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Gluten Free White Sandwich Bread | Your First Loaf

Gluten Free White Sandwich Bread | Your First Loaf

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.

Gluten free white sandwich bread with seeds being squeezed to show soft texture

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, which is straight out of the second edition of my first cookbook.

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.

Picture the gluten free sandwich bread you've been missing in your life, and know that the wait is over. It's that simple.

A batter-style gluten free bread recipe

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.

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 recipe.

Picture the gluten free sandwich bread you've been missing in your life, and know that the wait is over. It's that simple.

What is this bread dough like?

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.

It’s a bit fragile once it’s risen, so handle with care. If you’d like to add seeds to the bread, do it after the dough has risen. Just brush the top lightly with melted butter and sprinkle with seeds.

Gluten free white sandwich bread shown raw in pullman loaf pan, rising

Baking the bread in a Pullman loaf pan

I had always wanted to try making it in a Pullman loaf pan. That was the only way to see if I could get those perfect, no-dome slices that are truly made for sandwiches.

Baking in a Pullman pan (which is that taller, narrow pan with a lid that slides on) also tends to make softer bread. The moisture in the bread is trapped inside the pan during baking, and the bread absorbs it as it bakes.

The photo below is a loaf baked in a 2 pound Pullman loaf pan. The photo above is the bread rising in a 1-pound Pullman loaf pan.

You can make a 1-pound Pullman loaf, or a 2-pound Pullman loaf. The baking time is nearly the same, as the pans are much longer but also considerably more narrow.

Gluten free white sandwich bread with seeds shown baked in pan

For the 1-pound Pullman pan

For the 1-pound pan, you don’t do anything different to prepare the bread dough. When it’s ready to rise, use the Pullman cover instead of plastic wrap, then bake for about 40 minutes with the lid on. Remove the lid and allow the top to brown.

For the 2-pound Pullman pan

For the 2-pound loaf pan, double the recipe and be sure to mix the ingredients with a bit of extra care. The instructions are the same as for the 1-pound pan for rising and baking.

Picture the gluten free sandwich bread you've been missing in your life, and know that the wait is over. It's that simple.

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

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

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!

More gluten free bread information

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. I’ve also compiled 10 secrets to baking gluten free bread.

I’m happy to share everything I know with you! If you’re ready for the next step, I’m there for you, too. When yo’re ready, join me in learning about baking with my gluten free bread flour blend.

 

Picture the gluten free sandwich bread you've been missing in your life, and know that the wait is over. It's that simple.

Gluten free white sandwich bread with seeds pictured baked in pan, sliced, and being squeezed.Picture the gluten free sandwich bread you've been missing in your life, and know that the wait is over. It's that simple.

Like this recipe?

Prep time: Cook time: Yield: 1 standard loaf of bread

Ingredients

3 cups (420 g) all purpose gluten free flour (I used Better Batter)

2 1/4 teaspoons xanthan gum (omit if your blend already contains it)

2 1/2 teaspoons (8 g) instant yeast

1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar

2 tablespoons (25 g) granulated sugar

2 teaspoons (12 g) kosher salt

1 1/2 cups (12 fluid ounces) warm milk (about 95°F)

4 tablespoons (56 g) unsalted butter, melted and cooled (plus more for brushing if using seeds)

1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar

2 egg whites (50 g), at room temperature

Toasted sesame seeds for sprinkling (optional)

Directions

  • Grease or line a 9-inch x 5-inch loaf pan (or slightly smaller) and set it aside.

  • In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, place the flour, xanthan gum, yeast, cream of tartar and sugar. Whisk together with a separate, handheld whisk. Add the salt, and whisk again to combine. Add the milk, butter, vinegar and egg whites, mixing on low speed after each addition. Scrape down the sides of the mixer bowl as necessary during mixing. Turn the mixer to medium-high speed and mix for about 3 minutes. The dough will be thick, smooth and quite wet.

  • Scrape the dough into the prepared loaf pan. Cover the dough with lightly oiled plastic wrap and allow it to rise in a warm, draft-free place for 30 to 45 minutes or until it’s about 150% of its original size. It should be overflowing the top of the loaf pan by at least 1/2 inch when you retrieve it but it will not have doubled in volume. It may take longer to rise properly in colder, drier weather and less time in warmer, more humid weather. When the dough has nearly reached the end of its rise, preheat the oven to 375°F.

  • Remove the plastic wrap, and using a sharp knife or lame slash the top of the loaf about 1/4-inch deep. If using the optional seeds, brush the top of the risen bread gently with melted butter, and sprinkle with the seeds. Place the pan in the center of the preheated oven. Bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour, or until the internal temperature of the bread reaches about 195°F on an instant-read thermometer. The outside will form a thick, brown crust. Allow to cool for about 10 minutes in the pan before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely. To freeze this bread, cool completely and then slice, wrap tightly, and freeze. Defrost as many slices at a time as you need in the toaster.

  • From the book Gluten-Free on a Shoestring: 125 Easy Recipes for Eating Well on the Cheap Second Edition, by Nicole Hunn. Excerpted by arrangement with Da Capo Lifelong, a member of the Perseus Books, LLC, a subsidiary of Hachette Book Group, Inc. Copyright © 2017.

Love,
Nicole

Comments are closed.

  • Aleena
    June 28, 2020 at 7:16 PM

    I replaced the egg whites with 4 tablespoons of aquafaba, and it worked great! Thank you so much for this amazing recipe :)

    • Nicole Hunn
      June 28, 2020 at 8:19 PM

      I’m so happy to hear that, Aleena!! That’s great news. I am going to have to try more of that myself. Thank you so much for sharing your experience. It’s really valuable to me, and to others I’m sure.

  • Alyssa DiMaio
    June 25, 2020 at 9:21 PM

    Hi Nicole!
    Is it ok to use a regular bread loaf pan ? I don’t have a Pullman pan and amazon doesn’t have it in stock until next month! Hoping to make this bread sooner, as in tomorrow! My sister is newly diagnosed with celiac and I am trying to find alternatives to the dry, crumbly gluten free sandwich bread in the store.
    Thank you so much!

    • Nicole Hunn
      June 26, 2020 at 9:54 AM

      The recipe instructions discuss everything you need to know about making it in a standard 9×5-inch loaf pan and, alternatively, in a Pullman pan, Alyssa. Everything you need to know is all there!

  • Jennifer Lavine
    June 25, 2020 at 1:17 PM

    The recipe directions say to use the paddle attachment. But in the story above you said to use the mixing blades. Which is it?

    • Nicole Hunn
      June 25, 2020 at 1:31 PM

      I’m afraid I’m not sure what you’re referring to, Jennifer, but the recipe is correct as written. If you have a stand mixer, use the paddle attachment!

  • Denise
    June 9, 2020 at 5:00 PM

    Love this recipe. Just got a bread machine with gluten free setting. Can I use this recipe in the bread machine?

    • Nicole Hunn
      June 9, 2020 at 8:23 PM

      I do not use or recommend use of a bread machine, Denise. They vary significantly from brand to brand, so much that instructions for one machine will not work for another.

  • Loree
    May 31, 2020 at 2:46 PM

    I live in Denver and want to make the Gluten Free White Sandwich bread. Your recipe calls for instant yeast. Can I substitute active dry yeast? I’m concerned that the instant yeast will cause the bread to rise too quickly because of high altitude and end of deflating.

    • Nicole Hunn
      May 31, 2020 at 4:23 PM

      I’m afraid I don’t have any experience at all with high altitude baking, Loree, so I can’t give any advice except to tell you that high altitude readers have used their regular adjustments, whatever they may be. There’s nothing particular about gluten free baking in that regard. And if you’d like to substitute active dry yeast for instant yeast, multiply the weight of instant yeast by 1.25 or 125%. Active dry yeast has a thicker coating around the yeast, so you should soak it in some of the liquid in the recipe (here, milk) until it foams before adding it with the rest of the milk.

  • Cheri' Powers
    May 30, 2020 at 7:46 PM

    Hi Nicole,
    I was just wondering: I forgot to add the apple cider vinegar. Is that the reason my bread didn’t rise this time? I say “this time” because lately I’ve been having such a hard time getting my bread to rise. I’ve been using your recipe with good luck using regular yeast and had a few successful attempts with instant yeast. Recently, I tried making bread with the instant yeast, using your flour blend, but it was a little colder than usual so my bread didn’t rise (tried 3 times even used warm water to warm the oven). Today I bought the regular yeast, used your flour blend, it’s a little warmer today, (but then forgot to put in the apple cider vinegar) and it didn’t rise. Could you help me with why I’m possibly having issues. Your bread is so tasty and it’s all I use (store bought bread is so expensive and not very flavorful). Thanks so much!

    • Nicole Hunn
      May 30, 2020 at 8:15 PM

      It sounds like you may not be allowing the dough enough time to rise. Overproofing is not a matter of allowing the bread too much time to proof, but rather letting it proof too much. If it takes longer, it takes longer. Also, I absolutely never recommend using an oven (on any setting, other than off!) to proof bread. Ever. You could easily be killing the yeast. Patience is key. Also, inconsistent results are the hallmark of not measuring by weight, so if you’re measuring by volume, not weight, switch!

  • BONITA G PARA
    May 29, 2020 at 11:38 AM

    Hi Nicole,
    I love the recipe and have made this twice. The first time turned out well, but seemed a little crumbly. The second time I used 3 teaspoons of xanthan gum and got the most delicious and springy bread. I also got a better rise. Thank you. Bonita

    • Nicole Hunn
      May 29, 2020 at 12:37 PM

      It sounds like perhaps you didn’t use one of my recommended flour blends, Bonita. Glad you found something that works for you.

  • Snigha
    May 29, 2020 at 7:24 AM

    Hi Nicole, trying to attempt this for the first time.. although I dont have cream of tartar.. any replacements you could suggest?

    • Nicole Hunn
      May 29, 2020 at 10:25 AM

      Cream of tartar is widely available in the spice section of most grocery stores, Snigha. I really recommend you buy some because it’s very useful in baking. You can try some lemon juice, and cut back on the milk, but that’s just a guess!

  • Jacque
    October 17, 2017 at 11:32 PM

    Hi Nicole,
    I love your site and have been gf as long as I can remember (diagnosed Celiac at 19mos.). I love Udi’s whole grain bread but it is pricey and I’ve always wanted to try making my own so I tried yours after a different recipe flopped last week. Your bread has the BEST flavor of all I’ve tried, but mine came out a bit gooey and dense inside. I used King Arthur GF flour, and added 1/4 cup of psyllium husks and a few tablespoons of flax seeds. I let it rise overnight in the fridge and a few more hours in the pan in my sunny kitchen. Any idea what went wrong? Thanks so much!

    • Nicole Hunn
      October 18, 2017 at 8:07 AM

      Hi, Jacque, you can’t use King Arthur Flour in my recipes successfully, or psyllium husk. If you follow the recipe as written, including using one of my recommended flour blends, you’ll have success. Whenever you modify a recipe like that, you’re really creating a new formula!

  • Lori
    October 15, 2017 at 7:54 PM

    Hi! Do you use rapid rise yeast in this recipe or regular? Thanks

    • Nicole Hunn
      October 16, 2017 at 8:22 AM

      Lori, the recipe calls for instant yeast. That’s the same as rapid-rise.

  • Sandra
    October 11, 2017 at 7:59 PM

    Hi Nicole, l made the loaf last night (using only my arm strength). Best bread ever. Thanks for sharing.

    • Nicole Hunn
      October 12, 2017 at 8:32 AM

      So great to hear, Sandra! Thanks for letting us know how well it worked out for you.

  • Jacki
    October 11, 2017 at 7:27 PM

    I received my copy of your book today- beautiful, your husband is a lucky man!
    I can’t wait to try a few recipes.

    • Nicole Hunn
      October 12, 2017 at 8:31 AM

      Haha thanks so much, Jacki! With any luck, he’ll see that here. :) So glad you’re enjoying the book.

  • Loretta Urie
    October 9, 2017 at 4:13 AM

    Nicole,

    Complicated here, I’m GF my husband is vegan, I see you substitutes and I will try them!
    I am wondering from a nutrient stand point can I put in add ins? Flax, chai, sunflower something other then plain white which we don’t eat very often?

    • Nicole Hunn
      October 9, 2017 at 12:05 PM

      I don’t recommend that, Loretta. I’d try the gluten free brown bread recipe I posted recently here on the blog. Just use the search function.

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