Recipe: Crusty gluten-free bread

HAPPY EATING: The Intolerant Gourmet (Harper Collins, RRP $49.95).
HAPPY EATING: The Intolerant Gourmet (Harper Collins, RRP $49.95).

Allergy-friendly bread can be one of the hardest things to create; the lack of gluten, eggs and yeast makes it tricky to bake a loaf that can both rise and hold its shape.

I promise you that this loaf will not disappoint, however. With a glorious crisp crust and just the right inner texture, it is a breeze to prepare and tastes equally good fresh from the oven or toasted the next day.

You'll see when it bakes that it rises up brilliantly from its tin; this is due to
the combination of sparkling water, bicarbonate of soda and lemon, which mimic the action of yeast but with none of the downsides for those who are intolerant to it.

BEST THING SINCE SLICED BREAD: This alllergy-friendly crusty loaf is easy to make at home.
BEST THING SINCE SLICED BREAD: This alllergy-friendly crusty loaf is easy to make at home.

This truly is a failsafe recipe for bread - I love it and I hope you will too.


This recipe is free from gluten, egg, dairy, yeast and nuts. You will need a 450g loaf tin for this recipe.

450g gluten-free plain flour, plus extra for dusting
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
2 tsp baking powder
3 tsp xanthan gum
A good pinch of sea salt
3 heaped tsp egg replacer, whisked with 6 tbsp water
175ml/6fl oz rice milk
1 tsp lemon juice
200ml/7fl oz sparkling water

1. Preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F/gas mark 6 and lightly dust the loaf tin with flour.

2. Sift the flour, bicarbonate of soda, baking powder, xanthan gum and salt into a large bowl and stir together until blended.

3. Pour in the egg replacer mixture, rice milk and lemon juice and, using a wooden spoon, mix everything together as much as you can - you will find the mixture is very dry and clumpy, which is as it should be.

4. Immediately pour over the sparkling water and mix together for a minute or so until the dough has pulled together. Now use your hands to lightly pull the mixture together, without kneading it, into one large ball of smooth dough - you will be able to feel how light and airy the dough is under your fingers. Resisting the urge to knead it, place the dough straight into the loaf tin, fitting it into the corners and then gently levelling the top with a spatula or the back of a spoon.

5. Bake in the oven for 45 minutes, by which time the loaf will have risen up out of the tin and turned a pale gold in colour with a crisp crust. Remove from the oven and transfer from the tin onto a wire rack, leaving to cool before cutting into slices.

Recipe from The Intolerant Gourmet (Harper Collins, RRP $49.95)