Gluten-Free Cardamom Bread

Gluten-Free Cardamom BreadThis is a chewy, yeasted bread.  It’s not sweet, although it is perfumed with cardamom and studded with walnuts, dates and raisins.  It’s best toasted and slathered with salted butter.   I like it for breakfast, tea or with afternoon coffee when my husband is kind enough to make me some (I make terrible coffee).  It would be a nice bread to make for Easter.  My Estonian grandmother made braided cardamom bread for holidays.

It is deeply adapted from an excellent (not gluten-free) recipe by Bonnie Mandoe from her cookbook Vegetarian Nights.  Bonnie Mandoe used to be the food writer for the Maui News when I was a kid and her cookbook came out when I was in college.  I cooked from it a lot, but the recipe that has haunted me was the cardamom breakfast bread.  I am happy to report that me gluten-free version closely resembles my memory of the original!Gluten-Free Cardamom BreadOne of the nice things about this gluten-free bread recipe is that it requires no rise time, making this a very quick yeasted bread.  I know.  It’s magic…well it’s science but since I can’t explain the science I’m going with magic.  In order for this magic to work, your oven has to be preheated all the way to 375 degrees and you need to proof the yeast in room temperature liquid.  If you are someone who bakes you will want to make the liquid warmer than that out of habit, but don’t.


inspired by Vegetarian Nights by Bonnie Mandoe

  •  2 Tablespoons Chia seeds
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 1/3 cup coconut oil
  • 1/3 cup honey (or agave if you are a strict vegan)
  • 1 cup of milk
  • 1 Tablespoon yeast
  • 3 and 1/2 cups of Buckwheat Teff mix (recipe below)
  • 1 teaspoon xanthan gum
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1/2 cup chopped dates
  • 1 Tablespoon lemon extract
  1. Heat oven to 375 degrees.  Place a baking dish of water on the bottom of the oven, so that the oven becomes steamy.  Butter a loaf pan.
  2. Combine the chia seeds and 1/2 cup water in a small dish and set it aside.  In another bowl, soak the raisins in enough water to cover and set it aside as well.
  3. In a large pot, gently heat the coconut oil, honey and milk.  The mixture should be room temperature.  Add the yeast and let it feed for about 3 minutes.
  4. While the yeast feeds, combine 3 and 1/2 cups buckwheat teff mixture, xanthan gum, ground ginger, cardamom and salt.
  5. As soon as the yeast begins to foam, add the flour and spice mix, the soaked chia seed slurry, chopped walnuts, soaked and drained raisins, chopped dates and lemon extract directly to the pot.   Mix until combined using your hands or a spoon.  It will be sticky.
  6. Using a spatula, scrape the dough into the prepared pan and use wet hands to smooth out the top.  Bake at 375 for 15 minutes.  Reduce the heat to 300 and bake for an additional 1 and 1/2 hours.

Buckwheat/Teff Gluten-Free Flour Mix

  • 4 ounces Teff flour
  • 4 ounces Buckwheat flour
  • 4 ounces arrowroot starch (corn starch would be an acceptable substitute)
  • 4 ounces potato starch (not potato flour!)
  • 4 ounces tapioca starch

Mix them all together!  This will make 20 ounces, so you will have a some leftover.  Use the leftover mix in place of regular flour to make Delicious Pancakes, Estonian Dark Sourdough Bread, Gluten-Free Carrot Ginger Cupcakes or Gluten-Free Sourdough Blini.


3 Comments Add yours

  1. Glenda says:

    Sounds wonderful. I want to make this for Easter but can’t eat buckwheat. What should I substitute?

  2. Sandy says:

    9 x 5 pan?

    1. Yes! 9 x 5 is the size that I used.

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