Making a good gluten-free sandwich bread can be difficult, but this tapioca bread recipe with smoked paprika and nigella seeds makes it downright easy. Not only is it tender and flavorful, it also holds its shape when slicing and doesn’t crumble when layered with delicious fillings for a scrumptious sandwich.
The use of tapioca starch makes all the difference here. You can use any mixture of gluten-free flours for the remainder of the recipe, but as long as you include the tapioca flour, the result is consistently great and works beautifully for all sorts of sandwiches, from fresh to toasted. Try it with our Apple Butter Ham and Cheese Tea Sandwiches and Devilish Egg Salad Tea Sandwiches or go for something hot and comforting in our Fancy Grilled Cheese Ideas for Grownup People or Wagyu Beef Patty Melt.
Perfect Flours for a Tapioca Bread Recipe
Although this is called tapioca bread, it also includes other gluten-free flours. The tapioca starch gives this bread a lovely chewiness while the choice of other flours can lend a variety of distinctive flavors.
For this version I used a combination of buckwheat flour and gluten-free oat flour because I like the nuttiness of the buckwheat and the toasty sweetness of the oats. I think millet flour would also be beautiful in this loaf, and rice flour would work well, too, though it doesn’t give much in the way of flavor.
I used olive oil in this batch of tapioca bread because I wanted the spice to shine, but next time I want to try a nice nut oil such as walnut or hazelnut for an extra boost of flavor, warmth, and fragrance.
Include Flavorful Additions
Plain tapioca bread is perfectly splendid and can be used for both sweet and savory sandwiches, but if you know you’re going to use the loaf for only sweet or only savory, you can play with some additions that add another delectable dimension.
If you’re leaning towards sweeter sandwiches like grilled cheese with crunchy apple slices or caramelized onion jam, consider adding ground cardamom, ginger, or cinnamon to the bread dough. If savory is more your style, try dried dill, caraway seeds, or fresh lemon thyme leaves.
For this loaf I wanted color, flavor, and texture from the additions, so I added a tablespoon of smoked Hungarian paprika and a spoonful of black nigella seeds. I love the rich color the paprika gave to the bread and the wonderful crunch and beauty of the nigella seeds.
Soon I want to try a loaf with roasted garlic and some chopped fresh rosemary. It will smell heavenly while it’s baking.
Baking and Serving Tapioca Bread
The 45-minute baking time may seem too long for a loaf of bread, but the density of the batter makes it imperative. If you take it out earlier, you’ll end up with a loaf that’s still gooey in the middle. If you find that the top of your loaf is browning too quickly, simply cover the top loosely with a piece of aluminum foil, and that will protect the crust while the interior cooks through.
While you can slice this bread fresh out of the oven, it benefits from a few minutes of cooling.
Once sliced, this tapioca bread recipe is excellent for sandwiches but is also nice simply toasted and spread with butter.
Tapioca Bread Recipe with Smoked Paprika and Nigella Seeds
- 3/4 cup warm water
- 2 1/2 teaspoons instant yeast
- 1 cup tapioca starch
- 1/2 cup buckwheat flour
- 1 cup oat flour
- 2 tablespoons white sugar
- 2 teaspoons xanthan gum
- 1 teaspoon fine salt
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon nigella seeds
- 4 medium eggs
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
- Nigella seeds for topping
In a small bowl, whisk together warm water and yeast. Set aside.
In a large bowl, stir together tapioca starch, flours, sugar, xanthan gum, salt, baking powder, paprika, and nigella seeds. Set aside.
In another small bowl, whisk together eggs, olive oil, and apple cider vinegar. Add yeast/water mixture and mix well.
Add wet mixture to dry and stir until smooth.
Line bread loaf pan with parchment paper, pour in dough, and spread smooth. Sprinkle with nigella seeds. Spray plastic wrap with cooking spray and cover dough loosely. Set in warm place for an hour until it doubles in size.
Preheat oven to 350F.
Remove plastic from dough and bake about 45 minutes until top is golden brown.
Remove from pan and leave to cool on cooling rack.