Nut-Free Yeast-Based Paleo Bread

August 18, 2012 in Categories: by

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My original yeast-based paleo bread recipe has received so many enthusiastic comments.  I know that having a delicious paleo bread recipe has been essential in my home.  It can be a life saver with kids and for people struggling to adhere to a paleo diet.  Many of you have reported success making it without a Bread Machine, using the recipe as the base of a pizza crust, adding raisins and cinnamon to make cinnamon bread, and even using the recipe to make dinner rolls! 

This recipe is very similar, except it has no nuts.  I had several reasons for creating a nut-free yeast-based paleo bread.  Many of you have asked for a nut-free bread recipe for you children with allergies or to send with your child to their nut-free schools.  My mother-in-law is allergic to nuts and I want to have a good bread option for her visits.  I seem to be very sensitive to almonds especially, so while I can eat a slice of this bread occasionally, I can’t even eat a bite of my original yeast-based paleo bread recipe.  Plus, almond flour is very expensive.  This loaf is definitely cheaper to make.  Why use yeast?  Because that’s what makes this really taste like bread.  If you haven’t read it yet, you may be interested in my post Is Yeast Paleo? (hint: the answer is yes).

I spent over two months baking 2 or 3 variations of this recipe each week.  This recipe was much trickier to perfect than my original yeast-based paleo bread recipe (which wasn’t easy either!).  As such, I recommend measuring your ingredients carefully.  You may be able to get away with some substitutions (I think sunflower seeds would work in place of pepitas, for example), but if you make a lot of substitutions, I can’t promise your bread will turn out.

This bread holds together beautifully, so it’s great for sandwiches and toast (it takes a while in the toaster, but be patient because it’s worth it).  It’s also closer to a normal loaf size than my other recipes.  My loaves are typically a little over 3” high, equivalent size or slightly smaller than a 1.5 pound loaf in your Bread Machine (but it is denser).  My Bread Machine does 2-pound loaves, but I am very confident this would work in a 1.5-pound loaf machine (if anyone tries it in a 1-pound loaf machine, please comment as to whether or not it cooks through and fits into the loaf pans for those machines).  As with all gluten-free bread recipes, it doesn’t rise much.  That’s okay.  It also will never have a dome top.  That’s okay too.

I make this bread 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.  You’ll know to subtract a little water if your loaf is a little concave on top.  You’ll know you need to add water if the top is crumbly looking.  You can optionally use Mineral Water to add a little extra rise and lightness to your loaf, but the difference is small compared to regular water, which is what I am in the habit of using. 

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).  I store this bread in a plastic resealable bag with a piece of paper towel wrapped around it in the fridge.  I’ve also sliced and then frozen loaves with great success.


1.    Pulse pepitas in a food processor or blender until powdered (should be anywhere between the consistency of sand and finely ground nut flours). 
2.    Mix 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.
3.    Add coconut oil, coconut flour, ground pepitas, tapioca and arrowroot flour on top of wet ingredients.  Sprinkle yeast on top of the flour (or follow your Bread Machine’s directions).
4.    Use the whole wheat cycle on your Bread Machine.  Very Important:  My Bread Machine had a hard time mixing these ingredients because the dough is fairly stiff.  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 and maybe even help mix the dough, depending on your machine). 
5.    Remove promptly after your Bread Machine is done.  Enjoy!

If you want to bake this bread without a Bread Machine, these instructions reflect the best results reported by those of you who left comments on my original yeast-based paleo bread recipe or sent me emails to report on your success:

1.       Proof your yeast by warming the water (should feel comfortably warm and not too hot) and adding the yeast to the water.   You can do this in the bottom of your mixing bowl.  It should start to foam in 5-10 minutes.
2.       Add the flax meal and the rest of the wet ingredients to the proofed yeast.  Let sit for 2 minutes.
3.       Add your dry ingredients and stir to fully incorporate (you may want to use a standing mixer with a paddle attachment or you could do this by hand).  It would be helpful if your ingredients were room temperature or slightly warmer.
4.       Let rise in a warm corner of your kitchen for 45 minutes to 1 hour.  A great way to rise bread is to put in on your oven with the oven off but the oven light on.
5.       Pour the batter into a greased standard-sized loaf pan.  Spread out the top evenly.
6.       Let rise another 45 minutes (toward the end of that time, take it out of the oven if that’s where it was and preheat your oven to 350F).
7.       Bake for 55-65 minutes, until golden brown on top and a toothpick comes out clean.


Going to try this I just have to pick up a couple things…what is the difference between flaxseed meal and golden flaxseed meal? I have flaxseed meal just wondering the difference.

This is AWESOME!! We have nut allergies, but love the Paleo lifestyle. What might you suggest for a Arrowroot flour substitute?

I tried this and it was a disaster! I made it twice with the same result. The bread rose on the sides but the middle ended up being about a 2 cm high and the texture was awful. I followed the recipe exactly. I’m not sure how you got what you did. I’m hesitant to try this again but I may give it a go without the bread machine, I’ll let you know how that works out.

I’m sorry you’re having trouble with this recipe! Homemade bread can be very sensitive to the exact temperature, humidity and altitude of your kitchen. If yours is dramatically diffent from mine, that could explain the results. It sounds like you need to reduce the water. Most people would only need to adjust by 1-2 Tbsp for different kitchen climates, but given how low your middle is, I would try reducing to 1 1/4 cups.

Okay, I just made this without a bread machine and it turned out fantastic!! I have a fancy-dancy cuisinart breadmaker but I guess this was the problem. I live in the middle of Ohio in an air conditioned house so I knew that altitude and humidity wouldn’t really be a factor affecting my results. It is so simple to make even without the machine so this will definitely be a go-to recipe. Thank you so much! BTW, have you done any calculations to see how many carbs is in a loaf? I’m just wondering how much I could inhale before it got ridiculous!!

Can you knead this dough? We have the children knead and bake bread at our school and have been looking for substitute dough recipe that could be kneaded before baking.

There is a way to converter cup ingredients to grams, because I’m in italy and I don’t know haow much is cup or 1/3 cup.
Thank you

OK – I was so excited – smelled great, but it didnt seem to cook – it just dried out on the outsides and everything else was still dough. Any suggestions? The only substitution I made was sunflower seeds and I made it in the oven, in a glass loaf pan – following all other directions. Also, it looked very chunky on the top, not smooth like yours. Putting it back in the oven – we will see what happens…

Not baking through is a bit of an understatement. The crust is dry and crunchy, just inside of that is dough, nothing in between that even resembles cooked bread. So weird!

I’ll try again, another day!

Did you let your bread cool completely or cut when warm. Did you use a breadmaker or the oven? I’ve repeatedly made this and variants in the oven without issue.

This was my first attempt at making this bread. I followed the instructions for making in the oven, and the exact same thing happened to me. The dough rose beautifully, and then I cooked it for an hour and a half, and the outside was burnt and crumby and the inside remained doughy. The middle of the loaf also caved in quite a bit. I’ve had that happen before with other tapioca starch or arrowroot recipes, but I was hoping the coconut flour in this recipe would help. The bread toasted up nicely and the texture improved when toasted, but I’m not sure how to the avoid the under-cooked, doughy middle. Anyone have any suggestions?

I made my first loaf last night and mine didn’t sink too badly but cooking the middle was a challenge. I think I ended up keeping it in the oven for about 80 minutes. I made mine without a breadmaker. I think next time I will turn my oven down some (i think it’s warmer than it should be) and I’m going to try covering the loaf for the first half of the baking or so, so that the outside doesn’t crisp out and just lock all the moisture inside without letting it cook. We’ll see!
It does taste lovely and is good toasted, just hoping for more consistency in the next batch. I’m excited to try adding cinnamon and raisins too it after i figure out the perfect baking temp/time.

thank you for this recipe. i just made the other bread and it is definitely a keeper. since i am in high altitude i used one cup of water -4 tbs and only 1 tsp of yeast. it looks and taste great. a little dense so i think i need to remove more water.
regarding both breads – any way to make it with less starch. i am sure you already tried it – what were the results?

I tried at least a dozen variations for each bread (it was closer to 14 variations with the nut-free version). Removing the starch makes it even heavier and cakier. I wasn’t really aiming for something low-carb, so it was more important for me to make a delicious bread.

I’ve made this bread a few times – always with great success. It has been helpful with transitioning our whole family (we have 4 kids – ages 8 mths, 3, 6 and 8 yrs). Tonight I experimented with making a savory stuffing with our dinner – thanksgiving is coming and wanted to experiment :) – IT WAS A HIT!!! My oldest kids told me that they all wanted to cook paleo for their kids some day – I think that is a good sign :)

Thank you so much for this bread recipe! I love it and I’ve successfully been able to transition 2 out of 3 children to eating it instead of our gluten free bread purchases. I will get my 8 year old to try it one day and I know she’ll love it! I really appreciate that I can pack it in my son’s lunch for school and not worry about other children with nut allergies :)

I’ve been really inspired by your site; I’ve read almost the whole thing! My boyfriend and I have been Paleo since April and love it, though we run out of creative ideas. This bread is the first I’ve made from your recipes and it’s fabulous! I don’t miss bread, but my boyfriend does and he was very excited. We have tried other bread recipes, but they always turn out tasting like coconut or almond. Your bread is fantastic! Thank you so much!

You could probably squeeze all of this into a 1lb bread maker (it makes a fairly squat loaf in my 2-lb machine). I’d actually try the recipe as is (since it wouldn’t be very easy to do a 3/4 batch).

Paleo diet would be ideal if it eliminated these 4 very unhealthy ingredients. #1. Peanuts and pistachios- Highly contaminated with aflatoxins (very carcinogenic poisons given off by mold or fungus infestations with these two types of nuts). All other nuts are safe and beneficial for good health. #2. Corn- For pretty much the same reasons as peanuts. These top two are universally contaminated with mycotoxins (poisons given off by mold and fungus). #3. Yeast- If you are trying to eliminate or avoid yeast and fungal infections, keep away from yeast and sugar products, which feeds fungus. #4. Whole grains like wheat which can also be contaminated as well. Remember, Fungus and mold is everywhere! It’s in the air we breathe, the water we drink, the open wounds that we get and the food we eat. Fungus and mold are the underlying causes for so many devastating diseases!

Hello! I absolutely love your blog and podcast!! I tried this recipe and the colour and shape looked just like the picture however, the bread had the consistency of chewing gum. I’m not sure what I did wrong… It smelled fantastic as it was cooking. I woul greatly appreciate any feed back. Thank you.

I actually just bought for this purpose and opened the package right before making the bread. It has a best before date of Jul 08 2014.

This recipe looks great, but unfortunately my littlest has a raging allergy to pumpkin seeds (someone – who may have a leaky gut – ate a lot of them when pregnant/BF). I see that one reader above subbed sunflower seeds but it didn’t work out. How did you end up with pumpkin seeds and any idea what to sub? I could try almond flour for at home, but I’d love a nut-free option that I can send to school as well.

I’ve swapped out the coconut flour for chia meal (2/3 coconut flour replaced with 1/2 cup chia + 1/4 cup flax). I was looking for a flour that would absorb like coconut. I know that chia may not be considered great, but I have a couple of kids that are bothered by coconut flour. I haven’t had a chance to try some from another source yet. I also use 1/4 c olive oil instead of 1/3 cup coconut oil. Hoping this might help for someone who cannot use coconut products.

I made this in my bread maker and it turned out perfect! The recipe is perfectly exact because if anyone could mess it up it would be me. I’ve been cooking for a long time but baking has never been my strength. I am finding a lot of your recipes to be so so easy to make. Very grateful for all the experimentation you’ve done. I haven’t messed up a recipe yet!

Thank you so much for posting this! I can not tell you how many bread recipes I have tried that did not turn out at all. My 4 year old has been craving bread for months! This turned out so great! We had to add several tsp of water during the mixing cycle and replaced honey with stevia but other then that we stuck with the recipe. LOVE IT!

I made this recipe exactly as written, and it is AWESOME! It still has carbs, but with the no wheat or grains, it is great to be able to eat an occasional piece of bread! The loaf did not rise much, as was expected, but it was very moist. It has a slight hint of sweetness, probably from the honey and pumpkin seeds. I can imagine it would be delicious to add cinnamon and maybe a little Stevia to make it a bit sweeter, then toast your slice and spread cream cheese on it! Thanks for the recipe, it will be one I make often!

THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU! Finally I found it, the bread recipe that makes the family happy! I can’t tell you how many different kinds of bread I’ve tried in the past few months. I’m a songwriter, and my husband just last month told me that from now on I will have to write a song for every new bread I make – just to keep the balance… :o) Well, my search is over! This bread came out perfect!!!! I’m so happy!!!! Also, I should probably add that I am german, and as you might know: germans LOVE bread!!!! Maybe that explains my obsession about finding the perfect paleo bread since we’ve gone wheat and sugar free… :o)
So, again, a BIG THANK YOU from me to you for this wonderful recipe!!!

Hi Hope you had a nice weekend! Do you think there are any substitutions for eggs and the seeds? Would love to try to make this AIP friendly.. what do you think? Just got a bread machine but making bread is very new to me.. never made a loaf..thank you!

This was the best grain free bread I have ever tried! I used sunflower seeds because I didn’t have any pepitas and i used the gluten free setting on my bread maker. I had to bake it a bit longer, but the texture is so light and fluffy! You can even bend it and it doesnt break. Now I’m not sure exactly how to store it to keep it the same texture.

Thanks for the recipe! The paleo/primal world of baking almost always requires almond flour, which I try to avoid, so this is great! I tried it today and it seems to have turned out well…the heel tasted good, anyway; I’m still waiting for it to cool completely and think that it may become a bit less doughy in the center. I just have one question about your coconut flour measurements: do you pack your coconut flour into the measuring cup or do you use a looser scoop? Thanks!

I made this today in my 10 ish year old garage sale bread maker, messed it up, and it came out awesome! I accidentally added 1/4 cup each more arrowroot and tapioca then I was supposed to because I thought that my 1/4 cup measure was 1/8 cup. I think it may have made the bread a bit denser, but it tastes good, it rose, it slices, and it wraps wonderfully around sandwich contents (just a bit too fragile to use two pieces together, but that would be too much bread for us, anyway).
How do I store it? I looked through the comments, but I couldn’t find an answer. Right now, I have it in a ziploc bag on my counter.
Also, I noticed that you did a flax free version of the almond flour yeast bread. Did you ever manage to make a nut free yeast bread that was also flax free? I’m also concerned about feeding a lot of flax to my toddlers, and I’m hoping to use this for their lunches fairly regularly.
Thank you so much!

Have you tried adding any other leveners, like baking soda or powder? I am just curious as to how it would affect the density and rise and thought you may have had experience with this in all your trials :)

Perfect, that’s exactly what I was wondering. One more quick question. I don’t have any problem with gluten but cannot digest the fructans found in traditional wheat and flours. Could I add vital wheat gluten to this to improve the consistency and help the yeast? Would I replace it with something else? Do you know of any other recipes that use VWG and coconut flour, or how it could be used together? I am having a hard time finding any information since coconut flour is used most in GF baking. Thanks!

We are GF and some paleo as I can manage. Coconut flour seems to give some of us here digestive upset (not allergic to coconut). Any other options?

Hi Sarah,
First of all just want to say I absolutely love your blog! :)
I would like to know your thoughts on omitting the honey from this recipe – I have fructose intolerance so would like to avoid using it! I’m not sure whether to omit it completely or substitute it with something? Your thoughts?
Thanks :)

Hi, can you explain the difference between tapioca & arrowroot? I just bought “arrowroot” flour, but in brackets it says tapioca.
Also, is it important that I use apple cider vinegar, or could I just substitute with white vinegar or balsamic vinegar?
Thanks heaps, loving all your recipes & responses :-)

You could definitely use a different type of vinegar in this recipe. Arrowroot and tapioca are ground up starchy tubers, from two different types of tuber (tapioca is from cassava, arrowroot is from Florida arrowroot). However, sometimes tapioca is labelled as arrowroot (just to make things complicated), so what you have is actually tapioca (comes from the cassava root).

Hi! I just tried this recipe today. We are gluten free due to celiac disease, and I’ve been fussing with a good gluten free bread recipe for four years. I have a very good one that is all sprouted gf grains, and while it is delicious, it is extremely persnickity, and often falls in the center for no apparent reason. I have to say I’m really impressed with this recipe. I doubled it, but it ended up making three large loaves (did mine in the oven). I did have to add some water (about 1/2 cup for a double recipe), but I realized AFTER I dumped the pepita meal in that I measured the meal, rather than the seeds, so that’s probably why mine was so stiff. My four children devoured a whole loaf this evening. It’s still warm, so I’m interested to see how it works for sandwiches once it’s cool. So far, I love it. Oh, and I also used chia meal rather than flax because we limit flax due to the phytoestrogens. Thanks for all the trial-and-error and work that went into making a great recipe that came out the first time for me!

I’ve seen a number of questions as to whether other seeds would work in place of the pepitas. I was out of pepitas AND sunflower seeds, so I tried ground hemp, and it worked quite well. Just FYI.

Made this tonight- non bread machine version- and it turned out absolutely marvellous! Perfect golden crust, wonderful bready smell and the taste reminds me of a malty pumpernickel. I’m going to try the almond based one as soon as I can.

Hi, love your site, I have been making Elana’s Arrowroot flour Paleo bread but would like try something different. I do have a concern with the carbs in the Arrowroot flour but figure, in small quantities it should be OK. I have only proper Arrowroot flour at the moment, can I use only this or should I purchase some Tapioca as well, which strangely is also sold as Arrowroot flour? :)

Thank you Tamar, my concern is, as Tapioca is one of the worst Paleo flours to use, can I use another flour to replace it? Correct me if I am wrong, but I am not sure this has been asked and answered yet. :)

It’s really important for the texture and no other paleo flour I’ve tried behaves like it. That being said, you can use another starch, but you’ll get a more crumbly bread.

Hi…I’m new to the Paleo way of eating and am very excited to try some of your recipes and possibly, hopefully get my 13 year old son (diagnosed with ADD) on to eating as such as well. This boy is addicted to carbs! One BIG problem is that he is deathly allergic to nuts, which we can deal with no problem…but, he’s also allergic to eggs and I see that pretty much every bread/biscuit recipe calls for eggs.
Have you experimented with any egg replacements in your recipes at all?

This bread is AMAZING! I’ve been grain free for three years and have tried 30+ bread recipes and this is by far the best. Nothing comes close in comparison. My 2 year old and husband love it as well! I had to bake it for 80 minutes because I used a smaller pan but turned out awesome!

The oil can be replaced with any other cooking fat, like lard or palm shortening. The flour is much more difficult to sub because it is very absorbent. You could try almond flour but would probably need to use more, and I can’t guarantee the results. – Christina, Sarah’s assistant

Oh wow- this is so good I could cry. We started Paleo recently and we were really missing bread- and I was concerned we were eating way too many nuts. THANK YOU. It really is wonderful :)

I don’t know if this recipe would help hold in the air with yeast. Although, I guess hypothetically, you could use yeast for flavor, then add baking soda at the end…. hrm. not sure.

I haven’t tried either of your yeast bread recipes yet (just found you today), but I will. I was wondering about mixing the two, i. e., half almond flour and half tapioca/arrowroot/seed. Any guesses as to how this would turn out? We don’t have nut issues and thought it might reduce the carbs. Thanks so much for all of your work in experimenting.

Almond flour does not have the same properties as tapioca and arrowroot. I can’t say how it would turn out because I haven’t tried it, but Sarah recommends making her baked goods exactly as written for the best results. – Christina, Sarah’s assistant

Have you ever tried cooking with brewers yeast? I’m trying to incorporate it into my diet for healing acne but I’m struggling to find a good way to consume it, I figured a paleo break recipe would be great and of course thought of your yeast bread!

Would Brewers Yeast (Lewis Labs) work as a substitute here…??


Sarah recommends making her recipes exactly as written for the best results, but I have seen accounts of brewer’s yeast working out alright in bread. If you try it, let us know how it turned out! – Christina, Sarah’s assistant

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