(Gluten Free) quinoa and millet loaf

As you could probably guess from previous posts, I am neither gluten intolerant nor gluten sensitive. I’m also not a fan of fad diets or cutting out whole food groups without a good reason. I do, however, like to experiment with different bread recipes, and have enjoyed the challenge of making a quality gluten free bread. If there’s a chance that there are actually some health benefits along the way, then that’s a bonus.

I have been looking around for a decent gluten free recipe and some of the ingredients are a little concerning. Xanthan gum, used to replace the elasticity of gluten, is often highly processed. So too are the flours often found in gluten free bread; tapioca, potato and rice. Instead, I searched for recipes that are similar to the whole grain sourdoughs I am used to.

This recipe is based on one I found here. I have adjusted the recipe slightly to include linseed and millet as well as the quinoa and chia. The chia replaces xanthan gum and gives the dough a springy textured crumb whilst the combination of millet and quinoa give a crunchy crust and excellent flavour. This loaf isn’t winning any prizes for its appearances… It looks similar to a 100% rye loaf, but the method is completely different to any loaf I have made before. The leavening comes from the combination of bicarbonate of soda and lemon juice, and there is no “dough” as such- instead the ingredients from a batter. The flavour, which is the most important thing, is great, and the texture is very pleasant too.


Gluten free quinoa and millet loaf makes one small loaf

60g chia seed
125g water
150g hulled millet
100g red quinoa
50g linseed
60ml olive oil
125g water
1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1/2 tsp salt
2 tbsp lemon juice

1. Soak the chia in 125g water overnight or for at least 4 hours. In a different bowl, soak the millet, quinoa and linseed in about twice the volume of water.
2. Rinse the quinoa mix thoroughly and drain in a sieve until all of the water has drained out. Preheat oven to 160C.
3. Combine the quinoa mix, chia, which should now be gel-like, the remaining 125g water, olive oil, lemon juice, bicarbonate and salt in a food processor. Blend for 3 minutes.
4. Line a small loaf tin with baking paper. Pour the batter-like mix into the tin and bake for one and a half hours, until the loaf is firm but slightly springy.
5. Cool in the tin for 30 min, then cool completely on a wire rack before slicing. As per the instructions on the original website, I fried the slices in a pan rather than toasting before eating, although it would be good without frying too.






Red quinoa sourdough

Cooked quinoa gives a slightly nutty taste and a chewy texture to this bread, and using red quinoa specifically gives the loaf a dramatic colour. I have used quinoa in sourdough breads before, but never in this quantity – the finished loaf is peppered with quinoa throughout the crust and crumb.

Mix thoroughly before autolysing
Mix thoroughly before autolysing

This is another high hydration loaf that benefits from the “stretch and fold” method of kneading. The quinoa adds a little water to the mix too, but shouldn’t be a problem as long as it is worked in with the rest of the ingredients.

Soaking the quinoa
Soaking the quinoa

Red Quinoa Sourdough makes 2 large loaves

  • 250g red quinoa, soaked overnight, cooked and cooled
  • 400g rye starter at 150% hydration
  • 400g strong white flour
  • 400g wholemeal flour
  • 20g salt
  • 650g lukewarm water
  1. Refresh the starter at least 8 hours prior to mixing, or overnight.
  2. Combine all of the ingredients in a large bowl. Autolyse for 20 minutes.
  3. Stretch/fold the dough 10 times. Rest in the bowl for 10 minutes, then repeat this process twice more.
  4. Stretch/fold every 30 minutes for the first three hours of the bulk ferment (6 times in total).
  5. Rest for a further one and a half hours.
  6. Divide the loaves and shape into rounds. Rest for 5 minutes, then shape and place into well floured bannetons. I flour my bannetons with rice flour. Flour the loaves well and place into plastic bags.
  7. Retard in the fridge overnight.
  8. The day of baking, preheat the oven to 235˚C with a ‘Dutch oven‘ (le creuset style pan with lid) on the middle shelf.
  9. Bake the first loaf straight from the fridge: turn the loaf out onto a well floured bread peel or the back of a baking tray. Remove the Dutch oven carefully, and take off the lid. Slide the loaf into the Dutch oven, replace the lid, and place back into the oven. Bake for 30 minutes with the lid on, and a further 15 minutes with the lid off.
  10. Repeat with the remaining loaf.
  11. Cool on a wire rack for at least 1 hour before slicing.
The finished loaf
The finished loaf
Red quinoa studded crust
Red quinoa studded crust
The interior of the loaf is also filled with quinoa and tastes fantastic
The interior of the loaf is also filled with quinoa and tastes fantastic
And the best way to use the bread is...
And the best way to use the bread is…


multigrain loaves

Multigrain sourdough

Whole, soaked grains add a fantastic flavour and extra nutrition to a loaf of bread. Over the weekend, since we were running low, I decided to make two large loaves of sourdough with a range of different grains and seeds thrown into the mix.

Spelt, wheat, polenta, quinoa and linseed ready for an overnight soak.

In order to get the best out of the grains, both in terms of flavour and digestibility, an overnight soaking is required. I timed this loaf to be baked on the same day of mixing – no overnight retardation. This meant that the starter needed refreshing a couple of days before, and on the night before at the same time as mixing the soaker. I also wanted to push the hydration of this loaf up to give it a lighter texture, so I increased the amount of water I normally use both in the starter and the loaf itself. In order to develop the gluten in the dough, I have used the “stretch/fold” method of kneading. Whilst the timings may seem a little over the top (a quick knead every ten minutes, then every half an hour) it is really very easy and does a fantastic job.

The (very wet) dough proofing in well-floured bannetons.

This loaf uses a combination of rye flour from the starter, and wholemeal spelt and white baker’s flour for the dough. The rye and spelt give an excellent flavour and colour, whilst the white flour lightens the texture further – something which can occasionally be an issue in wholemeal multigrain breads.


  • 50g rolled spelt grains
  • 50g rolled wheat grains
  • 50g polenta
  • 25g red quinoa
  • 25g linseed
  • 200g water at room temperature


  • 400g rye starter at 150% hydration
  • 400g white baker’s flour
  • 400g wholemeal spelt flour
  • 650g water
  • 20g salt
  • all of the soaker
  1. Two nights before making the dough, refresh 50g of rye starter with 100g rye flour and 150g water.
  2. The night before making the bread, mix the soaker ingredients and cover. Refresh the starter with 100g rye flour and 150g water.
  3. The morning of making the bread, mix all of the ingredients in a large bowl. Autolyse for 20 minutes.
  4. Stretch/fold the dough 10 times, rotating the bowl. Cover and leave for 10 minutes. Repeat three times.
  5. Stretch/fold the dough 10 times every half an hour for three hours (six times). Cover and leave the dough for one more hour.
  6. Divide and shape the dough, and place into bannetons extremely well-floured with rice flour.
  7. Proof for two hours at room temperature. Preheat the oven to 240°C with a Dutch Oven (Le Creuset style cast iron pot with lid) on the middle shelf.
  8. Upturn the bread onto a well floured peel. Carefully remove the Dutch Oven, remove the lid, slide the loaf in, replace the lid and place in the oven. Bake for 30 minutes with the lid on, and 15 minutes with the lid off. Reduce temperature to 230°C if the loaf looks too dark.
  9. Repeat with the remaining loaf. Cool loaves on a wire rack before slicing.
multigrain loaves
The finished loaves. The contrast of the rye/spelt and the white rice flour gives the loaves a dramatic look. The cracking on the top is from the rising of the bread, not from scoring.
There is enough leavening power in the starter to force these cracks.