Gluten-Free Bread (xanthan-free, vegan)

Ali Segersten Apr 15, 2011

Today I have a very unique recipe to share. A gluten-free bread recipe that needs to be kneaded! It is made of whole grain flours and is also free of xanthan gum, starches, nuts, eggs, and dairy. Last August I began creating kneadable dinner rolls and braided bread free of the above mentioned ingredients. But something was missing. You see, I grew up making whole wheat bread from scratch with my mother. When I was two years old I was at the counter kneading bread. In high school I would bake my own bread for sandwiches. I have missed the feel of bread dough.

A few months ago I decided to try adding psyllium husk to my bread to see what would happen....and wow....gluten-free bread that really kneads! I was already using ground chia seeds, which help to hold moisture and bind everything together. But the combination of psyllium husk and ground chia works wonders! Psyllium is a fiber that is used in colon cleansing. It also works wonders on lowering cholesterol levels. It can be found on or at your local health food store. Be sure to look for "whole psyllium husk." Whole chia seeds can be found at your local health food store and online. See the tip at the bottom of the recipe for grinding them.

If you try this bread, I would love your feedback in a comment below. Or, share your photos on Instagram and tag me @nourishingmeals! I have many more kneadable gluten-free, xanthan-free, vegan bread recipes in my book, Nourishing Meals. Some examples include Buckwheat Cinnamon Raisin Bread, Everyday Sandwich Bread, and Sourdough Teff Bread! Enjoy!

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I and my family all have a terrible time digesting Teff. I have tried this with Coconut flour and oat ban instead of Teff and cornmeal.

This looks great. Can't wait to try it! I'm a gluten free mommy who loves to try new recipes, especially without the gums. I've blogged a few of my adventures at FOllowing you!

Kristen, here's another psyllium husk recipe from my own blog for a pizza crust:

Thank you for the psyllium husk tortilla recipe! It looks very interesting, and I will try it for sure. I have seen general references to replacing xanthum gum with psyllium husks - anyone know the how to do this/what the ratio might be??? Thanks!

Here's another great, easy psyllium husk recipe for tortillas from Gluten Free Easily:

I just tried this recipe - and it is AMAZING! This bread is so good. I think it's the only bread I will make from now on! Just you have any other recipes using Psyllium Husks???

Made this bread tonight for dinner with family LOVED it! I wish I could post a picture of my results. Also, I wanted to know if I can make other bread products with this? (hamburger buns, bagels etc.)

actually, the recipe is perfect - my printout just cut out the psyllium husks . oops!

I made this tonight, following the recipe to the tee, except using foccacia spices as a topper instead of sesame seeds. Everyone loved it, the bread was easy to make and the instructions extremely easy to follow (except it doesn't say how much psyllum husks, so i did 1/3 cup). Love it!! Will be making it again and I'm extremely excited!!

I made this this afternoon, for tonight's dinner. Everyone loved it, including my friend who is a big traditional bread baker. I did use flax instead of chia, and after reading the comments I know why it was a bit too moist. It is still good. I can't wait to have it toasted tomorrow. Thanks for sharing!

We have made this bread several times, it's our favorite for soup night. So tonight....we're making mini loaves; breadbowls!! I know it will be just perfect!

I've made this bread many times and love it! Today I absentmindedly forgot to grind the chia seeds. (woops!) It still tastes great. WHEW! Just wanted to post for those of you who were concerned about not having a means for grinding the chia.

Just made this bread and LOVED IT!! Thanks so much for the recipe. I didn't have all the ingredients (no psyllium, no chia, no teff) so i changed a few things. The dough was VERRY sticky and not kneadable, but the resulting loaf was excellent. Here's what i did:

2 cups sorghum flour
1 1/2 cups brown rice flour
1 cup corn flour
1/2 cup potato starch
1 1/2 tsp sea salt
1 tsp xanthan gum (i think i could probably have left this out)
1/4 cup flax meal

The wet ingredients i did the same as the recipe. And just for kicks i sprinkled caraway seeds on top instead of poppy/sesame, ala rye bread. Also i don't have a pizza stone so i did parchment paper on a steel baking sheet and it worked great.

I can't say enough how delicious this bread was!!! Definitely a keeper. I'm making it again today. Thanks again!

Can I sub buckwheat flour for the sorghum? I have made this before realizing I have problems with sorghum and corn and it was really good but I did have trouble with it being too moist in the middle.

Hi Ali,

After a few times of making the farmhouse seed bread, I succeeded in making a good bread and figured out how much flour and how much kneading is needed. I turned some of the dough into pita and bagels.

Thanks so much, Ali for the wonderful recipe. I look forward to any new bread recipes you write up, whether leavened with commercial yeast or wild yeast.

Have you tried a grain free version of this? I'd love one ;0

This is an AWESOME recipe. We make it every time we make soup. THANK YOU for such a healthy, full fiber, wonderful textured recipe!

This is my all-time favorite gluten free recipe, hands down! I have always wanted something kneadable, that my little ones could help to pat and shape, and this fit the bill, but I wasn't expecting it to be as delicious as it was!! We have made this several times with several different blends of flour, and it hasn't gone wrong yet. Perfect every time and tastes like "regular" bread- and the smell and feel are the real thing. Thank you so much! I share it with everyone :)

For those of you who have had this bread turn out too gummy or "wet" after baking, just add more flour (teff or sorghum) while kneading. Kneading gluten-free bread dough until the right consistency has been reached will take some getting used too but after a few times it will become second nature.

Make sure you use ground chia and not flax. Chia seeds absorb quite a bit more liquid than flax. Using flax could cause the bread to turn out too gummy.

I am not sure that quinoa flour would have caused poor results. Maybe next time use part quinoa and part sorghum and see how that works.

You can also let it rise only once in a 9 x 5-inch bread pan and then bake after one hour of rising. Bake on your oven rack, no need for the pizza stone or pan of water when making it into a bread loaf. You can coat the top with a nut milk or hemp milk for a crustier crust.

I have made this bread many different ways now. Try different flour blends. I have used quite a few. The bread works great with at least 1/2 cut sweet rice flour, tapioca flour, or arrowroot powder. You don't need to add cornmeal...try another flour instead.

Good luck everyone and happy bread baking!!! :)

I made the Farmhouse Seed Bread. I subbed quinoa flour for the sorghum flour and ground flaxseed for ground chia seed.
(I used a pizza crisper rather than a pizza stone). An hour after removing the bread from the oven, it is still quite gummy.

I guess the fact that the chia seed, which I later read in your blog, has double the binding power of flax is the answer... or part of it?

Quinoa flour may also be involved in the equation. Quinoa is a wonderful flour (or so I find) that I've used in my attempts at GF sourdough bread.
It thickens the batter and makes it spongy. It also has a faster rise than other flours. Hence, my decision to use it.
My batter rose more and spread much more than the one in your photo. I even tried to fold the dough under to make it smaller.

I'll give this all another try with ground chia seed and maybe keep the quinoa flour and let it rise less. Or maybe I'll try it with sorghum flour.
If you have any comments, I'd love to hear them.

I have made bagels with my recipe (which is a variation of Ali's recipe combined with AB in 5's GF boule). The bagels are AMAZING. They really are bagels! Here's my xanthan-free bagel recipe:

YOU'RE A GENIUS! This is great! It's crusty, hearty, healthy, pretty, forgiving, variable. DELICIOUS! Thanks for sharing.

To poster above me, I was also thinking that it would be great for Everything Bagels. Do you know how to make bagels?

Q: How do you tell when bread is done baking? I wonder if it needed another 5 minutes? I think it needs to cool a bit more, and if I baked it longer, it might be too dark on the outside.

I've taken this great recipe and combined it with the GF Boule recipe from Artisan Bread in Five Minutes to make a lighter-flavored loaf. Here is the combo recipe at my blog, "Growing Healthy":

I made this bread last night - it is delicious! Finally a gluten free bread that tastes like regular bread!. I followed the recipe exactly as is, although I didn't grind the chia seeds (didn't realize my mistake until it was too late). It has a really nice crust on the outside, and is moist (but not gummy) on the in side. This will definitely become my go-to gluten free bread recipe!

I find the chia/psyllium trick to be very useful. I made a loaf using only corn meal. Where I live, blue corn is what grows locally (altitude), so I can get it cheap and grind it myself. It suits me because I do not like xanthan gum or complicated flour mixtures. Finally, something simple. The only draw back is that chia imparts a slightly bitter taste. However, it is very mild, and I find that I am coming to like the taste.

I am so excited to try this recipe! I just ordered the psyllium husks and chica seeds online (I haven't seen them up here in Alaska) and hopefully this will be my go to recipe. Thanks!

Hi Everyone,
My son and I have multiple allergies and can't have most commercially made anything. So, I decided to give this bread a try. It's also my first ever bread that I made. The first time I tried I kept husks and seeds for 3 minutes and it was WAY too long since they all got thick and unmanageable. I didn't give up though and mixed the "liquids" with flours. I just had to add more oil while kneeding to bring it all together and the outcome was really good.

The second and third time I made this bread I only let husts and seeds soak for 1 minute and it worked. I've been making this bread almost every week and we both like it. The only thing that I wish I could improve is that the bread is still a little gummy and "wet" even after it cooled, but that's not a big deal considering all the benefits this bread has for us :-)

I wonder if anybody tried making hamburger buns instead of the whole loaf and if so, how long was the cooking time?

Okay, so I am the only baker that had challenges. I need to not make comments when I am falling asleep! =) Any suggestions for mixing in the chia/psyllium combo to prevent clumping would be greatly appreciated, though. Thanks! Barbara

So I've made it and, WOW, it's amazing. We can't do corn or nuts, so I ground up sunflower seeds to replace the corn meal/almond flour. I think I understand why you say to use whole psyllium husks. My ground psyllium (I used 1/4 C) didn't completely mix into the water and there are these small pockets of goo scattered around the loaf. Nothing too bad, but I bet the whole husks would go into the water better and less clumpy. Thank you for this amazing, totally different GF bread that will become our main bread (once I buy proper psyllium husks).

I wonder if I might be able to use ground psyllium, which I have on hand? I think I would have to use less than the amount of whole husk used in the recipe. Is there a reason why it has to be whole psyllium husks (other than the fact that there could be gluten contamination in the grinding process)? I think I might just dive in and try it because I'm so curious to make this recipe.

Hi Ali,
After all the exciting posts about how wonderful everyone's bread turned out, it was encouraging to me to read the last post. My bread also did not turn out so well. It was VERY moist. I obviously did something wrong. When I added the chia seeds, I didn't know I had to mix them in RIGHT AWAY (I think I waited 30 seconds) and the mixture started to severely clump. I then spent probably way too long trying to unclump the mixture. Definitely longer than your recommended 2-3 minutes. Do you think that is why my bread turned out a bit on the gooey side on the inside?

Also, I wanted to remind people that cutting a pattern onto the top of the loaf is not the same for gluten laden breads. Make your cut VERY shallow. I cut mine as I would for regular wheat bread and it was too deep.

The flavor was excellent, though.

Thanks Ali. Learning all the time!


We made this bread last week and it turned out quite successful. We are happy that this recipe contains chia seeds instead of flax, as one family member is sensitive to flax seed. Here is my blog post about it.

I made this for visitors we've had from Holland today (a gluten-loving land if ever there was one) and they loved it. In fact, my friend said it reminded her of Dutch bread - generally a bit denser and hardier than ours. Many Dutch folks eat bread and cheese for breakfast, lunch and sometimes dinner, so it has to be hardy!. And the true test came when I had some of this gluten-free loaf alongside slices of whole wheat bread in a basket on the table and both my children and the Dutch children went for the gluten-free choice. That is a huge accomplishment! And re: making with honey, with 2 tbsp maple syrup, I don't find the bread sweet at all, just well-balanced. Honey must make it sweeter...

Ali. OMG. This is amazing. I made this tonight, and it's lovely and soft, and a hearty flavor. And it doesn't fall apart! For vegan and gluten-free bread, (and gum-free) that's a miracle. I used almond flour instead of the corn and it came out beautifully.

Ali, just read one of your comments that it can be made in a 9x5 inch pan, so I will try this next time. (My loaf is already half gone in a matter of three hours! My kids love it!)

I made this this morning; it is awesome! I swapped buckwheat flour for teff and almond flour for cornmeal. It made my whole house smell just like the honey wheat bread I used to make before going GF.

I have a question: have you tried making this in a bread pan? If so, what size? I would like to experiment with this recipe, trying to get a bigger "rise" to the loaf for using as a sandwich bread...

This looks really lovely! I definitely need to try this recipe. I love chia seeds instead of gums - the texture is so much better - and although I've never tried baking with psyllium, this sounds intriguing enough I'll have to try it.

Jennifer - I use Arrowhead mills brand which is organic and gluten-free. It is a finer grind cornmeal, not like polenta. Enjoy! :)

Fine cornmeal or polenta-like cornmeal?

Wow kneadable gluten free bread! Can not wait to try this!!

OK, Ali, you did the impossible (I thought) with this one. this will be my go to bread recipe now. I love it! everyone at the Easter dinner table loved it, the gluten free guy the most, of course, but everyone else gobbled it to. and it is lovely and satisfying to knead. Thank you for sharing!

Jan - Yes I believe those are one in the same. I think the only other way to buy psyllium is in the powdered form.

Gretchen - Not sure about using flax - it has about half the binding power as chia so it may not work as well, but is worth a try.

thanks! :)

This recipe sounds great. Can I use ground flax seeds instead of the ground chia seeds?

Hi Ali,
Are psyllium husk whole flakes the same as whole psyllium husks? Can't wait to try this bread. It looks delicious!

This looks like regular whole grain bread, beautiful rise and crust! Thanks for this recipe, I can't wait to try it.

What a clever way to make a bread! I made this bread yesterday and had to have a piece late last night, after it cooled! Just fantastic. What grabed me for this recipe was no starches! I was short on time so I just dumped everything into a Kitchen Aid mixer and let it do the work. It turned out absolutely gorgeous! It did not look GF at all! Hubby thought it was rye bread! It is really good just with nice butter and jam, that was my morning breakfast. I will make this bread from now on!Thank you!!!

Wow Ali, that is such a cool recipe! I love kneading bread and have always found gluten-free bread lacking in that way. The psyllium must add a lot of fiber too!

lippian84 - You can order teff flour online. I buy it from in 25 pound paper bags. The cost for that is $41. You can also find it on amazon in a 4-pack form Bob's Red Mill and the cost for that is $28 for 6 pounds. Quite a difference! I would also read the comments above as there were some changes made using other flours. If you don't want to buy teff online then I would give one of your other favorite GF flours a try, if it is brown rice flour, then try that one. ;)

here are the 2 links:



I used my Magic Bullet to grind the chia seed as I do not own anything else to do that... but it works great. The flat/grinding blade works on small amounts of grains, spices, coffee beans, etc. The other blade is great for smoothies and for salad dressings. I highly recommend it for an inexpensive but small grinder..

this bread is rising on the board as we speak.. closest thing I have ever seen to real bread dough. My dd and I are both on dairy free and gluten free diet...


This blog is such a godsend... I recently found out I have to eat gluten-free but I LOVE to cook, and possibilities seemed so limited... not to mention that now I'm pregnant and my husband has so many hereditary allergies that I have to stay off of those foods, too, until the baby's weaned. Now I finally think I found a bread that will taste and feel like BREAD!!! But I can't find Teff flour anywhere. Will brown rice flour substitute?

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