Yeast-Based Paleo Bread

March 28, 2012 in Categories: by

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This is by far and away the absolute best paleo bread I have had.  The use of active dry yeast (see Is Yeast Paleo?) as a leavening agent completely changes the texture and the taste compared to baking soda-based breads (which always taste strongly of egg to me).  So, this is the absolute closest you will get to the flavor and texture of gluten-containing bread without all those gut-irritating ingredients.  I’ve even steered clear of gums such as xanthum gum as a binding agent because of their gut-irritating properties (they are bacterial-derived).

This bread holds together beautifully, so it’s great for sandwiches and toast.  It’s also closer to a normal loaf size than my other recipes (equivalent size or slightly smaller than a 1.5 pound loaf in your bread machine, but it is denser).  I make mine in a Bread Machine, which is certainly the easiest way to make this bread (gluten-free bread can be tough to get a pretty surface with made the old fashioned way, but it’s certainly possible!).  As with all homemade bread recipes, the temperature, humidity and altitude of your kitchen can impact how the bread rises.  You may need to subtract or add 1 Tbsp of water to this recipe to make it work in your kitchen.  I use Mineral Water to add a little extra rise and lightness to my loaf, but the difference is small compared to regular water.  I went through many iterations to get this bread right, so measure your ingredients carefully.  I hope you love this bread as much as my family does (it’s now the only bread recipe I bake on a regular basis).

A quick note on bread and paleo baking in general:  I think recipes like this are great for kids, athletes, and very healthy individuals who can handle more carbohydrates and have no reason to steer clear of almonds.  I do not include recipes like this as a normal part of my diet because I am not someone who can get away with either the omega-6 and phytic acid content of almonds or the carbohydrate content arising from the use of tapioca and arrowroot flours.  If you are sensitive like me, think of this as a special treat rather than a staple.



1.    Mix mineral water, eggs, ground flaxseed, salt, honey, and vinegar in the bottom of your Bread Machine pan.  Use a fork to break up the eggs and mix the ground flaxseed in well.  Let sit 2 minutes before adding the dry ingredients.
2.    Add coconut oil, almond flour, tapioca and arrowroot flour on top of wet ingredients.  Sprinkle yeast on top of the flour (or follow your bread maker’s directions).
3.    Use the whole wheat cycle on your Bread Machine.  Check during the initial knead that the ingredients are mixing well and none are sticking to the edge of the pan (if they are, use a spatula to gently push them down into the rest of the dough).
4.    Remove promptly after your bread machine is done.  Enjoy!


I haven’t tried this, but I think you could also bake this bread without a breadmaker (if you try this and have any tips, please leave a comment!).  What I would try is:


1.    Mix the ingredients in a bowl (still mix the ground flax seed with the wet ingredients and let sit for 2 minutes before adding the rest of the ingredients).  It would be helpful if your ingredients were room temperature or slightly warmer.
2.    Let rise in a warm corner of your kitchen for 45 minutes to 1 hour.
3.    Pour the batter into a greased loaf pan.  Spread out the top evenly.
4.    Let rise another 45 minutes (toward the end of that time, preheat your oven to 375F).
5.    Bake for 40-50 minutes, until golden brown on top and a toothpick comes out clean.

Do you need help finding any ingredients?  Check out  Important Pantry Items for the Paleo Baker.


I bought a bread maker just so I could make this bread…what a good choice! The house smelled so good! This recipe is perfection! I had to add a little water during the 2nd kneading cycle because the dough was too thick…maybe I packed the almond flour too much when measuring it out. I will definitely be making this again!

Delicious. The whole family gobbled it up. This will definitely be a recipe I make every Sunday for our family dinner. Wow!

So excited to make this, but I do have a quick question… Can I use ground flaxseed or is that different from Golden Flaxseed Meal?

I have a West Bend What’s For Dinner Breadmaker….I think that it makes a 3/4 pound loaf…how would I measure for your bread recipe???

I made this bread last weekend and it was fantastic! It was the first paleo-friendly bread that actually tasted like bread!

I’m wondering if it would be possible to replace the mineral water with milk or water kefir. And if so, would you recommend removing the yeast? I’d love to make a kefir-cultured bread using kefir instead of yeast, and I think this recipe would be a good place to start. Has anyone ever had any luck making grain-free kefir bread??

Hi Sarah
I live in Italy and there are 2 types of arrowroot : flour and starch. Which use I, flour or starch?
Thank you.

I can’t wait to try this! Thank you so much for actually answering questions here. You’re very patient! I’ve read all the comments, particularly noting the substitutions of coconut flour. Do you think the recipe would still be successful if I sub coconut flour for the tapioca? If so, would that also be 1/4 sub? Thank you

Hi, I was wondering if the measurements in your recipe were using the bread machine measurement tools or regular measurement cups and spoons?

Just finished making it without a bread maker and it looks crumbly – is it supposed to look crumbly? I put it in the pan but not sure it will rise given the consistency. I am in Denver – maybe it’s the high alt?

I just pulled mine out of the oven and it looks the same as what you describe. Quite hard and crumbly. Not sure what happened.

I did not use a machine. Made all wet ingredients together and let flaxseed rest in mixture. Put all dry ingredients together,mixed and added wet then added yeast and let rise. Came out great!

You have mentioned that you follow the AIP and this bread has eggs.. is this another reason why you don’t have it as a staple in your diet? I have UC and am about to start the AIP, i realize my diet will be quite strict for a time but adding something like this to my diet at some point would be great. Some thoughts on whats possible would be greatly appreciated. Thank you

It’s very possible that you’ll be able to add recipes like this back into your diet. I’m okay with very small amount of nuts (say tossed in a salad) and seem okay with the new pastured eggs I’ve been buying, so I’ve been eating my perfect paleo pancakes (which are nut-free) with no ill effects whatsoever. But, I doubt that even if I could eat something like this bread again, that is would ever become a staple for me. I’ve gotten so used to the way I eat and enjoy my food so much, I’m not sure bread has much of a hold anymore.

WOW can’t believe you replied so quickly! thank you! Yes definitely a diet change can bring on new cravings for things on the diet instead of items like bread.. but you just mentioned something exciting.. you found an egg source that you have no reaction to? Are you able to share that source?
thank you very much!

LOL! You happened to catch me just as I was getting caught up on comments for the day. :) I am buying pastured eggs from a local farmer (he’s at the Sandy Springs Farmer’s Market if you’re local). His feed is custom made and includes corn and sunflower seeds (he thought it was soy free but wasn’t 100% sure). I was very cautious at first, but they seem fine, whereas other eggs typically give me very bad acne fairly quickly.

Timing is everything right :) You have a wonderful website. Thank you for doing what your doing.. it has been incredibly helpful during a very challenging time.
I just googled the farmers market and sadly am not near you but am happy to know what to ask for when I’m at my local market on the west coast. thank you and hope you have a lovely evening.

I know you posted a revisited version of this recipe without the flaxseed, but I was wondering if I could sub chia seeds instead.

Great recipe! Try adding your water at 110° along with your yeast into the bread machine pan and letting it sit for 10 minutes. Then add all the other ingredients and continue as usual. The bread should rise a bit more.

I am allergic to Tapioca, is there a possible substitution for it? In some other recipes, I use Arrowroot but it is already in the recipe. I am looking forward to finding a sandwich bread for my son’s favorite PB&J’s for school lunch and just haven’t found one yet.

I made this recipe and it baked up so pretty….but we just can’t eat this bread!! I’m wondering if it is the flax seed meal that doesn’t taste good??? I would consider making the other recipe sometime in the future…but not right now!

The revisited version of this bread is flax-free… but the flavor of this one was always really good (I worked on a flax-free version just because I learned it wasn’t a very healthy and wanted to stop giving it to my kids)…. so I’m not sure why yours doesn’t taste good. Was one of the ingredients rancid?

I just tried this recipe today for my newly paleo husband who is really missing his bread. I did not use my bread machine but rather mixed it by hand and put the dough into donuts pans before the last rising. The result was a yeast “bagel” which my husband absolutely loves! I’ve tried various paleo breads in an attempt to find something he likes and this is definitely the winner! Thank you so much for the awesome recipe!

Made this bread yesterday, and it’s good! Baked it in my oven instead of a bread machine. Just warmed the water up first before adding to the yeast mixture, then beat in the eggs (stand mixer), dry ingredients, and coconut oil. Baked at 350 for about 30 minutes in a special bread pan for gluten free breads which is a bit smaller but helps with the rising and structure of the bread. I think this will be my go to recipe to keep bread crumbs on hand, and it will be great in our Thanksgiving dressing recipe! Thanks for sharing!

This sounds great but it’s really high in carbs due to the Tapioca and Arrowroot flours. Can you recommend any substitute’s for those flours?

What is not healthy about flax meal? But then you use tapioca starch and arrowroot ???! I just do not understand!
Love your blog!

What a total disaster, still like liquid in the middle and no sign of solidifying. The whole looks like it will go in the trash. And the waste of money on all that flour.

I am just in the middle of making this recipe right now…. put it all in the bread maker and it wouldn’t turn on!!!… core would no heat up… so I dumped it into a bowl .. mixed it up and can’t wait to get it in the oven.. it doesn’t seem to be rising much, but from reading everyone comments it should be pretty dense.. can’t wait … keep the recipes coming…have ordered your book… can’t wait… thanks for all you do!

I made this bread yesterday. The loaf was dense and flavorful but had huge holes where the bread machine paddles are located. I’m thinking my almond flour was too “heavy”. Do you think grinding the almond flour to a smaller “grain” in my food processor will make a difference? I also thought of substituting 1 C of coconut flour for 1 C of almond flour to lighten it up and wonder if I need additional liquid because coconut flour seems to soak it up. I use a double paddle bread machine with a custom GF setting. Tapioca starch is a problem for me and I can only use arrowroot. Could that have contributed to the huge holes in the bottom of the bread? Thank you so much for this recipe. I love bread and it has been a struggle to find an acceptable GF loaf and even harder to find an acceptable paleo bread. Thank you so much for this recipe. I will keep “playing” with the ingredients until I can make it work for me.

I don’t really know, since my bread machine paddles are quite small. I definitely get a different texture with all arrowroot compared to using both arrowroot and tapioca, so that could be it. Usually to sub coconut flour for almond flour, you sub one quarter the amount of almond flour that you are replacing.

I will definitely try this!
Do you have any idea how to modify it to work as a sourdough bread? (using a sourdough starter).

You can melt it, but if the warming cycle in your bread machine is effective, then you don’t technically need to. — Tamar, Sarah’s assistant

When melting the coconut oil before measuring, it seems to take a lot more oil than scooping into a measuring cup does. Which way was the recipe designed to measure the coconut oil in, a solid or a liquid?

Hi! I am excited to try this bread. We are new to living Paleo and I find myself and my kids wanting baked goods. Could I use just Tapioca flour instead of both Arrowroot and Tapioca? The breads that I have made are ok, but not good for sandwiches. They have been more on the lines of banana bread. Thanks

I made this for this first time yesterday using all tapioca, although I did it without a bread machine and will have to make adjustments accordingly. And my very particular husband was pleased with the smell, taste and texture. It’s the first grain-free bread I’ve made in the last four months that received his approval. I only made a half-batch, and think I needed to increase the liquid by a tablespoon or two, as well as reducing baking time, as I believe I overbaked it. Good luck!

In the bread machine now. I made my own fine almond flour in the vitamix so I’m hoping it turns out well. Smells delicious!

I really want to try this recipe but I want to usecoconut flour instead of almond flour; would I still use 4 cups?

No. Coconut flour is very difficult to substitute because it is much, much more absorbent. You would need to use much less and may not get the desired results; Sarah recommends making her recipes exactly as written for the best results. – Christina, Sarah’s assistant

I used almond flour, 1 cup coconut flour, flax meal, and soy flour the mixture was dry so I doubled all the wet ingredients. I will let you know how it turns out

They’re very difficult to sub for each other since coconut flour is much, much more absorbent. You can try using half as much, but I can’t guarantee the results. – Christina, Sarah’s assistant

This must be what happened with mine. I halved the recipe but followed it so carefully to make sure I maintained the exact proportions. The only alteration I initially made was that I did half of the appropriate amount of almond flour as coconut flour because I simply cannot afford our prices here on almond flour. (The other flours are all pricey, but the almond flour price is jaw dropping.) The texture was complete crumbs, so I added an egg and some more water. The flavor of the resulting bread is wonderful, but it’s a crumble bread instead of a traditional sandwich bread. Are there any alterations that can be made so that almond flour isn’t a must? I’m extremely eager to find a paleo bread but will just have to go without until I can figure out a more affordable option.

Thanks for all the great recipes on here! We’ve tried several in a very short period of time, and we’re really loving the results!

Mine is still very dough like and not baking into a solid bread. I used the whole wheat setting for 1.5 pound medium darkness loaf and it won’t finish baking. I have a 10 min bake setting and I have baked it for an extra 1.5 hours and still not bread like/very wet and under cooked.

Sarah would you recommend a couple tbsp less of water and warming the water? I usually out the yeast on top of the dry ingredients (mainly because I used to cook my loaves overnight and ready for morning. Do you think I should try putting the yeast in the warm liquid below before I out the dry ingredients on top? Obviously I would not process overnight, just during the day. Hoping to avoid many attempts and having to throw out too many batches. Thanks, lstrench

Strange. Yes, reducing water may help. Also, have a look at your arrowroot powder package. If it’s actually tapioca and not arrowroot, that would explain the doughyness.

Any major problems if I leave the house with the finished loaf left in the bread maker? First time making this bread, first time using this second-hand bread maker without instructions, so it came as an unpleasant shock to discover the loaf will finish when I’m at dinner!

And I’ve had no choice but use all-tapioca; it seems that what is labelled ‘arrowroot’ in Australia is pretty much always tapioca.

Thanks in advance for your help, Sarah.

Thanks Christina. In the end, I decided not to risk my first loaf and stayed home to see it through. I should have known I would be the greatest risk of all; I had to have slice, then a second, as soon as it was done. Really amazing! Sarah is a genius! All tapioca worked fine too. But I also had the sunken middle issue, which would have been fine if I had the self-control to let it cool. Instead it collapsed into the best breadcrumbs ever. Can’t wait to make my second loaf!

I made this today and it was DELICIOUS. Thank you for a wonderful recipe. I didn’t have a breadmaker, so I followed the alternate directions. I love your site!

Sorry if someone has already asked… I don’t have time to read all the comments. Do you know a good egg substitute for this recipe (and for the Nut Free recipe, too)?
I have my first loaf in the bread maker. Hoping that the kids and Hubby will like it. I cannot eat it as I am egg free right now. It looks so good, it’s gonna be hard to resist!

I had the same question so I tried my bread machine (the big Zojirushi as it’s called) with the gluten free setting and it came out “under cooked” and too dense so I would like to know if the wheat setting is better as well.


I have a loaf going now in my bread maker. Any “regular” bread I’ve made in the past always forms a ball during the kneading cycle. This does not. Is it supposed to be that way? Or do I need more almond flour?

I used defatted almond flour (I didn’t know there is difference), and the bread was unfortunately a total disaster… :( Do you know what should be changed in the recipe, if I want to use defatted almond flour? Thank you!

I’d like to try this at home. I live in Holland and my mom and i started paleo. My quistion is how long can you save the bread after making? I hope my english is correct.

Bye rosa

I only had 3 cups of almond flour so I substituted 1 cup of hazelnut flour. It was the best bread I’ve ever eaten since going Paleo and possibly in my life. I’ve tried dozens of other recipes and wasted a ton of expensive ingredients only to toss out the so-called bread. This is REAL bread. Thank you!

I have tried this bread 2 x’s and it is too thick and does not turn out well. Not wasting anymore ingredients!

I made this bread in the oven tonight. There are a few suggestions I have for baking it in the oven as opposed to putting it in the bread machine. I mixed the yeast with a cup of warm water (100-110 F) and proofed it with some sugar, covered it and let it sit for 15 minutes. I whipped the eggs until frothy then added the honey, vinegar, butter, flax and let that sit for 5 minutes to thicken. I added the yeast mixture to the egg mixture and then I slowly stirred the wet into the dry ingredients but did not over mix it. I also figured out why some people are having trouble getting a nicely risen loaf. You have to let the dough rise, covered, in a warm place for one hour, then put it in the pan, THEN let it rise for one MORE hour in a warm place, covered, before baking it. That is the secret to a well-risen loaf! I baked mine in a regular sized loaf pan for 45 minutes, covering with foil after 30 minutes. It tastes heavenly! Thanks so much for posting such a great recipe!

I just put this in the bread machine so I am praying it comes out good since it will be the most expensive bread I have ever made! $10 a lb. (4 cups) for “blanched” almond flour!
Can unblanched almond flour be used? Not that it is much cheaper but just trying to see what options I have since I SO MISS MY BREAD! LOL!

I just made this yesterday. My GF flatmate said “yup, that’s bread!” You’re totally right that it is the closest you’ll get to gluten bread! No eggy flavour, but actual bread flavour. Very impressed. Solid enough to chuck in toaster too. Not like other GF ‘loafs’ that claim to be like bread but you have to toast under a grill(?!) I combined your oven method with Emily’s suggestions (previous posting, 25 Feb, 2015). I did use mineral water (fizzy water), 1/2 t salt, 4 C almond meal but will use 4 C sunflower seed meal (ground sunflower seeds) next time, due to the price of almond meal and I’ve read you can substitute 1:1. I used all tapioca flour as I couldn’t find arrowroot flour. I mixed yeast, fizzy warm water (40secs in microwave), and 1 t sugar and left for 15mins. Whipped eggs till frothy, then added honey, vinegar, flowing coconut oil (warmed it till flowy, not melted), ground flaxseed, and left for 5mins. Combined wet ingredients. Combined dry ingredients. Added wet and dry. Covered and let rise in warm spot for an hour. Scooped into normal sized bread/loaf pan (9×5″ or 23x13cm-ish), smoothed out top, covered, and left to rise in warm place for another hour. Preheat oven to 375F or 190C. Baked for 45-50mins covering with foil after 30mins. I put mine one rack below middle of oven. Cooled ( long as I could manage). Sliced and ate! I sliced up rest and put in freezer. No need to try further recipes! This one is it! The Holy Grail of GF bread has been found!

Oh and I used normal flaxseed (linseed), not golden. My bread has colour of light wheat bread as opposed to white bread. If kids refuse to eat wheat-looking stuff, you might want to hunt down the golden stuff lol.

Hi; I am allergic to eggs and was wondering if there was a possibility of making this bread without eggs. I usually substitute flax for eggs but you already have that in the bread. Do you think gelatin would work in this recipe?

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