Gluten-Free Communion Bread Recipe

by Tami Groth, ELCA Diaconal Minister, Western Iowa Synod, from her blog Gluten-Free Communion Bread … a beginning

The requirements for this recipe included that it had to be not only gluten­-free, but also free of all of the top allergens and preferably free of the common food sensitivities that many individuals with Celiac disease also seem to have. For these reasons I did not want to use a pre­-mixed gluten-­free flour blend. If you do decide to use such a blend, please look for one that is free of other allergens, and be sure to post all of its ingredients when you post the recipe you use for the communion bread you are serving. The bread also had to taste good and be easy to work with when tearing it for communion. See detailed notes below the recipe!

Ingredients:

  • Brown Rice Flour: 1 1/4 cup
  • Tapioca flour: 1 1/4 cup
  • Teff Flour: 1/2 cup
  • Sugar: 1/4 cup
  • Baking soda: 1/2 tsp
  • Baking powder: 1 tsp
  • Salt: 1/2 tsp
  • Psyllium husks (whole): 6 T.
  • Oil: 1/4 cup (and bit more for on top of loaves)
  • apple cider vinegar: 1/2 tsp.
  • Water: 2 cups

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees, and prepare baking pan by lining with parchment paper
  2. Mix all dry ingredients in large mixing bowl. Mix well with a whisk, and leave a well for mixing in wet ingredients.
  3. Mix wet ingredients (oil, vinegar, water) in together and pour into dry ingredients.
  4. Mix well by hand for a couple of minutes until it comes together as a thick sticky batter.
  5. Divide into roughly 4 equal portions and shape into round loaves on the prepared pan. If you want the loaves scored with a cross, do so now and very lightly coat with oil)
  6. Put in oven for about 12 minutes (time may vary by oven or if you are baking multiple pans at once)
  7. Remove from oven to again coat lightly with oil and re-­score the cross if desired. TURN OVEN UP to 400 degrees and bake approximately 12 more minutes.
  8. Remove from oven and place the loaves directly on cooling rack. COOL COMPLETELY.

This makes 4 loaves that are about 6 inches in diameter depending on how flat you make them.

Notes:

Please use parchment paper. The parchment paper not only serves to keep the bread from sticking to some pan surfaces, but also is essential to keeping a gluten-­free environment if you do not have a dedicated gluten-­free kitchen. If you use your pans for baking things with gluten, PLEASE use clean parchment paper to cover the surface of the pan as some individuals are sensitive enough to cross contamination that a speck of a crumb left behind could make a difference.

I can currently find all of these ingredients in my local grocery store (although the psyllium husks can be trickier and I prefer to order the Frontier brand from Amazon; look in the health food and supplements section of the store as it is sold as a digestive supplement).

If you want to be sure the bread is completely CORN FREE as well, you will need to use a corn free baking powder (or make your own) The Psyllium husks are essential to this recipe, and even ingredients with similar properties, such as flax seeds, have not given the same texture. I am experimenting with using less of it though.

Acknowledgement:

This recipe was inspired by multiple recipes from food blogger Brittany Angell. You can order her wonderful cookbooks on amazon and follow her blog for many free recipes or to sign up for her recipe club. If you are new to gluten-­free baking, I highly recommend her baking guides as they explain the properties of the various flours.


The Gluten-Free Communion Bread … a beginning blog also contains other gluten-free communion bread recipes and alternatives for gluten-free wafers.