Experimental baking

I have dickered and experimented and gradually over recent years come up with a succesful recipe, rather a complex one as ingredients go, for gluten free (GF) bread to stand alongside Breadzilla’s outstanding sourdough. It has not been easy but eventually a pretty decent loaf evolved which, while quite dense, makes splendid toast. Not that being dense is a surprise – those light and fluffy GF loaves in the stores are more industrial than craft-based in their provenance.

And then … I had a fancy to challenge the Artificial Intelligence ChatGPT robot, which we are all hearing much about these days, to create an original GF bread recipe of its own. I specified no psyllium, no chia seeds and no rice flour – the first two cause intestinal havoc and the third is just there for cheap bulk. This recipe is what it offered … I was impressed. Many of the flours in the mix are, interestingly, the same as those I have been employing for a long time. It uses more eggs and double the amount of yeast. There was one thing that it got wrong, really wrong. The amount of water suggested was grossly short of the amount actually needed, in fact it barely damped the flour.

This recipe makes quite a large loaf – just halve the quantities if you prefer a smaller one. Remember it is proportions that matter more than actual weights. This recipe, like the one I devised, uses quite a complex mixture of flours but they are all easily sourced and the combination contributes to a good taste.


  • 250g almond flour
  • 250g amaranth or garbanzo/chickpea flour
  • 250g tapioca flour
  • 125g potato starch
  • 125g cornstarch
  • 250g buckwheat flour (if you don’t want such a dark loaf then leave the buckwheat out and increase the amount of almond and amaranth flours accordingly)
  • 4 tablespoons coconut flour
  • 2 tablespoon active dry yeast
  • 4 teaspoons sugar
  • 2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoon xanthan gum
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 7-800ml warm water

Optional: consider adding one cup of pumpkin seeds or that and a bit more of dried fruits such as sultanas, dried apricots, cranberries etc. The latter makes excellent toast with butter and honey. Add walnuts or pecans for bread to eat with cheese.


Combine the dry ingredients with the yeast, sugar, salt, and xanthan gum. Mix until well combined.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs and olive oil. Add the egg mixture to the dry ingredients and mix well. Then gradually add the warm water until a smooth and fairly sticky dough forms.

Place the dough in one or two (according to size available) bread pans. Smooth off the surface with a wet spatula and then let it rise in a warm place for 1 hour or until approximately doubled in size. The oven with the light on usually gives the correct temperature for rising and is convenient.

Preheat oven to 375°F (190°C). Bake for 30-40 minutes, or until the top is golden brown and the loaf sounds hollow when tapped. (*see conclusions at the foot of the page)

Let the loaf cool for 10 minutes in the pan, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely before slicing.

** Conclusions: perhaps ChatGPT is not quite the master baker it tried to tell me it was – but on the other hand it has done remarkably well and with a few tweaks it should be pretty good. The flavour of the bread is excellent for a GF loaf. One thing of note is that my own original, and many times repeated successfully, recipe calls for the risen dough in the loaf pan to be left in the oven while it heats and cook for 50-60 minutes from ambient rather than putting the loaf into a pre-heated oven. I think that might be tried for the next loaf, it’s unusual for bread but then, this isn’t ordinary bread … there was a patch in the centre that could have been cooked a bit longer. I shall report back.