Sandwich Bread

Sandwich Bread

Tom’s Gluten Free Sandwich Bread

UPDATE: I published this recipe for gluten free sandwich bread in 2009, only a few months after I started this blog. I haven’t made this recipe in many, many years, and this bread recipe breaks every single rule I have come to embrace over the years about baking gluten free. It uses bean flour, is a batter bread, and really just “good, for gluten free.” But all the same, I can’t bring myself to delete it from this blog. It was a true beacon to me in those early years, when there was little to hope for in gluten free baking.

The Original Post From 2009

This is not my recipe. I have used it for years, & it is heaven sent. But it is most decidedly not mine. It was created by a man named Tom Van Deman, and he provided it, selflessly, to everyone who asked. I always have at least one loaf of it in the freezer and one in the refrig. It is a stand-by, a must-have, my ace in the hole. I use it for my kids’ school lunches. I use it for french toast. I use it for a pillow at night, and I have sweet, sweet dreams.

Many of you have sent me emails asking if I could recommend a recipe for sandwich bread. Most of the commercially available gluten free breads are, well, blech. The ones that are good, it seems, are way too expensive to serve as a staple. And that just won’t do. In any event, Tom’s Bread is actually quite easy to make, freezes beautifully, & can be sliced as thin as you like. When it’s freshly made, you need not toast it. When it’s not, just toast a couple slices & you’ll revive it in two shakes. I make lots of other breads, but this is my go-to sandwich bread. I bet it’ll be yours, too.

Tom’s Bread
1 1/8 cup chickpea (garbanzo bean) flour
1 cup cornstarch
1 cup + 1 tablespoon tapioca flour
3 1/2 teaspoons xanthan gum
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
3 tablespoons brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast
3 eggs, beaten
1 1/8 cup hot (not boiling) water
3 tablespoons vegetable oil

1. Combine all dry ingredients in a medium size bowl (or stand mixer bowl), including the yeast. Mix thoroughly on medium setting.

2. In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs, warm water and oil until well combined. Pour these wet ingredients into the bowl with the dry ingredients, and mix on medium speed (with paddle or dough hook, if using stand mixer). When a (sticky) ball begins to form, scrape the sides of the bowl and mix for 1 additional minute. The dough will still be sticky. It’s fine.

3. Scrape the dough into a greased 9″x5″ loaf pan. Cover with plastic wrap, set in a draft-free warm spot and let rise about 60 minutes, until doubled in size. Near the end of the rise, preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

4. Remove the plastic wrap and place the pan in the preheated oven. Bake for 35-40 minutes, or until the loaf sounds hollow when tapped with a spoon. Turn the loaf out onto a wire rack and cool completely. Slice and enjoy. Thank me later.


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  • Nicola
    July 1, 2011 at 12:23 AM

    Hi :-) I’m trying out this recipe for the first time in my breadmaker, with soy flour instead of the chickpea, as I was given a bunch of flours from a friend. Can’t wait to see how it turns out , that is if my machine co-operates……….. I seriously think the darn thing may be possessed……… it seems to mix the dough for a while, then get bored and reset itself. Wish me luck!

    • Nicola
      July 1, 2011 at 1:39 AM

      After the machine reset itself for the umpteenth time, I scooped the mixture out of the pan and decided to mix it with my handbeater. The mixture then decided to wind it’s way up the beaters in a big lump, well that obviously wasn’t going to work….. then I scraped it off the poor beater and back into the breadmaker, which only started to work the way it should after I posted for advice on the manufacturer’s Facebook page (that was weird, did it know I was telling on it?!?) Now it’s happily rising away in my machine, although I probably lost a good amount of the dough in the process, should be interesting to see how it turns out. Next time I might stick to something nice and non-threatening like biscuits or muffins. :-)

      • Nicola
        July 1, 2011 at 8:07 PM

        And after all that, it turned out really really good! Thanks for sharing the recipe :-)

      • Nicole
        July 1, 2011 at 9:10 PM

        Hi, Nicola,
        I’m glad it worked out!
        xoxo Nicole

  • Michelle
    June 3, 2011 at 9:14 PM

    I think someone asked about using egg replacer, but I didn’t see any followup from the person who asked, so I figured I’d give it a shot. I made the recipe as written, but with Ener-G Egg Replacer for the three eggs. I used my bread maker and I’m very happy with the way it turned out. It is probably a little more dense than it would have been with real eggs, but it tastes great, sliced up nice and thin, and is not crumbly at all. I think it may be my new favorite sandwich bread!

    Someone also asked about nutritional information. Because of all my wonderful allergies, I track all my foods to make sure I’m getting what I need every day. When I sit down and figure out all the values for a loaf of this bread, I’ll post them here.

    Thanks for sharing this recipe, Nicole! I’d be totally lost without resources like your blog and cookbook.

  • Mary
    May 11, 2011 at 7:36 PM

    Hi Nicole,

    I was wondering, can I make this bread using the Better Batter flour? It looks almost the same as your White Sandwich Bread except it has Brown Sugar which sounds wonderful. Do you still make this?


    • Nicole
      May 12, 2011 at 9:20 AM

      Hi, Mary,
      This isn’t my recipe, and I have never modified it at all. It is not the same as my White Sandwich Bread recipe, but you could definitely use brown sugar in my White Sandwich Bread recipe instead of granulated sugar. I hope that’s helpful!

  • RaincloudDance
    April 8, 2011 at 12:32 AM

    Ooops I live in the UK so there is a time difference. I’m closing now at UK time 01:32. Best wishes.

  • RaincloudDance
    April 8, 2011 at 12:28 AM

    Hi everyone
    I have just found this site 8th April 2011 at 1am. I have looked through all the comments and have found the reading very interesting. I am looking forward to making the sandwich bread. It’s no fun eating gluten free bread which has been bought from the store. It is impossible to make a sandwich with it. So wish me luck and I’ll pop back to the site one day. Many thanks

    • Nicole
      April 8, 2011 at 1:59 AM

      I wish you luck, for sure, RaincloudDance! It will turn out beautifully, though, don’t worry.

      Warm regards,

  • Michelle
    August 31, 2010 at 2:46 PM

    Thank you Thank you Thank you!!! We LOVE this bread and the recipe is sooo easy too. My husband hadn’t liked any sandwich bread until this, now I always try to have some made (or in the freezer).

    • Nicole
      September 2, 2010 at 2:40 PM

      Hi, Michelle,
      I’m so glad you are enjoying this bread. It’s a keeper! Thank you for posting!

  • Em
    July 9, 2010 at 12:00 AM

    WOW! I’ve made this loaf twice now and I can barely believe how perfect it is. GF Sandwich bread was impossible, I thought! This stuff is soft, cuts easily, tastes great (but mild enough not to take over fillings) and almost cleans up after itself too coz it rocks so much lol
    Thank you so much for sharing this recipe!

    • Nicole
      July 14, 2010 at 7:28 PM

      Hi, Em,
      I know. This recipe is amazing. I only wish I had come up with it myself! Thanks for posting, and I’m so glad you’re enjoying the bread.

  • […] super delicious served on top of a juicy grilled summertime hamburger, on a homemade bun made with Tom’s Light Bread. Just like regular, gluten-eatin’ folk (but better — what do they […]

  • Genevieve
    June 30, 2010 at 6:36 PM

    Hello! Your sandwich bread recipe is exactly what I’m looking for: great taste, straight forward and minimal ingredients required! The only issue is that we cannot do corn at all…please don’t hesitate to share if you have another wonderful, sandwich bread recipe to share!
    My regular one is a pain to make as I require about 25 different ingredients!
    Merci beaucoup!


    • Nicole
      July 1, 2010 at 2:35 PM

      Hi, Genevieve,
      Oh no! 25 different ingredients? That seems barely worth the trouble, at best! I am a home cook, not a pastry chef, so I like to keep it as simple as possible. I do have another few recipes for excellent gf bread, but they’re in the cookbook, so I can’t share them yet! The book should be on shelves early next year! In the meantime, please enjoy this bread and look for the book in the winter!!

  • […] sure that David had plenty of options to chose from. So I made him some gf rolls that he loves (https://glutenfreeonashoestring.com/sandwich-bread/) just turning the loaf of bread into rolls that I baked for 20ish minutes after lightly wiping them […]

  • Kris
    March 23, 2010 at 1:27 AM

    Hi Nicole,
    I was just wondering if you have any idea about the nutritional information of a slice of this bread…calories, carbs., protein, et cetera? Just curious.

    • Nicole
      April 1, 2010 at 4:43 PM

      Hi, Kris,
      Unfortunately, I don’t. It’s not my recipe, but even if it were, I’d have no idea, to be honest! I’m sorry! Because of the flours used, I would have to imagine it has a lot of protein. Sorry!

  • Kim
    January 26, 2010 at 6:54 PM

    P.S I used my stand mixer to make this bread and baked it in a loaf pan in the oven. It still came out perfect!

  • Kim
    January 26, 2010 at 6:52 PM

    I just made this bread and OMG it is sooo good! I didn’t have any garbanzo bean flour or tapioca flour so I used Bob’s Red Mill gf all purpose flour and baking soda in place of the cream of tartar and it still came out amazing. I am so happy to have bread in the house again and not have to pay an arm and a leg for it. LOL

    • Nicole
      January 27, 2010 at 6:26 PM

      Hi, Kim,
      I’m so glad you had such a good experience with this recipe. It sustained me and my family for many years. I am developing a whole bunch of new sandwich bread recipes for the book, so you’ll have lots of options! Thanks for posting that you were able to substitute flours and still get a good result.

  • don
    January 3, 2010 at 6:04 PM

    tapioca flour at oriental grocery store is from .59 to 1.00 for 1 pound . also non wheat noodles. and i have a question my bread is the greatest. but it falls a little when i take it out of the oven. would you list all the things that make them fall. also the ingredients in egg replacer also helps to hold the air bubbles in the bread. thank you DON

    • Nicole
      January 5, 2010 at 3:41 PM

      Hi, Don,
      If your bread rises well in the oven but then falls, it probably has too much moisture. Try cutting back on the water in the bread, bit by bit. You’ll find the sweet spot.

  • Jane
    December 14, 2009 at 1:42 PM

    This bread is a hit in my house BUT due to some weeks having a smaller food budget, I wonder if I can substitute the flours, half the recipe and half Bob’s RM All-Purpose? The tapioca starch/garbanzo flours is really expensive but with school lunches and a hubby who loves the bread with a passion, I find four loaves a week is the norm. Has there been any info about that? I also don’t have a bread machine since I don’t like the shape the loaf is when done baking in one. Thanks! Great recipe!

    • Nicole
      December 16, 2009 at 2:46 AM

      Hi, Jane,
      See if you can skim the comments to this recipe. In some of the more recent comments, other readers have said that they substituted flours with success. Give it a try! I understand what you mean about the cost. Four loaves of bread a week is a lot! I use it for all my kids’ lunches, but my husband doesn’t get near it! He gets hot lunches, since that’s cheaper and he has access to a microwave at work.

  • Sandra
    December 12, 2009 at 3:05 AM

    I made this bread using soy flour instead of bean flour using an old bread machine that doesn’t have a gluten free setting. Due to these slight modifications, I was worried how it would come out, but it came out just perfectly! Not at all dry, flaky or dense. So delicious and easy to make in the bread maker, and much cheaper and tastier than store-bought GF breads. Very happy! :-)

    • Nicole
      December 16, 2009 at 2:47 AM

      Hi, Sandra,
      That’s great! It’s magic bread. :)

  • Wendy
    December 10, 2009 at 1:51 PM

    Nicole – the only place I was planning on displaying the “book” I was intending on making was on my own bookshelf. Wasn’t planning to splurge on much beyond a staple, as my means of binding….. So it is probably good that you take care of this one ;)

  • Christina
    December 9, 2009 at 8:31 PM

    I started out using the Pamela’s bread recipe and it was good — much better than store bought; I was very overwhelmed when we first learned my husband has Celiac, so this recipe was extra simple and worked for a while.

    But I took the time to buy all of the things needed for this recipe, and it was well worth the effort. I made it for my husband last night, and he loves it; it’s more than good. This really doesn’t take much more effort than the other recipe, but it is much better. Thank you for sharing and good luck with your book.

    • Nicole
      December 16, 2009 at 2:52 AM

      Hi, Christina,
      It is amazing how your perspective can change as you climb and finally overcome the big learning curve of cooking and baking gluten free, isn’t it? The things I thought were “good” when we first started out gluten-free were a reflection of how overwhelmed I was, and how thrilled I was to find anything that tasted like food! I’m so glad you’re enjoying the recipe. Eat it in good health!

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