah*

  • Ouida Lampert

    I just called Montana’s Gifts of Nature and ordered Expandex…the fellow there was so very nice and he is shipping it TODAY. Yippee!

    • Nicole Hunn

      That’s awesome, Ouida! Larry is super nice, for sure. And same-day ship is about as good as it gets!

  • Preppy Pink Crocodile

    I think I might try this on Christmas morning! English muffins are my favorite!

    KK @ Preppy Pink Crocodile

    • Nicole Hunn

      Sounds good, Preppy!

  • Anneke

    I have made this bread, twice, and it is wonderful! One of my favorites from before GF, and so glad to have it back. I even took a picture, that I will put up here someday.

    • Jennifer S.

      I live through you my sister in crime…..

  • Valerie

    So my stand mixer is on its way, but here’s the thing, I’m Canadian, there is no expandex in Canada, I ordered ultratex 3 from Will Powder, so if you could work some math magic and provide a % of how much ultratex to use, that would be amazing!

  • Christy

    How much of an issue would it be if I use the Make It Simpler flour, always, instead of the High-Quality Flour? My daughter can’t have brown rice in any form, but the biggest issue is the pectin. She can’t have apple or general fruit derivatives. She has severe fructose malabsorption plus some other allergies.

    • Nicole Hunn

      Hi, Christy, I would try using the Better Than Cup4Cup blend on the blog, and substitute white rice flour for brown rice flour. The Make It Simpler flour is good, but it definitely absorbs more water than the High Quality Flour as it is not as well balanced as a more complex blend.

      • Christy

        The Better Than Cup4Cup has the nonfat dry milk in it. She can’t have milk either, at least right now. We use almond milk here. This has been a whole learning experience this Fall with our daughter’s diagnosis. I’m highly gluten intolerant and we’ve been gluten free for a while, but our daughter is a whole other issue now.
        She’s in the elimination phase of a low FODMAP diet and I have to reconfigure a lot of recipes now. She also can only tolerate about 16 grams of pure cane sugar a day. No free fructose. We bake almost exclusively with powdered dextrose now. It’s all fun.
        I guess I’ll just stick with the Make It Simpler flour or the standard GF mix I’ve been using. It has millet, sorghum, white rice, tapocia starch and potato starch. I add the xanthan gum when needed. Thanks for the recommendation.

  • Bethany S.

    Is there a way to make this dairy-free? I could probably use almond milk, but how do you substitute the whey protein?

    • Nicole Hunn

      Bethany, I discuss dairy free alternative proteins, and how to use them, on pages 10-11 of the new book.

  • Samantha

    I loved your first recipe for English muffin bread in your first book. If its possible that this recipe could be even better than I am in trouble! I love English muffin bread. I made your Monkey bread recipe yesterday. It was AMAZING!! I loved it. You are the best Nicole! Thanks for all your hard work:)

    • Nicole Hunn

      If you made it through the Monkey Bread, Samantha, you’re totally up for the English Muffin Bread! That Monkey Bread recipe makes a ton! So glad you loved it. Thanks for letting me know!

  • Stephanie B

    Hey Nichole–Got the book (Yeah Kindle) I have a batch of the crusty bread in the icebox doing it’s slow magic and I’m excited to form up my first successful loaf tonight after work. (I do have my oven thermometer in the oven now)

    Yesterday I attempted my first loaf (after 20 hours of proofing) and was less than successful but it was totally my errors-

    I had a lovely time kneading and shaping the dough- needed just a light touch of flour to keep from getting too sticky. Shaped the loaf -following the photos in the book and got it in the pan. I remembered to lightly spray the plastic with oil but forgot to dust the top of the loaf with flour–how super Important is that step?

    I let it rise for 1.5 hours it was a lovely dome just above the edge of the pan, put in the cold oven and turned on the timer for 30 and set the temp for 350 and waited. The timer buzzed and I looked – the loaf wasn’t even browned a little–the poor thing was rather anemic. I tipped it out of the pan and it held it’s shape but I wasn’t feeling the love. I set the timer for 10 more minutes hoping for a miracle–nope –checked the loaf with the instant read and it wasn’t even 145 internal! Horrors!!! I knew it had to be that my oven didn’t make it up to temp. I went out to the BBQ Grill and grabbed my oven thermometer – hung it on the rack and – It was 35 degrees low! No wonder it wasn’t getting cooked..

    I tried to recover from this but the damage was done and it actually shrank in the oven–like a wool sweater in a hot wash! it is a lovely golden brown now- but it smells funny and it would make someone a lovely door stop.

    I have faith in your recipe and tried again- pulled out the digital scale( I always use a scale!), weighed in grams, made a new batch of super magic bread flour(using Better Batter since that is what I have, whey isolate and ultratex 3(I made a 4 cup batch of the bread flour and used 15 gms of the ultratex 3 for the whole batch. Do you think that wasn’t enough? the dough handled so nicely! and I will have to wait for tonight to see if I figured out all the variables. The starter proofed perfectly doubled and smelled like a good bread started should. :) but so did the batch the night before. Fingers are crossed.

    We have a potluck breakfast tomorrow at work and I still have to make something to take for that. I was hoping to make bread pudding but…

    Sorry for the novel length message- I hope to report back with success later tonight. Thanks for listening!

    • Nicole Hunn

      Hi, Stephanie, As the recipe explains, dusting the top of the loaf with flour yields a more even rise as it creates a cloak for the dough to rise into. Your oven temperature is certainly your culprit.

      I am still testing Ultratex 3. Keep checking this page on the blog for updates.

      • Stephanie B

        The English Muffin Bread worked! Still trying to figure out the Crusty White bread. I think I may need to reduce the amt of Ultratex 3. I can’t help but play and now that I’m on Christmas break from Work for the next 2 weeks I foresee a lot of playing! I’m hoping that you come up with the magic number for the ultratex 3 soon! –can too much ultratex 3 make the bread really-really dense?? ( I think I may have mis-weighed that in my last batch of flour. and got more like 10 grams per 100 grams of the “all purpose bread flour”. I will get this right! Christmas is just a few days away… :) Thanks for your time!

  • Stephanie B

    Another Question– can we use Golden Syrup as a direct replacement for Honey i the bread recipes?

    • Nicole Hunn

      That should work fine, but golden syrup is not acidic like honey so it could affect the final result. Feel free to experiment!

      • Stephanie B

        Thanks you have answered my question! I think I really wondered why honey? So it is the Acid along with the cream of tarter and aids in the rising of the dough?

  • Michele Miller

    My Expandex arrived 2 weeks ago, ordered the whey protein isolate and the cambro 2 qrt buckets for proofing. Been gathering up my goodies for the past few weeks. All of these things are part of my month long Christmas present. :-) i got new french rolling pin and pie roll out sheet for measuring. Plus a new oven thermometer. I am so excited!!! Thanks Nicole for all your hard work. Merry Christmas to you and yours!

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