Sunday, September 8, 2013

Gluten-free Ciabatta Buns - a Safe Starches Option

If you have decided to follow the Perfect Health version of Paleo, you can enjoy gluten-free bread and sandwiches.  Even if you're doing Primal Paleo, the occasional Ciabatta bun sandwich will fit nicely into your 80/20 plan - especially since it's made with gluten-free ingredients - so there is no need to go without.

(For more information on The Perfect Health Diet read my post and/or buy the book by Paul Jaminet)

Ciabatta is a famous Italian bread that is known for it's lightness and airy texture, and now this delicious bread can be easily duplicated with gluten-free ingredients.

The basis for this bread is my easy French bread recipe with just a few modifications.  Ciabatta dough is notorious for being very wet and runny, however this characteristic is also what creates the light texture, so it is important that any gluten-free version be similar.  In order to do this I added more Tapioca flour into the baking mix and more water.

If you can't find these gluten-free baking ingredients in your local store, they are all available at Amazon.


Ingredients :
1 cup tapioca flour (or arrowroot powder)
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
2 tablespoons instant or bread machine yeast

1 tablespoon honey or maple syrup
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 large egg whites
1 teaspoon cider vinegar
1 1/4 cup of warm water (105 - 115 degrees)

Directions :
  • Line a baking pan with parchment paper.
  • Combine your dry ingredients in the bowl of your mixer. Add the olive oil and the egg whites and mix until incorporated.
  • Add the vinegar and the water, then beat for 2 minutes until you get a very soft dough.  This dough will be more like a light cake batter than a dough, but don't worry - that's how it should be.
  • Now pour the dough onto your parchment lined baking tin and move it around with a spatula until you create a rectangle.  Then take a knife and mark out 12 buns.  I know it doesn't look like it's ever going to be bread, but trust me, it will.
  •  Place the pan in a COLD oven on a middle rack. Yes, that's right.  A cold oven.  This is the trick.  While the oven heats the bread will rise, eliminating this usual extra step that you find in most recipes for yeast breads.  It also automatically gives you the right temperature for rising, regardless of what the temperature is in your kitchen. This is why I love this recipe and what makes it so simple, quick and easy. 
  • Turn on the oven and set it at 425'F.  Begin timing and leave the bread for 25 to 30 minutes or until it starts to brown.

  • Allow the buns to cool in the pan for 5 minutes
  • Then cut them apart, place them on a rack, and allow to cool completely.
  • When completely cooled you can slice the buns in half and freeze them for later use.  (I place a small piece of wax paper between the two halves which makes it easier to take apart when frozen.) If you wrap them separately in sandwich bags before putting into the freezer bag you can take them out as needed without having to thaw the whole batch.

This recipe will give you very light and airy buns, but they will be on the thin side.  More like pita pockets really. This is okay because the goal here isn't to fill yourself up with bread, it's to give you a base for great sandwiches.  

You also shouldn't expect this bread to be very flavourful on it's own since the ingredients are mainly starch, but since it is so light, it crisps up very nicely - especially when you're making Panini -  and is a great accompaniment to all your favourite sandwich fillings.

Here are approximate nutritional values I worked out with the help of an online calculator :

For one bun ( 1 of 12 ) : 164 calories, 26g carb, 5g fat, 4g protein, 1g fibre and 1g sugar
For half a bun : 82 calories, 13g carb, 3g fat, 2g protein and under 1g of fibre and sugar

If you aren't worried about losing weight or counting carbs then having a Panini once in a while is a good meal choice.  However, if you are on a weight-loss or carb counting plan, you can still have some of this bread.  Just toast half the bun and make an open-face sandwich.  Add a bit of cheese on top and broil it to melt and you will have a terrific sandwich.  More than likely you won't even notice that you're only having half the bun.  ( Check this post for more sandwich ideas.)

 “Life isn't about finding yourself.  Life is about creating yourself.”   - George Bernard Shaw

Want to try Paleo, but .....

... think it's too hard to do?
... don't have enough information?
... don't know where to start?
My STEP-BY-STEP PALEO ebook course makes it Easy !

I show you exactly what to do Step by Step,
I give you lots of great Recipes,
and I make it Fun !

check out Book 1 on Amazon today !



  1. Hello there! I just found your blog and I'm wondering if your ciabatta will work in a loaf pan. Amazing post! Thanks for sharing.

    1. Thanks for you comment. I've never tried this in a loaf pan but I don't see why it shouldn't work. You will probably just have to watch it in the oven as the cooking time is going to be a bit different. If you do try it please let me know. I'd love to know how it turns out.

  2. Don't know what I did wrong, followed the recipe. My bread came out real, real uneven, the bread was brown on the outside but still uncooked. The bread was so stuck onto the parchment paper could not pull off it ripped all over, even when it was cooled off. So it ended up in the trash can. Saw in the recipe 2 Tablespoons yeast was that a typo error?

    1. No. This was not a typo. This recipe is for a gluten-free yeast bread. (I mentioned this in the Amazon ingredients recommendation as well.) If you left out the yeast that was probably why it didn't turn out.

  3. Hi I just wanted to say i love this recipe, It is tasty and quick and easy to make. Thank you so much!


Valid comments are always encouraged and welcome, but please remember this is not a platform for self-promotion. All comments are moderated, and those with links that are not relevent to the content on this blog WILL NOT be published.