Monday, January 28, 2013

5-Ingredient Mondays: Easy French Bread (Gluten/Dairy/Egg/Nut/Yeast-Free)

Welcome to the second week of 5-Ingredient Mondays, the place to find easy gluten-free meals with 5 ingredients or less.

I listened to your comments from last week and made some small changes to the rules:
  1. The dish must contain 5 ingredients or less. But to make it easier, pantry staples are not counted as ingredients. 
    1. Examples: salt, pepper, olive oil, baking soda, baking powder...basically if you think you would find the ingredient in any kitchen, you don't have to count it as one of your 5 ingredients. On the other hand, if it's a staple in your kitchen but not the average American's (i.e. coconut oil), count it. If you're unsure, go ahead and add the link. I'm not a stickler for rules!
  2. The dish must be gluten-free. Your recipe can be paleo, vegan, or anything in between. Breakfast, lunch, dinner or dessert. Side dish or main dish. The purpose here is to create a place where you can come to find recipes that you know will be gluten-free and super simple. 
  3. You must leave a link to your own recipe that goes to that week's 5-Ingredient Monday post, not on this static page. 
Your recipes don't need to be from this week, so feel free to check your recipe list for your favorite recipes to share.

The linky will be live through noon on Thursday.

Gluten-Free French Bread
This delicious bread comes the closest to french bread I've had since going gluten, egg and yeast free. It has a crispy outside with a soft and chewy inside. Note that I use white rice flour, which is NOT the same as sweet white rice flour. I don't recommend changing the flour, so if you can't have white rice flour, experiment at your own risk.


1 cup milk (dairy or non-dairy)
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
3 tablespoons whole psyllium husks
1 tablespoon oil (canola, olive, etc.)
1 tablespoon unsweetened applesauce
1 3/4 cups white rice flour (254 grams)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon sea salt

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly oil a baking sheet.
2. Stir together milk and apple cider vinegar. Let sit for a minute, then stir in psyllium and let sit for 5 minutes. After 5 minutes, stir in the oil and applesauce.
3. In a large bowl, whisk the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Make a well in the middle, pour the wet mix in and stir. It will eventually get clumpy and you'll need to knead it until it comes together in a dough. Alternatively, you can use a food processor to mix them together.
4. Form into the shape of a french bread, about 8 inches long. Place on baking sheet and brush liberally with extra oil.
5. Bake for 40 minutes. Allow to rest at least 20 minutes before cutting.

Note: Make sure your oven is preheated so you can get the bread straight into the oven. It won't rise much but you want to make sure the baking soda and baking powder are working in the oven.

Wondering what to eat with your french bread? Try out this delicious Sweet Potato Basil Soup from Deanna at The Mommy Bowl. She tested out my bread for me and her family declared it a hit and said it tasted like "real french bread." I agree!

See how Christine's french bread turned out at Real Food With Christine.  


Tasty Eats At Home said...

Woohoo I actually have a brand-new recipe for this week! :) THanks for hosting. And that bread is gorgeous.

gfe--gluten free easily said...

There are all these entries and I'm the first commenter? Iris, thanks for hosting this weekly roundup. Now I just have to wire my brain to remember it. ;-) I've linked up Flourless Peanut Butter Cookies that are decidedly not the three ingredient version that is everywhere. These cookies contain five ingredients, two of which you would not count with your new rules, but those ingredients plus the use of brown sugar (or coconut sugar) vs white sugar makes all the difference in the world! One only has to read all the reviews in comments to see that. And they can be made with nut butter or seed butter, with chocolate chips/chunks added, turned into sandwich cookies, etc.

And your bread looks TOTALLY AMAZING! Woohoooo!


Ricki said...

I don't see the linky or any thumbnails. . .is it just me? Would love to link up a recipe! :) said...

That looks great! How do you think it would turn out with almond meal/coconut flour?

Iris said...

It wouldn't work at all with a grain-free combination. Sorry, this is one recipe I can't recommend other flours for!

Stefania said...

K - First I want to thank you for these fun recipes,

Second - made the bread yesterday and played with the flour as I did not have rice flour (I used to make the 13/4c flour - sweet rice, amaranth, teff, quinoa) left everything else the same and wow - even my non GFV husband loved it. Third - making the Flourless PB cookies, however I will omit the chc chip as I don't like but was wondering if I cold use the gr flax egg as I am V.


Iris said...


Thank you for your comment! This will help others to know you used another gf flour combination successfully. I'm actually really surprised and excited that it worked for you with another flour combo.

The pb cookies aren't mine so I'm not sure. Click on the link for the recipe and leave a comment for the author there. She can help you!

Anonymous said...

Yay! I can't wait to make this tonight! I'm super excited!!


Anonymous said...

Good morning! I thought you might like to know how my experimentation with other flours went. I can't have rice flour, so my first try was with sorghum. It was good fresh out of the oven, but if you want it the next day, definitely not recommended.
I wanted to make it for a friend who was over and found that I was out of sorghum and had read the comment about not using millet, so, I was going to have to try SOMEthing, so I decided on Bob's Red Mill all-purpose flour with strong reservations. I fully expected it to taste really beany, but I didn't have a choice. It was awesome! It was even really good the next morning and plain. Thank you, thank you, for this base to launch from. My son and I can't have eggs and this is the most user-friendly bread recipe that suits our needs.

Kristen said...

Tried making this today and it didn't turn out at all. I have no idea what I did wrong, I followed the recipe exactly (I think!!). My bread didn't get a nice crust outside (still looked the exact same as how it looked before it went in the oven) and the inside didn't have those nice air pockets to lighten the was really dense and solid. I'm sure it was something I did and not your recipe....everything I've made of yours has been incredible. I was just wondering if anyone had any ideas on what may have made it so dense and not crispy outside?? I want to keep trying to see if I can perfect it, so hoping to figure out where I may have gone wrong. Thanks for such fantastic recipes!!

Iris said...

Hi Kristen,

My best guess would be that you might have used too much flour. You used white rice flour, right? When I measure, I scoop flour into the measuring cup and then level it off with a knife. This results in a lot less flour than if you put your measuring cup directly into the flour. Do you have a scale you can use? I'll be honest and say that when I've made this without a scale, I've had problems getting the correct amount of flour and also ended up with a dense bread. So you might try again with using a scale (if you didn't this time).

Kristen said...

I bet that's the problem. I scoop the cup into the flour then level off. And, my 5 year old was helping with that part!! So, I would guarantee that's where I went wrong. I never thought it would make a difference spooning versus scooping the flour into the cup. I did use white rice flour....but this is good to know!! I'll try it again and let you know how it goes! Thanks so much for getting back to me so quickly. :) I may have to suck it up and go purchase a food scale too...I do so much gluten free baking, that I know I need one. Thanks again.

mari said...

Psyllium husks (and chia/flax) don't sit we'll with me, do you think I could replace with Ener-G egg replacer? This bread looks so good!

Iris said...

Mari, you can certainly try. I've only used egg replacer once and I didn't like the gelatinous texture it gave. Perhaps try a half batch?

Anonymous said...

My bread came out gummy in the middle. I used sweet rice flour. Could that have made a difference? Or should I have cooked longer?

Iris said...

Anonymous- Yep, it's the sweet white rice flour. It has a higher starch content than white rice flour. Give it a go again with plain white rice flour and you shouldn't have that problem.

Anonymous said...

Would it be ok if I skip the apple sauce? I am intolerant to apples.

Iris said...

Anonymous- I wouldn't skip it, but you can use a different type of puree. Pear sauce or pureed sweet potato might work.

Kati Potratz said...

I'm baking this bread for our vacation next week! How long does it last? Can I freeze the loaves?

Iris said...

Hi Kati, I think the loaves would freeze okay. It's never lasted longer than 2 days in my house (I get excited when I make it and eat a lot), so I'm not sure. I find gf baked goods don't last very long in general, so better to defrost as needed.

Carmen said...

Can I use brown rice flour and when replacing the psyllium husk with chia or flax egg, what are the exact measurements? Thanks in advance!

Iris said...

Hi Carmen,

I wouldn't recommend brown rice flour. It's not as starchy as white rice flour and wouldn't give you the same texture. Read the comments above though. Some readers tried various combinations.

I haven't made this with chia or flax, and since it uses a decent amount of psyllium, I'm not really sure if it would work.

Anonymous said...

Could I use coconut and or almond flour? My daughter does not do well with rice flour. We are new to the gluten free, soy free and lactose free life. I was going to substitute milk with coconut milk. I hope that works.

Iris said...

Hi Anonymous - Coconut and almond flour are extremely different from the grain flours, and won't work in this recipe. You can find some great recipes using coconut and almond flour at and

I also have a Facebook gluten-free support group that you can join. Everyone there is really helpful with giving advice.


Andrea K said...

Do you think this could be baked in a pan to make a more sandwich friendly loaf? I have been on a mission to bake bread my dad can eat, after he learned he's intolerant to gluten, eggs, and yeast. Quite the tall order, it seems.

Iris said...

Hi Andrea, No, this loaf is too small to be made into a sandwich bread. If you doubled it to make it thicker, it wouldn't bake in the middle. However, this is a really great and simple recipe I use to make rolls and sandwich bread:

Loubel said...

Hi Iris,
Thank you for your lovely recipe. Can you use butter instead of oil for this?

Iris said...

Loubel, I haven't tried it but I wouldn't think it would be a problem. I'll probably use butter the next time I make it.

ilsay escobar said...

can i make this in a bread maker?

Iris said...

Ilsay Escobar, I don't think that will work.

Kurryleaves said...

Tried this one and it turned out PERFECT!!used an extra tbsp of oil instead of applesauce.
Thank you for sharing this awesome recipe!!!

Cattie said...

This sounds great, can't wait to try it! Can you use any type of vinegar? I'm really allergic to apples.

Anonymous said...

WOW! I'm allergic and intolerant to so much that I have never been able to make a good, acceptable tasting bread. I made this one and it is SO good! Just ate my first sandwich in over 5 years! Used buttermilk because that is all I had in the house. I baked it in a Matfer french bread pan. Crusty on the outside and not gummy on the inside like so many other recipes seem to be. I will make this forever! I can have toast in the morning again! Thank you so much.

Iris said...

Cattie - Yes, any kind will do. Or lemon juice.

Cailey said...

isnt psyllium husks like a laxative? where can you get it by not getting the powder flavored kinds, thats all i can find is in orange or odd flavors i'm guessing this is for more adding the powder to your drinks thing... and I cant seem to find it at whole foods or sprouts.

Iris said...

Cailey- Yes, you can actually find psyllium husks in the laxative aisle of most grocery stores or CVS. But it doesn't have that effect when you put it in baked goods; it's too small an amount to do that. I usually get a brand called Yerba Prima.

Anonymous said...

Would it be okay to not use the psyllium? Is it truly necessary to making a good batch of this bread?

Iris said...

It's truly necessary…you could try with ground chia seeds but I'm not sure what amount you would need and I don't think it would work as well. It's kind of a finicky recipe.


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