Gluten-Free Sandwich Bread

And you thought you'd never enjoy your favorite sandwiches again! This recipe yields a tender, tasty, high-rising loaf, perfect for classic ham and cheese, a PB&J, or a BLT club. Toast and spread with butter and jam for breakfast, turn into French toast, or make a luscious grilled cheese sandwich.

Prep
14 mins
Bake
38 to 42 mins
Total
2 hrs 37 mins
Yield
1 loaf
Gluten-Free Sandwich Bread

Instructions

  1. Place the flour, sugar, yeast, salt, and xanthan gum in a bowl, or the bowl of your stand mixer. Mix till combined.

  2. Using an electric mixer (hand mixer, or stand), drizzle in the milk, beating all the time; the mixture will be crumbly at first, but once all the milk is added, it'll come together.

  3. Add the butter and beat until thoroughly blended.

  4. Beat in the eggs one at a time, beating each in thoroughly before adding the next. Scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl, then beat at high speed for 3 minutes, to make a very smooth, thick batter.

  5. Cover the bowl, and let the thick batter rise for 1 hour.

  6. Scrape down the bottom and sides of the bowl, gently deflating the batter in the process.

  7. Grease an 8 1/2" by 4 1/2" loaf pan, or a 9" x 4" x 4" pain de mie pan.

  8. Scoop the dough into the pan. Press it level, using a spatula or your wet fingers.

  9. Cover with greased plastic wrap, and set in a warm place to rise until the loaf barely crowns above the rim of the 8 1/2" x 4 1/2" pan; or until it comes to within about an inch of the rim of the 9" pain de mie pan. This should take about 45 to 60 minutes. Towards the end of the rising time, preheat the oven to 350°F.

  10. Bake the bread for 38 to 42 minutes, until golden brown. If you're using a pain de mie pan, leave the lid on the entire time. Remove the bread from the oven, turn it out of the pan, and cool on a rack.

  11. Like a baguette, this bread has a short shelf life. For best texture, reheat or toast after the first day.

Tips from our Bakers

  • To make dinner rolls: Follow the recipe through step 6, then scoop a generous 1/4 cup of dough into each of the wells of a greased standard (12-cup) muffin pan. Press the tops level, using your wet fingers. Cover the pan with greased plastic wrap and let the rolls rise in a warm, draft-free place until crested about 1/2" over the rim of the pan, about 45 to 60 minutes. Uncover the rolls and bake them in a preheated 350° oven for 18 to 24 minutes, until golden brown; their internal temperature will be at least 200°F. Remove the rolls from the oven, wait 5 minutes, and carefully transfer them from the pan to a cooling rack. Rolls are best served warm.

  • Egg-free: Using flax in place of the eggs works well. To replace the 3 eggs called for, use ¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons (1 1/2 ounces) flax meal (the more finely ground the better), blended with ½ cup plus 1 tablespoon water. Let the mixture sit for 10 minutes to thicken before beating into the butter in the bowl. 1 egg recipe: 2 tablespoons (1/2 ounce) flax meal (the more finely ground the better) blended with 3 tablespoons water. Let it sit for 10 minutes to thicken before using.
  • Dairy-free: Substitute margarine for the butter; and soy milk, almond milk, or rice milk for the milk called for in the recipe. Results may vary from the original.
  • Bread machine: Use an additional 1 large egg and 1 ounce (3 tablespoons) gluten-free flour. For best results, use a bread machine that has a pre-programmed gluten-free setting.
  • Bake a taller loaf: If you have a 9" x 4" x 4" pain de mie pan, this is a great place to use it: it yields a taller loaf than a standard loaf pan. Bake with the lid on or off; baking with the lid off will give you a slightly more crowned loaf; leaving the lid on will give you a slightly closer-grained loaf. If you use the lid, bake the bread for 50 minutes, with the lid on the whole time. Remove it from the oven, remove the lid, and turn it out of the pan onto a rack to cool.

  • Cheese bread: Reduce the sugar in the recipe to 1 tablespoon; and stirring 1 cup (4 ounces) shredded sharp Cheddar cheese into the dough just before scooping it into the loaf pan.
  • Cinnamon-apple bread: Stir 1 cup chopped apples (peeled or unpeeled) into the batter after its first rise. Scoop the dough into the prepared pan, and sprinkle it with a mixture of 2 tablespoons granulated sugar and 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon. Swirl the cinnamon-sugar into the dough with a butter knife; add an additional sprinkling of cinnamon-sugar on top, if you'd like. Let rise and bake as directed.

  • Sourdough bread: Replace 1 cup of the flour and 1/2 cup of the milk with 1 cup ripe (fed) gluten-free sourdough starter. Reduce the instant yeast to 1 teaspoon, and give the loaf a longer rise in the pan (about 90 minutes). Bake as directed.