I have been trying to make gluten-free bread in my bread maker for a few times now. It always fails. It doesn't rise how a funny shape (still the shape from kneading) and doesn't cook very well inside (very dense).

I know there are lots of posts about this, but I have already made sure:

  • the yeast doesn't touch the water or the salt
  • the last yeast I tried was Hovis fast action yeast
  • should I use one rising cycle (this is the setting for gluten free bread)
  • I've put xantan gum as required

Anything else I can check?

From this otherwise great recipe book. (I did leave out the onion and pepper and replaced the sugar with agave) [ ] 1

The failed bread

  • Hi Dorien - Could you please edit your answer to include the full recipe (or a link to it) that you are using? It will help people troubleshoot it with you.
    – ElmerCat
    Feb 22, 2016 at 18:53
  • 2
    Yes, the recipe would help. Gluten free bread is handled a lot differently than regular bread, so unless the recipe was specifically formulated to work in a breadmaker, I'm not surprised that it wouldn't turn out right.
    – SourDoh
    Feb 22, 2016 at 19:22
  • Hi! What a lovely way to present a recipe. Thanks! Feb 22, 2016 at 22:31
  • 1
    @dorien that looks like it failed to mix—I think I see unmixed flour on top...
    – derobert
    Feb 22, 2016 at 22:42
  • 1
    @dorien you need to open up the bread machine after it finishes its mix/knead (or watch it while its kneading) and see if its actually working. Might be that the machine is unable to knead this dough.
    – derobert
    Feb 22, 2016 at 22:44

2 Answers 2


There shouldn't be much different between dough rising on your counter vs. in your bread machine, unless your bread machine heats the dough slightly during rise (in which case the bread machine will be quicker).

There are two things likely to cause what you're seeing:

  1. The dough hasn't achieved enough elasticity to rise. Normally this elasticity is provided by gluten, so it can be hard to obtain in gluten-free recipes. Easy enough to test: take your dough out of the bread machine after it finishes kneading, and let it rise on the counter (without any additional kneading). If it rises on the counter, then the dough had enough elasticity (and the yeast was alive, etc.). If it doesn't, you'll need to adjust the recipe and/or the amount of time the machine kneads for (if possible). Or possibly something like pre-mixing the xanthan with the water before pouring it into the machine. If it does rise on the counter, that leaves...

  2. The bread machine didn't wait long enough. Time how long it takes to rise on the counter. Hopefully your bread machine allows you to adjust the rise time and use that as a basis; it may be shorter if it elevates the temperature. You could also attempt to speed up the rise with a bit more yeast, switching to quicker yeast (rapid rise vs. instant), or adding a little sugar.

The not really cooked denseness you're getting is a side-effect of the lack of rise. Get it to rise properly, and that should go away.


Try baking the bread in the oven instead, and compare/contrast results there. My friends (who have a gluten free household) gave up on their "hassle-free" breadmaker. They still use it to mix the dough, but they remove it after that step and rise/bake it following ordinary gluten-free bread recipes. They've found the results to be much more consistent, and it fixed the big issue (for them) with the bread being too dense.

  • 1
    I do this with my breadmaker all the time, for traditional recipes (gluten-full). The breadmaker is convenient for mixing and kneading, but it's not great for baking.
    – Jolenealaska
    Feb 22, 2016 at 22:19
  • I tried this with my first gluten free bread. Tried multiple riding cycles but it just never rose...
    – dorien
    Feb 22, 2016 at 22:42

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