Sunday, June 8, 2014

Awesome Grain-Free Bread - Low Carb & Wheat Free

Recently, I posted a photo of the grain-free bread recipe I've been working on. I made the 4th loaf this morning to give it one more test with a couple little tweaks. I think I've finally gotten it! I used my corrugated 8.5-inch by 4.5-inch loaf pan to bake it in and it came out perfectly. I've never had anything stick when using this pan...everything just slides right out. The ingredients are very similar to my sesame seed bun recipe but the amounts are different. 

Baking a grain-free loaf is a bit trickier than baking buns because of the longer baking time. The first loaf I made several weeks ago was great until I got close to the center of it and it wasn't thoroughly cooked. You need to be careful when baking with almond flour or flax at high temperatures for long periods of time because they burn more easily and you don't want to burn either of them. To compensate for the longer baking time required when baking a loaf of bread, I start baking the bread at 350 degrees so I get the rise quickly and then cut the temperature back to 325 degrees for the remainder of the bake time. This method worked better in my tests.

Today's loaf turned out nicely. I wanted to get it as close as I could to the texture of regular bread. I didn't want it to be dry but I didn't want it to be too dense, heavy and oily like many grain-free breads are. Most tend to turn out more like "quick breads" texture wise. One thing I noticed after baking this loaf four different times was that it is important to measure your eggs for this particular recipe. Eggs act as leavening in grain-free breads and help give it structure. A large egg should equal about 1/4 cup volume wise. What I realized is that the large organic eggs I buy tend to vary in size sometimes. This recipe needs 4 "large" eggs which means it needs 1 cup (when measured in a liquid measuring cup). I cracked my eggs into a glass 1-cup measuring cup and had to add additional eggs to equal 1 cup (my 4 eggs only came to about 3/4 cup). I just happened to have a carton of egg beaters so I just topped it with about 1/4 cup of those so I could bring the level to exactly 1 cup. I snapped a few photos below as well as included the recipe. If your loaf of bread begins to brown too quickly, just lightly cover it with a piece of foil during the baking. The crust should be dark golden brown when done. This bread is perfect for spreading with peanut butter or almond butter...or lightly toasted with butter to go along with your eggs in the morning. For those of you that really miss having "sliced bread"...I hope this helps satisfy the desire for it. Enjoy!

Using a sharp bread knife will help you get nice clean thin slices

Before going into the oven
Fresh out of the oven

Awesome Grain-Free Bread


1/4 cup coconut flour, sifted

1 cup blanched almond flour
1 cup golden ground flaxseed
3 teaspoons baking powder   
1-1/3 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 cup granular Swerve Sweetener (or granular equivalent to 1/4 cup sugar) 
4 large eggs (needs to equal 1 cup of eggs)
2/3 cup buttermilk
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon apple cider vinegar


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly spray an 8.5-inch x 4.5-inch loaf pan with oil.

In a medium bowl, mix first 7 dry ingredients together with a whisk to help break up any lumps.

In a small bowl, beat eggs, buttermilk and olive oil together; stir in 1/2 teaspoon vinegar. Stir wet ingredients into dry ingredients and mix just until combined. Dough will be thick and slightly sticky and will become fluffy. 

Scoop dough into greased loaf pan. Using slightly moistened finger tips, lightly smooth top of loaf. Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes; reduce temperature to 325 degrees and bake an additional 55-60 minutes (lightly cover with foil if top browns too quickly). Let sit in pan for 5 minutes; remove and cool completely on a wire rack. Slice using a bread knife or sharp serrated knife. Yields approximately 20 1/4-inch slices.

*Note: It's important to measure your eggs to make sure you have 1 full cup of eggs for this recipe.



Linda said...

Can't wait to try this. Without your fabulous recipes for bread-type treats I wouldn't have been able to stay on this "way of eating" so long. Slowly but surely my weight is coming off using Wheat-Belly ideas too. Last weigh in 42 lbs with 30 more to go. Thank you, thank you. Loved that you were on a PBS show. Can't find any info on it here in Chapel Hill but I'm going to just call them. Want to see you in action!
Best, Linda

Gourmet Girl Cooks said...

Hi Linda,

Thanks so much! Its comments like yours that inspire me to keep posting as frequently as I do.

Congrats on your weight loss -- you are getting there! At least this way you can get there without having to starve yourself to death! You are way past half way there. Thanks for the kind comments...I really appreciate them. :-)

Sonshine Strong said...

Be still my heart! This bread looks amazing! I agree with Linda...your recipes have helped my hubby and I, so much, when we've had moments of missing bread in our meals. Not to mention all of the other wonderful meals, of yours, we've tried (and continue to make). I cannot wait to try this one!

I'd like to know when you're publishing your first cookbook?! I will be one of the firsts to buy one!! Thanks, so much!!


Gourmet Girl Cooks said...

Hi CindyLu,

Thanks so much. I'm so happy you and your husband are enjoying my recipes and glad if they've helped make eating grain free more enjoyable. I don't know about a cookbook yet...I think maybe some day. I just need more hours in my day! Thanks for the kind words...just knowing you'd want one makes me happy. :-)

CyberSis said...


This loaf sure does look *Awesome*! I have a bunch of sandwich buns to eat up ... then I make this! Oh, and add me to your cookbook list please. ;-)

Gourmet Girl Cooks said...

Hi CyberSis,

Thanks! Glad you are enjoying the buns -- the bread is good, too -- but for sandwiches...I like the "larger" size of the buns! I've enjoyed the bread with butter and peanut butter "open face". LOL on the book list. Now, if only I could find the spare time! :-)

Anonymous said...

384Thank-You Thank-You Thank-You !!!! Finding your blog has been a blessing. I am new to wheat belly and your recipes have really helped with my new way of eating. I learn a lot from you and from the comments on your recipes. I have been baking your Sesame Seed Sandwich Bread in individual tart pans that i found at Bed Bath and Beyond. I love the size of them and was wondering if I could use them for the Awesome Grain-Free Bread -Version2 (No-Flax). Would i have to adjust baking time? Also, how long do both versions last and do you keep them in the fridge? Thanks again, Laura

Gourmet Girl Cooks said...

Hi Anonymous,

Thanks so much. I am so happy that you are enjoying the sandwich buns! They will come in handy for cookouts this summer. Regarding using my Grain-free bread #2 for buns. They probably will work -- I have been meaning to try it and see how they work as well as figure out how long to bake them. If you try it before I do, let you know what you think. I'll try to test it out in the next few days or so! Thanks again for the kind words and so happy you are enjoying my recipes! :-)

Anonymous said...

This bread is the best Low Carb bread I have found! Thank you for one incredible recipe! I am making my second loaf of the week as I tpye!

Gourmet Girl Cooks said...

Hi there Anonymous,

So glad you are enjoying the bread. It is hard to find decent grain free bread recipes which is what drove me to create my own. I'm so happy you are enjoying it and thanks for letting me know! :-)

Filip said...

What do you mean by "1-1/3" teaspoon baking soda? Is it 1 to 1/3? och 1 + 1/3?

Gourmet Girl Cooks said...

Hi Filip,

1 + 1/3 teaspoon. Hope that helps! :-)

Elaine said...

I'm not able to use flax due to hormone problems. Can you suggest anything else that might work and have you tried it?

I've enjoyed other recipes and trust that they are going to be good if they were created by you.

Gourmet Girl Cooks said...

Hi Elaine,

Thanks so much! You are in luck because of folks like you that have told me they couldn't eat flax, I created a version of bread without it. I've also created sandwich rolls without flax too. I'm going to give you links to both of them.

Here is the grain free bread recipe link:

Here is the grain free sandwich roll recipe without flax:

I hope these help. Enjoy! :-)

Anonymous said...

Made this bread today,very delicious taste but it didn't rise.Followed recipe exactly as written.Any suggestions as to what I am doing wrong ?

Gourmet Girl Cooks said...

Hi Anonymous,

I'm not sure. I can tell you that on one of my breads (not sure if it was this one or not), someone told me the same thing and we went down the list of what she used and the ONLY difference was her brand of baking powder. I can't remember what she used (I think it was a store brand). Everything else was the same. So, she bought the kind I use (Calumet, no aluminum) and baked it again and it worked. Don't know if it was the brand or maybe she just had a bad batch.

Did you use blanched almond flour (I use Honeyville's)...did you use "ground" flaxseed (not whole seeds) and lastly...did you use eggs equal to 1 cup (since they are a significant leavening for this bread)? I'm just trying to see if there was any possible subtle difference that could have caused yours not to rise? What size loaf pan did you use -- any chance it was larger where the loaf spread out more? Just trying to go through any of the possibilities. :-)


Hello - I'm just beginning the banting way of eating and love my toast with bacon and eggs. Just wondering if I can make this without any sweetening? Apologies if you've already answered this question. Thank you!

Gourmet Girl Cooks said...

Hi Heart and Soul,

Yes, you can make it without sweetener. The sweetener is not really there to make it sweet but to have the naturally sweet flavor of regular bread. You can reduce it or omit it though. Hope that helps! :-)

Anonymous said...

Wow what an amazing site. I was wondering if you ever would consider to post the carbs for your recipes. However, no matter what I will still be using your recipes as they look and sound amazing..and get out my trusty calculator. LOL
Thank you

Gourmet Girl Cooks said...

Hi Anonymous,

Thank glad you like my site. I may consider posting carb counts in the future. Happy New Year! :-)

Unknown said...

This looks wonderful! You were on PBS?? When???

Gourmet Girl Cooks said...

Hi Linda,

Yes, I was on PBS. It was taped in my home last year (well, 2013) and did not air until this past year. It aired at different times in different parts of the country. :-)

Unknown said...

Hi Linda,just tried this loaf and it turned out beautifully.Finally a real low carb loaf that tastes awesome and looks like bread!

Gourmet Girl Cooks said...

Hi Heather,

It's Ayla (not Linda) happy you liked the bread. Low carb breads are a bit tricky...glad you found one you liked! :-)

Caryl said...

I would love to be added to your list for the cookbook ! Love your recipes......

Anonymous said...

This looks delicious Ayla. .. thank you for your time and effort. This eating lifestyle has shown me so many health benefits. .. I love it! Going to make this bread now! - Lesley from South Africa

Gourmet Girl Cooks said...

Thanks Lesley. I hope you enjoy it. My favorite bread recipe is my Sesame Seed Sandwich Rolls (you can omit the seeds if desired). They are great for sandwiches, burgers, etc. Hope you enjoy the bread! :-)

BTC said...

I, too, would love to see this pbs show. Hope someone can find out if it can still be viewed. Linda, if you are still following this thread, I am also in the Chapel Hill area and have followed a low carb lifestyle for 6 months. I wish tI knew of a support group in the area. While I haven't read Wheat Belly, I have read Grain Brain which has a similar eating plan. GGC recipes are the absolute best collection of low carb, grain - free recipes I have come across. Keep'em coming!

Gourmet Girl Cooks said...

Thanks so much BTC. Hopefully Linda will see your thread! :-)

Unknown said...

We have baked the awesome grain free bread now and it is amazing. This will be handy when I crave bread while I'm doing Atkins diet. Lost 2 kg in 3 days so far so I am stoked that there is a bread recipe ready for when I want it. Thanx a mil

Anna Banana-less said...

I did the nutritional conversion on this one and I'm going to make it tomorrow!

I divided it into 10 servings at 1/2 inch each. I like thick bread. :-)

Calories 261
Fat 18 grams
Carbs 19 grams
Fiber 11 grams
Net Carbs 8 grams {{{{Doing the happy dance}}}}
Protein 12 grams

It's a winner! Thanks so much!

Gourmet Girl Cooks said...

Hi Anna Banana,

Great! I hope you enjoy it. The happy dance is always a great thing! ;-)

Anonymous said...

Hi Ayla thank you for this wonderful recipe. I made it last night after scouring my pinterest low carb, grain free board and I am so happy I chose yours! Very tasty and the most 'bread'like I have made yet with easily available ingredients!now to try the buns you mentioned! Also all the way from South Africa. Regards, Kiki

Gourmet Girl Cooks said...

Hi Kiki,

Thanks so very much! I'm so happy you enjoyed the bread. I hope you enjoy the buns, too. They are my favorite for sandwiches, burgers, etc. and are easy to wrap and take with you when you eat out and put a burger on in a restaurant! Thanks so much for letting my know! :-)

Anonymous said...

HI Linda-

I have made this bread twice. Love the flavour and texture even though it is dense since I can't get it to rise much! I bought a smaller loaf pan, new baking powder and soda, and made sure I had a generous cup of eggs, but it only rose to 2 inches. Could it be my oven temp? I am using an almond flour that is a coarser grind- Honeyville is hard to get and very expensive here in Canada. What I can get is more like Bob's Red Mill normal grind. Since it is otherwise so good, I was wondering, could I double the recipe to get a bigger loaf? How would that effect cooking time?

Love this blog and all the wonderful recipes! Thanks- Katherine

Gourmet Girl Cooks said...

Hi Katherine,

When you mentioned buying a smaller pan, was it the same size I used (the 8.5" x 4.5" size)? If not, that could possibly be part of the problem.

I'm just going to run through some of the possibilities you are getting a more shallow, dense loaf than I did.

You've already confirmed fresh baking powder and soda and using the full amount of eggs. Are you using buttermilk and the vinegar as well? The acidity helps react with the baking soda/powder for the rise.

Not sure about the size of loaf pan you are using or what kind...I used the USA Pan 8.5 x 4.5" pan which worked beautifully. Are you using a nonstick loaf pan? If not, I think that allows the dough to rise and slide up the side of the loaf pan walls.

Lastly, I want to make sure you are using "ground" golden flax and not the whole flaxseeds. It's possible that a heavier grind of almond flour might make the dough a bit heavier but I'm not sure if that would be the entire cause. You could double the dough like you mentioned for a larger loaf but I'm concerned you might just get a heavier dense "big loaf" instead of simply a thicker loaf. Let me know if anything I mentioned might be a possibility. I'd like to help you troubleshoot this so you can get a nicer loaf of bread rather than simply a larger loaf of heavier bread. :-)

Anonymous said...

Thanks so much for the reply, Linda! Yes to apple cider vinegar and buttermilk- the only difference in ingredients is I did't include the sweetener. I used Bob's Red Mill whole ground flax meal and I specifically bought a new non-stick loaf pan the same dimensions as yours. I also sprayed it with oil. I don't mind a dense loaf- this bread is way better than many gluten-free ones I have tried which do not hold together for a sandwich. I'll just slice it thin! Also I am on a low-carb diet so this bread is a great find. I have yet to try the buns- that's next! If I tried try doubling up the recipe, how long should I bake for? -Katherine

Anonymous said...

One final thing- although supposed to be non-stick, my new pan is shiny stainless steel. Should I turn my oven up a bit when cooking with it? Some recipes suggest that because shiny pans reflect instead of absorbing the heat.

Thanks- Katherine

Gourmet Girl Cooks said...

Hi Katherine,

I would hesitate turning the heat up, simply because both almond flour and flax burn more easily than regular wheat based flour. I'd opt first for cooking it longer rather than at a higher temp.

If you double the batter for the loaf, I would watch it carefully. You'll probably have to increase the baking time (at 325) so if it begins to get to brown or dark, before it gets that way, loosely cover with a piece of foil so the top doesn't burn before the inside is done. Hope that helps. :-)

jmonckton said...

FaNtastic bread. On the second try I forgot the sugar\sweetener but it was even better! I think having the correct size pan is important. My husband loves it and that's coming from a peanut butter and jam over bread guy! - thanks for doing the work

Gourmet Girl Cooks said...

Hi Johanna,

Thanks so much. I'm so happy you and your husband love it! You are right, the correct pan size makes all the difference in the world! It's nice when an "oops" turns out nicely, too, isn't it! :-)

Joy said...

HI, Thank you very much for your recipe and the extremely clear instructions. I have tried a few recipes that are a lot more complicated and not had much success so will be trying this one. Here is hoping.

Gourmet Girl Cooks said...

Hi Joy,

Thanks. I hope this bread turns out nicely for you. The size of pan you use is important, so try to use the size pan I used to give you a nicely shaped loaf. :-)

Unknown said...

This sounds scrumptious! I never use buttermilk, and found these substitutes on epicurious... do you recommend any of these options? Thanks, I'm a new fan!
Make Acidified Milk

Add one tablespoon lemon juice or white vinegar to a liquid measuring cup, and add enough milk until it measures 1 cup. Stir, and let sit for five minutes before using. This also works with non-dairy milks.
Use Watered-Down Yogurt

Whisk a bit of milk or water into plain, unsweetened yogurt until you get a buttermilk-like consistency. The proportion will depend on the thickness of your yogurt, but generally it'll be around 1/4 liquid with 3/4 cup yogurt.
Use Watered-Down Sour Cream

Whisk together equal parts sour cream and water.
Use Kefir

No tinkering needed for this one: substitute equal parts kefir for buttermilk in any recipe—just make sure it's unsweetened, unflavored kefir.
Add Cream of Tartar to Milk

Whisk 1 3/4 teaspoons cream of tartar into one cup of milk.

Gourmet Girl Cooks said...

Hi Sheena,

I have used and recommended to folks the 1 tablespoon white vinegar or lemon juice, then fill to the 1 cup line buttermilk substitute many times (you will notice it in different comments from folks asking me if they could use something other than buttermilk). I know that it works with regular milk, half-and-half, cream, almond, coconut and cashew milk for dairy free as well.

I know a couple of my followers have used the Greek yogurt substitute successfully. One person has told me they used Kefir successfully but I've never tried it or the sour cream substitute.

Never heard about the cream of tartar to milk sub. I'm sure most of those substitutes work. The idea is to add acidity to activate the baking soda to create bubbles and rise.

I actually just used cashew milk and vinegar for this purpose a couple days ago for pancakes (I was out of buttermilk and always have folks ask for dairy free substitutes so I incorporated that into the recipe).

Welcome...hope you find some recipes you like! :-)

Anonymous said...

Love this bread recipe...Thankyou!
Can you tell me the carb count per slice please?

KellyG said...

Great recipes!.

Gourmet Girl Cooks said...

Thanks KellyG! :-)

Jovem Cidadão said...

Hi. I just made this bread and I have to say, it is delicious!! Dosnt look like yours and it is a bit crumbly but taste amazing. Thanks a lot for the recipe.

Gourmet Girl Cooks said...

So happy you enjoyed it Jovem! Sometimes using a very sharp knife helps keep it from crumbling. Hope that helps! :-)

Jeanetta A. said...

Can you add yeast for flavor? I have seen other blogs say that yeast will make it have that bread flavor.

Gourmet Girl Cooks said...

Hi Jeanetta,

Yes you could do that if you choose. :-)

Mishi said...

Thank you. I am going to try this asap

Sean said...

I just made this bread and love it! Can I just check as I don't have a 1/3 spoon, but you are wanting 1 tsp + 1/3 tsp baking soda?



Unknown said...

Just made this bread and it's tremendous. Thanks so much! We don't need to get fat from eating bread, now that we're back in the UK.

Unknown said...

I made this bread last night. It rose to double the size in the oven and then just fell....hole in the middle. Complete disaster and money wasted