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Gluten Free Baking in a Bread Machine

For people on a gluten free diet, bread is often what they miss the most. When looking for a replacement for your daily bread, it can be a struggle to find something palatable without all the additives that shop-bought breads include. So making your own seems to be a good choice as you control what goes into your loaf and a bread machine might just be the tool to help you in the process!

If you’d rather start with a hand-baked method, you can find recipe here, or why not watch our video? Alternatively keep on reading…

The bread machine

The ingredients

The setting


What to expect

What if it all goes down the pan?


The bread machine

Choosing your bread machine is the first step: make sure you think about how you will be using this new gadget. Look out for a gluten free setting. Should you already own a machine that hasn’t got this feature, worry not: there are some alternative programs you can try and still achieve good results. How many people will you be catering for? This will define what size machine you will be looking at.

Once you know what you will be using the machine for you will find it easier to narrow down your search, decide which baking cycle matters to you and what size pan you require. It’s well worth spending the time researching which model will work best for you and your needs.


  • Pan size: when choosing and using your bread machine, it’s important to know what size bread pan your machine has and what size loaf this will make. This will also dictate what recipes are suitable for your pan. Below is a chart that shows what size loaf your pan will make. To have a rough idea of your pan size, fill it with water and pour it into a measuring jug.
  • Loaf size: as a general rule, gluten free bread in a machine gives better results if the loaf is bigger, this is due to the amount in the pan and the machine being able to mix the ingredients better. Your machine will offer various sizes for your loaf and we usually recommend choosing a LARGE loaf, this will give you nice, big slices, ideal to make a sandwich, whereas a medium-size loaf might disappoint in size.
  • Cross contamination: if you are sharing a bread machine with other people who use it to make wheat bread, the best way to avoid cross contamination would be to invest in your own pan. Make sure you mark it so that you can easily distinguish it from the wheat pan.

Pan size

Pan capacity

Gluten free loaf size

Approx. servings





8 slices





12 slices





16 slices


The ingredients

Gluten gives bread its typical bread-like consistency: it springs back and it’s light and fluffy. In traditional bread making it is the kneading of the dough that develops the gluten, so the good news is that in gluten free bread making we don’t need to knead the dough, and the bad news is that we need to replace the characteristic of the gluten. But fret not, we have it covered!


  • Take care: carefully read the labels and check that all your ingredients are gluten free.
  • Be precise: for best results always use the exact quantities for the ingredients given in the recipe, which may include a relatively high level of liquid, which is needed to rehydrate the flour. The easiest way to weigh your ingredients is to put the pan straight onto your scales and add the ingredients required.
  • When the cycle is finished, make sure to remove the loaf from the machine and leave it to cool on a wire rack. By doing so you avoid steam absorption and a resulting soggy crust.

Below you can find a list of ingredients that are typically used in gluten free bread making:

  1. Gluten Free Flour – we make this from a range of different, naturally gluten free grains. We mill and blend them to make a flour optimised for baking a loaf of bread. Our FREEE by Doves Farm White Bread and Brown Bread flours are ideal for use in a bread machine.
  2. Xanthan Gum – This is used to replace the gluten in gluten free baking in general but especially in bread making. It helps to hold the structure as the bread rises. When you bake with a FREEE by Doves Farm bread flour, Xanthan Gum is already present so adding extra Xanthan Gum is not required and might inhibit the rising of the dough. If you are blending your own flour, you can add Xanthan Gum, making sure it is well blended into your flour.
  3. Yeast - This is essential for the bread to rise, use a fast acting type of Quick Yeast that does not need rehydration. Make sure your yeast is in date and that you store it in an airtight container. If you are allergic or intolerant to yeast, we recommend following a hand baked, yeast-free recipe for a flat bread or soda bread instead.
  4. Eggs - Many gluten free bread recipes include egg or egg white which improves the texture of the finished bread. Should you be allergic or intolerant to eggs, there is an option to swap this for chickpea flour, such as that shown in this Free From Bread Machine White Loaf recipe.
  5. Water - Use water straight from the tap, it is not necessary to use lukewarm water as the bread machine gently warms the ingredients anyway.
  6. Salt - A small quantity of finely ground salt will add flavour to your bread, while too much can slow down the yeast activation. 
  7. Oil - The addition of oil or fat helps to develop the crumb and improves the eating and keeping quality of gluten free bread. Any type of oil will be fine.
  8. Vinegar – A little vinegar helps to create an acidic environment for the yeast, this conditions it and adds flavour to the overall bake. You can use any vinegar. For barley malt vinegar and to check its gluten free status visit the Coeliac Society’s website.
  9. Sugar - This is essential in gluten free bread making as it nourishes the yeast and helps to brown the crust. Do not use artificial sweeteners as these don’t work in the same way.


The settings

Nearly all bread machines are different. They require ingredients added in different orders and quantities, and have an array of different settings and programs. So, if you are a novice to machine bread baking or baking in general, it is always best to follow the manufacturers’ instructions. Once you are more confident and get to know your machine, you can be a bit more experimental and adjust the recipes to suit your taste.

So, what program should you choose? To make gluten free bread we recommend the GLUTEN FREE setting if your machine has one. If you don’t have this option, use a quick program that features one mixing cycle, rather than two which is normally used when making wheat bread. This setting is sometimes called BASIC or RAPID programAdditionally, choose a DARK CRUST option if available.


  • When the cycle is finished, make sure to remove the loaf from the machine and leave it to cool on a wire rack. By doing so you avoid steam absorption and a soggy crust as a result.
  • The final cut: only start slicing the loaf once the bread has fully cooled.



When you buy one of our FREEE by Doves Farm brown or white bread flours, you will already find a machine bread recipe on the back of pack. You can find several more on our website.


What to expect

At this point you should have your first machine-baked, gluten free loaf in front of you. Compared to a wheat bread this will be heavier and also a little denser due to the absence of gluten. If you have followed our TIP above and made a LARGE loaf, this will have an impressive sandwich-loaf style appearance. You can enjoy your bread as it is, spread with butter and jam, as a sandwich or toasted, all equally delicious. You can make bread crumbs or even a bread and butter pudding!


  • Keep it fresh: gluten free bread is best eaten on the day of baking.
  • If you prefer a softer crust, cover your still-warm loaf with a clean tea towel whilst it cools, or spread a little butter or oil over the top. Once it’s cool the crust should be nice and soft.
  • If you won’t be eating the loaf on the day, save it for later and freeze it, once cool wrap it in tin foil or in a zip block bag, either whole or already sliced. Frozen slices can be popped straight into the toaster!


What if it all goes down the pan? 

Sometimes the result is not what you hoped for… mishaps can happen and when this occurs we recommend double checking that all ingredients have gone in and to the right amounts. Also make sure that the correct settings have been used and that the ingredients are in date, especially the yeast. When everything fails, contact us or your machine manufacturer directly.


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