Not all gluten-free bread has to taste, feel, and even look like cardboard.

By Laura Rege
March 11, 2020
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Caitlin Bensel

Stroll through the gluten-free aisle of the grocery store, and you'll find a row of subpar breads even the most desperate grilled cheese eaters would avoid. Your best bet? Baking gluten-free bread right in your own kitchen.

To achieve a bread connoisseur-approved loaf, you have to start with the right flour, according to Tamra Tompkins, the pastry chef at Beckon in Denver.  “Cup4Cup (Buy It, $14, is my favorite gluten-free blend,” Tompkins says. “For texture and flavor, mix in cornmeal or another gluten-free flour, like oat or teff.” (See: The Best Healthy Flours for Baking Bread At Home)

For a bit of complexity, Tompkins recommends soaking pumpkin, sunflower, fennel, mustard, sesame, or dill seeds over night—which softens them slightly—and mixing them into the dough. And before you bake, don't rush the rising period. “I go with the same process used in Danish rye breads,” Tompkins says. “I let the dough rise twice—in a bowl and again in the loaf pan—which really lightens up the loaves.”

The result: A gluten-free bread with a crisp crust, a chewy center, and flavorful seeds that deliver healthy fats, fiber, and protein. Here, Tompkins shares her signature recipe that hits all of these notes, satisfying both gluten-free eaters and gluten lovers alike.

Gluten-Free Bread Recipe

Makes: 1 loaf

Start to Finish: 30 Minutes

Ingredients for the night before:

  • 1 cup gluten-free flour (like Cup4Cup)
  • 1 cup pumpkin seeds
  • 3/4 cup sunflower seeds
  • 3/4 cup flaxseeds
  • 1/3 cup white sesame seeds
  • 3 tablespoons fennel seeds
  • 2 tablespoons poppy seeds
  • 2 tablespoons dill seeds
  • 2 tablespoons caraway seeds
  • 5 teaspoons yellow mustard seeds
  • 1/2 cup cornmeal

Ingredients for the day of:

  • 1 package active dry yeast
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 cup gluten-free flour
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • Nonstick cooking spray


  1. In a large glass bowl, combine the flour with all the seeds and the cornmeal. Stir in 2 1/4 cups water. Cover bowl tightly with plastic wrap, and let sit overnight, 8 to 12 hours.
  2. The next day, in another large glass bowl, whisk the yeast and the honey into 2 tablespoons warm water (100°F to 110°F). Let sit until foamy, about 5 minutes.
  3. Scrape the overnight mixture into the bowl with the yeast mixture, and add the flour and the salt. Using a wooden spoon, stir until well combined, about 1 minute. (The mixture will be thick.) Cover bowl tightly with plastic wrap, and let sit until mixture lightens in texture, about 1 hour.
  4. Spray a 9-by-5-inch nonstick loaf pan with cooking spray. Scrape dough into prepared pan. Cover with plastic wrap, and let rest in a warm area just until dough reaches the top of the pan, about 1 hour.
  5. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Bake loaf until golden on top and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 1 1/2 hours. Let cool before slicing. (Wrapped airtight, this bread will keep for over a week in the refrigerator or up to 6 months in the freezer.)
Source: Shape Magazine, March 2020 issue


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