A Guide to Making Bread for Multiple Food Allergies
By Laura Huffman, Founder of Vivian’s Live Again
Kristy is my pharmacist. She and several family members have Mast Cell Activation Syndrome which results in multiple food allergies. She is allergic to most grains as well as eggs, milk, and soy, so she hasn’t eaten bread in years. Recently, I discovered an almost universal bread recipe that I was confident I could adapt to Kristy’s allergen list. This recipe was successful and brought us both great joy. It is my desire to share it with allergy families everywhere. It is nutritious, delicious and filling because it is whole grain.
Below is the recipe for Kristy’s bread followed by instructions to change it for other allergies. If you need personalized help, contact me through my website, ViviansLiveAgain.com and I will walk you through any problems you are having.
1 C Brown Rice Flour (See Flour exchanges below)
1 C Teff Flour
¼ C Sweet Rice Flour
2 T Sugar
1 T Yeast
2 tsp Baking Powder
¼ tsp Salt
1 tsp Xanthan Gum
1 tsp Psyllium Husk
Combine dry ingredients and mix well. *Note- When measuring flour, spoon flour lightly into measuring cups to prevent packing.
1 ¼ C Water
2 T oil
2 eggs* (See replacement instructions below)
Stir to combine, then beat on high for 3 minutes. Place batter in a greased 8.5 x 4.5” loaf pan (the Pyrex size). Allow to rise about 1/2 inch. Do not let batter rise to the top of the pan before baking. Bake at 350˚ for 55 minutes or until internal temperature reaches 200-205˚. Place a sheet of foil lightly on top of loaf half way through baking to prevent over browning. Remove from oven and allow to cool. Remove from pan and cut when completely cooled. For a more detailed description of this process see our blog 4 Secrets to Baking Great Gluten Free Bread.
*To replace eggs with flax or chia, use 3 T finely ground seeds whisked into ½ C warm water. Allow mixture to thicken for several minutes then add to the recipe as you would the eggs. The finer the grind of the seeds, the better result you will have.
Commercial egg replacers may work in this recipe, but we have not tested any. Feel free to experiment.
Changing the Flours
When I began this project, I tested the above recipe with single flours to see how each performed. Many worked alone but some did not. You can use any combination of the flours that work alone as we did in Kristy’s bread.
Flours that Work
Rice- Brown, white and parboiled were tested successfully. All varieties blend well with other grains. Parboiled has a slight taste of evergreen.
Sorghum- Red or white work equally well. Sorghum has a neutral wheat like flavor and performs very well.
Teff- Brown or ivory both work well. Teff is more expensive than some of the other grains, but has a high nutrient content, good flavor and performance. Brown teff has a stronger, molasses like flavor and ivory teff has a malt like flavor. Ivory teff makes nice white bread.
Corn- Unsurprisingly, produces a texture like corn bread, but is high in antioxidants.
Buckwheat- This grain is a complete protein (contains all essential amino acids) and is high in fiber. The texture it produces is very nice. Because of its high fiber content, the recipe will require more water or less flour. Flavor is not universally liked.
Millet- Has a distinct, but not unpleasant flavor. Produces a light cake like texture and does not absorb as much water as other flours. Water must be decreased in the recipe or the bread will fall.
Amaranth, oat and quinoa flours can be added to change the breads flavor or nutritional value but cannot be used alone. Do not exceed 20% of the total flour in the recipe or your bread will fail.
Flax, Xanthan, Psyllium Husk
Flax is my favorite egg replacer because it increases the shelf life of baked goods. This is a nice feature since these breads are only good for 3 days unless frozen.
Xanthan builds structure in the bread. If you do not tolerate xanthan replace with guar.
Powdered psyllium husk is available at health food stores and online. This ingredient helps build structure in the bread and improves texture.
If you are allergic to yeast, it can be omitted since most of the leavening is done by the baking powder. However, the flavor and texture will be slightly different, more like a muffin.