Gluten-free Wholegrain & Chia Bread

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Prep 30min (+1hr30min cooling time)Bake 1hr 10minMakes 1 loaf

This bread is almost the complete opposite of most commercially made gluten-free breads - wonderfully substantial (it won’t ‘dissolve’ in your mouth), moist and flavoursome without containing any gums. The key is the inclusion of psyllium husks and chia seeds to give the dough flexibility and structure in the absence of gluten. It’s great fresh, but toasting really brings out the nuttiness of the flours used.


150g (1 cup) sorghum flour
75g (½ cup) millet flour
70g (½ cup) brown rice flour
65g (½ cup) sweet (glutinous) rice flour
90g (½ cup) fine polenta
1½ teaspoons fine sea salt
625ml (2½ cups) lukewarm water
7g (1 sachet) instant dried yeast
2 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons light olive oil, plus extra to grease
25g (⅓ cup) psyllium husks
50g (¼ cup) chia seeds
2 tablespoons sesame seeds, to coat and sprinkle 

  1. Combine the sorghum, millet, brown rice and sweet rice flours, polenta and salt in a large bowl.
  2. Combine 60ml (¼ cup) of the lukewarm water, yeast and 1 teaspoon of the honey in a small dish and whisk to combine with a fork. Set aside in a warm, draught-free place for 5 minutes or until frothy.
  3. Meanwhile, use a balloon whisk to whisk together the remaining 560ml (2¼ cups) lukewarm water, remaining honey, olive oil, psyllium husks and chia seeds until evenly combined. Set aside for 3 minutes or until the mixture thickens slightly.
  4. Whisk the yeast mixture into the psyllium husk mixture. Add to the dry ingredients and use a wooden spoon to mix to a soft, slightly sticky dough.
  5. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and set aside in a warm, draught-free place for 1½ hours or until risen slightly and is spongy in texture.
  6. Grease a 11.5cm x 21cm (base measurement) loaf tin with a little extra oil and sprinkle with 1½ tablespoons of the sesame seeds to coat lightly. Turn the dough onto a benchtop, shape into a 20cm log and place in the greased tin. Brush the top with a little water and sprinkle with the remaining sesame seeds. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside and place in a warm, draught-free place for 1 hour or until well risen.
  7. Preheat the oven to 200°C (180°C fan-forced).
  8. Use a sharp knife to cut 4 diagonal slits across the top of the loaf. Bake 1 hour and 10 minutes or until golden, cooked through and sounds hollow when tapped on the top.
  9. Turn the loaf out onto a wire rack and set aside to cool completely - this will take about 1½ hours) before slicing.
Baker's Tips
  • This bread is best kept in a cloth or paper bag at room temperature in a cool spot where it will keep for up to 5 days.
  • To freeze, place whole or sliced in a sealed freezer bag or airtight container and freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw at room temperature or toast slices straight from the freezer.


    This recipe is from Anneka's SBS Food online column Bakeproof: Gluten-free baking. Click here for more Bakeproof columns and recipes.

    Photography by Alan Benson.