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Gluten free seeded bread (no xanthan gum)

I love a good seeded loaf, so it’s a surprise that this is my first gluten free seeded bread recipe on my site. I have one in my cookbook, Intolerance Friendly Kitchen, and a pumpkin seeded loaf in my second buckwheat e-book. However, this is my first recipe dedicated solely to the website and one of my new favourites.

Gluten free seeded bread (no xanthan gum)

This gluten free seeded bread is xanthan gum free, of course. However, it is also egg free, nut free, dairy free, vegan and soy free.

The loaf uses a simple mix of buckwheat flour, white rice flour and tapioca flour. For those who cannot tolerate rice, I have tested a rice free version as well (which we will discuss below).

To bind, the loaf uses psyllium husk powder. A small amount of oil and maple syrup add flavour and texture improvements, while water and yeast bring everything together.

This is one of the tallest gluten free bread recipes I’ve made, so perfect for a good sandwich or slice of toast.

You can use seeds that work for you. I have made this loaf with a mix of pepitas, hemp seeds, sesame seeds and flax seeds.

An aerial image of a slice of toasted gluten free seeded bread on a white speckled ceramic plate.

Note on the seeds

As mentioned above, you can choose a mix of seeds that work for you. Personally, I find that a broad mix makes for the best tasting loaves. At the very least, I would recommend using half of one variety and half of another.

I would recommend using only 1/4 cup of flax seeds (or chia seeds, if that’s your thing). Because they absorb water, they have the potential to change up the loaf consistency if there are too many of them.

In terms of their placement, I like to aim for about 3/4+ in the loaf and the remainder on the outside of the loaf. My new favourite trick is to very lightly wet the base of the lined loaf pan and sprinkle some seeds over the base. These seeds will imprint into the base of the loaf and provide seedy goodness from all angles.

Keep in mind that seedy loaves generally always make a bit of a mess. Some of the seeds (despite our best intentions) will fall off. If you really don’t like this happening, you have a few options.

Firstly, you can experiment with adding all the seeds to the dough. I haven’t tried this and I wonder if the flax seeds would absorb some of the liquid in the dough. You are welcome to try – I would be inclined the make the dough on the moist side if you do.

Secondly, you can scale back the seeds to 1/2 – 2/3 cup and add them all to the dough. This will be in keeping with the quantity of seeds in the dough that I have tested.

A close up macro image of the side of a loaf of gluten free seeded bread.

Notes on the gluten free flours

I have purposely chosen light buckwheat flour, white rice flour and tapioca flour here. They are all relatively accessible in Australian supermarkets, which is important to me in the development of a loaf. They are all also relatively inexpensive, given that they are not niche.

I have only tested light buckwheat flour here because that’s all I have access to here in Australia. Dark buckwheat flour is made from whole unhulled buckwheat, whereas light buckwheat flour is made from hulled buckwheat. I daresay this difference will change the hydration required, but also perhaps the FODMAP content. If and when I get my hands on some dark buckwheat flour, I will experiment and update my buckwheat flour recipes.

If you don’t tolerate rice flour, though, fear not! I have successfully tested sorghum flour as a replacement. Because sorghum flour is far less absorbent than white rice flour, I recommend scaling back the liquid.

I have used 900g and 800g water in my tests with white rice flour. I would recommend the 750-800g range for a loaf that uses sorghum flour to account for this difference.

I have also recently tested white teff flour, which worked well. I used 850g of water for the loaf using white teff flour.

A side on image of a loaf of gluten free seeded bread. The loaf is golden brown and topped with plenty of seeds which have embedded into the side of the loaf.

What should my dough look like before proofing?

One thing I find helpful to keep in mind when baking gluten free bread is that it will absolutely not look like regular bread. Because the psyllium husk powder soaks up liquid gradually, it will initially appear to be very wet. This is the case both with boules and loaves, but more so with loaves.

Why? Because a loaf has the support of a loaf tin as it bakes, you can add more water to the dough. You also don’t need to worry about shaping the loaf and it being too sticky.

The benefit of a high hydration loaf is that more liquid = a taller loaf (to an extent). Yeast thrives in a moist environment, so a wet dough is more likely to produce a tall and beautiful loaf.

As you first mix the dough, it should be so liquid that you worry it will never become bread. After a brief period of mixing, it should feel like the dough has thickened a little. Depending on how much water you have added, the dough might remain the consistency of a medium thickness yoghurt, or it might be slightly thicker than that. Either way, it should be more of a batter than a solid dough.

One thing it shouldn’t be? Dry. As we’ve discussed, a dry dough is not an environment in which yeast thrives. This means your loaf will not only be dry, but also short, squat and with a very solid consistency. No beautiful airy crumb 🙁

What should my dough look like after proofing?

This depends on how much liquid you have added. On the low end of hydration, the dough should have formed a little raised but completely smooth bun in the bowl. It should be filled with bubbles if you stir and you might be able to lift the dough up in spoons.

On the high end of hydration, the dough might still look wet and be easy to stir. It should still feel cohesive under your spoon (not like pure liquid) but it might be easier to pour than to spoon into the loaf pan.

A side on close up image of a sliced loaf of gluten free seeded bread on a cooling rack set against a pale wood backdrop.

Can I bake this loaf as a boule or in a silicon pan?

No. This recipe is very high hydration and the dough (being gluten free) does not have enough strength to support itself without the confines of a steel baking tin. Silicon will not hold the loaf in and will be way too small to hold all the dough.

The perfect tin for this recipe is the one I baked it in – a USA pan small Pullman tin. This is the pan I use for all my gluten free loaves, so if you make my recipes often it is a worthy investment.

The loaf tin is perfect because it is made of reinforced steel to keep the loaf proofing upwards. The small size is great for gluten free loaves, which are generally smaller than regular loaves. Because it’s small, you get get a nice tall loaf without the dough spreading too much.

An aerial image of a slice of gluten free seeded toast on a white speckled ceramic plate

Ingredient notes and substitution options

  • These days, I buy psyllium husk flakes and grind them to a powder in a spice grinder. In my experience, store bought psyllium husk powder has a tendency to turn things grey or purple.
  • Psyllium husk powder is more absorbent than the flakes and I haven’t tested the flakes in this recipe. They are not interchangeable here.
  • As mentioned, I have only tested light buckwheat flour in this recipe.
  • While I haven’t tested a different starch in this recipe, you are welcome to experiment. In my experience, glutinous rice flour is more absorbent than tapioca flour, should you choose to use it.
  • You can use sorghum flour in place of white rice flour. Use 750-800g total water for the loaf to compensate the difference in absorbency between the two flours.
  • You can also use white teff flour in place of the white rice flour. I used 850g water for this loaf.
  • The combination of seeds is up to you. Use what works for your dietaries.
  • Oil is there to soften the crumb and maple syrup to aid in flavour, browning and a boost for the yeast. I don’t recommend omitting either.
  • You can use any sort of oil and replace the maple syrup with honey (if you don’t need the loaf to be vegan).
  • I haven’t tested this bread without yeast. I’m working on a gluten free yeast free bread recipe, so stay tuned.
A macro image of the crumb of a slice of toasted gluten free seeded bread

Loaf cheat sheet

  • The dough should be essentially liquid as you mix it, and become a thin to medium consistency yoghurt consistency after whisking.
  • After proofing, the dough should be aerated and bubbly but still way too thin to hold its shape.
  • To an extent, a wetter dough equals a moist and open crumb and a dry dough equals a short, finely knitted and dense crumb.
  • I find adding seeds after the first proof to be the best time to add them in.
  • How much water you need to add will vary. Different bags of flour have different absorbencies, as do varieties and brands around the world. The easiest way to add water (within the range) is by sight – watch for a dough that is as described in the recipe. If yours is drier than that, add more water. It is much easier to add more water later than it is to address an overly wet dough.
A moody side on image of a loaf of gluten free seeded bread on a white marble table against a dark backdrop

Troubleshooting your loaf

There are a few things that need to be considered when baking bread to ensure success. Firstly, ambient temperature plays a big role in proofing and needs to be considered. If you’re baking in a super hot or humid climate, your loaf will proof a lot faster and might be prone to over proofing. A classic sign of over proofing is the flying crust – a top crust that has detached from the loaf, leaving a big hole inside.

Similarly, frigid temperatures will make it difficult for the yeast to thrive. Baking in super cold kitchens or environments will mean the proofing stage will take considerably longer.

In terms of the flour, I cannot emphasise enough that every bag of flour will yield a different result. If you blindly follow the liquid volume outlined in the recipe without watching your dough, you might end up with a dry loaf or a wet mess. You need to use your intuition and add liquid according to your flours.

Using a silicon tin or tin larger than specified will result in either a mess all over your oven as the dough spills out (silicon loaf) or a short and squat loaf (larger loaf tin). I don’t make the rules!

Yeasted baked goods needs to be totally covered during proofing in order for them not to dry out as they bake. Keeping the dough covered prevents cool air from getting in and from things drying out, both of which will inhibit yeast growth. I (re)use a plastic bag that I wrap entirely around the bowl during the first proof. During the second proof, I use a smaller produce bag that fits snugly around my Pullman pan and extends into the air so that it doesn’t touch the loaf as it proofs.

An aerial image of slices of gluten free seeded bread on a white stone bench top in bright sunlight.

My loaf is dense?

This can be one of three things (at least) and might be more than one combined. Firstly, a dense loaf is often one that didn’t have enough liquid added. Yeast needs a certain level of moisture to raise a dough, and if the dough is too dry it will not work as intended.

Secondly, cool climates and kitchens can contribute to a lacklustre proof. Yeast thrives in heat, so proofing in warmer weather or climates will always result in a speedier, more efficient proof. Combined with a lack of sufficient moisture, these two factors can work to create a very squat and disappointing bread.

Finally, if your bread shows no signs of yeast activity at all and has not proofed, your yeast might have been inactive. Make sure you use fresh packets of yeast to avoid this – not the two year old packets at the back of the cupboard.

My loaf is too wet?

If you have added water conservatively, gradually and as per the texture described in the recipe card, this shouldn’t be an issue. However, as discussed in regards to the absorbency of flours, some flours can take less liquid than others.

The solution is simple: add less water next time. Over time you’ll learn how much liquid your flours can absorb and this will become less common.

If you want to course correct a liquid dough after the first proof, I’d recommend using 1/2 cup flax seeds instead of 1/4. Because flax seeds absorb liquid, this MAY help in bringing the loaf back to better ratio.

One last thing to mention, because people sometimes ask. If your slices of bread are moist – that’s normal! A lovely open crumb can sometimes mean moist slices of bread. This is the simple payoff. However, it’s worth mentioning that they might be excessively moist if you cut the loaf before it has cooled. Steam and excess liquid are still in the process of drying out as the loaf cools. For best results, slice it completely cooled or even the next morning.

There’s a bright side to a moist loaf, aside from a lovely open crumb: the loaf will be stay fresher longer. With a high hydration version of this loaf, you can still eat it un-toasted for a day or two (or more) after baking.

An image of a sliced loaf of gluten free seeded bread on a cooling rack against pale wood chopping boards in the background.

More gluten free bread recipes without xanthan gum

A brightly lit image of a loaf of gluten free seeded bread on a white bench top against a white stone wall. The loaf is filled with seeds and has been sliced to reveal the soft and fluffy inner crumb.

Gluten free seeded bread

Vegan, xanthan gum free, nut free
Be the first to rate this recipe
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Proofing time 2 hours
Course Breads
Cuisine Food Intolerance Friendly
Servings 1 loaf


  • 10 x 10 x 23 cm steel bread tin (I use the small USA pan Pullman pan) (4 x 4 x 9 inches)


For the loaf:

  • 400 g light buckwheat flour
  • 100 g white rice flour (see notes)
  • 100 g tapioca flour
  • 7.5g (1 sachet) instant yeast
  • 20 g psyllium husk powder (not flakes)
  • 12 g salt
  • 20 ml oil of choice
  • 20 ml maple syrup
  • 800- 900 g water

For the seed mix:

  • 1 Australian cup seeds approximately 150g, see notes


  • Add the dry ingredients for the loaf into a large, non-reactive (glass or plastic) mixing bowl and whisk to combine. Add the wet ingredients and whisk again to combine. The dough should begin feeling completely liquid, then thicken slightly to a medium thinness yoghurt consistency. I recommend adding water conservatively and incrementally to reach this consistency. An overly wet dough will be harder to rectify than a gradually hydrated dough.
  • Whisk until smooth, then cover the bowl and place in a draught free place for 1 hour.
  • While your dough is proofing, lightly grease and line your 10 x 10 x 23 cm steel bread tin USA pan pullman loaf tin.
  • Combine your seeds in a small bowl. I dedicate 3/4 of the seeds to be mixed into the loaf and the rest for the outside of the loaf.
  • When the dough is proofed, mix 3/4 or so of the seeds into the dough.
  • Wet the bottom of the loaf pan with a light splash of water, then sprinkle half of the remaining seeds into the base.
  • Decant the dough into the tin and use a wet hand to smooth down and moisten the top of the loaf. Sprinkle the remaining seeds onto the loaf evenly, then use a hand to gently press and adhere them to the loaf.
  • Cover with a plastic bag that will not touch the loaf (I use a plastic produce bag inverted over the tin) and proof for 1 hour.
  • About 30 minutes before the loaf is proofed, preheat your oven to 200C/400F.
  • When the loaf top is domed and reaching over the top of the loaf tin, it’s time to bake. Place the loaf in the oven for 20 minutes.
  • After this time, turn the heat down to 180C/356F and cook for an additional 30-40 minutes. The loaf top should be golden brown and sound hollow if you knock on it.
  • Remove the loaf from the oven and allow to cool in the tin for 15-20 minutes before gently using placing onto a cooling rack.
  • The higher hydration iterations of this loaf stay fresh on the bench for a couple of days. After that they are best as toast.


  • I have only tested light buckwheat flour as that’s all I have access to here in Australia. Personally, I don’t think this tastes like a buckwheat predominant loaf, just like a generic wholegrain bread.
  • You can use sorghum flour in place of white rice flour. Use 700-800g total water for the loaf to compensate the difference in absorbency between the two flours (sorghum is less absorbent than white rice flour). 
  • You can also use white teff flour in place of the white rice flour. I used 850g of water – I find teff flour to be quite absorbent. 
  • Expect seeds to fall off the top of the loaf. That’s just how it goes! If you don’t fancy seeds all over your kitchen, I recommend putting them all into the loaf and on the base.
  • The seed mix I used for half the photos is as follows: ¼ cup hemp seeds (35g) ¼ cup pepitas (40g) ¼ cup black sesame seeds (35g) and ¼ cup flax seeds (40g)
  • For the other photos, I used 1/2 cup white sesame seeds, ¼ cup flax seeds and ¼ cup pepitas. 
  • See the body of the post for notes on the flours, seeds, troubleshooting and tips. I have written extensively on each topic to make this recipe as helpful as possible. 
Keyword gluten free bread, gluten free bread without xanthan gum, gluten free seeded bread, gluten free vegan bread
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!


  1. Hi, You mention yeast in the body of the post, but it doesn’t seem to be listed in the ingredients/method of the recipe.
    I was wondering if yeast is included in this recipe, and if so, how much and when is it added?
    Thank you for the clarification.

    1. I’m so sorry Kirilly, in my excitement to publish this one I missed the yeast! Thanks for pointing that out, I have amended the recipe.

      For ease, it’s 7.5g instant yeast (1 sachet in Aus) added to the dry mixture 🙂

    1. I wouldn’t say they are critical. I have made other loaves with roughly this hydration that aren’t seeded.

      That said, I might be inclined to use 800-850g water instead of 900. See how your dough is after the first proof (it should never be dry) but if you’re worried and don’t want to include flax, this is an easy solution 🙂

      1. Thanks for getting back to me. I made a loaf without flax, but I definitely added to much water despite you explaining the consistency to look for so well. Next time I’ll do better lol!

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