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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

  • Elizabeth
    September 7, 2020 at 4:30 PM

    This was my first attempt at baking Gluten Free English Muffin Bread and it turned out beautifully. The bread had a great rise to it. I only had to proof it for 45 minutes. I substituted Splenda baking blend instead of regular sugar. This tastes incredible. Thank you for sharing your recipes. All your hard work has pleased so many people. I plan to make your Lemon Poppyseed Muffins, French Baguette and Artisan Cheese Bread next. Looking forward to baking more of your wonderful recipes. Thanks again!

    • Nicole Hunn
      September 7, 2020 at 6:34 PM

      I’m so glad, Elizabeth. Thank you so much for the kind words. I like your recipe lineup!

  • Sophia
    August 24, 2020 at 12:37 AM

    Hi, I’m new to eating Gluten Free and tried this as my first ever attempted at handmade gluten free bread (I’ve made bread with normal flour before) and it rose both times before I put in the oven but after the time was up I noticed that it, while it was golden, didn’t have that tell tale thump side. Worried I cut it in half and noticed that the inside was still raw. I’ve cook it for at least another half our (covering it with tin foil so the top didn’t burn) and the bread down pulls apart slightly instead of just mushing in on itself, but it still looks dense and wet and not fully cooked but I don’t understand how it could not be, especially since this look ins’t just in the middle but throughout the entire loaf including near the edges. Do you, or anyone else, have an idea what I messed up and why it was like that?

    • Nicole Hunn
      August 24, 2020 at 7:27 AM

      Here are the basic questions I recommend you ask yourself, Sophia:
      Did you measure by weight, not volume (volume is simply not accurate)?
      Did you use one of my recommended flour blends? My recipes will not work with a poor quality blend.
      Did you make any ingredient substitutions?
      Did you bake at the proper temperature? Most ovens aren’t properly calibrated, so you really need a simple analog standalone oven thermometer.

  • Mario
    August 20, 2020 at 7:19 AM

    All purpose flour variation – if I understood correctly; I don’t need to let the dough rise? I can transfer it directly into the loaf pan and to the oven? But with bread flour variation, I need to let it rise first?

    I mean I am not doing the bread flour variation since in Europe its kinda hard to get tapioca starch expandex or ultra-tex 3.

    I managed to do Gluten Free White Sandwich recipe, and I love it.
    This is my first try on English muffin bread :)

    • Nicole Hunn
      August 20, 2020 at 6:22 PM

      Each needs to rise, Mario. The bread flour variation rises twice—once in the bowl, once in the loaf pan. The all purpose gluten free flour variation rises in the loaf pan only.

  • GF Mum
    August 19, 2020 at 7:57 PM

    Ever since buying your fabulous GFOAS Bakes Bread, my kids have fallen in love with this bread. I love it, too, as it’s so quick and easy to make , not to mention delicious! It’s on a pretty constant rotation in our house.

    • Nicole Hunn
      August 20, 2020 at 6:26 PM

      So glad!!

  • Verna
    August 16, 2020 at 5:23 PM

    The English Muffin Bread using Bread Flour did not call for eggs, nor butter, nor oil! Was it left out of the recipe on purpose, or was it overlooked; or does the whey and modified tapioca make up for it? And for my clarification, the baking soda is strictly for the All Purpose Flour version, correct?
    Sounds like chemistry to me (which I know nothing about).
    Thanks for all your experimentation and hard work. I have been throwing away loaves of gluten free bread for several years now. Hoping these recipes work for me.

    • Nicole Hunn
      August 16, 2020 at 6:29 PM

      There was nothing overlooked, Verna. Using my gluten free bread flour blend makes the whole recipe simpler. Please read the post and recipe very carefully and follow the recipe precisely, whichever variety you choose.

  • Keely Langer
    August 12, 2020 at 3:58 PM

    Hello! I’ve only made bread a couple times and this is my first attempt at gluten-free bread. I have Bob’s red mill active dry yeast. Will this work the same as instant yeast? I have all my ingredients out and so excited to try. Just don’t want tonscrew it up!

    • Nicole Hunn
      August 12, 2020 at 5:06 PM

      Hi, Keely, if you only have active dry yeast, multiply the amount of instant yeast called for in the recipe (here, 8 grams assuming you’re making this with the “all purpose gluten free flour variation”) by 125% (that would be 10 grams total) and proof the yeast in about 1/4 cup of the milk called for in the recipe before adding it to the dough. For a more detailed explanation, please see the Ingredients and substitutions section in my recipe for gluten free French bread.

  • Erin
    August 11, 2020 at 6:02 PM

    I used your bread flour recipe but subbed my own flour blend because we can’t have rice. It is the first loaf of bread I have been successful making. Yay!

  • Terry
    August 10, 2020 at 8:46 AM

    Can you use a bread machine with this recipe?

    • Nicole Hunn
      August 10, 2020 at 8:48 AM

      I don’t use or recommend use of a bread machine, Terry. They vary very significantly from brand to brand and are unnecessary and make an odd shaped loaf.

  • Brenda
    August 10, 2020 at 8:09 AM

    I really like some of your recipes but the only problem I have with them is the flour blend that you use I usually use a combination of flour like could you tell me how much rice flour to use for tapioca starch or corn flour Etc Do you have a homemade flour blend that I can use because where I live you can’t get some of those blends that you mention it will be quite helpful if I can just make my own flour blend I can use in all of the recipes

    • Nicole Hunn
      August 10, 2020 at 8:48 AM

      Please click the link for the “all purpose gluten free flour blend” that I link to in every recipe that calls for an all purpose gluten free flour. You can build your own blend there and use it in all of my recipes, Brenda.

  • Nicole
    August 9, 2020 at 3:29 PM

    What is the measurement 12/3?? I see the yeast = 5 Grams, but what does 12/3 mean?? Thank you, I am looking forward to making this.

    • Nicole Hunn
      August 9, 2020 at 9:43 PM

      1 2/3 is “one and two thirds,” Nicole.

  • Sophie
    August 9, 2020 at 2:32 PM

    My favorite of your bread recipes!

    • Nicole Hunn
      August 9, 2020 at 9:45 PM

      I’m so glad, Sophie!

  • Mabel Chupp
    March 16, 2017 at 11:20 PM

    I have Namaste foods Gluten Free Perfect Flour Blend. Can I use this for the flour as the first ingredient that you have listed or do I need to mix the different things together for this dough?

  • Susie
    March 13, 2017 at 1:50 PM

    I am diabetic can I use Xylitol or Stevia instead of sugar also can I use coconut milk instead of regular milk?

    • Nicole Hunn
      March 13, 2017 at 2:14 PM

      Hi, Susie,

      You need something to feed the yeast. It’s only a very small amount of sugar, and I’m afraid you need it.
      Coconut milk from the can is too thick. If you would like to use a nondairy milk, I recommend using unsweetened almond milk.

  • Ann
    March 13, 2017 at 10:37 AM

    I’ve been making this English Muffin Bread ever since your bread book came out. I LOVE it! Not only is it super easy, but the taste is so rich and yummy!! Thanks so much!!

    • Nicole Hunn
      March 13, 2017 at 11:11 AM

      Awesome, Ann!

  • Michele Miller
    December 22, 2013 at 12:43 AM

    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!

  • Samantha
    December 18, 2013 at 11:43 PM

    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:)

    • December 19, 2013 at 3:15 PM

      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!

  • Anneke
    December 17, 2013 at 10:18 PM

    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.
      December 18, 2013 at 10:49 AM

      I live through you my sister in crime…..

  • December 17, 2013 at 5:29 PM

    Sounds good, Preppy!

  • December 17, 2013 at 5:25 PM

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

  • Jennifer S.
    December 17, 2013 at 1:26 PM

    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!!!!

    • December 17, 2013 at 5:27 PM

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

  • December 17, 2013 at 12:23 PM

    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!

    • LyttleO
      December 17, 2013 at 12:52 PM

      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.

  • December 17, 2013 at 11:55 AM

    Hooray, Jeanette!!

  • December 17, 2013 at 11:55 AM

    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!

  • LyttleO
    December 17, 2013 at 4:21 PM

    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.

  • John Lachett
    December 17, 2013 at 9:32 AM

    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

    • December 17, 2013 at 12:27 PM

      Pizza for Christmas sounds like a good decision, John!

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