Picture the gluten free white sandwich bread you’ve been missing in your life, and know that the wait is over. It’s that simple. This soft and tender bread bends and squishes, and has a lovely bakery-style crust.
This recipe is straight out of the brand new second edition of Gluten-Free on a Shoestring: 125 Easy Recipes for Eating Well on the Cheap, my very first cookbook. If you’d like to see inside the book, please click here for a preview video of every single page.
A history of gluten free bread
When I nailed the recipe for this gluten free bread way back in 2010, I knew lunch would never be the same again. In the very best way.
When the first edition of the very first Gluten Free on a Shoestring cookbook came out, I was downright terrified that someone would take it upon themselves to post this entire recipe online, without permission. The horror!
It was truly revolutionary when I first created it, even though now it seems like old school gf bread. And I felt super protective of this recipe that I’m sharing with you today.
Now, I won’t lie: when I first learned that my son had to be gluten free for life, I distinctly remember saying, “wait, so you’re telling me he can’t have a cupcake at a birthday party?” 🎂 (Clearly, we’ve come a long way since then!)
Of course, it quickly became clear that bread 🍞 was going to be the biggest day to day issue with going gluten free. Especially in our bread-obsessed culture, we all define ourselves by whether we eat bread, how much we eat of it, and what type of bread we eat.
This batter-style bread doesn’t look or behave anything like conventional yeast bread when it’s raw or even when it’s baking. That didn’t matter to me at all when I first developed the recipe.
In fact, it wasn’t until I completely took this gluten free white sandwich bread recipe for granted that I had the courage to start developing the more advanced recipes for Gluten Free on a Shoestring Bakes Bread.
I still have such vivid memories of researching every possible additional ingredient I could add to this bread to help support the dough during its rise. I finally settled on apple cider vinegar and cream of tartar, plus egg whites, and of course xanthan gum (you simply can’t make gluten free bread that doesn’t fall apart without it). Before that, I wasted a ton of expensive ingredients.
But it was all worth it. Every failed recipe attempt eventually led to this bread, its brown bread cousin, and eventually to a whole new, truly revolutionary way of making gluten free bread.
If you have any experience baking conventional yeast bread, this bread dough will seem completely unfamiliar to you. This batter-style gluten free yeast bread dough is more like a loose cookie dough than it is conventional bread dough. You need a mixer paddle attachment to mix it, most definitely not dough hooks!
The one drawback of this bread is that I’ve never made it with total success with a bowl and spoon. Mixing all of the ingredients until they’re truly smooth and fully incorporated is just really hard without a stand mixer—but if you are able to make it happen please let us know in the comments!
I had always wanted to try making it in a Pullman loaf pan (affiliate link—feel free to shop around!). That was the only way to see if I could get those perfect, no-dome slices.
My Pullman loaf pan is a 2-pound pan, and this recipe makes a 1-pound loaf. Simply double the recipe and be sure to mix the ingredients with a bit of extra care. The baking time was nearly the same, as the pan is much longer but also considerably more narrow.
Ingredients and Substitutions
As always, unless specifically indicated otherwise, I haven’t made this recipe with any substitutions. These are mostly just my best-educated guesses for how to accommodate other dietary restrictions. Proceed with caution when modifying any recipe!
Dairy-Free: That one’s easy. Just replace the butter with Earth Balance Buttery Sticks and reduce the salt to 1 teaspoon. Use any nondairy milk you like, just be sure it’s not nonfat and is unsweetened. I really like unsweetened almond milk here.
Egg-Free: That’s a little harder since the recipe calls for egg whites, not a whole egg. I’ve never tried this recipe with any substitutions to make it egg-free, but I’d recommend trying a “chia egg” (1 tablespoon ground chia seeds + 1 tablespoon lukewarm water, mixed and allowed to gel). If you try it, let us know how it goes!
Click Play ▶ And Watch Me Make This Bread
Then it’s up to you to turn these simple ingredients into a “normal” lunch for your family. What are you waiting for?
In the meantime, if you’re waiting for the right ingredients or just need a sandwich while the bread rises, I’ve reviewed 8 gluten free brands of bread that I really like. Have a look!