Gluten-Free Pumpernickel Bread for the Bread Machine

Karen's Gluten-free Pumpernickel Bread
Karen's Gluten-free Pumpernickel Bread

You might wonder why I have a gluten-free pumpernickel bread machine recipe on an RV site. The answer is simple: I can’t have gluten, but I love Reuben sandwiches, and for that, I need the bread.

Unfortunately, commercial, gluten-free pumpernickel bread is not available at any price. What’s a girl to do?

The Quest for Gluten-Free Pumpernickel Bread

After discovering that I am gluten-intolerant (if not celiac), I bought a bread machine, a gluten-free bread machine cookbook, and at least 47,000 GF flours, starches, leaveners, utensils, and everything else. Armed with these resources, I set to work to make gluten-free pumpernickel bread in the bread machine. Should be easy, right?

Well, my first try was a big flop!

Gluten-free pumpernickel bread flop
Whoops! That didn’t work!

Not one to be deterred, I tried the same recipe in the same machine but added a little more water. That loaf was almost edible.

Frustrated, I returned the first machine and purchased the best domestic bread machine money can buy. This one has two paddles and all kinds of other bells and whistles. I tried the original recipe in the new machine with slightly better results. It tasted good, but the top sank, and it fell apart in our Reubens.

Second Gluten-Free Pumpernickel Bread Flop
A little better but not the pumpernickel I was looking for

When in Doubt, Do More Research

Getting a bit desperate after my third try, I contacted the bread machine company. They advised me how to alter my recipe and the machine settings, though they had never tested gluten-free pumpernickel bread in their machines. I tried again and got almost exactly the same results.

Still determined, I scoured the internet for days looking for a recipe, but nothing was quite right. I temporarily gave up and made a successful loaf of plain bread from the bread machine recipe book.

The Seventh Try is a Charm

Finally, although I had no idea what I was doing, I created a spreadsheet that compared the ingredients of the successful, gluten-free plain loaf from the bread machine book to the unsuccessful, gluten-free pumpernickel loaf from the cookbook I bought.

It was tricky to compare the two recipes because the plain bread recipe was for a 2-lb loaf, and the pumpernickel recipe was for a 1.5-lb loaf. Unphased, I hacked out a gluten-free pumpernickel recipe based on the ingredients of the two completely different breads. Then, throwing caution to the wind, I tried it.

Successful Pumpernickel Bread at Last

The bread looked a lot different while it was in the machine. The rise was better, and best of all, it didn’t fall after baking. The ultimate test came after slicing and tasting it. We couldn’t tell the difference from the gluten-based pumpernickel bread we used to buy at the store!

Finally, a successful loaf of gluten-free pumpernickel bread. Reuben sandwiches await!

I know how hard it was to find a good, gluten-free pumpernickel bread machine recipe, so I had to share. I hope you enjoy it!

Karen’s Gluten-Free Pumpernickel Bread

Makes a delicious two-pound loaf in your bread machine. It has the taste and texture of gluten pumpernickel.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time2 hrs 15 mins
Resting time15 mins
Total Time2 hrs 45 mins
Course: Bread
Cuisine: German
Keyword: Gluten-free, Make-ahead
Servings: 10 slices
Calories: 191kcal


  • Bread machine
  • Kitchen scale
  • Instant-read thermometer
  • Large mixing bowl
  • Medium mixing bowl or 4-cup measuring cup
  • Small bowl
  • Whisk
  • Silicone spatula
  • Wire cooling rack
  • Oven mitts


Dry Ingredients

  • 9 g Active dry yeast approx. 3 tsp.
  • 280 g Buckwheat flour
  • 175 g Potato starch
  • 35 g Brown rice flour
  • 35 g Sweet rice flour
  • 15 g Tapioca flour
  • 7.5 g Kosher salt approx. 1½ tsp.
  • 3.65 g Unsweetened cocoa + espresso powder approx. 2 tsp.
  • 3 g Onion powder approx. 1 tsp.
  • 7 g Caraway seeds approx. 1 TBSP
  • 8 g Xanthan gum approx. 1 TBSP
  • 0.25 g Ascorbic acid approx. ⅛ tsp.
  • 13 g Brown sugar approx. 1 TBSP

Wet Ingredients

  • 360 g Nonfat milk approx. 360ml, warmed to 80°F or 27°C
  • 13 g Apple cider vinegar approx. 1 TBSP, shaken first if settled
  • 42 g Light olive oil approx. 3½ TBSP
  • 60 g Molasses approx. 3 TBSP, not blackstrap
  • 150 g Eggs approx. 3 large, room temperature


  • Put the yeast in a small bowl and set aside.
  • Whisk the remaining dry ingredients together in a large bowl.
  • Add the warmed milk to a 4-cup measuring cup or a medium bowl. Add the molasses to the milk and whisk until well combined.
  • Add the eggs to the liquid, and whisk again. Add the remaining wet ingredients, and whisk again.
  • Pour the liquid ingredients into the bread pan.
  • Add the dry ingredients (excluding the yeast) to float on top of and completely cover the wet ingredients. Make a well in the center, and add the yeast.
  • Put the bread pan in the machine, and choose the Gluten Free cycle with a medium crust.
  • A few minutes after the machine reaches the kneading cycle, use a silicone spatula to gently push any flour stuck to the sides of the pan into the middle of the dough. Don’t open the lid during the rise or bake cycles.
  • When the bake cycle is complete, verify that the inner bread temperature is at least 206°F on an instant-read thermometer. If it's not, add extra baking time on the machine, or bake in a 350°F oven until it reaches the correct internal temperature.
  • Remove the pan, and let it sit for about five minutes; then slide the bread onto a wire cooling rack. Let it cool completely (at least two hours) before slicing.


This recipe was developed for the Zojirushi BB-PDC20BA Home Bakery Virtuoso Plus bread machine and makes a two-pound loaf.
If you need a kitchen scale, I found a $20 version that I love on Amazon!


Here’s the “skinny” on the bread. (snicker)
Nutrition Facts for Karen's Gluten-Free Pumpernickel Bread

Try the Bread Recipe Converter

Want to create our own bread recipe? Try the auto-calculating spreadsheet that compares two recipes and helps you create your own. See a sample.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating