Rice Bread Needs A Flavor

Due to probs with gluten, I’ve been experimenting with rice bread. Finally got a blender version that more than half-way works (Rise partly collapses in the oven) but the bread, while fragile, will hang together after slicing with minimal handling, and browning the slices in a dry medium hot pan improves durability and makes it feasible to cube the slices so that they’ll support soft-boiled eggs. However, this is the blandest bread I’ve ever tasted.

Does anyone have a technique that will keep this stuff together on the rise, because the result now is awfully dense and will not do for my primary goal - grilled-cheese sandwiches. Can’t express how much I hate celiac for taking that from me.

But the primary problem is lack of flavor. I’ve been thinking of grinding roasted nuts in the blender before adding the rest of the ingredients, anyone tried this? I’ve never roasted nuts, so, perhaps a suggestion for which nuts develop a ton of flavor on roasting? Anyone care to suggest spices or herbs that will give this bread a lift without overpowering the consumer?

I’m a pretty adventurous eater, and I’d add kimchi to the recipe if I thought it would work. I’m soliciting advice in an effort to shortcut the process, since I’m single and one loaf will be as much as I can deal with before it stales (or whatever rice bread does before it grows grass)

May your bread rise up to meet you!


I’ve never made bread, so I’m asking this of the house from a position of ignorance:

Is it possible to use yeast to impart the flavor of yeast into something like rice bread? Or maybe something else fermented or fermentable (e.g. beer)?

Makes me wonder, too, if a bit of Marmite or vegemite soaked in water would help somehow. Anyway, that’s one non-expert’s immediate thoughts.

EDIT: After a bit of Googling, it looked like rice breads typically are made with yeast. For some reason, I thought yeast would be absent.

Something else that occurs to me is type of rice. Can you get different results using basmati, jasmine, etc.? Also, could roasting the rice grains before blending make a difference?

EDIT2: More Googling … some people make rice bread with brown rice, which should be more flavorful. Also, some recipes do exclude yeast. If yours is yeast-free, it would be short one flavor vector.

OK, a start! Unfamiliar with veg or marm, but I can ask my Brit BIL what he thinks.
My recipe uses yeast, and I have to say that the result does not have the yeast yum of wheat bread, due, probably, to its very short rise.
Can’t use beer, most have gluten, but maybe a gluten-free beer…? Anyone have a favorite?

Thank you, Dan

No more uninformed than me - never made bread before now.

Maybe brewer’s yeast, then, as an ingredient? Either with or without another type of yeast (thinking of the typical packets of “bread” yeast at the grocery)?

A lot of what gives traditional bread its texture and “durability” is gluten. A lot of what makes gluten-free bread problematic is the lack of that protein.

Anyone who comes up with a true substitute for gluten that works as well as gluten is going to make a fortune. Until then… well, there will continue to be difficulties.

The rice bread is dense and the rise tends to collapse because it doesn’t have a strong structure of protein with cross-links to hold the structure together - in other words, it doesn’t have something with the properties of gluten. There are various additives that might strengthen the structure, some of which are more common in commercial operations than home kitchens. One easy additive is eggs. Regular old eggs - in fact, even though I am a baker of bread containing gluten I still use eggs to help with the texture and “durability” of my multi-grain breads that, because they often incorporate non-gluten grains, don’t have a lot of gluten and have similar problems with oven collapse and falling apart as what you describe. It’s not a complete substitute, but it’s likely worth a try given that eggs are common and easy to use. It might also help somewhat with flavor, as the lipids in egg yolks impact a “rich” flavor to bread and baked goods.

Otherwise… it’s a delicate dough. Being careful not to let it rise too much, not over- or under-handling it, and so forth are all factors to consider, too. From what I’ve been told, gluten-free breads also require more fats than gluten-containing breads (again, eggs might help with that). Most sources (both human and on-line) that I know about recommend using a blend of flours, so not just rice but rice+almond flour+psyllium husks or some other combination of things, which should also add a little more flavor than just rice.

Xanthum gum is also used, in very small amounts (you only need a small amount), and other gums.

You can buy pre-mixed gluten-free bread mixes, some of which contain such additives already, or mixes of different flours, which might be more conducive to getting the effect you want. Or keep experimenting.

Just did a little goggle, seems there are some brewer’s yeasts that are gluten-free, I’ll have to dig down.

Very interesting idea - gonna try that soonest. Protein is mainly in the white, I seem to remember, but I think I’ll try the whole egg first. Yes, I understand that gluten is the problem and the solution - this is the first mention of eggs I’ve seen despite a flock of searching.


@Broomstick , do you think that beating egg whites into peaks, and then folding that into the rice flour, would help the end product?

The yolks add a lot of flavor, too … maybe those can be beat and mixed into the dough?

Go on over to the King Arthur Baking site and have a look at their gluten-free bread recipes. Most use gluten-free flour that has a mix of different flours and starches in it, plus eggs, milk, and butter.

Also check out their Gluten-Free baking guide.

They’re great about answering questions about their recipes, too. I wanted to know about making a substitution for the orange juice that’s in one of their whole wheat bread recipes and they got back to me the next day.

I learned a lot about how to get whole wheat bread to rise well from that site - no more bricks!

@Broomstick mentions xanthan gum, which is in every commercial gluten free bread I’ve eaten, including the best tasting ones. I found some on Amazon, mostly for use in protein shakes to thicken them.

Just note that it’s hard to wash off, as it just feels like you have soap on your hands. Use friction to get any excess off.

It’s also good for gravy instead of flour. Or making a pudding.

This is a blender recipe, which would murder the peaks. This is more of a batter than a dough, no kneading need apply. Looks promising for flatbread, just scoops poured onto a baking sheet, and onto a dry griddle.

Just did that and saw stuff I missed in an earlier visit. I have a fresh bag of their gluten-free mix - I made pancakes with it, a slight bitter undertaste. But I’ve been focused on the all-rice blender recipe, maybe I should peek over the horizon.

Thanks, Dan

BigT, thanks for another path. Since this is not a knead, maybe I could keep it off my hands with a spoon. Does it leave a residue in the mixer?


I’ve only ever used whole eggs - the lipids in the yolk also help with texture and it would add some flavor to the bread. I have my doubts about whipping the egg whites first, but by all means experiment. I freely confess that what expertise I have involves bread with some amount of wheat in it, my knowledge of gluten-free baking is extremely limited.

I mostly stirred it in. Once mixed with stuff, it didn’t seem to have problems. It’s mostly just the dust that flies out when I’m getting stuff out that gets stuck.

It’s not that big a deal. It’s just something you might not expect, washing your hands and it feeling like you can’t get the soap off, or that they won’t quite dry. Like I said, use friction, like a few paper towels, to get it off.

I think @Broomstick and @BigT have covered most of the texture items; I’ve also used dry milk powder to boost protein in breads. As for flavor boosts, when Mr. Legend had to go on a very low sodium diet, I found that adding mustard powder, ginger, or chile powder (depending on the flavor profile I was going for) helped give baked goods a little more interest.

Yes, spices - I expect I’ll experiment with those, too. My aim was toward a taste and aroma breadlike, something that might be reminiscent of wheat bread, since that’s my expectation of bread. I grew up (heh) with that, and whether that’s just conditioning or whether “bread” just naturally lends itself to both sweet or savory applications, I can’t say. I do know that rice bread needs something, preferably subtle so as to not draw attention blatantly…I’m probably asking too much, unless someone is sitting on a spice that smells like a bakery.

I simply can’t think of a spice or other flavoring that would go with french toast, peanut butter and apricot preserves, and grilled cheese.

Gonna try a loaf with egg, next. Then ground up toasted nuts and seeds. Beer. Ginger. Ancho pepper. Fish sauce…nah!

The essence of experimentation is to change only one thing at a time - frustrating holding back.

Thanks, I. L. , Dan

This is why I was thinking of adding yeast (or yeast extracts like Marmite & vegemite). Or toasting the rice before blending.

You could either toast dry rice grains in a skillet or else layer some on a cookie sheet and bake it in the oven for a bit. If butter is OK, toasting rice grains in a skillet with some butter could impart kind of a “brown butter” flavor to your end product.

Don’t forget that different rices have different fundamental flavor profiles, too. In your shoes, I’d be curious about using butter-toasted brown rice grains in the blender. Next thing after that would be basmati (toasted or not).

Thanks, Borderland - this is already a yeast rise, but the tine is so short - 20 to 30 minutes - that there is just no way a yeastiness can develop. And (just guessing, here) there may be no chance for that aroma to develop with rice. Doesn’t the yeast work on the wheat and gluten? Just found out that Marmite and Bovril (?) have glutin; Vegemite has a g-free version. Toasting the rice sounds good - I do that with an Indian Jeera Rice. I’ll try both white and brown rice this way, though brown has been problematical, even more so than white. Tests will follow.

The structure is no longer a problem - I added 2 eggs to a 2 cups of rice recipe, and the result is perfect. No collapse, the rise is at least twice my previous best. Four cute 3 x 5 loaves, shaped and brown just like bread. Soon I’ll try a full-sized loaf, and then it will be “Hello, grilled cheese!” Thanks, Broomstick!

And then on to toasted nuts, spice and Herb, and beer.


The bolded, I don’t know. I mean, yes, the yeast does work on the grain & gluten … but I also thought yeast worked on starches in general, as well. I really didn’t know how it would be with rice-based baked good.

I currently have some gluten free “nutitional yeast flakes”–i.e. dried, dead, inactive yeast. I got it from Walmart. It tends to say it has a “cheesy” flavor to it, which is all I thought about before. But, come to think of it, it does have the taste and aroma of freshly baked bread.

Perhaps adding some of that to your bread would help with the flavor you are after. It never really occurred to me to try.

Yeah, it may very well do, but my guess is it just doesn’t have time.

Wow, just looked at Walmart’s offerings - saw one that is pizza flavored. Definitely more research required.