Gluten Free For Good


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Update: The winner of a package of this awesome bread mix is Sherri. Lucky girl!

Who loves the golden-brown, crusty edges of a freshly baked loaf of bread?

That would be me.

Who prefers the soft, warm, sweet smelling center?

That part is good, but nothing like the crumbly texture and delicate taste of the crust.

Which do you crave? The crust or center? I’m curious, so let’s take a vote.

Leave your answer in the comment section below. You might be the lucky winner of a package of Montana Gluten-Free PrOatina Toasted Oat Bread Mix. There’s no right or wrong answer, although people do seem to have a definite preference for one or the other. I have a serious weakness for the crust, but I know others who are hopelessly addicted to the center. The winner will be randomly chosen by my 5 year old neighbor. It’s worth a comment; this bread is awesome.

Before I launch into this post, I have a disclosure to make. While I love my Montana Gluten-Free farmer friends, I don’t get paid to say nice things about them. I order my toasted oat bread mix online (check here) and pay full price like everyone else. The package I’ll be sending the winner was part of my recently purchased half-case of bread mix. My intention is simply to support the farmers who are doing it right. We get to vote with our forks (or bread pans in this case) and I vote for healthy, sustainable, gluten-free food choices. This is literally a “grass roots” movement and the more we know about what’s in our food supply and where it comes from, the better off we are.

Yes, I love this bread. Yes, I love these farmers. But here’s the deal. I have to be mindful about how much bread I eat. Baked goods are an occasional treat, so if I’m going to eat bread, I don’t want to waste my time, money, or my calories on the low grade stuff. Aside from being the best loaf of gluten-free (or not gluten-free) bread EVER, this toasted oat flour is a good source of protein and fiber and even contains some calcium and iron.

And here’s the kicker about the crust, which is absolutely divine on this bread. Check out that photo above. I made this loaf yesterday. Does that crust look incredible or what? My weakness is the end piece—still warm from the oven, slathered with real butter. Enough so that it drips down my chin with the first bite. Slurp.

Excuse me. I need to do a taste test. I’ll be back shortly. I have to make sure I’m not exaggerating. You know, for the sake of accurate reporting.

Okay, just as I thought. No exaggeration. It’s that good.

Back to the science behind the crust. I’m not sure how this translates to gluten-free oat bread, but a group of researchers in Germany found that the crust of a conventional bread mixture contained a unique, crust-only antioxidant that didn’t exist in the original flour. This health-promoting compound was eight times more abundant in the crust than in the rest of the bread. Pronyl-lysine is the high-powered antioxidant. It magically appears during the baking process. Magically as in a chemical reaction between certain amino acids and sugar in the presence of heat. A Maillard style love affair. An auspicious pairing that several studies have found increases the level of specific enzymes that are protective against cancer. How cool is that? Cancer fighting bread crust!

Luckily I’m already smitten with the crust. No need to force myself to increase my pronyl-lysine intake.

So, what is it? Crust or center? Be honest. Leave your answer below. Who knows? You might be eating your own loaf of this bread soon.

Peace, love and toasted oat bread crusts!
Cook’s Notes: I made the above loaf in the oven. No kneading necessary. This is my favorite way to make this bread. It’s easy and not terribly time-consuming. The crust comes out perfect. I’ve also made it in my old bread machine, which does NOT have a GF setting. GF bread doesn’t need to be kneaded and I can’t avoid that setting on my old machine, so it goes through the kneading cycle. The bread still comes out tasting great, it just doesn’t have this beautiful crust on it. My advice–make it in the oven or in a bread machine with a no knead setting. No matter how you do it, it’s a dynamite loaf of bread.

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88 Responses to “gluten-free toasted oat bread”

  1. Kelly Holderby says:

    I need both the center and the crust. With lots of butter.

  2. Oh my word, Melissa! This is one gorgeous loaf of bread! I’m a crust girl through and through. Those two end pieces? I’d practically fight you for them! No kidding. Being the baker in the house means I get dibs on the end pieces, so it’s good to know that I’m getting much more nutrition in the crust … fascinating really! I guess I should share though, huh? Hmmm.

    I happen to be eating a tuna sandwich on some homemade gf bread made with almond flour right now. Yum.

    Don’t enter me in the giveaway, but I will get some of this Proatina bread mix and give this recipe a try. Perfect fall *treat*!

    Thanks for this post! xo,

    • Melissa says:


      This really is good bread, no matter which way you slice it. Bread pun intended. =) I’ve been doing a lot of almond flour baking lately as well. I like it and have used it off and on for years, but am just getting into trying it in different ways. I used to use chestnut flour a lot, but it’s sooo expensive. I do like this toasted oat flour. There’s more interesting stuff on the horizon with these oats! I’ll keep you posted.

      • If it’s a fight for the end pieces, count me in. 🙂 Crust girl here as well.

        Melissa, I am so GLAD you said this is better in the oven and without a bread maker, as I have no breadmaker. Actually, my breadmaker is me 😉
        Off to go look into buying some mix…

      • Melissa says:


        I bought my bread maker many years ago and to be honest, I’m not as fond of bread from the machine. I like it better made by hand and baked in the oven. Plus, there’s something about the holes in the bottom of the bread that kind of weirds me out. =) BTW, this isn’t a paleo bread, but is high in good protein and is rather low glycemic. It’s just plain good, but like I said in the post, I have to be careful or I’ll overdo it! It makes the best grilled cheese. Seriously good.

  3. Dana Coughlin says:

    I am a crust person. I don’t even let the bread cool whether its yeast or quick, before I’m cutting the end off and slathering it with butter. Also I’m originally from Montana and would love to support a Montana company.

    • Melissa says:


      I’m with you on not waiting for the bread to cool. The warm crust piece is the best. Awesome on being from MT. I love MT and have spent a lot of time there in my life. Where in MT? You’d love these guys from Belgrade. Good old fashioned farmers. The best!

  4. Laura W. says:

    This looks fabulous! I love any and all parts of the bread! 🙂

  5. Janette says:

    Yum, I’m drooling right now and its right before lunch for me. I’ve pretty much given up on bread but would love to try this recipe. Sounds like a great accompliment to a hearty soup. Perfect for this unseasonably snowy weather we’re having!

    • Melissa says:


      I know, like I said in the post, I have to be super careful with bread, muffins, cakes, cookies — stuff like that. It’s a special treat to me. And let me tell you, there is nothing better than the occasional grilled cheese sandwich on this toasted oat bread! OMG!

  6. Janette says:

    Woops, I forgot to say that I love both the crust and the soft inside!

  7. Rebecca Bochenek says:

    I used to take the center of Wonder bread and roll it up and eat it like a ball of yumminess. Now I realize that stuff isn’t even bread. The toasted oat bread looks divine. I wish I didn’t have an oat intolerance, but my husband would love this!

  8. Jessica says:

    That bread looks beautiful. I am also a crust person and growing up so was most of my family. You would have to be really quick to get the good, crusty pieces or the corner brownies and other such delicacies!

    • Melissa says:


      I’m SO with you on the brownie corners. Crispy and toasted! Glad you added that! =) And yes, this bread is beautiful stuff!

      • Alta says:

        Ooh, brownie corners. I’m so there! I grew up with a mom that told us that the crust was where all the nutrition was – and as an adult, I figured she was just trying to get us to eat the heels of the bread so we wouldn’t waste them. Guess maybe she was right! I do love a GOOD crust on a bread…but I’m picky. And that loaf looks excellent.

      • Melissa says:


        OMG, your mom was so ahead of the times! Wow, I’m impressed. She was right.

        Yes, brownie corners. Swoon!

        Thanks for commenting!

  9. Hazel C says:

    I love both. Crisp crunchy crust, with a soft tender inside. Delicious! This bread looks amazing.Thanks for sharing.

    • Melissa says:


      You’re welcome! And as you can see from the comments, you’re not the only person who favors both the crust and the tender inside! Nothing wrong with that. =)

  10. Lisa says:

    Definitely the crust!

  11. Sandy says:

    I love the soft warm center….MMMMMMmmmmmmmmm
    This loaf looks wonderful.

  12. Michelle says:

    This looks absolutely delicious! I can’t wait to try it!

    • Melissa says:


      It is delicious and if you don’t win the mix, you should give it a try anyway. It’s only $6 for the package and if you’ve bought any decent loaves of GF bread lately, you know that’s a good deal!

  13. Karen says:

    Love both, for different reasons. The crust reminds me of my Grandmother’s rye-bread passion. She couldn’t live without having a loaf in the house, and would generously give me her crusts, though they were her favorite part of the bread, too. The chewy insides? They’re what I miss since going gluten-free. All of the breads I’ve tried are so dry and unappealing. Do you have a link to this recipe? It looks mouth-wateringly awesome!!

    • Melissa says:


      This bread has what you’re craving. The soft, sweet-smelling inside. It’s delicious. You have to make it from the mix. I don’t know what the recipe is, but the mix isn’t that expensive and you just add eggs, yeast, a little oil, water and some honey. It’s the toasted oat flour that makes is so heavenly. Check the links in my blog post. If you don’t win the mix, buy some and give it a try. You won’t be disappointed!

      BTW, your grandmother’s rye bread sounds amazing. Too bad we can’t eat rye!

  14. Margie says:

    I love the soft center. I have been wanting to make gluten free bread.
    Dreaming of the warm bread right now!

  15. I’ll take the center AND the crust for bread. But if we’re talking brownies, I’m all center. Those brownie pans that create a crust on every piece make me cringe!

    • Melissa says:


      Center and crust is good. You’re not alone in that assessment! Brownie pans that make a crust on every piece? Really? I’ve never heard of that. But leave it to a bunch of women to shift from bread to brownie talk! =)

  16. Joan Funk says:

    I LOVE the picture of this, it’s amazing. I am a heel type of girl, but love the soft center pieces too…would LOVE to win a bag of this mix.

    • Melissa says:


      I’d forgotten — it’s called the heel, isn’t it?! Thanks for pointing that out. I’ll cross my fingers that you win! =)

  17. Kari Nash says:

    I have to say I love the center. Nothing better than the ooey gooey softness of the bread with a slab of butter and honey on top. Oh my goodness I am actually drooling right now!

    • Melissa says:


      I forgot about honey! Thanks for the reminder. Butter, honey, and warm, fresh-from-the-oven bread are a match made in heaven.

  18. tanya ci says:

    I love the fresh from the oven end crusts, with butter, but the rest of the bread for french toast!

  19. Brenda says:

    This bread looks lovely. Would love to try it.

  20. I’m with you. I love that end piece with the hot dripping butter. Mine these days is dairy free. It’s so cool to learn about the properties of the crust. I actually have one of their oat bread mixes and have not tried it yet. I’m afraid of yeast but I’m trying to get over it. I like that this has no kneading. I’ll be giving this a try something this week. Can’t wait!

    • Melissa says:


      Funny you mention yeast, I’ve been thinking of trying this with half the yeast. Or maybe just slowly cut back until I see a difference. I’ll keep you posted as that has been on my “test kitchen” list!

  21. Annie Hall Milne says:

    I could barely find your blog to comment, I was drooling at the look & description of this crusty bread. Am I now entered to win this mix?
    I’m so impatient, I haven’t found the link where I assume this could be ordered from.

    • Melissa says:


      Yes, the bread is wonderful! If you click on the green highlighted links in the post, they will take you to the order link. In the meantime, you’re entered in the contest! Maybe you’ll win the mix. =)

  22. jennifer hampton says:

    Looks wonderful – would love to try it out!

  23. jennifer hampton says:

    Ooops – definitely a sucker for the soft middle part of the bread!

  24. Sherri says:

    That bread looks sooooo good and reading your description makes it look even better! haha…thank you for your informative and fun blog. I love reading it!

  25. Judy Blevins says:

    Thank you for sharing this with us…my adult son has been diagnosed with Celiac’s and has given up on finding a decent tasting bread…I can’t imagine having to give up bread…this would be a blessing and I will give it a try! Thank you so much!

    • Melissa says:


      I have celiac as well. This is good bread. The non-celiac people in my family even like it! That’s saying something.

  26. Martha Russell says:


    Wow! You bread looks wonderful- please send some my way. If it is home bread I don’t care which part I have!

    Here is a funny story- when our boys were little and didn’t want to eat the crusts on their sandwich we would tell them if they ate the crust it would put hair on their chest like the grown-up men!!!

  27. Marjorie says:

    I LOVE the center, but really, it’s about the combination of crust and center that makes any bread so wonderful. I’m with you Melissa, but I like the center piece of bread with lots of real butter! enjoy!

  28. Jenny Odegard says:

    CRUST, every time – definitely the crust. This one looks terrific! Proatina – is that like Montina Flour? I tried that and loved it for baking.

    • Melissa says:


      Proatina is lighter than Montina (my taste opinion). It’s lighter in color, texture and flavor. It’s more of a “universal” flour, where Montina has a bold “personality.” I like both, but you can use proatina in more ways. It’s a good “go-to” flour. You’ll love it! Yeah, for crust!

  29. Cid says:


    I’m for the crust every time. The ‘doughier’ the bread the more difficulty I have digesting it. As everyone on here knows I’m not GF so I do have the occasional sour-dough loaf which is time consuming to make and lasts much longer than conventional bread. Not everyone likes the taste or texture but to me, it stands head and shoulders above the rest…. not that I’ve tried that loaf of yours, I may have to eat my words one day 🙂

    Melissa don’t put my number in the hat…. I’m not worthy!


    p.s. I’m working on a GF ma’amoul…. if successful I’ll let you know.

    • Melissa says:


      I’m SO glad to see you! Well, I’m not worthy either as I’ve dropped off the blogging channel altogether. I’ll email you the details of why. =) Hmmm? I’ve not messed with my own sourdough starter, but plan to soon. You know, there are biochemical reasons you do better with sourdough. That could be a post in itself! This bread is being experimented as a sourdough bread (right now as we speak). I’ll keep you posted. And, I’m tempted to send you a package of the bread mix to experiment as a sourdough project. Are you interested?

      I hope all is well across the pond. I don’t know what ma’amoul is. I’ll google it and find out. THANKS so much for stopping by. I’ll be in touch!

      =) Melissa

  30. I don’t really eat bread, but if I did, this would be the one! Looks so good, all fresh and warm, and I’m with you, Melissa: Crust!

    • Melissa says:


      As I said in the post, I have to be very careful not to eat too much in the way of baked things, even when I make them myself out of healthy ingredients. I can overdo it in short order! But, yes, this bread is delicious! Thanks for stopping by. How did your cleanse go? Loved the looks of your green drinks. =) You’re the queen of that stuff. xo

  31. Cid says:


    I’m always interested in everything you’re interested in…. that just goes without saying. I’ve got my first bag of totally GF flour with which to create all manner of goodies. If any of them taste any good I shall name them after this amazing blog.

    My latest collection of vintage ma’amoul and speculaas molds are a joy to see. Not mine, but some go back hundreds of years… global cookie culture no less!

    Hold on to your seats my friends… at the weekend I made my first Kransekake for someone’s 25th wedding anniversary. A splendid thing it looked too and totally GF because it’s really a giant spiral of macaroon. Again, it’s a sweet treat to be enjoyed once in a while.


    • Melissa says:


      Thank you! Thank you! You might find you feel better eating non-gluten baked goods. I’m going to send you a package of this bread mix (one of these days when I come up for air). You’re not entered in the contest, you just get one. =) I have to look up ma’amoul and speculaas. Not to mention Kransekake. Once again, you’ve lost me in the dust. Thank goodness for Mr. Google. =)

      Macaroons are a favorite of mine. Well, you already know that. And a giant spiral of them sounds divine.

      I’m so glad you popped in to visit. I’ll be in touch soon. Hope all is well. Say hi to the gang at Table #5 (that’s if they even remember who I am).


      I’m off to a conference in the morning, but when things settle down, I’ll email

  32. Erin Block says:

    The crust! The crust! I miss baguettes so! 🙂 That oat loaf looks just like the ones my mom used to make…she used to grind her own wheat berries and everything. Gosh, we were killing ourselves and had no idea!

    • Melissa says:


      I’m not surprised you like the crust and I’m not surprised your mom used to make your bread, grinding the flour herself. Your mom and I were hippie girls back in the day. Flower children. I did the same thing. Made bread, belonged to a co-op (precursor to CSAs). Like I’ve always said, I think we have a long lost link somewhere between our families!


  33. paula says:

    I think I would enjoy this bread from end to end, and everywhere in between, it looks that good! Melissa, do you have a contact email?

  34. jaime says:

    I love the fluffy cloud texture of the insides of a warm, delicious buttery piece of bread. I gave up trying to find a gf bread for my family but your enthusiasm has tempted me to buy this wonderful creation and try it for myself! But is it still good and room temp? All bread is good warm. 😉

    • Melissa says:


      I have to say, you’re right. All (most) bread is good warm! This bread is good warm, toasted, as French toast, regular temp. You name it. It passes for awesome bread, regardless of whether it’s just out of the oven.


  35. Chelle says:

    Hey Melissa! To be honest, I like both crust and center equally. What calls to me is the smell. Mmmmmmm…the yeasty, warm, toasty smell right out of the oven. What a great treat.
    Speaking of which, I was wondering about this product. I had checked out their website after your first mention. I can’t tell if they have gums in the mix or not. Can you tell me?

    • Melissa says:


      Yes, it contains xanthan gum as the last ingredient. Here’s the list: PrOatina GF toasted oat flour, tapioca flour, PrOatina GF Oatmeal, salt, xanthan gum. Then you add eggs, water, oil, honey, yeast. The recipe says 1/2 teaspoon sugar, but I’ve never bothered with that. It also calls for 1 teaspoon vinegar as an option. I haven’t bothered with that either. I’ve made it with less yeast and it’s worked fine.


  36. Amanda says:

    I am completely new to this gluten-free thing. I’ve been experimenting the past two months after hearing friends say that their achy joints and hips and ankles went away after eliminating gluten from their diets. I thought I hurt all the time from beginning to run again. About two days into gluten-free eating, it was like switching off a light bulb. NO pain in my joints anywhere. I ate pretty strictly (what I thought was strict, anyway) and then, to make sure it wasn’t all in my head, ate some foods that were breaded. OUCH!!! Within two days I hurt all over again. AND it was over Halloween, so I ate a lot of Twizzlers. Guess what I found out today? Yup. Twizzlers (and most licorice) have gluten in them. SSiiigggghhh… I spent today making a list and talking with my husband about things I can’t eat anymore.

    And bread…. Homemade bread was my thing. My son is a chef because of making bread with me all the time. I like the crusts BEST. When no one eats the ends, I did! Hot out of the oven, slice the ends off and slather them in butter. My son is a “middle of the loaf” kid. He once ate the entire middle out of a loaf! LOL!

    • Melissa says:


      I loved your comment as I had so much joint pain in my shoulders that I actually slept with my arms propped up on pillows in sort of a traction-type thing. Once I went on a GF diet, the pain gradually went away. Now I’m pain free in my shoulders. I also practice yoga and know that is part of my recovery as well. But, gluten is nasty stuff on joints. It causes inflammation.

      Very funny about your son. Yes, people have preferences. Crust or center!

      Thanks for stopping by and taking the time to comment. I appreciate it!


  37. jess says:

    I love the crust, fresh out of the oven!

  38. lo says:

    I don’t know if I can choose between crust and chewy center, Melissa. They each have their delicious advantages. I love the crisp crunch of the crust, especially when toasted. But, I love the way the soft center embraces and lures every last bit of melted butter into its pores when eaten fresh from the oven.

    Either way, this bread looks awesome. Even to a gluten eater 🙂

    • Melissa says:


      I can always count on you to bring food writing up a notch! Great description. You should write a culinary romance novel! I love your writing.


  39. Marcia says:

    I recently began gluten free and it’s been hard to find a bread that’s satisfying. This one got my attention right away.. looks beautiful! I must say I enjoy a good crust, but the center is my fav. Going to try asap.

  40. Melissa says:


    Yes, it’s hard to find good bread. That’s why I’m so thrilled with this mix. I think you’ll like it!

  41. Tevis says:

    RJ and I are super duper stoked about getting the box full of this mix Mom! You’re the BEST EVER!!! Lots of grilled cheese sandwiches are on the horizon!

    • Melissa says:


      We already know you love the bread. =) Wait until you have a grilled cheese or French toast made with it. OMG, you’ll be blown away! BTW, Gary’s (the farmer growing it) daughter is in MA working on her PhD in agriculture or biosciences or something like that. She’s teaching classes. I love it that young people who know their way around GF farming are on this bandwagon. =)

      Love you!

    • Jessica says:

      An interesting ingredient that you might try is an Onion Soup Mix packet. Gives a wonderful smell and makes a delicious bread. I like to do it with wheat bread, and I use sour cream to give the loaf a good texture. (And, of course, nothing beats grinding your own wheat )

      • Melissa says:

        Thanks, Jessica! I can’t eat wheat, hence the oat bread recipe. The onion soup mix idea sounds interesting, indeed! I’ll have to see if I can find a gluten-free version of onion soup mix.

  42. Andrea M says:

    This loaf is beautiful – is that weird?! But the crust is a delightful texture in my mouth especially if dipped in something 🙂 Mmm.

  43. Carol James says:

    I like both inside and crust but the end pieces are best. You have made this bread sound so good I wish it was available in the UK! I’ll keep in mind next time I’m in the states.

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