GF: Sorghum-Flax Bread – Make it three ways!

I think I am a finicky bread eater. Not because it’s gluten free bread. Nope, but because I like to make it and experiment with ways to change up a recipe. I like using the ingredients I have on hand and changing them up to see what else I can do.

(And yes, I’m like this in the classroom too. My teaching rule of thumb: if I’m bored, my students are DYING.)

Enter stage left: The bags of flax seeds and flax seed meal in my refrigerator.

I bought the flax seeds as an easy way to increase the fiber content in the breads I bake. I then began adding them to practically everything. A couple tablespoons of flax seeds doesn’t mean you have to alter a recipe either. That’s part of the beauty of it all. No major recipe changes, but a major fiber boost. Hooray!

Before going gluten-free, I ate hearty, healthy whole grain breads with flax or other seeds. I loved hearty breads like rye, pumpernickel, etc. But I’m also a fan of the soft and squishy. On Sundays, when I bake bread for the week, sometimes it’s a tough call. I’m not sure what kind of bread I am in the mood for. So that’s where this recipe comes in handy. You can make it with or without a sponge (the sponge adds a bit of depth of flavor to the bread) and you can make it lighter or heartier (depending on how you use the eggs). Regardless of your choice. It’s a tasty bread. I’ve been enjoying it for sandwiches and grilled cheese dinners with my love this week.

To alter this bread recipe from the step-by-step directions below (which make the hearty version), do the following:

FOR A LIGHTER BREAD:

  • Separate the eggs.
  • Whip the egg whites until they form firm peaks and set aside.
  • Add the yolks to the other wet ingredients that are adding in after the sponge is created.
  • After mixing the flours/dry and the wet/sponge, gently fold in the egg whites before scrapping into your prepared bread pan.

FOR A QUICKER LOAF OF BREAD (No sponge):

  • Combine all dry ingredients except yeast.
  • Proof yeast in 1/2 cup warm water (not hotter than 110F) plus 1 Tablespoon agave nectar.
  • *Combine remaining wet ingredients with proofed yeast before mixing.*
  • (*You can still separate the eggs and make a lighter loaf of bread here too.)

FOR A HEARTY, HEALTHY LOAF (Made with a sponge): Follow the instructions below.

Gluten-Free Hearty, Healthy Sorghum-Flax Bread
Makes one loaf.

Mix together:

  • 3/4 cup rice flour (or millet flour)
  • 3/4 cup sorghum flour
  • 3/4 cup GF rolled oats (or quinoa flakes)
  • 1/4 cup flax seeds
  • 1/4 cup flaxseed meal
  • 1/2 cup tapioca starch
  • 1/3 cup cornstarch
  • 1/3 cup sweet rice flour

Heat water & milk, then add agave and yeast:

  • 1/2 cup warm water
  • 1/2 cup warm milk
  • 2 Tablespoons agave or honey
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons yeast
  1. When the yeast is warm and beginning to foam, add 1 cup of dry flour mix (from above). Reserve the rest of the flour for the bread.
  2. Let “sponge” activate for 2 hours in a warm – NOT hot – place in your kitchen. This is your “sponge”. It is done when it has risen and begun to settle again. Before proceeding to add any additional ingredients (eggs, vinegar, melted butter and club soda), whisk the sponge together (or use a fork) to make sure there are no stringy parts.

To dry ingredients, add:

  • 3 Tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon xanthan gum

To the sponge, add:

  • 3 eggs
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
  • 4 Tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup club soda (+ 1/4 cup of club soda if necessary)
  1. Combine all ingredients – flour/dry ingredients and sponge/wet ingredients.
  2. Beat in your mixer for 5 minutes minimum but no more than 10 minutes on medium-high.
  3. Preheat the oven to warm and turn off the heat. Leave the oven door closed.
  4. Butter the bottom and first 2 inches of the sides of your bread pan.
  5. Scrap the dough into the prepared bread pan with a wet spatula. Dip the spatula in to water as often as necessary to keep the dough from sticking and smooth the dough into the corners of the pans and into the pan as evenly as possible.
  6. Place bread pan into the warm oven (with the door closed but the heat off) to rise for 1 hour.
  7. Without taking the bread out, turn the heat up to 350F and bake the bread for 35-45 minutes or until golden.
  8. Allow to cool completely before slicing on a cooling rack. (I usually wait a few minutes and then dump the bread out of the bread pan and on to the cooling rack.)

Slice as needed to keep moist.
Store in an airtight container on the counter for one week.
Leftovers make great bread crumbs, croutons, crab cakes, meatballs, etc too!

Happy bread making all!
-Kate

32 comments on “GF: Sorghum-Flax Bread – Make it three ways!
  1. Mel says:

    Wow this looks amazing! I’m definitely going to be trying this one out!

    Oh Mel, do come back and let me know how it works for you. ;) – Kate

  2. Susan says:

    It does look good! I was wondering what size bread pan you use? 9×5? thanks.

    Susan – for the loaf in the photo, I used the larger 10×5. However, the recipe works well in the 9×5 pans too. I just adjust the cooking time (+/- 5 minutes or so) until it’s done. :) -Kate

  3. Beth says:

    I made this tonight and it turned out so amazing! I used about 1/4 cup quinoa and 1/2 cup oats, because that’s what I had, also I didn’t have enough sorghum, so I used about 1/4 sorghum and the rest millet. But anyway, it turned out great, really soft and moist and light. I will be posting about it soon (and linking back!). Thanks for a great recipe. :)

    Great! I’m glad it turned out for you as well and that you are enjoying it too. It’s been my sandwich and peanut butter toast bread all week. :) -Kate

  4. Sheltie Girl says:

    So delicious looking Kate. Great job on your bread recipe.

    Sheltie Girl @ Gluten a Go Go

    Thank you, Ms. Sheltie! :) -Kate

  5. kaye says:

    can you use flaxseed for baking? thank you!!!

    I use it. :) I know that the fiber is best absorbed if you use the meal,but the flax seeds are a great texture addition for breads, I think. I have added them to muffins, corn bread, yogurt muffins/breads, plain yogurt, pancakes, waffles, etc. What do you do with them? -Kate

  6. carrie says:

    This is really a great post Kate!! I love how you gave us three options on this lovely bread!! I am still in love with sorghum flour, so I will be making this VERY soon! I was hoping to make it yesterday, but didn’t get a chance! I really want to try using the sponge! I bet that gives it such a great flavor! You are just too darn creative and smart! I can’t wait to try this!! Great job!!

    Carrie, the longer you leave the sponge, the more flavor or sourdough-note it will impart. Take extra caution NOT to add the vinegar if you feel like it is too tart/sour though when you mix it all together. :) -Kate

  7. Natalie says:

    I think you are like THE authority on gluten free bread baking. Go Kate!

    You crack me up! I think I could have left this exact same comment on YOUR site, Natalie! Gluten-Free Bread is *definitely* a community and live-and-learn thing. :) -Kate

  8. jenniferk says:

    this looks good…do you usually use a sponge? i’ve been wondering if the slower, more traditional methods of bread making might improve GF breads. I want to try some slower rising breads that have a sponge and/or soaker. what has your experience with this been? thank you, i’ve really enjoyed the recipes i’ve tried from this site, and my non-gf husband has even liked them!

  9. Beth says:

    Hi! Just wanted to let you, just in case you wanted to see another picture, I got my post up about his bread (with photo!). Thanks again for a great recipe! :)

  10. Eileen says:

    I want to double this recipe. Have you ever done that? Would you double the yeast, add a certain percentage or not add any extra? I’ve heard you don’t need to double the yeast but I am not sure. Also, what type of yeast do you use? Thanks!

  11. Stephanie says:

    Kate this recipe was amazing. I was so intimidated by the size of this recipe and the number of steps but it was so worth it. What a beautiful loaf of bread it made with such a great variety of nutrients. I just took my two children gluten free (I have been for 2 years) and finding a bread recipe that was healthy was on the top of my list. My son (9) love it. We smothered it in butter while still warm right out of the oven. Thank you! Thank you!!

  12. Cynthia says:

    Could I sub soya granules (by fearn) in place of the flax seed? I like flax but a little goes a long way flavor wise sometimes for me?

    the bread looks incredible I can’t wait to try it

    Ohhh…hmm.. I’m sorry! I don’t know. I have never used soya granules. Maybe someone else logging in will know and help us out?
    Sorry I can’t help with this.
    -Kate

  13. Carol Cripps says:

    This looks wonderful, and I am going to the kitchen to try it. As a longtime bread baker, I am a fan of using a sponge to develop flavour and texture in breads. However, I notice that this recipe has no salt. Is that correct? Should I be adding a bit for flavour, or does the club soda take care of that?

    In any case, thanks for sharing this with us. And, congrats on the good news! My prayers are with you for a healthy happy baby.

  14. Carol Cripps says:

    Wow! what wonderful bread! I did add a teaspoon of salt, and I got the absolute yummiest loaf of bread. Even before having to give up gluten, I would have loved this bread. I ate the last of it on Friday, with Montreal smoked meat and cheese, heated up till the cheese was melted. Yum. Thanks so much for sharing all this with us. Yours is the site I check first now for great bread recipes.

    Carol

  15. valen says:

    Made this tonight for grilled cheese sandwiches, it was the best gluten free bread I have had. I have made so many bread recipes in the past 8 years and all were either too crumbly, beany, or soggy. This was just right, I did make the quick version, I had planned to make the long version though. I did whip up the egg whites. My only problem with this bread was that it was ever so slightly crumbly, just barely, I blame it on my oven and pan though.

  16. Stacey says:

    I’m in love with your site. I’ve already bookmarked a few recipes but this one has me stumped. I can’t have corn or rice …. any suggestions for subs in the cornstarch and sweet rice flour?

    I also can’t have eggs … does EnerG egg replacer work? Can I sub coconut oil for the butter? (Yeah, I have a lot of food issues ….)

  17. Eileen says:

    Help! I did something wrong… The ‘sponge’ was very liquidy… what texture should it have? It never really rose up (though I did proof the yeast and it was ok). I used 1 packet rapid rise and 1 packet of active dry yeast, perhaps that was the problem? The sponge also smelled odd, kind of like when I used to brew beer and it would get off-strains of yeast/bacteria in it!

    The final dough was also VERY liquidy (I did the sponge + “lighter” egg sep method)… Argh, I’m so confused! I guess I will have to try again…

    • Eileen says:

      Forgot to add… I realized there was serious problem during the oven-rise period… the dough overflowed the pan almost immediately and got everywhere! Darn! I am baking it now (After cleaning out the oven)… but I’m kinda expecting a brick at this point. :(

    • Eileen says:

      Reporting back… I realized I left out the Xanthan Gum, that probably was part of the problem. But I think I must have mis-measured the flours as well. The bread was surprisingly good considering the screw-ups – you can tell the flavor is superior even if my lack of binder screwed up the texture (which, surprisingly, still mostly holds together). I will try it again in a few days. Thanks for the recipe! :)

      • Kate says:

        I’m SO thankful you reported back. I was trying to figure out from your description what would have happened.
        My only other tip is that different flours/grinds absorb the liquid differently as well. ;( I know… .not so helpful, but true.
        I hope the next one works!
        -Kate

  18. Lisa says:

    I was wondering if there is any way to have a substitute for the yeast for this wonderful bread mix. I have allergys with yeast unfortunately. I would love to know.

  19. Christy says:

    I was wondering since I don’t have oats, can I use Oat flour? If so, how much? Also, I don’t have sweet rice flour, what would be a good replacement?

  20. Teresa Earp says:

    How can I make this bread in a bread maker?

  21. toni says:

    Can this delicious sounding and looking bread be made without eggs???

    • TOni –
      I’m sorry – I don’t have experience removing eggs from anything. =( Maybe someone else does? I know people have used the flax+water concoction before – but truly, that is all I know. I have no details about how, how much, etc to share.
      Sorry!

  22. Beverly Jones says:

    After 30 minutes rising mine had overflowed the pan. Is this the correct amount of yeast?
    1-1/2 TBSP.? This is more than is typical for one loaf of bread.
    Salt ? I know salt has something to do with controlling bread rise; is this recipe supposed to have salt?

  23. Lisa says:

    Is it possible to make this a bread maker? I have one with a gluten free setting.

  24. Bo says:

    This bread is delicious. Light crumb, perfect chew. (and in spite of only having orange mandarin flavored club soda!)
    I used a 9×5 bread pan and it rose perfectly.
    I didn’t have milk so I used 1/4 cup yogurt and 3/4 water.
    I substituted poppy and sesame seeds for the flax seed.
    Next time (and there will be a next time) I would add a little salt.
    My only other suggestion is don’t make this bread if you haven’t eaten a good slice of GF bread in a while…you’ll definitely have to restrain yourself from eating every type of sandwich you now want to make!

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