Gluten Free Portuguese Bread

Published on Aug 21, 2023

  by   Kristina Stosek

6 reviews

Prep Time: 15 minutes Cook Time: 70 minutes Serves: 1 loaf
Add a Rating
​This post may contain affiliate links, please see our privacy policy for details

Gluten free Portuguese bread known as Pão de Mafra has a light crumb, chewy texture, and a thick crust. This delicious bread is egg-free, dairy-free, nut-free, and acceptable for a plant-based diet. Portuguese cuisine has a wide variety of bread with unique characteristics and flavors. However, this gluten free version of Pão de Mafra is one of their favorites.

gluten free vegan, round Portuguese bread, sliced

How to make gluten free Portuguese bread?

To get the texture of gluten free Portuguese bread, you will need a carefully measured combination of flour and starch. This bread can’t be made from all-purpose gluten free flour blend. 

For best results, you should weigh the flour and starch. If you use the measuring cup method, fill the cups with a spoon, then level off with a knife. DO NOT dip the cup into the flour/starch.

Special equipment you will need

Electric stand mixer or electric hand mixer (I don’t recommend doing it by hand, you will not get the same results)

9-inch round pan such as a springform pan or a 9-inch cast iron pot (you don’t need a lid)

kitchen scale


Prepare the pan or pot. 

Take a large piece of parchment paper and wet it with warm water. Then squeeze any excess water and line your 9-inch pan or pot, including the sides.


Make the psyllium gel

Using a small bowl, whisk water with psyllium husk powder (not whole psyllium husk). Set aside. The mixture will become a thick gel.

flour mixture in a bowl with a whisk


Whisk the dry ingredients

In a large mixing bowl, whisk dry ingredients. White rice flour, millet flour, potato flour, tapioca starch, potato starch, yeast, xanthan gum, sugar, baking soda, and salt. 

portuguese bread dough on a flat paddle of the mixer


Prepare the wet mixture

Using a medium glass bowl, heat 2 1/2 cups of water in the microwave to 125 F. Whisk in olive oil, apple cider vinegar, and the psyllium gel mixture. 

bread dough in a pot before proofing


Mix dry ingredients with wet

Gradually add the wet mixture into the flour, and using a flat paddle, beat until smooth. About 3 – 4 minutes. Scraping sides as needed. The dough will be very sticky. Once the dough is formed, add about a tablespoon of oil to the bowl and coat the dough using a spatula with the oil

portuguese dough doubled in a pot after proofing


Proof the dough

 Place the dough in the prepared pan/pot and lightly cover it with a damp towel. Place the pot in a slightly warm oven for 1 hour or until the dough rises to the top of the pan/pot. This method speeds up the time it takes for gluten-free bread to rise.

baked portuguese bread in a cast iron pot lined with parchment paper


Bake the bread

Preheat the oven to 425 F and bake for 10 minutes. Then reduce the oven temperature to 375 F and continue baking for 50 – 60 minutes until the crust is dark brown. Your bread will keep its shape when it is completely baked. 

baked round portuguese bread

What should be the internal temperature of gluten free baked bread?

If you are unsure if the bread is done, use an instant-read thermometer by inserting it to the bottom without touching the pan. The temperature should be approximately 205-210º F when it is baked.

close up of sliced portuguese bread

Serving suggestions for gluten free Portuguese bread

As a Side to Meals: Pão de Mafra can be served as a side accompaniment to a wide range of dishes, such as stews, soups, salads, grilled meats, and seafood. Its crusty exterior, and soft interior make it perfect for sopping up sauces or enjoying a hearty bowl of soup.

Sandwiches: Use slices of Pão de Mafra to make delicious sandwiches. You can create traditional Portuguese-style sandwiches with ham, cheese, sausage, and vegetables. 

Toast and Toppings: Toast slices of gluten free Pão de Mafra and top them with spreads like butter, jam, honey, or Nutella for a simple and satisfying breakfast or snack.

Bruschetta: Slice the bread and toast or grill it lightly, then top it with diced tomatoes, fresh basil, garlic, olive oil, and a sprinkle of salt for a tasty bruschetta appetizer.

Cheese and Charcuterie Board: This Portuguese bread is an excellent addition to a cheese and charcuterie board. Pair it with various cheeses, cured meats, olives, and fruits for an impressive spread.

Dipping Oil: Cut the bread into slices or chunks and serve it with a dish of high-quality extra-virgin olive oil mixed with balsamic vinegar, garlic, herbs, and spices for dipping.

Traditional Portuguese Snacks: Try it with typical Portuguese accompaniments like olives, cured chorizo, or Portuguese-style sardines for a taste of Portuguese cuisine.

Open-Faced Sandwiches: Top toasted or grilled slices of Pão de Mafra with ingredients like avocado, smoked salmon, cream cheese, or poached eggs for an elegant open-faced sandwich.

Sweet Treats: While not traditional, you can also use it as the base for a bread pudding or French toast for a unique twist.

sliced gluten free round portuguese bread

Exploring different types of gluten free bread can be an adventure, allowing you to discover new tastes and textures you may not have encountered before. Whether you’re a bread enthusiast or simply looking for a new gluten free bread recipe, I recommend trying this gluten free Pão de Mafra.

You may also find this post helpful for some bread recipes you tried.  Why Your Gluten-Free Bread Failed and How to Fix It.

Do you need another bread recipe? Check out our complete list of gluten free savory and sweet bread recipes.

Let’s Connect!

Be sure to FOLLOW US on FACEBOOK and PINTEREST. And don’t forget to sign up for our newsletter, the form is at the bottom of this page. We always have something new and exciting for you! 

Many thanks!

Kristina xx

Leave a Comment

Add a Rating

Leave a Reply

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