Gluten-Free, Vegan Homemade Bread (that doesn’t suck)

When I told Hubs I was going to attempt to make gluten-free, vegan bread, he said, “Oh no.” That’s kind of how I felt about it, too. A GF/V (and xanthan-free, bonus!) bread that actually tastes good is not easy to come by. Not to mention, bread can be tricky to make. When I came across this recipe from The Whole Life Nutrition Kitchen, the selling factor was the very long thread of mostly raving-review comments. I had to see for myself. I was thinking… if this actually works and doesn’t taste like crap, well, I’ll believe it when I see it.

Gluten-Free, Vegan Bread that DOESN'T SUCK!!! 86lemons.com

As you can see in the photo, it turned out quite well. And I’m happy to report that it tastes as good as it looks! It’s definitely a dense bread (much like whole wheat), but it’s not dry or chewy or weird in any way. You’ll just want to be sure to cut your slices very thin because it is very filling.

I will warn you – making bread requires precision and patience. You’ll want to follow this recipe to a tee. Through the entire process, I was worried that it wouldn’t turn out well. First of all, the ingredients are quite specific. I had ground psyllium husks on hand, but not whole. And apparently this is a critical ingredient, so I sucked it up and bought whole. I did have ground chia seeds, so I got to skip the grinding step. I couldn’t find sweet rice flour, so I used regular white rice flour. My yeast didn’t seem to activate that much – just a few tiny bubbles. But I waited a full ten minutes and decided that was enough. During the first kneading step, the recipe says to add more flour. I didn’t add more because I could barely get all the flour incorporated as it was. The dough felt dry to me, but I kept kneading until I could form a ball with it. I was so happy when the dough actually raised like it should.

I swear there were beams of light shooting out of the oven when the timer went off and I opened the oven door. I think I heard angels singing, too. It was a glorious moment, folks. If I sound dramatic, it’s only because I wanted this to work so badly. Plus I am very limited on time right now and I couldn’t bear the thought of wasting time on a failed recipe test.

Gluten-Free, Vegan Bread that DOESN'T SUCK!!! 86lemons.com

I pulled this gorgeous golden loaf of bread out of the oven. The house smelled just like it did when I would come home from school and there would be homemade bread cooling on the counter. My mom is an AWESOME bread maker (when she doesn’t lose foreign objects like Band-Aids and gemstones in the dough – true story). Recipe says to allow it to cool for 30 to 60 minutes, which is hard enough, but I did. By then, it was too late in the day to photograph (no more sunlight). So I had to let this fresh loaf of bread, untouched, sit on my counter until the next day. Now that’s patience. I wanted to try it so badly. But then this picture-perfect loaf would be no more.

Since I’m still new to this whole food photography thing (and photography in general), it takes me considerable time to set up a shot and find the right props and then take a bazillion photos. When I make something like this, where I can’t taste it before I shoot it, I am just praying the whole time that it tastes good. Cuz if it doesn’t, I’m just wasting my time.

Finally, I have enough shots of the uncut loaf and I can slice into this baby…

Gluten-Free, Vegan Bread that DOESN'T SUCK!!! 86lemons.com

YAY! The inside looks good, too! And it doesn’t crumble to pieces when I slice it, nor is it hard as a rock. And these photos might actually be turning out okay! Oh hallelujah.

Now for the true test – how does it taste? Again, I’m pretty sure the heavens parted and a choirs of angels were singing. A huge sigh of relief. It actually tastes like real bread! Now I don’t want you to think this is the best bread I’ve had in my life. It certainly is not. BUT, it is definitely the best gluten-free, vegan bread and it could put some “regular” breads to shame. It’s definitely got game.

Gluten-Free, Vegan Bread that DOESN'T SUCK!!! 86lemons.com

But can it make a decent sandwich? Why yes it can. I threw a couple of Gardein Chick’n Filets in the toaster oven, whipped up a batch of this pesto (which is great, but way too salty so cut the salt in half or less if you make it), and sliced up some tomatoes and mozzarella-style Rice Cheeze* (which is actually really good!). Piled it all up and toasted both sides of the sandwich with some olive oil in a cast iron skillet. Then did a little happy dance as I devoured my lunch. (Next time I would definitely cut thinner slices of bread, though.)

*Update: I thought this cheese was vegan, but it is not. It contains casein (milk protein). Nor is it gluten-free. Thanks to those of you who have brought it to my attention.

It also makes excellent toast! Had a piece this morning with some Earth Balance spread and it was divine.

So, can we get a round of applause for Ali and Tom from Whole Life Nutrition?! You guys are amazing. Thanks so much for sharing this healthy bread recipe that definitely DOES NOT suck. Major kudos to you!

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Comments

  1. says

    yay for gluten-free and vegan bread success! i’ve attempted gf vegan bread making on several occasions, and although they were ok, nothing that warranted a happy dance. this bread looks really freakin good, though, so i may have to give it a shot. but, i’ll be honest, i’m not a fan of pesky ingredient lists filled with stuff that i don’t have or have a difficult time getting. and why does the whole foods i shop at never have sweet white rice flour?

    anyway, good job! and you are a fantastic photographer, fyi ;)

  2. says

    I love baking bread (though I’m not the best at it) but I’ve been nervous about GF bread. So happy to finally have a good recipe to try! Thank you!

    Also, I love your blog and I’ve been a fan for awhile- I’m just not that great at commenting all the time. :-)

  3. says

    Excellent job Livvy! That’s one of the nicest looking loaves of bread of seen in a long time…it’s beautiful and I’m sure it tastes as good as it looks : )

  4. charlotte says

    Sure looks like it doesn’t suck.

    And aside from the psyllium, it don’t have unusual ingredients! Can’t wait!

  5. says

    I love the smell of bread baking in my house and I know exactly what you mean about having patience to wait to eat it! Bread making in general takes love and patience and ends up being an all day thing for me. I’ve spent a whole day making bread only to have it not turn out, so I understand completely what you mean about angels singing, lol. This looks like really tasty bread, excellent photos as well.

  6. Susan says

    I’ve just started making breads with psyllium husks (powdered) and I’m amazed at what it does! I can’t eat any grains, so I make an almond flour version, and it still rises beautifully without any yeast. It holds together like gluten bread and I can make a sandwich out of it, a HUGE bonus for a non-grain eater. Now if it only wouldn’t change the bread into that weird grayish-purple color… :)

  7. Andrea says

    That sandwich looks amazing, as does the bread! I’m not sure how strict you are on what you will or will not eat as a vegan, but I just wanted you to know that that Rice-Cheeze is not vegan; it contains casein from milk. :(

    • says

      Thank you for telling me, Andrea – I did not know that! Someone told me it was vegan, so I took their word for it and didn’t check the label. Lesson learned.

  8. Lisa says

    Is there something you can substitute for the psyllium husks? Rather not have to invest in a big container to make the bread. The only place I found it at Whole Foods was in supplement isle and it was pretty pricey.

  9. sarah bolante says

    Just curious, why do you eat gardien products when they contain gluten? doesn’t that defeat the purpose of the bread?

    • says

      Hi Sarah! Great question. I am not allergic to gluten, but I try to limit my gluten intake when possible. I happen to love Gardien products, so I won’t give those up. I have a lot of friends who are allergic or sensitive to gluten, so that’s why I test so many GF recipes. Thanks for asking, I’m sure others wonder the same thing!

  10. Katie says

    Hey Livvy!

    I’ve been wanting to try making a GF bread for awhile. I have a few questions for you. Can I substitute applesauce for the maple syrup? Or can I leave it out altogether? I am really trying to avoid concentrated sweeteners. Also, I know you said to follow the recipe to a tee but have you ever tried experimenting with any other flours like oat, almond, or coconut? Thanks!

    • says

      Hi Katie! I haven’t tried an substitutions, but what may be helpful is the original post for this recipe (by The Whole Life Nutrition Kitchen): http://goo.gl/hTGwW. If you scroll to the bottom, there are a TON of comments and you might find some helpful info from other readers. Hope that helps!

  11. says

    I just used your recipe and the bread came out fantastic. Now I’m just waiting on it to cool so I can cut into it and taste. Thanks again for this wonderful recipe!!!!!!!

  12. sheila says

    I am so disappointed. I want to try your bread so much but for some reason the recipe will not print out. PLEASE send

  13. says

    I really enjoyed this post. You describe this topic very well. I really enjoy reading your blog and I will definitely bookmark it! Keep up the interesting posts!I love baking bread (though I’m not the best at it) but I’ve been nervous about GF bread. So happy to finally have a good recipe to try! Thank you!That sandwich looks amazing, as does the bread! I

  14. Lynnita says

    I too, cannot pull up the recipe. When I click on the link, it is a blank “New Tab” Please, can you email me the recipe. I have contemplated going gluten free for a trial, and feed many others – some of whom, are also gluten intolerant.

    This looks great! I appreciate your site, information, pictures and the way you respond to your readers. Such gracious replies… refreshing.

  15. Avonelle says

    Wowzers! This bread, THIS bread! I’m. I can’t. It is nearly TOO good! Can you say heaven? I’ve been living gluten freely for only a couple of months now. Just long enough to get super cranky about buying gluten free food, bread especially! Bless you with joyful days & perfect nights! “I” can eat bread!

  16. Ellen says

    I’ve made this bread twice and love it! The first time I mad it was my first attempt at gluten free baking… I thought it was amazing and thought all gluten free breads after that would be delicious! Boy, was I wrong. I was wondering how this bread will cook in a bread pan rather than on the baking stone? Thank you so much!

    • says

      Hi Ellen! Thank you for reading/commenting. So glad you enjoyed the bread. I haven’t tried this recipe in a bread pan, so I can’t say. But if you try it, please come back and let me know how it turned out!

  17. Corrine says

    I love this bread. It is the only bread I make now. I stays together, toasts lovely and I get raves about it when ever I take it to a pot luck. I use molasses and a little brown sugar to sweeten it up a lit. Thanks for experiments and coming up with a winner

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