Dark Teff Sandwich Bread

Ali Segersten Mar 10, 2009 95 comments

Here I present to you a gluten-free yeast bread, sweetened with honey, reminiscent of whole wheat bread. Dark and hearty, full of whole grain goodness that is usually deplete in gluten-free breads. Because of teff's amazing nutrition profile this bread is higher in protein and iron than most of its gluten-free counterparts.

I tested this recipe a number of times, each time changing one aspect of the ingredient list. I finally settled on this version, knowing it was a winner because of how fast it disappeared in our house.

Although bread really isn't a staple in our house like it used to be, I think we will be making this recipe again and again. It is just very handy to have something ready-made for busy days. My 14 month old twins love eating this bread toasted and spread with pumpkin seed butter. My 4-year old and I eat it toasted and spread with almond butter and sour cherry jam. (I buy organic, fruit-sweetened jam from the company Bionaturae).

I know I have mentioned arrowroot powder in previous posts but I wanted to say it again here because it is a main ingredient in this recipe. Arrowroot can be cross-contaminated with gluten if processed in a facility that also mills wheat.

I used to purchase our arrowroot in bulk at our local co-op but then one day I decided I wanted to save money and special order a larger amount. When my order came in I wondered if they had given me someone else's order. The 5 pound paper package was covered with pictures of wheat and it sure had the look and feel of a bag of wheat flour. Of course I found the little sticker that read "Arrowroot" but it got me wondering. So I contacted the company to talk to them. They never responded, but it didn't matter, I already knew the answer.


Just a little bit of gluten that could be hiding in that bag of arrowroot could have triggered a gluten reaction. So we returned the arrowroot, and this is when I fell in love with the company: Authentic Foods. All of their products are gluten-free so no need to fret.  You can buy their arrowroot online here.

For those of you who are curious, our local co-op sells arrowroot in bulk from another company, Glory Bee Foods, which is different from the company that I had special ordered it from. I have not had time to contact this company to check and see if it is gluten-free. If someone does, please let me know.

Interested in more whole grain teff recipes? Check out my Teff Pancakes, Teff Breakfast Muffins, or Chocolate Chip Teff Banana Bread.

Now on to my super yummy bread recipe...


About the Author

Ali Segersten

Alissa Segersten holds a Bachelor's of Science in Nutrition from Bastyr University and a Master’s of Science in Human Nutrition and Functional Medicine from the University of Western States. She is a Functional Nutritionist, the mother of five children, a whole foods cooking instructor, professional recipe developer, and cookbook author. She is passionate about helping others find a diet that will truly nourish them. Alissa is the author of two very popular gluten-free, whole foods cookbooks and guidebooks: The Whole Life Nutrition Cookbook and Nourishing Meals. She is also the co-author of The Elimination Diet book. Alissa is the founder and owner of Nourishing Meals®.

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Hi there, I have a much better (and xanthan gum-free) dark teff bread recipe in my Nourishing Meals cookbook. I would highly recommend using the newer recipe instead. It uses a combo of psyllium husk and ground chia. https://amzn.to/2DMH037

It is hard to replace or remove the xanthan gum in this recipe without totally shifting the other ingredients, and adding another binder in place of it.

The Nourishing Meals book has a number of delicious bread recipes that everyone loves. There's a kindle version too so you don't have to wait for the book to arrive. :)

I just bought your book and I can't wait to get it!! Just what I've been needing for myself and my family! I have a 3.5 year old girl, and though i've gotten pretty good at working with all of our sensitivities this will be so helpful!

Hi Ali, I'm loving all the positive comments about this bread and am keen to try it but wondered if the bread would still work if i left the zanthum gum out. I dont have any in my pantry and dont mind if the texture is different.

I just made 2 perfect and delicious loaves of this recipe and put my homemade crabapple jelly on it. Fabulous treat! Thank you for the careful instructions.

I LOVE this bread! Moist, with excellent flavor. I used blackstrap molasses instead of maple syrup. This is the first gluten-free bread I have had that really tastes good!

I use 1.25 cups water, 1 t salt, 1 t coconut sugar, 2 eggs, 1/4 cup olive oil, 300 grams teff flour, 60 grams arrowroot, 60 grams tapioca flour, 25 grams psyllium husk, 2 t yeast on the gluten free program.

Hi there,

I have a really good (much better than this blog recipe) for Dark Teff Sandwich Bread in my Nourishing Meals Cookbook that is xanthan gum-FREE. :)

I would suggest following that recipe instead of trying to replace the xanthan gum in this recipe. Here is a link to the book on Amazon: http://amzn.to/1OTjJhg

This looks like a wonderful recipe. I prefer to not use xantham gum. Can I replace it with something else? Thanks.

Ooops I forgot to thank you!

I love this bread. It has become what I eat regularly. Well done! I too have problems with the raising (it raises and then falls partially) but it may be my fault for using slightly larger pans.

I've read on other sites that instant yeast and dry active yeast are pretty much interchanchable. Obiouvlsy there wouldn't need to be the proofing of the instant yeast. My question is, what is your view on this? I'm trying to do this in a bread machine and use instant yeast.

Hi Ali,
I don't know if living in Calgary, Alberta has anything to do with it (it is incredibly dry here) but i skipped the "turning out onto a floured wooden board" as i was worried that it would dry out too much. The bread is baking, so I will let you know if anything was amiss. Have had great success with this delicious recipe in the past.

Proof the yeast, if it does not get bubbly/foamy then dump it out and start over. Keep the loaf pan in a warm spot. It should rise. Also...make sure your yeast is fresh! :)

I have a delicious (I think it is much better) updated Dark Teff Sandwich Bread recipe made WITHOUT xanthan gum in my Nourishing Meals cookbook. I've had amazing feedback on the updated recipe from all of my recipe testers and fans of the book. It is also vegan/egg-free. You might really enjoy that recipe, but again proofing your yeast is key. Here is a link to the book on amazon: http://amzn.to/2mZImf6

Did you proof your yeast? This is really important. Also be sure to keep the rising bread in a warm place.

Thank you for the feedback Daniela! :)

I really enjoy this recipe but I can never get it to rise! Any suggestions?

Didn't trust would come out based on the look of the dough. I used my bread machine which has a setting for gluten free. The result? OMG!!! I could not stop eating! It is so tasty and grat texture, and because I eye-measured the honney it got a bit sweeter :)...which makes it even better! Loooove it! Thank you so much for sharing it!

Hi, I was also thinking of substituting half of the teff flour with buckwheat, just wanted to ask did it make your bread heavier and more moist, becuase I love to have a more airy and fluffy kind of bread. Just wanted to see which do you recommend sticking to the same recipe for the buckwheat version for a lighter bread?

Thanks for your help

Just made the bread, I'm disappointed. It didn't rise much. Still too hot to taste.

My dough is very runny and not solid. Is that normal? I accidentally used 1 1/4 cup of water so I did not even use full amount. It is rising stage right now. I went back through recipe to be sure I did not neglect any ingredients. What do you suggest if this is not the proper consistency?

I found this recipe last night and it looked so good I was determined to try it as soon as I could today. Result: amazing.

I took a picture: https://pbs.twimg.com/media/Cg3Xdt2UcAAUCWC.jpg

I had to sub a few things because I'm currently on a strict allergy elimination diet and I'm not allowed flax seeds, honey, maple, or cane sugar.

I ended up using 1/2 cup applesauce and a 5oz can of coconut cream to replace the flax, cut the water to 3/4 cup and the salt to 1tsp, and replaced the honey and sugar with coconut equivalents. I also added 1/2 cup extra teff flour because we're high-altitude. I had to let it bake for an hour because it was still a little sticky inside at 40min, but it turned out really well!

I am definitely going to need to buy more teff flour because we had only a small bag (barely enough for the one loaf) and I've got another month left of this diet.

Very delicious flavour and texture. I'm an amateur at baking, but made the following changes according to what I had in the kitchen:

I used 2 large eggs instead of the Ground Flax.
And I subtracted 6 tbsp of water.
Dough seemed to be too runny (like a muffin mixture) after I put everything together, so I added 1/3 cup of whole wheat pastry flour. The dough was still quite sticky and didn't hold its own shape after this, but it came out very well after rising. I think next time I'll use the runny version to keep it gluten free.
Only 1 tspn of xanthan gum because I ran out.
Added a hand full of chopped walnuts, and 3 chopped dates (such a good combo with this loaf!).
Needed to bake for 50 minutes before the knife came out clean.

This bread is amazing. I am an amateur baker, but I made the following adjustments / embellishments according to the supplies I had on hand, and it turned out fluffy, hearty and delicious.

Dough seemed to be too runny, so I added 1/3 cup of whole wheat pastry flour (no longer gluten free).
Only 1 tspn of xanthan gum because I ran out.
Added a hand full of chopped walnuts, and 3 chopped dates.
Needed to bake for 50 minutes before the knife came out clean

Hello Ali, I made this bread for the first time over the weekend. It was my first experience using yeast and I wasn't really sure what to expect. My yeast bubbled some but I'm wondering if it was enough as my bread didn't rise as much as you suggest in the recipe. I was looking for it to double but it didn't quite get there. The taste is delicious, by the way. Just wondering if you can suggest why it didn't rise as much as it could have. Thank you.

Please help, not sure why my bread doesn't come out as beautiful as yours. Mine doesn't rise it just comes out as a solid dense brick. :(

Thank you so much for this recipe! I've been staring at my like 4 bags of Teff in the pantry these last few months on a tight budget TRYING to figure out what to make. We don't really enjoy it as a breakfast porridge, and many recipes only use less than a cup of teff. I'm excited to provide BREAD for our GF family this month!


I'm just curious, have you tried making this a two pound loaf? If so, what would be the measurements of ingredients? Do you think I could just double everything? Thanks!

Hi Marianne,

I just found this recipe and made it today. We live in Colorado too and I made my usual adjustments. With the high altitude there is less air above us pressing down so we need less rise and more structure. With the dry climate, it dries out faster so more moisture and a little less sugar and salt (so it doesn't taste too sweet or salty when it becomes more concentrated... Less sugar also helps with the structure). So I decreased the yeast to 2t, decreased the honey to 2T, increased the flour to 2 1/8-2 1/4 cups (I used 10.5 ounces... I bake using weights), and decreased the salt to 1t. I rose the bread a shorter time (40 min?) And tented the bread with foil twenty minutes into the baking time. This probably wasn't all necessary but I've been baking at altitude my whole life and it's just second nature now.

This is my first gluten free yeast bread (hubby just diagnosed with celiac) and I am so relieved! I've been eating mostly whole grains from birth and my family (hubby, two kids and me) has been eating exclusively whole grains for years now. We bought some bread while I did research and the stuff was so white and tasteless! My five year old was so excited to see that the bread is brown! I handed him a hot buttered slice and his eyes got really big. "Mmmmmm. Yum!" He exclaimed. And it's sturdy enough that we had sandwiches from it for supper!

Now that I've figured out the original, I'm trying bread machine next so we can have it all week even though I work. I'm planning on ordering the flour bulk from teffco.com to make it almost affordable. :) Prices of flour are one thing I'm still adjusting to with gluten free... I only used King Arthur before so I wasn't exactly a cheapskate but wow! The cost of gluten free is crazy!

Thanks Ali, for a great recipe!

I just tried this bread for the first time today. I loved it, eventhough it didn't rise at all, it still is very delicious.
I do live in high altitude in Colorado, do I need to make any changes for that so I can make it lighter and let it rise?

Rises superbly if you place the loaf tin in a saucepan of boiling water for 1hr. I replaced the flax with chia and topped it with seeds; immense!

This is my absolute favourite vegan glutenfree bread! Dark teff flour is so versatile, and I love the wholegrain feel it gives to baked goods. Thank you for this recipe :) I have made this a few times now and it was great every time - even loved by normal non-glutenfree folks.

Generally to replace one egg you need 1 TB of ground flax and 3 TB of warm water. So it looks like you can remove the flax gel and remove 6 TB of warm water from this recipe, and use two eggs instead. Hope that helps!

I can often find tapioca flour in the Asian grocers, and arrowroot in Woolworths here in Australia. Not sure if it's the same in NZ, but worth a try!

It sounds like your dough needs more flour! I would try stirring in at least 1/2 cup more teff flour next time. I would also suggest trying one of my newer bread recipes. I have a really good dark teff bread in my Nourishing Meals cookbook that does not use any xanthan gum. I also have a xanthan-free recipe on this blog that uses part teff flour. :)

Hi Wynn,
You can usually replace arrowroot in my recipes with tapioca flour! Thanks for the info! :)

Hi Kristy, If you are on a low-carb diet then you will need to avoid teff flour. You can make a delicious low-carb bread using almond flour, coconut flour, eggs, and baking soda instead.

I could use some help, even though I've been making yeast breads for close to 50 years. I've made this bread twice and both times it's fallen to a height of about a flat bread. Our solution has been to slice it very thinly, once cooled, and then to dry the slices in a low oven - voila - perfect Teff crackers. Can anyone give me a suggestion as to why it's falling?

Hello Ali, Thanks for all your great recipes. I have both your 1st edition books and use your blog frequently too. Great stuff!

Arrowroot powder: I tried looking throughout your website, but didn't find the info. I was looking for. Hope you haven't already answered this elsewhere...

You have many recipes that call for arrowroot powder/flour. I've recently moved from the US to New Zealand and have had trouble finding a few of the ingredients in your recipes. Arrowroot powder is one. I just tried to go online to purchase a 5lb quantity from the US, with shipping costs of over $70!

I looked it up on wikipedia to see if it goes by other names. Here's what I found: "Arrowroot is a starch obtained from the rhizomes (rootstock) of several tropical plants, traditionally Maranta arundinacea, but also Florida arrowroot from Zamia pumila, and tapioca from cassava (Manihot esculenta), which is often labelled as arrowroot.[1] Japanese arrowroot, Pueraria lobata, also called kudzu, is used in similar ways."

I've been able to find Kudzu in large granules that require grinding into powder. It comes in 3.5 oz packages for several dollars per package. That's quite pricey, and often too small a quantity to make a double batch of your bread recipes, which is my habit.

My question is this: can I use any of these forms of arrowroot powder described by wikipedia?

I have tapioca flour on hand...

Thanks for taking the time!

I have successfully used ground chia seeds equal amounts to flax seed as a replacer. hope this helps

Hi I just printed out your recipe. I was wondering if you had a recipe for bread with just the teff as the flour ingredient?? I do have some dark rye flour and I do have chia and flax seed. I can have eggs but I am looking for a bread that your body does not process and teff seems to do this. I am a diabetic and on a no carb diet. I am on the program called the blood sugar solution by Dr. Mark Hyman. All fresh or frozen ingredients no processed foods. No diet sugars or honey. Just stevia in the raw. no margarines or butters. Just olive oil or organic coconut butter. no processed foods. I have been able to get off on one of my insulin's and l have been able to lower the other one by 100 units a day. Can you please help so that I can have what appears to be a bread product? Also do you have any recipes for making pasta with just the teff flour?? Thank You for your help.. Kristy

I just printed out your recipe for the dark teff bread. I am looking for a pure teff bread recipe as I have to watch my carbs. I am on a no carb diet so I can get off of my insulin. I have already lowered the amount of one and am off of the one completely using the program called The Blood Sugar Solution by Dr. Mark Hyman. All fresh foods, no processed foods, No diet sugars only Stevia in the raw. No margarines or butters only olive oil or coconut butter organic of course. I only get proteins and veggies. fresh or frozen. So having a bread that completely by passes the bodies absorption process is highly desirable. Can you help?? thank you kristy

I have everything but the Xantham gum. Does anyone know if I can substitute Guar??
thanks, Diane

Hi! My daughter is intolerant to eggs and flax. Can I sub anything for the flax other than eggs? Thx!

Hi, I am going to try this bread soon! My daughter is intolerant to eggs and ground flax. Can we sub something for the ground flax? Thx!

Bob's Red Mill tests all of their gluten free products for cross contamination.

I'm looking for a dark, strong flavored bread, and am thinking of giving this one a try. However, I know that I do not like more sweetness in bread than one teaspoon of sugar (or whatever) provides.
So, can I leave the honey out of the recipe and make it with just the one tsp of sugar, or will that make it too dry?

Absolutely AMAZING!!! My picky little newly GF darling bugged me the entire time it was baking "mom, it smells like your old wheat bread!" They all gobbled it up. I immediately made another loaf. This was my first attempt at gluten free bread and I could not have picked a better recipe. Thank you!!!

When we get accidently glutened...we use bentonite clay! It avoids a lot of the pain.

Does chia seed work for the egg in this recipe? I know some folks use it and I always like to be sure before trying if I can....teff isn't a cheap flour!

As I was making this recipe again yesterday, I did look at it online and realized it was completely different (sorry)and yes I would agree the one in the cookbook is so much better. I have to tell you, my mom gave me her old Pyrex Round Loaf Pan, have you seen these, it is a glass tube that sits in a metal rack? Anyway, I use it to make a french loaf using the recipe in the cookbook, and it turned out great, had a nice crust all around the loaf. Everyone at the dinner table was happy to have a slice of bread with dinner. Again, I am so happy with your recipes in your cookbook.

Stampin by the Bay- Thank you for the great feedback! :)

No, the recipe here is a completely different one than in the new cookbook. Same title though! The new recipe in the book is much better than this one I think. Glad you are experimenting with the recipe....there are so many ways to make it! :)

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