Is Potato Bread Gluten Free?
Walking down the bread aisle at your local grocery store can feel like a futile effort when you follow the gluten free diet. Many stores carry gluten free bread now, but you’re most likely to find it in the freezer aisle or a dedicated gluten free section. Sometimes, however, you just want to breathe in the delicious wheat aroma of the white bread you can no longer enjoy.
In one of your trips through the bread aisle, you may have noticed something called potato bread. With the word “potato” in the name, it’s obviously somehow different from regular bread. But is it gluten free? Since potatoes are gluten free, you might assume potato bread is as well.
As any follower of the gluten free diet knows, however, assumptions can be very dangerous when it comes to store-bought food. Read on to learn more about what potato bread is and whether it’s gluten free. You’ll also receive a tasty recipe to try making your own potato bread at home.
What is Potato Bread?
When you hear the word bread, you probably picture a standard white loaf – maybe it’s even cut into slices. The bread you know is typically made with wheat flour or, in some cases, a combination of flours including gluten free flours. Based on your understanding of bread, you might imagine that potato bread is simply bread made with potatoes instead of flour. To some degree, you would be right.
Potato bread is a type of bread in which a portion of the regular wheat flour has been replaced with potato flour or potatoes. It may be leavened or unleavened and can be cooked in a variety of ways, including in a skillet or griddle. The ratio of potato to wheat flour varies from one recipe to another and some recipes incorporate mashed potatoes instead of potato flour or potato flakes.
Is Potato Bread Gluten Free?
Generally speaking, potato bread is not gluten free. Most recipes use wheat flour or a combination of flours that are not gluten free in addition to the potato itself. In Germany, for example, kartoffelbrot is a potato bread made with spelt and rye flour. Boxty, an Irish version of potato bread, is typically made with wheat flour and finely grated raw potatoes.
Though store-bought potato bread typically isn’t gluten free, there’s no reason you can’t make a gluten free version using alternative flours.
Rice flour is usually the best gluten free flour to use for potato bread. Not only does rice flour have a fine, light texture, but its flavor is neutral as well. Rice flour tends to absorb moisture well which an important characteristic of potato bread. You may also be able to make gluten free potato bread using a regular potato bread recipe by subbing in your favorite all-purpose gluten free flour blend.
How to Make Gluten Free Potato Bread
If you prefer your gluten free bread be moist and airy, potato bread may be the perfect solution. Here’s a simple recipe to try if you want to make it yourself at home:
Yield: 1 loaf
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Rise Time: 1 hour
Cook Time: 50 minutes
- 1 tablespoon instant dry yeast
- ½ cup water
- 1 cup white rice flour
- ½ cup sweet rice flour
- 1/3 cup potato starch
- 1/3 cup dry potato flakes
- 4 teaspoons white sugar
- 2 teaspoons xanthan gum
- 2 teaspoons powdered gelatin
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup milk (or non-dairy milk)
- 2 large eggs, beaten (room temperature)
- 4 teaspoons vegetable oil
- Warm the water to about 110°F and stir in the yeast.
- Let the yeast mixture proof for about 5 minutes until it starts to get foamy.
- Combine the white rice flour, sweet rice flour, potato starch, dry potato flakes, sugar, xanthan gum, gelatin, and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer.
- Mix on medium speed for 30 seconds until well combined.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the milk, eggs, and vegetable oil.
- Turn the mixer on low speed then slowly pour in the wet ingredients.
- Once the ingredients are well combined, scrape down the sides of the bowl and mix for 1 minute on medium speed.
- Grease a standard loaf pan and spread the batter evenly into it, smoothing the top.
- Score the top with 3 diagonal lines using a sharp knife.
- Set the loaf pan in a warm place to rise for about an hour until the dough rises just over the top of the pan.
- Preheat the oven to 375°F and place the bread in the oven.
- Bake for 50 minutes until the top is browned and a knife inserted in the middle comes out clean.
- Cool the bread completely before slicing to serve.
The key to airy potato bread is to make sure the dough has time to rise before baking. When you pour the batter into the pan, it will only be about ¾ full. Though your potato bread won’t rise as much as traditional bread, it should rise just past the top of the pan in about an hour – that’s the perfect time to put it in the oven. Be sure to cool it in the pan for 10 minutes before turning it out as well! Cooling the bread on its side for 15 minutes before flipping it over will help keep it from sinking as it cools.