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.
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.
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.
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, this pan will be your best friend.
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.
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. Below is a picture of the consistency you’re looking for.
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.
Keep in mind:
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.
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.
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; 649 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 gluten free bread recipes without xanthan gum
- My original sourdough recipe
- These easy bagels with a vegan option
- The seeded bread in Intolerance Friendly Kitchen
- Or, if you like things in one spot, this gluten free bread recipe roundup
Gluten free buckwheat bread
- 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
- 1 tablespoon* oil
- 1 tablespoon* maple syrup
- Grease and line a steel 10.16 x 10.16 x 22.86 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.
- Cassava flour is thirstier than tapioca flour, so you might need to use a higher volume of water.
- 1 Australian tablespoon = 4 American teaspoons
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?
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!
So yummy and tender. Holds together well. I did 400g dark buckwheat flour and 90g cassava.
I’m so glad you enjoyed it Marena! Great to hear that it works with dark buckwheat flour too 🙂