gluten-free rye bread

No Wheat? No Problem: Easy Gluten-Free Rye Bread Recipe

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Updated on May 10, 2024

Classic rye bread, with its hearty texture and tangy flavour, is a beloved staple for many. Yet, for those with celiac disease or gluten sensitivity, it is off-limits. Well, let me tell you that this is about to change. You can still enjoy the satisfying rye experience with a delicious gluten-free alternative.

This article will uncover the secrets to creating amazing gluten-free rye bread at home. We will explore clever ingredient substitutions that capture the essence of rye, guide you through the baking process, and help you achieve that perfect balance of texture and flavour. So, go preheat your oven and get ready to bake a gluten-free rye bread that will have you saying, “Rye again?”

Ready? Let’s crack on, then!

What Is Rye, To Begin With?

gluten-free rye bread

Rye is a cereal grain that looks a lot like wheat and sometimes gets confused with it; however, it is a bit different.

First of all, rye, along with other cereal grains like barley, oats, and rice, belongs to the Poaceae family, which is different from the wheat family. Rye grains are smaller, darker, and more elongated than wheat grains and rye flour has a distinctively bold flavour, often described as earthy, nutty, or slightly spicy.

Like wheat, rye is used in baking, particularly for making bread with a dense texture and distinctive flavour that pairs well with savoury and hearty dishes. It can also be used to make crackers and certain types of alcoholic beverages like rye whiskey and some beers.

When it comes to gluten, rye does have it, albeit in lower quantities compared to wheat. The composition is also different. The gluten proteins found in rye are not the same as those found in wheat, which may imply that some individuals with gluten sensitivities or celiac disease can tolerate rye in limited quantities.

However, there is no need to risk since gluten-free rye can be used to make gluten-free rye bread.

Gluten-Free Rye Bread

gluten-free rye bread

Traditional rye bread is typically made with a combination of wheat flour and rye flour, both of which give the it its characteristic texture and flavour. However, for gluten-senstive people, those with celiac disease, or anyone else following a gluten-free diet, gluten-free rye bread provides an alternative option.

To make gluten-free rye bread, rye flour must be processed to remove gluten, and then wheat flour alternatives and other ingredients are used to maintain the distinctive taste and texture of traditional rye bread. Common gluten-free, wheat-flour alternatives used in this recipe include:

  1. Brown Rice Flour: Brown rice flour is a versatile gluten-free flour that adds structure and moisture to gluten-free bread recipes.
  1. Tapioca Flour: Tapioca flour, also known as tapioca starch, helps create a light and airy texture in gluten-free bread and prevents it from becoming too dense.
  1. Sorghum Flour: Sorghum flour, a gluten-free flour made from ground sorghum grain, adds a slightly sweet and nutty flavour to gluten-free rye bread and helps improve its texture and crumb.
  1. Potato Starch: Potato starch helps bind the ingredients together and helps create the softness and moistness of gluten-free rye bread.
  1. Xanthan Gum or Guar Gum: Xanthan gum, made through the fermentation of sugars, or guar gum, is often added to gluten-free bread recipes as binders and thickeners to help mimic the elasticity and texture of gluten.

In addition to alternative flours, gluten-free rye bread may also contain other ingredients such as yeast, water, salt, oil, honey, molasses, seeds, nuts, or dried fruits to enhance its flavour, texture, and nutritional profile.

Now, let’s make some delicious gluten-free rye bread.

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups of gluten-free rye flour
  • 1 cup of gluten-free brown-rice flour
  • 1/2 cup of buckwheat flour
  • 2 tablespoons of ground chia seeds
  • 1 tablespoon of xanthan gum
  • 1 tablespoon of active dry yeast
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 tablespoon of maple syrup or honey
  • 1 1/2 cups of warm water
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons of unsweetened cocoa powder 
  • Optional: seeds (such as sunflower or pumpkin) for topping

Recipe

First things first, preheat your oven to 190°C and grease or line a loaf pan with parchment paper.

In a large mixing bowl, combine the gluten-free rye flour, gluten-free brown rice flour, buckwheat flour, ground chia seeds, xanthan gum, yeast, salt, and cocoa powder. Mix well to combine. Then, in a separate bowl, whisk together the warm water, olive oil, honey or maple syrup (if using), and apple cider vinegar.

Gradually pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients, stirring continuously until a dough forms. The dough will be sticky but should hold together. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead it for about five to seven minutes until it becomes smooth and elastic.

Place the dough back into the mixing bowl, cover it with a clean kitchen towel or plastic wrap, and let it rise in a warm place for about one to two hours or until it doubles in size. Once the dough has risen, punch it down to release the air bubbles and shape it into a loaf. 

Place the shaped loaf into the greased loaf pan, sprinkle seeds on top if desired, then cover it with the kitchen towel or plastic wrap and let it rise for another 30-60 minutes until it puffs up slightly. Once this happens, bake the bread in the preheated oven for 45-50 minutes, or until the top is golden brown and the bread sounds hollow when tapped on the bottom.

Remove the bread from the oven and let it cool in the pan for 10 minutes before transferring it to a wire rack to cool completely.

Storing and Heating

gluten-free rye bread

Once your gluten-free rye bread has cooled completely, you can store it in an airtight container or resealable plastic bag at room temperature. Be sure the container is tightly sealed to prevent the bread from drying out. This way, it will stay fresh for up to three days.

To freeze gluten-free rye bread, slice the bread into individual portions if desired. Wrap each slice or the whole loaf tightly in plastic wrap or aluminium foil to prevent freezer burn. Then, place the wrapped bread in a freezer-safe bag or container. Label the bag or container with the date and contents. Frozen gluten-free rye bread will stay good for up to three months.

To reheat frozen gluten-free rye bread, remove the desired number of slices from the freezer, let them thaw at room temperature for about 30 minutes and preheat your oven to 175°C. Once thawed, place the slices on a baking sheet and bake in the oven for five to ten minutes or until warmed through.

Alternatively, you can toast the bread slices in a toaster or toaster oven until heated to your liking. Enjoy the reheated gluten-free rye bread as desired, whether for sandwiches, toast, alongside other dishes, such as soups and salads.

Nutritional Information

One of the greatest benefits of gluten-free rye bread is the wealth of nutrients it offers. Let’s take a look at the nutritional information.

NutrientAmount per 100g
Calories282
Protein10.3g
Carbohydrates61.5g
Fat1.8g
Fibre15.1g
Vitamin B60.29mg
Manganese2.68mg
Potassium584mg

These nutritional values showcase how healthy gluten-free rye bread can be. The high fibre content, sourced from ingredients like chia seeds, aids in digestion. The manganese and potassium, essential minerals found in rye flour, are vital for the body’s overall well-being. So, not only is this bread a tasty option for those following a gluten-free diet but it is also packed with good-for-you nutrients.

Tips

In this section, we will explore some ideas for creating variations of gluten-free rye bread to elevate it and discover exciting new flavours that make it even more irresistible. Here are some tips:

  1. Add a touch of sweetness by incorporating dried fruits like raisins or cranberries in the dough.
  2. For a savoury twist, mix in herbs and spices like garlic powder, onion powder, or dill for a flavorful loaf.
  3. Experiment with different flour blends, such as a mixture of brown rice flour and tapioca flour, to find the perfect texture and taste for your bread.
  4. Use legume flours such as chickpea flour or lentil flour to add fibre and protein to your gluten-free rye bread.
  5. If you are feeling adventurous, try adding grated carrots or zucchini to your dough for added moisture and nutritional benefits.
  6. For another savoury twist, you can mix in chopped cooked chicken or shredded cheese into your dough before baking.

Conclusion

Gluten-free rye bread offers a delicious and nutritious alternative to traditional rye bread for individuals with gluten intolerance, celiac disease, or other dietary restrictions, allowing them to enjoy the hearty flavour and texture of rye without compromising on taste or quality.

Whether enjoyed fresh out of the oven or toasted with a spread of butter, gluten-free rye bread is a versatile and satisfying option for anyone looking to expand their culinary horizons while adhering to their dietary needs. So why not go on a baking adventure and whip up a loaf of gluten-free rye bread today? Your taste buds—and your body—will thank you for it.

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