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Gluten Free English Muffin Bread

Gluten Free English Muffin Bread
Light, tender and soft, with a soft crust, this gluten free English muffin bread is the easy white sandwich bread you've been searching for!

Light, tender and soft, with a soft crust, this gluten free English muffin bread is the easy white sandwich bread you’ve been searching for!

Closeup image of English muffin bread

A great yeasted gluten free bread recipe for beginners

If you’ve been thinking of baking some gluten free bread, and you’re not sure where to begin, start with this recipe. There’s no real shaping, as it’s a batter dough by nature.

Plus there’s no long refrigerator rise, so in just a couple hours you’re ready to slice into a nice warm loaf of fresh bread. Only a few minutes of that time are even active.

If you’re concerned about baking yeast bread, read my top 10 secrets to baking the best gluten free bread first. But regardless, this is a great recipe for beginning yeast bread bakers.

This gluten free English muffin bread is by nature a wet dough. So not only does it rise quickly, but it will rise even if it’s in a drier environment. It’s still possible to dry it out enough that it won’t rise, but there’s a bigger margin for error.

Raw English muffin bread dough in pan that rose

It’s a relatively wet dough by nature, and one that you don’t really shape in the “traditional” sense. But that’s not because it’s gluten free. It’s just the nature of English Muffin Bread.

It’s a super wet yeast dough, and moisture makes it double fast. Then, all that’s left is to scrape it into a loaf pan, smooth the top, cover it and let it rise.

Light, tender and soft, with a soft crust, this gluten free English muffin bread is the easy white sandwich bread you've been searching for!

Yeast bread baking can be nerve-wracking

Whenever I ask readers on my email list about their biggest struggle with gluten free baking, I get hundreds of responses. And a few themes often emerge.

One of those themes was about your struggles with gluten free bread. And, like in conventional bread baking, the problem was most often with getting the bread to rise properly. It can be so frustrating!

Baking yeast bread is very environment-dependent. So when I bake bread in the wintertime, it takes a bit longer to rise since the air is not only a bit colder, but quite a bit drier. If you live in a very dry climate year-round, you may even have to add a bit more moisture to your bread dough.

One of the most common problems with baking bread in general (and a big part of my Bread FAQs) is dough that has dried out. If you let it rise without covering it, the dough will lose too much moisture and won’t rise properly.

Light, tender and soft, with a soft crust, this gluten free English muffin bread is the easy white sandwich bread you've been searching for!

How to store this bread after baking

To store it, slice it thickly, and place a small piece of parchment or waxed paper between each slice and the next. Then, place everything in a freezer-safe bag, draw as much of the air out of the bag as possible, then place the bag in the freezer.

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, though.

Slice of English muffin bread facing forward

With bread flour or without bread flour

When I first developed a recipe for gluten free English muffin bread, it was for my very first cookbook. The flour blend I used and recommended was Better Batter, my old stand-by all purpose gluten free flour blend. It was and is a great loaf of gluten free bread.

Then, I wrote my third cookbook, Gluten Free on a Shoestring Bakes Bread and began experimenting with gluten free bread flour (which is essentially Better Batter + Expandex modified tapioca starch + whey protein isolate). I developed a modified English muffin bread recipe that is made with that gluten free bread flour. That recipe is included here.

The bread made with bread flour is a bit more chewy, and the dough has more flavor since there is short first rise, followed by a longer rise in the loaf pan. Both recipes works great. The choice is yours…

English muffin bread loaf partially sliced on a cutting board overhead image

Ingredients and substitutions (and equipment)

Dairy

If you’re dairy free, please use the “all purpose flour recipe,” without bread flour, which necessarily has dairy in the form of whey protein isolate. The only thing you’ll have to replace is the milk.

In place of cow’s milk, you can use your favorite unsweetened nondairy milk. I like unsweetened almond milk. Just don’t use canned coconut milk, which is too thick.

Egg white

If you can’t have eggs and you’re willing, I recommend using the bread flour recipe. It’s a simpler recipe overall, since it doesn’t need cream of tartar, cider vinegar, egg white or oil.

Vinegar

In place of apple cider vinegar, which activates the baking soda and helps the bread rise, you can try using white wine vinegar or white balsamic vinegar. The bread flour recipe doesn’t call for vinegar at all, if that’s important to you.

Stand mixer

If you don’t have a stand mixer, you’ll still need to beat this bread dough quite well. Second best to a stand mixer would be a food processor fitted with the steel blade.

If you don’t have either machine, try using a hand mixer with dough hooks, if you have them. Or beaters, if you don’t. Keep beating until the mixture begins to look slightly “whipped” like air has been incorporated into it.

 

Raw English muffin bread dough in a pan, image of a slice facing forward, and closeup image of slices from the side

Like this recipe?

Prep time: Cook time: Yield: 1 loaf yeast bread

Ingredients

For the bread flour variation
3 cups (420 g) Gluten Free Bread Flour, plus more for sprinkling*

1 2/3 teaspoons (5 g) instant yeast

1 tablespoon (12 g) granulated sugar

1 1/2 teaspoons (9 g) kosher salt

1 2/3 cups warm milk (about 95°F)

Coarsely ground gluten free cornmeal, for sprinkling (optional)

For the all purpose flour variation
3 1/2 cups (490 g) all purpose gluten free flour (I used Better Batter)

2 1/2 teaspoons xanthan gum (omit if your blend already contains it)

1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar

1 tablespoon (12 g) granulated sugar

2 1/2 teaspoons (8 g) instant yeast

2 teaspoons (12 g) kosher salt

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar

1 egg white (25 g), at room temperature

2 tablespoons (28 g) neutral oil

2 cups (16 fluid ounces) warm milk (about 95°F)

Coarsely ground gluten free cornmeal, for sprinkling (optional)

Directions

  • For the bread flour variation, 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 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). You can skip this first rise and proceed right to the following step, if you prefer. The bread will just have a bit less flavor but it should not affect the final rise at all.

  • For the all purpose flour variation, in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, place the flour, xanthan gum, cream of tartar, sugar, and yeast, and whisk to combine well. Add the salt and baking soda, and whisk again to combine. Add the vinegar, egg white, oil, and milk, and mix on low speed to combine. Turn the mixer up to medium high speed, and mix for about 3 minutes or until the dough begins to look somewhat “whipped,” like air has been incorporated into it.

  • Preheat your oven to 350°F for the bread flour variation, or 375°F for the all purpose flour variation. Grease well a standard 9-inch x 5-inch loaf pan and sprinkle the bottom and sides with the (optional) cornmeal. For the bread flour variation, once the dough has doubled, stir it down to deflate it a bit and scrape it into the prepared loaf pan. For the all purpose flour variation, scrape the mixture right into the prepared loaf pan. For  both, smooth the top with a wet spatula, and cover with oiled plastic wrap. 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, sprinkle the top of the loaf lightly with the (optional) 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 for the bread flour variation; 45 minutes for the all purpose flour variation).

  • Once the loaf is done baking, remove the pan from the oven and allow the bread to cool in the loaf pan for about 10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely. Slice thickly and serve.

  • Bread flour variation 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. Originally posted on the blog in 2013. Recipe unchanged, some photos new, video new.

Love,
Nicole

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