Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Gluten-Free, Vegan Hemp Bread Recipe

This fantastic gluten-free yeast bread recipe utilizes high protein hemp flour along with other gluten-free flours such as teff flour and brown rice flour. It is dark and hearty, perfect for sandwiches. For a slight variation you can create a flavorful "Rye" bread by adding onion powder and caraway seeds.

Here is the feedback from my taste testers: rustic, hearty, "dessert bread," mmm, I'd like to make this!

I buy my hemp flour from our local Community Food Co-op, though here are a few other places that sell it online: Nature's Perfect Food, Essense-of-Life, and Healthy Hemp Food.

Hemp's nutrition profile is no laughing matter. This seed boasts over 33 grams of digestible protein per 100 grams. It contains all essential amino acids; is high in minerals such as iron, calcium, and magnesium; and is high in essential fats.

I won't go into much more detail about the nutritional benefits of hemp, but you can read more about it here

Pictured below is the hemp bread with my homemade honey-sweetened blueberry jam.

Gluten-Free Hemp Bread

This hearty, nutritious hemp bread is great for making nut butter and jam sandwiches. It is also great for toast in the morning. I would suggest making a few loaves at a time, let them cool completely, slice them, and then freeze. That way you have a loaf ready to go when you need it.

2 ¼ to 2 ½ cups warm water (100 to 110 degrees F)
1 tablespoon dry active yeast
1 teaspoon organic cane sugar, maple sugar, or honey
⅓ cup grapeseed oil or extra virgin olive oil
⅓ cup honey or maple syrup
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
2 cups brown rice flour
1 cup teff flour
1 cup hemp flour
¾ cup potato starch or tapioca flour
¾ cup arrowroot powder
2 teaspoons xanthan gum
1 ½ teaspoons sea salt
½ teaspoon baking soda
Oil a 9 x 5-inch bread pan.

Place the warm water and teaspoon of sugar into a small bowl (a 4-cup liquid measure works well). Make sure the water is the right temperature. If the water is too cold the yeast will not become active and if the water is too hot it will kill the yeast. Add the yeast and stir. Proof the yeast by allowing it to stand for 5 to 10 minutes. It should become foamy and/or bubbly, if not start over with fresh yeast and water.

Add the oil, honey, and apple cider vinegar. Stir well with a fork or wire whisk.

In a large bowl, add the brown rice flour, teff flour, hemp flour, potato starch or tapioca flour, arrowroot powder, xanthan gum, sea salt, and baking soda. Combine the flours with a wire whisk. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and whisk them together as you are pouring to avoid lumps. Continue to stir with a large spoon for another 60 seconds or so, or until the batter thickens and becomes smooth.

Spoon dough into prepared pan. Use the back of a spoon to shape into a loaf form. Place pan in a very warm spot. Let rise for about 45 to 60 minutes. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Bake for about 60 minutes. Allow bread to cool for 10 minutes in the pan and then remove and place onto a wire rack to cool. Tip: to get a crustier loaf, turn up your oven to 425 degrees for the last 10 minutes of baking.
Source: www.NourishingMeals.com

Variations: Add 1 to 2 tablespoons of caraway seeds and 1 to 2 teaspoons onion powder for "Rye" bread. Or try adding 1/4 cup each of flax, poppy, sesame, and sunflower seeds for Seeded Hemp Bread.

More Gluten-Free Bread Recipes:
Vegan, Xanthan-Free Farmhouse Seed Bread

About the Author

Alissa Segersten holds a Bachelor's of Science in Nutrition from Bastyr University. She is the founder of Whole Life Nutrition, the mother of five children, a whole foods cooking instructor, professional recipe developer, and cookbook author. She is passionate about helping others find a diet that will truly nourish them, and offers elimination diet recipes, healthy gluten-free recipes, paleo and vegan recipes, as well as tips for feeding your family a nourishing, whole foods diet. Alissa is the author of two very popular gluten-free, whole foods cookbooks and guidebooks: The Whole Life Nutrition Cookbook and Nourishing Meals. She is also the co-author of The Elimination Diet book. Connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram!


  1. You are amazing how you create all these vegan bread recipes! This one looks wonderful. I'd like to be one of your testers, but just for the eating part. ;-) LOL


  2. Hi,

    This bread looks great! I would like to know if there is a replacement for hemp flour since I can't find it in Portugal.

    Thank you,

  3. I love hemp - in all of its forms! This bread sounds fantastic. My only question for you is about the baking temps. I've read that high heat destroys omegas. Would it work to bake it at a lower temperature for longer to help preserve them? And what temperature range do you feel is safe when using ingredients with hemp?

  4. Ali, This sounds like an interesting recipe. I love bread any and all ways so I'd like to try this one. Thanks for the links to purchase the hemp flour. I think it is interesting that one of your testers labeled this dessert bread. Is it sweet?

  5. I appreciate the "wholesomeness" you put into your breads. I am very excited to try this one out! We make the teff bread all the time but are in need of a change. Our family has issues nuts, eggs, and gluten so your site has been such a blessing. I just found out that I am reacting to rice now too. I have millet flour, buckwheat flour, and sorghum flour. Which of these would you suggest to replace the rice flour?


  6. I love all of your bread recipes too! This looks like it rises well and has a great texture. I am always in awe of how you can create recipes and they all taste great! You must have the wisdom from many generations of cooks and bakers! I made your raspberry scones this past weekend also, I love these!!!
    Keep on creating - we all love it!

  7. Shirley - I'd love it if you could be a taste tester too. :)

    m and m's - Yes, you can replace the hemp flour with finely ground raw almonds or hazelnuts. In fact I used almond meal flour from Authentic Foods in my original recipe. You will need to reduce the water by at least 1/4 cup if you take out the hemp. :)

    Amanda - I'd try it at 325 for 70 to 90 minutes and see what happens. When your oven is set at 350, the internal temp of the bread never gets that hot.

    L - Thanks, it does have some sweetness coming from the honey, but in the right balance. I think my testers just really enjoyed it. :)

    Willow - Thanks, glad to hear the recipes have been a help. I'd try using sorghum flour in place of the rice flour. Those two are fairly interchangeable. Happy Baking! :)

    Deb - Thanks, glad you like the scones! :) Enjoy the bread!

  8. Ali,
    This bread is really good -- it may be my favorite so far. It's hearty and dense, but not heavy, and tastes incredible with butter and honey (my secret comfort food).
    For some reason my bread rises well, but then collapses a bit during baking. My oven's temperature is all over the map, which might be part of the problem, or do you think there's anything else I should be watching out for?


  9. Lisl - Hmmm, I would try decreasing the liquid by at least 1/4 cup, maybe even more. We all measure so differently which is in part why GF bread baking can be so tricky. I should probably create my recipes using weights instead of cups. Maybe for you it would be best to start w/ 2 cups of water and then add a few tablespoons more if the dough is really thick. Hope this helps, glad it was still edible! -Ali :)

  10. I made this bread a few times and loved it a lot! I really enjoy the nutty flavor of the hemp...plus is so good for you! But I just got a bread machine and I wanted to see if it could work there as well ... well, it's just fantastic! It actually came even better than when I made it by hand, ... and I even forgot to add the sugar to activate the yeast!

    For those of you interested, I just added all the wet ingredients first (without the honey/sugar because I don't like sweet bread), then I added all the dry ingredients but for the maple sugar to activate the yeast and last I added the yeast. Then I programmed my machine to preheat for 10 min., knit for 18 min. rise only once for 1h and bake for 1h and 10 min. OMG! Divine!

  11. What could I substitute the teff flour for? My daughter cannot have teff.

  12. nessabean - Hmm, maybe a combo of sorghum flour and quinoa flour. Millet flour may also work too. Let us know how it turns out. Thanks, Ali :)

  13. I used millet flour and it turned out fabulously. I love how it held together. My daughter gobbled it right up. I also just used hemp and ground it up a bit since I didn't have hemp flour.

  14. Well, I guess I missed the point of this recipe, because I substituted hemp flour for sorghum! Other than this substitution, oh and using date syrup instead of maple syrup, I followed the recipe exactly. It was not only my first time baking bread, but my first time baking GLUTEN-FREE bread. I am so happy with the result. The bread has excellent texture and slices extremely well. I love it fresh. Can't wait to see how it toasts tomorrow. Thank you for operating such an inspiring and resourceful blog.

  15. The only hemp flour I can get is slightly gritty as they leave the hulls in when grinding the seeds.
    Is this normal and will it affect the bread?

  16. I am excited to start trying your breads. We live on your Teff pancakes now. I haven't tried Hemp yet, but I know Rice flour won't work for. Could I just add more Teff or Hemp? Sorghum doesn't work, either. Thanks

  17. We can't have xanthan gum, is there a way to substitute for it in this recipe? Loving your site.

  18. I can't eat wheat, teff, tapioca, xanthum gum, rice , potato , corn or sporghum flours. No almonds or arrowroot either. Is there any baking I can do with just buckwheat, hemp and amaranth flours, duck eggs, apple sauce, oils, coconut milk and maple syrup. Vanilla is out too! Anything???

  19. This has been a long time coming,but I just wanted to let you know how much I like this bread. I was just making it this morning and wanted to thank you.I do sub molasses for the honey. I also add the onion and caraway seeds. Once again thank you!


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Thanks and Happy Cooking! ~Ali :)