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Gluten free buckwheat bread

A lot of gluten free buckwheat bread recipes online tend to be mostly a gluten free flour blend. Sure, they have some buckwheat thrown in, but they’re not predominantly buckwheat. I get it! Buckwheat has quite a distinct taste that not everybody loves. But for the people who do: this bread is predominantly buckwheat. It has a small amount of cassava flour or tapioca flour for extra elasticity and a nice crumb, but it’s mostly buckwheat.

If you’re after an 100% buckwheat flour recipe, my new buckwheat recipe e-book includes a recipe for 100% buckwheat flour yeasted bread. It also has a recipe for 100% buckwheat flour sourdough, as well as bagels, choc chip cookies and noodles.

A note, before we dive in: I have only used light buckwheat flour for this recipe. The darker variety that I see recipe creators in Europe and the US use isn’t commonly available in Australia. As such, as I have never worked with it and can’t give you any advice.

An aerial sunlit image of a slice of gluten free buckwheat bread atop a bright blue ceramic plate

Gluten free buckwheat bread without xanthan gum

This gluten free buckwheat bread contains a number of simple ingredients that we will quickly go into below

Light buckwheat flour forms the backbone of the bread and makes up the majority of the flour. I don’t have access to dark buckwheat flour so I can’t give you any advice as to whether that works here too.

Cassava flour or tapioca flour for some added elasticity and a light crumb. Technically the bread does work with 100% buckwheat flour, but it can be a little more prone to breaking.

Psyllium husk powder to bind the loaf together and create structure, as well as to hold enough water in the dough to create a lovely soft crumb.

Instant yeast and baking powder to proof the bread and provide the lift and height necessary for a nice crumb.

Water, oil, maple syrup and salt to bring the dry ingredients together, feed the yeast, provide a soft and browned crumb with a delicious taste.

A side on dark image of a loaf of gluten free buckwheat bread. The loaf sits on a wooden table and flour sprinkles down from the top of the image onto the loaf

Recipe notes and substitutions

If you need the bread to be yeast free, there is a recipe in Intolerance Friendly Kitchen.

Tapioca flour and cassava flour both work for the starch component of this loaf. They have different absorbencies, though, so add a lesser amount of liquid if you use tapioca.

Any oil or liquid sweetener works here. I have not tested any sugar substitutes such as allulose or Monkfruit. I have no experience with these so I have no suggestions.

A steel loaf pan is where it’s at for this recipe. Because the dough has very little structure, a steel pan holds everything in so the loaf proofs upwards. If you want a gluten free sandwich bread, the small Pullman steel bread pan will be your best friend.

A side on view of the crumb of a loaf of gluten free buckwheat bread. The loaf sits atop a white marble table against a dark backdrop.

Important notes on how much water to add

Firstly, as always, it’s important to mention that the quality of gluten free flours differs dramatically from brand to brand, country to country. In terms of quality, I mean how finely it is milled, it’s freshness and how absorbent it is. This means that you need to have your wits about you when determining how much water to add to your buckwheat bread.

Further complicating things is the fact that tapioca flour is less absorbent than cassava flour. This means that you will need to add less liquid if you use tapioca, and more if you use cassava.

The best course of action when making gluten free bread is to add water conservatively at first. When adding a high volume of liquid, it’s impossible to tell how the loaf will turn out. If you add the lesser volume of water, you can always add more later if you find the dough is dry.

An aerial view of a loaf of gluten free buckwheat bread on a white marble table. The loaf has been sliced, and two slices lay before it on the table.

How to tell if you’ve added enough liquid

Realistically, it’s hard to go too far wrong here in terms of the outlined hydration. Add the lesser amount to the psyllium husk powder mixture, then assess your dough once you have added the gel. The dough should be moist and floppy, with no dry spots. You should be able to pick it up, but it should feel completely hydrated.

If you have used cassava flour, it’s worth waiting 5 minutes before making the assessment. Cassava flour absorbs a fair bit of moisture, so it’s worth waiting to double check before you make any decisions. Another point is that fermented cassava flour (like Ottos) tends to be considerably more absorbent than non-fermented cassava flour.

An aerial close up view of a piece of gluten free buckwheat bread on a sky blue ceramic plate. The bread is topped with mascarpone, smashed roasted pumpkin, garlic infused chilli oil and a few chopped pistachios.

More hydration notes

The more liquid you add (to an extent) the taller the loaf will be. So, you have to balance how moist you like your bread with how tall you want the loaf to end up. For a drier crumb but a shorter loaf, use the lesser amount of liquid. You might even find your flours or preference need less liquid than the recipe specifies.

For a taller loaf with a more moist crumb, use a higher amount of liquid. The loaf below used 800g of water and tapioca flour.

A side on view of a loaf of gluten free buckwheat bread on a white marble table. The loaf has been sliced and faces the camera, revealing the fluffy inner crumb. A second loaf sits off on angle behind the loaf.

Proofing notes for your gluten free buckwheat bread

I have tested this gluten free buckwheat bread with two different proofing options. While I didn’t find there to be too much difference in this case, it is worth mentioning. Why? Because I have found, in the past, that double proofing gluten free bread seems to be beneficial. While I was developing my grain free white bread, I found that proofing the bread once in the bowl and again in the loaf helped it retain structure after baking. It also aided in eliminating that gummy line that sometimes forms in the bottom of the loaf.

So, there are two proofing options for this bread. Firstly, if you need a slightly more hands off version, you can proof it straight in the bread pan. Allow it to rise to the top of the pan – for me, this took about 1 1/2 hours on a mild summer day.

Secondly, you can proof the dough, covered, for one hour in the bowl, and then another 1/2 – 1 hour in the bread pan. This is my preferred option – mainly because it doesn’t take much extra effort, but can help ensure you get the best loaf possible.

A side on view of a gluten free buckwheat bread loaf on a white marble table. A second loaf sits in the middle of the loaf, facing the camera. The second loaf has been sliced to reveal the inner crumb of the bread.

What sort of baking tin do I need?

You need a steel bread pan for this recipe. Because the dough is high hydration, it doesn’t have a lot of structure on it’s own. As such, a steel pan is necessary to prevent the loaf proofing outwards instead of upwards. It provides the structure necessary to hold the dough together to create a gluten free sandwich bread style loaf.

I use a small USA pan Pullman pan for all my loaves. The specs are ‎10.16 x 10.16 x 22.86 cm; 453.59 Grams. It’s perfect for gluten free loaves, which tend to be smaller than regular bread. It holds everything up and in for the tallest gluten free loaf possible.

I would not recommend making this loaf in a silicon pan – they don’t have the strength to support the bread as it proofs.

More buckwheat flour recipes

An aerial close up view of a piece of gluten free buckwheat bread on a sky blue ceramic plate positioned on an angle. The bread is topped with mascarpone, smashed roasted pumpkin, garlic infused chilli oil and a few chopped pistachios.

More gluten free bread recipes without xanthan gum

A side on view of a loaf of gluten free buckwheat bread on a white marble table. The loaf has been sliced and faces the camera, revealing the fluffy inner crumb. A second loaf sits off on angle behind the loaf.

Gluten free buckwheat bread

Gluten free, vegan, xanthan gum free, starch free option
Tablespoons are in Australian tablespoons, which are 20ml.
1 Australian tablespoon = 4 American, Canadian and New Zealand teaspoons, 3 1/2 British teaspoons
5 from 21
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Proofing time 1 hour 30 minutes
Course Breads
Cuisine Food Intolerance Friendly
Servings 1 loaf

Equipment

  • 10 x 10 x 23 cm steel bread tin

Ingredients
  

  • 450 g buckwheat flour
  • 60 g cassava or tapioca flour see notes
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 10-12 g salt
  • 1 x 7.5g sachet yeast
  • 25-30 g psyllium husk powder
  • 750-800 g water
  • 20ml (1 tablespoon)* oil
  • 20ml (1 tablespoon)* maple syrup

Instructions
 

  • Grease and line a steel 10 x 10 x 23 cm bread pan.
  • Combine the flours, baking powder, salt and yeast in a large plastic or glass bowl and whisk to remove any lumps.
  • In a medium mixing bowl, combine the psyllium husk powder and water. Whisk thoroughly to remove any lumps, then set aside for 10 minutes to form a gel.
  • Once the psyllium mixture has formed a gel, whisk in the oil and maple syrup.
  • Add the gel to the flour mixture, and use a spoon to combine the ingredients most of the way. Next, use hands to squelch the dough through to thoroughly combine, ensuring there are no dry spots or lumps left in the dough.
  • Proof the dough in the bowl for one hour, before transferring to the bread pan to proof for 1/2 – 1 hour or until the bread reaches the top of the pan. Use a moistened hand to flatten the dough into the pan before it proofs.
  • Alternatively, proof the dough straight in the pan for 1 1/2 hours or until it reaches the top of the pan.
  • While the bread is proofing, thoroughly preheat the oven to 200C/400F.
  • 10 minutes before the bread is ready to bake, boil the kettle and place an ovenproof cake tin or pan filled with boiling water at the base of the oven. This will help the bread rise and stay moist.
  • Bake the bread at 200C/400F for 30 minutes, then remove the water dish and reduce the heat to 180C/356F. Bake for an additional 20 minutes. The loaf should be medium brown in colour and hard on top.
  • Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 10 minutes before removing from the pan and transferring to a wire rack to cool.
  • If you’re struggling to remove the bread from the pan, allow it to sit an additional 10 minutes. The crust softens as the loaf cools, making it easier to remove.
  • Allow the bread to cool for an hour before slicing. For best results, allow to cool completely before slicing.

Notes

  • Cassava flour is thirstier than tapioca flour, so you might need to use a higher volume of water. 
  • Be aware that fermented cassava flour (like Ottos brand) is considerably more thirsty than non-fermented cassava flour. 
  • 1 Australian tablespoon = 4 American teaspoons 
Keyword buckwheat bread, gluten free bread, gluten free buckwheat bread
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

44 Comments

  1. Hi Georgia,
    I’m keen to make this but I keep failing at the psyllium husk powder and after 3 attempts it is still lumpy and a a runny gel consistency. Any tips you might have would be so helpful, or perhaps is I use flax/chia seeds or psyllium husks instead?

    1. Hi Lita,

      If the psyllium husk powder (are you sure it’s powder and not flakes?) isn’t absorbing liquid, there is an issue with the psyllium husk. May I ask what brand you are using?

      Whisking as you add the water to the psyllium husk should help with lumps, but it does need to absorb liquid to become roughly the consistency of a medium to thick yoghurt.

      So, some things you could try:

      – leaving the mixture to absorb for 10-20 minutes longer
      – ensuring you whisk quickly as the water hits the psyllium husk powder. If you wait while you search for the whisk, the powder will start to clump together and it’s harder to separate.
      – using warm water (I find this is often makes the liquid absorb faster)
      – triple check that you’re using powder and not flakes. Flakes absorb less liquid than powder.

      I haven’t tried flax or chia and I don’t often use them as a binder so I can’t give you any advice there. I daresay their absorptive qualities would be different to psyllium powder so it’s a bit risky and I probably wouldn’t recommend it.

      Hopefully the psyllium tips steer you in the right direction!

  2. Hi George
    On the first try, the bread rose wonderfully and has a great texture but a really weird smell and taste… do you think it’s the psyllium husk?

    1. Hi Shilarna! Are you familiar with buckwheat flour? It does have a unique smell and taste.

      The only other thing I can think is maybe some of your ingredients were off or rancid?

      Psyllium husk is normally pretty imperceptible in bread so unless it was very old I don’t think it would be that

  3. Love, love, love this recipe! Thank you. I’ve made it both in the oven and in my bread machine on the gluten free setting. I’ve also made buns with it ❤️

    1. Hi Clive,
      I’m interested in making this bread as you described. But I am worried about getting the right consistency. How many grams of buckwheat flour and water did you end up using?
      Thank you,
      Autumn

  4. 5 stars
    Fantastic bread! I have to know though, what are the toppings on the toast shown in the recipe? It looks so delicious!

  5. 5 stars
    Made this yesterday in my air fryer as i don’t have an oven, came out really well. It was slightly dense though and a bit cake like, any suggestions? Yours looks more crumbly and bread like. Still lovely though.

    1. Hi Jake, I don’t know too much about air fryers as I don’t own one but I suspect that might have something to do with the altered texture.

      I developed the recipe to be made in the oven and I’m not sure if there are alterations that can be made (if any) to better suit an air fryer unfortunately.

      If I ever get an air fryer (on my list) I’ll give it a go!

  6. I want to give this a try, it looks so good. Have you (or anyone who sees this) tried using a bread machine? If so, what modifications did you make?

    1. 5 stars
      Hi DebS ???? Roberta Adam’s has commented above, saying she used her bread making machine on the Gluten Free setting ????

  7. 5 stars
    This looks amazing! I’m going to try to bake this tomorrow. I can’t use most oils, I typically use coconut oil in baking. Do you think melted coconut oil could work or do you think it would harden and disrupt the proofing process?

    1. Hi Larissa! I have never used coconut oil in this bread (or in any of my yeasted recipes) so I’m not 100% sure. However, a bread baking forum I like (not gluten free but still helpful) seems to suggest that there’s no issue with using coconut oil in bread recipes (https://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/22442/coconut-oil)

      I’d say as long as you don’t proof it in the fridge you should be fine. Let me know how it goes, I’d be curious to hear your result!

  8. 5 stars
    Hi Georgia

    I used tapioca flour and actually needed more water. Didn’t use the baking pan filled with boiling water in the oven and baked for an extra 15 minutes. The bread tastes great and I will be using this recipe weekly.

    Most buckwheat recipes I have tried end up being hard and dense. This is moist on the inside and hard on the outside – just what I wanted, so thank you for sharing. Glad I don’t have to buy the gluten free supermarket breads that are filled with rancid seed oils.

  9. 5 stars
    Delicious bread wit beautiful texture like a bread should be! thank you for the recipe I added a bit extra psyllium husk and drizzled a couple of tbsps of coconut oil on the top. Turned out perfect.

  10. 5 stars
    Hi Georgia, I just wanted to let you know that this recipe is AWESOME, the first buckwheat bread I love, out of many that I have made… I wanted to ask, what would be the best storage technique used for this buckwheat bread and how long does it generally last?

    Thank you so much for sharing your wonderful work!
    🙂

    1. Hi Dianna!

      So glad to hear you loved the recipe! This might not be what you wanted to hear but I generally slice mine and freeze it to have for toast every morning.

      I toast it straight from the freezer and it only takes a few minutes to cook.

      Otherwise I slice it and store it in an airtight container in the fridge, where it lasts 4-5 days (maybe more, but I have eaten it by then!)

      🙂

    1. Hi Mandy,

      Because cups are not universal (Australian cups are different in size to American cups, etc) I choose to use grams mostly these days.

      They are universal (all scales have a function for them) and very accurate, which is hugely important in all baking, but particularly gf baking 🙂

  11. Hey Georgia! I’ve made this bread a few times now, but only on one occasion did it rise during proofing. Do you have any idea what does the rising/not rising phenomenon relate to? The amount of water perhaps? Type of yeast? My breads turn out pretty consistent/dense. Still love them, but I’d enjoy them even more were they a bit more aerated. Any thoughts?

    1. Hi Suzanne,

      A few things: first and foremost, is your yeast fresh? are you using the type specified in the recipe?

      Are you based in a cold climate or is it currently winter? If so, this contributes to the yeast being a bit lacklustre. You might need to leave the bread to proof longer if you’re in a cool environment.

      Failing these, what does the dough feel like? Is it borderline dry? Yeast needs moisture to thrive, so you might need to up the liquid content. Every bag of buckwheat will need a different level of hydration though, so it might be that that the buckwheat you are working with is thirstier than mine.

      Are you using cassava flour as the starch component? I have noticed that fermented cassava flour (like otto’s brand) is super thirsty and it might be making your dough a bit dry?

      Are you using light buckwheat flour? I haven’t tried dark buckwheat in this recipe so I can’t speak to how much liquid it needs. I suspect it would need more given that it’s made with unhealed buckwheat, but that’s a guess until I get my hands on some.

      Hopefully this helps somewhat!

      1. It’s got to be the lack of moisture! The dough does feel dry.
        Label says: Cassava/tapioca/manioka flour, so who knows what’s inside 🙂 z here they do not differentiate. I’ll try adding 50-100 ml water. Thanks!

        1. Hi Suzanne,

          Hopefully that’s it because the dough shouldn’t be dry. It should be floppy and moist and you should *just* be able to pick it up in sticky pieces after proofing.

          Generally speaking you can often tell if you haven’t added enough liquid after the first proof because it won’t have grown by much.

          You can experiment with adding 50-100g extra liquid at this point (before the second proof) as a fallback, because hydration is a bit of an art.

          Good luck and let me know how it goes! 🙂

          1. 1000 ml (1 full liter) of water works like a charm! I also added 2 teaspoons of sugar because I use aloe syrup, not as sweet as maple syrup. Now the breads rise and shine 🙂

  12. Hi – I am trying the recipe for the first time and it does not seem to be rising much. My yeast is fresh- just purchased it. Here is the USA, we have two type so yeast – active dry yeast and instant/rapid rise yeast. I used active dry type. I don’t see in the recipe which is specified. I purchased the recommended bread pan, used tapioca flour and measured everything carefully on my metric scale. Thank you for all your buckwheat recipes!

    1. Hi Mo,

      Sorry! Here in Australia we really only have the one common type of yeast so I didn’t think to mention it.

      I used instant for this loaf as I do all my other yeasted recipes.

      I had a quick google and found this Kitchn article on the differences between the two yeasts: https://www.thekitchn.com/whats-the-difference-between-active-dry-yeast-and-instant-yeast-54252

      It says that active yeast needs a bit longer to proof, but I think perhaps there are a few other factors that could be at play.

      Firstly, a dry dough doesn’t rise as much because the yeast needs moisture to thrive. This means it’s important to have a nice moist dough (even overly wet if it needs to be) rather than a dry one. It also needs to be fully covered during both proofs to keep the warm air in.

      Secondly, is it cold where you live? Cold kitchens and weather often contribute to lacklustre proofs because the yeast needs heat to thrive.

      Could it be a combination of all these factors? Generally when one of my loaves come out small it’s one of these things.

      Let me know how you go if you bake it again! 🙂

  13. Hi!! I was wondering if tapioca flour is the same as tapioca starch. Im from Argentina and i cant find the flour kind. Sending lots of love!!

    1. Generally they are the same, but just make sure it’s bright white in colour and feels squeaky in the bag.

      Sometimes different brands/countries label things differently (potato flour/starch is always an issue) so as long as it has those characteristics, it’s fine for the recipe.

      Hope you enjoy the loaf 🙂

    2. PS I went to Buenos Aires for 2 weeks in 2019 and I loved it so much! Such a beautiful city, can’t wait to come back and explore more of Argentina 🙂

  14. 5 stars
    Amateur baker here – I have a bread maker here and followed the instructions to a “t” until the proofing instructions. I proofed for 1.5 hrs on a “leaven dough” (no kneading) setting on my bread maker and then used the bake setting (on dark crust) for 70 minutes. The temperature came to 205 degrees and the bread came out quite good.

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