Monday, April 23, 2007

High-Fiber Gluten-Free Bread Recipe

Laura's High-Fiber Gluten-Free & Dairy-Free Bread
The last gluten-free blog posting ended with me providing a "teaser" for today's new GF recipe, and the disclosure of my (not so) "secret ingredient"...

Here's the latest gluten-free recipe that Laura has created. This is a gluten-free and dairy-free high-fiber multi-grain bread recipe.

One of the primary challenges for those with Celiac Disease or otherwise leading a gluten-free and/or wheat-free lifestyle is getting enough fiber into one's diet. In traditional (gluten-containing) diets, high fiber almost always means high in wheat (whole wheat in particular, and perhaps oats). And, when baking without gluten, so many GF recipes tend to use flours that just don't offer much in the way of fiber or nutritional benefit (e.g., cornstarch, potato starch, white rice flour, and so on). As you would expect, those are mainly just starch and lack any fiber.

So, we prefer to use quite a range of gluten-free grains and flours in our day to day recipes. Among them are some high-fiber ones, including Teff, Flax, and Amaranth. But, even those have their (baking) limitations since too much of any one will certainly contribute an overpowering (an likely undesirable) taste to the finished product. So, balance is key, as is exploring some other alternatives for obtaining gluten-free fiber content.

One of the options we have at our disposal, that seems to go rather unnoticed by many, is Inulin - in particular, the Chicory Root derived version of Inulin. This is a wonderful gluten-free ingredient that can be used in so many recipes because of it's properties: it is a fine powder with low sugar and low calorie content, has very little taste of its own, dissolves easily in fluids, and all while having a very high fiber content. To give you a feel for how high fiber Inulin is, a mere teaspoon of Inulin has 2 full grams of dietary fiber! It makes a great alternative to something like BeneFiber (tm) - which is simply Wheat Dextrin (which, amazingly is considered gluten-free).

We currently acquire our Inulin (chicory type) powder at Trader Joes, but availability varies. It comes in an 8-ounce container, and is sold in the vitamins/diet/supplements section. I haven't looked for it at very many other retail locations, but I have seen it also on various web-stores. They charge $5.99 per container, but don't worry - it goes a long way (there are 90 teaspoon-sized servings per container).

So, the latest gluten-free recipe for high-fiber bread relies on this choice ingredient, inulin, in addition to the flax and millet and teff, etc. It adds a substantial fiber-boost to the bread, and the bread remains wonderfully soft and spongy in texture, while having a nice mellow and delightful flavor. This bread is a winner! It tastes as great as it looks too! The only thing I wish it (and other homemade GF breads) would do is hold up better — since, without any preservatives to maintain freshness an moisture, it will dry out quickly and is definitely best served fresh and eaten the first day.

Fiber Content Contribution (per loaf / recipe) by Ingredient:

  • Inulin: 24g
  • Millet: 6g
  • Teff: 4g
  • Flax: 8g
  • Xanthan Gum: 12g
TOTAL: 54g Fiber per loaf, or, nearly 3-grams per 1/2" slice.

This makes our gluten-free high-fiber bread as high, or higher, in fiber content than many commercial whole grain breads like Brownberry Classics Oat/Nut whole grain, and many other whole-grain wheat breads, all while being gluten-free!

As with our other breads, I'm sure you could always freeze part of the dough (prior to allowing it to fully rise) and retrieve it from the freezer at a later date for baking. This is helpful if you are just cooking for one or two and can't finish a loaf in a day. Also, you can certainly reduce the batch-size by half if desired.

You also will not have to worry about any "non gluten-free types" not appreciating this bread: it has been well received by all who have tried it, nicely passing the taste and texture test, whether they were on a gluten-free diet or not. We rather certain you will enjoy it also!

Here's another link to the Gluten-Free High-Fiber Bread Recipe. If you use margarine (in place of butter), this recipe will also serve as a high-fiber dairy-free bread too!


Lynn Barry said...

What a gorgeous lof. I might try yeast again one of these days but I feel so darn good I don't want to go backwards. This looks amazing! Great info., Mike. Glad you got to spend lots of time in the sun over the weekend. HUGS

celticjig said...

I have to say, that looks nice and crusty and tasty. I took a pause from bread for a while, but now have new motivation! Thanks for sharing. By the way, I have moved my blog site to


Mike Eberhart said...

Lynn, thanks. And, as far as Yeast goes, not sure what that'd do to you. Red Star is supposed to be GF. I have to think that any prior experience you had with yeast was really due to something else that was contaminated. But, only your body knows. Take care!

Celtic..., if you want articles from your site included in my news aggregator, just setup the RSS feed and let me know. And, if you try the bread, all the better :)

Anonymous said...

Mike this looks fantastic. I have not attempted my own bread making yet, but I am keen to get started. Do you know any other brands of Gluten Free yeast?

THE WALK-IN said...

Wow...what a great looking loaf of bread! gotta try it out...

Mike Eberhart said...

Suzi, I took a quick look around the web. Fleischmann's Yeast is also supposed to be gluten-free, and I know that is a popular one (in packets) at the stores around us. Perhaps that'll do the trick.

Mike Eberhart said...

Addendum regarding Yeast:

My wife says that ALL of the yeast brands she has used have been clearly labeled "gluten-free", and she has used at least 3 different brands recently. So, I'd say just check the labels - most probably say something about it explicitly these days.

kbabe1968 said...

WOW. That looks so good and so much like a rustic loaf. Next time I need to make bread, I think I'm going to give a whirl. YUMMY!!

Anonymous said...

Have you tried this recipe in a bread machine? I'd love to try it but it's so much easier with the bread machine. Thanks

Mike Eberhart said...

Faye, sorry but I can't say I've tried a bread machine (we don't own one). If you get a chance, let me know how it comes out though -- I am sure others would love to hear. Thanks!

Anonymous said...

OK, I am going to make this loaf today. Have you ever used yogurt or Kefir (which has inulin in it too) to make bread? I am wondering if it might impart a nice sour tang as my sourdough loaves never taste like sourdough. I might just play around with that idea and use kefir (liquid yogurt) at room temp instead of water. Let me know what you think!

Mike Eberhart said...

I eat/drink the kefir with Inulin in it, but have not yet tried it in bread recipes. I thought my wife made one recipe with yogurt, but I can't recall which one, or whether it was a "success" (which, is certainly important). I think the hardest thing is just getting the right balance of ingredients. But, best wishes regardless and hope it turns out great!

And, thanks for setting up the blog-feed for the gluten-free news aggregator - glad to have your feeds available for everyone!

DeeBert said...

Thank you for the recipe! All of my family loved it! Nice and firm--probably would be pretty good for sandwiches. I can't find teff around here, but substituted masa harina for it. (My new favorite gf flour for its fiber, protein and structure.) I added a scant quarter cup of water during mixing as masa really soaks it up. Thank you for my first chance to use a dough hook since going gf! A gorgeous crusty heavy loaf that stood up beautifully all by itself! I suspect it might even tolerate some shaping. Thank you!

Anonymous said...

thanks for this yummy looking recipe. As a new GF person, but who also can't eat eggs, can you recommend a good substitute for eggs in this one?
thanks Yarrow

Mike Eberhart said...

regarding an egg-substitute,... well, I haven't tried it, but I would perhaps consider pre-hydrated chia seeds (see my recent blog about chia - June 2008), and how to hydrate them before adding to a recipe. They have a nice "binding capacity" and *may* make up for eggs. It'd be worth a try, and I'd nearly bet it would work. I'll get around to trying, but it may be a while :)

Jouney of the Angry Heart said...

If you don't mind it sweeter I'd try mashed bananna. Otherwise, Energ-G makes an egg replacement. Egg is added for many reasons but to understand the chemistry involoved in cooking so you can swap out ingredients in recipes check out this book: What Einstein told his cook. I am able to purchase duck, emu or Ostrich egg when I feel nothing else will do and my son can tolerate those- but of course consult your doctor. Good Luck! Angela

Anonymous said...

1-1/2 CUPS of cornstarch? Is this correct? I've never seen this used as a major flour before.

Mike Eberhart said...

Yes, that should be the correct amount of Cornstarch. It and the rice flour are are the no-fiber ingredients that make up a good part of the ingredient volume. Then comes all the high-fiber ingredients we put in there: inulin, teff, flax, etc.

In GF baking, Cornstarch, bean starch, rice flour, potato flour, tapioca starch... all of those types of things are basic starches that tend to be used as "core" ingredients. They each behave slightly different, and produce different texture and feel in the end, but are also somewhat interchangeable. We work to find the "right" one(s) for each recipe by trying a few combos out until we find the one that produces the best result. enjoy.

Anonymous said...

What would happen if you baked this in a loaf pan to get a traditional loaf-shaped bread, instead of on a cookie sheet?

Mike Eberhart said...

I do not think we have tried a regular loaf pan yet. Good question. I presume it would work, though I really have no way to know for certain. We were after the more "rough look" with the freeform shape, and wanted it to have a substantial crust and all. So, best I can suggest is to try it in a pan, and if you do not mind, post the results here. Thanks. m

Anonymous said...

I am unable to find the inulin for the bread recipe. I live in Austin, there are no Trader Joes here and Trader Joe does not sell online. Do you know of another supplier?

Mike Eberhart said...

I apologize for not having any idea where else to acquire inulin. In fact, a while ago when I was at Trader Joes, I purchased the last of the stock they had, and then the next time I visited the store, they had yet to replenish (over a month later).

So, all I can do is suggest searching the web for a supplier. As a substitute, you could *probably* use something like Benefiber (which is advertised as gluten-free, even though it is isolated wheat-dextrin).

If you find a good source of Inulin, please post the supplier info here -- I and others would welcome. Thanks! mike

Mike Eberhart said...

Hey everyone... an anonymous reader posted a comment about a NOW brand product called "Fiber 3" that may be of interest and use in this recipe. I would have let the comment through, but it was linking to some Ebay auction, and I have no way to verify seller's info or anything there.

So, instead, here is a link to the manufacturer's web site location: Now Foods Fiber 3 product for more information.

The product looks interesting, and has some inulin in it in addition to flax and acacia, and is gluten-free. Has a TON of fiber too. I hope to get some and try it out in a recipe.

Thank you anonymous for bringing to my attention, and sorry I did not let the auction-link through.

Tasty Eats At Home said...

Just came across this recipe. Sounds and looks wonderful! I'll definitely have to try it.

Gwen said...

I use flax meal mixed with a couple TBSP of water as an egg substitute. Also, when baking gluten free, you really should eat bread in moderation. All that starch is not good for you. It's best to eat whole grains with veggies.

Anonymous said...

Hi, thanks for the recipe. I will try it next. I baked a loaf of GF bread today using 1/4 cup of Inulin. It turned out pretty good. FYI, I buy Inulin on Ebay. Got a 227g bottle from North York, Ontario, Canada very near where I live. Paid 6.99 US plus 8.99 US shipping. I have found it has very potent laxative properties.


susa said...

i was very excited to find a high fiber bread recipe that was gluten free. but just buying the ingredients has cost me close to $40! now i'm ready to bake and i don't have a gallon zip lock bag. is there any reason it has to be squeezed through this or can i just form the loaf myself with my hands?

Mike Eberhart said...

Let me start with the bag question: my wife squeezes the dough through the large bag simply to obtain a consistent shape down the length of the loaf. The bag with the cut-off-corner keeps the dough flowing in a nice consistent manner, that's all. If you can form it otherwise to your needs, great. As I recall, my wife tried using her hands and was struggling with it a lot more than when she "piped" it from a bag (like icing).

Next, I am sorry you had to spend $40 on ingredients for this, especially since even now (in 2011) I am still able to acquire all the ingredients for much less. I looked at the ingredient list and I can imagine that, if purchased from a local "health food store" or perhaps even a regional grocery store, the Teff flour is the one thing that may be steeply-priced (perhaps as much as $12-13 for 24-ounce bag?), which is why I tend to buy those elsewhere when possible. But, if you do not bake "in bulk", you may not truly save any money either, since I tend to buy in larger quantities (like the Teff, I purchase from in 4-packs of 24oz bags; brings the per-bag price down to $7.25, and a bag lasts a long time).

So, I realize buying in bulk makes no sense unless you bake a lot and use it all the time (e.g., I use teff nearly daily in my pancakes, and it still takes quite a while to use all of it since I only use 1/4cup at a time). We really like the wheat-ish flavor that teff adds, which is why we use it a fair amount.

I have not found the other ingredients to be costly per se. Millet has been quite "cheap" (under $2/#), cornstarch and white-rice is even less typically. Flaxseed meal has varied a lot, but I usually find for no more than $2.50/#.

Now, the inulin-powder may be tougher to find CHEAP (I got it at Trader Joe's under their own brand-name for dirt-cheap, but they since quit carrying it at the store I found it), so that could be rough -- as such, you could try Benefiber (it is gluten-free, <20ppm gluten, even though it is "wheat dextrin"... see their website FAQs). We have used benefiber in various recipes to achieve the same type of results as inulin; it is up to you, but it will be easier to acquire and should be quite affordable.

The thing about being gluten-free is that if you are going to be baking a lot of items (vs. buying pre-made),the cost-issue that comes about if you do not already have the various grains/flours available start to at least go down some as you build your "inventory". And, if you bake a lot, you CAN save on things with bulk-buying. I realize this does not help matters when you are first trying new recipes that call for ingredients you do not have. I hope that the end-result of baking your homemade breads and such include 1) better tasting foods (than pre-made), and more importantly 2) a better nutritional-profile (which was one large goal for us and a big reason we bake our own things).

Consider substitutions for expensive ingredients (or ones you do not have on hand) also... we do that when we do not have certain things on hand. The end-cost per-loaf for this bread should be no more than a typical pre-made GF-bread loaf at the store ($6 or less) based on ingredients and baking-costs.

When we committed to baking all our own GF items, we also committed to amortizing in the cost of a good mixer and other equipment too, over the many years of baking gluten-free. This is a call you will have to make on your own, and if the upfront investment is too much, I am truly sorry... I wish everyone could afford (and also have the time) to bake great homemade gluten-free breads and such. I know *we* have saved a fortune (vs. buying pre-made) over the long-haul, but the payback time can be long depending on how much you bake.

Susan said...

Hi. I'm sorry if my comments were angry sounding. One thing, I should have printed this recipe and brought it into the kitchen. I was going back and forth to the comp. Lol. This was my first ever bread making recipe! I printed it now for next time. The good thing is, as a single person, I've been eating this loaf for a week. I will bake another loaf of it tomorrow! It IS delicious and now that I have the ingredients(except I need a bigger bag of rice flour) and know what I'm doing I'm actually looking forward to it. I have been getting deli turkey-the Thanksgiving style, w/provel cheese and lettuce and tomato sandwiches-to die for. Even though my mixer broke, that turned out to be a good thing. My Mom bought me a new one that has dough hooks! I'm excited to try again. My loaf rose fine and looked just like the pic. This bread is superior to any premade gluten free breads.Thank you for the recipe! And tips.