Gluten Free Soft Bread Recipe

by Carol Kicinski on April 3, 2013

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For most people a bread binge is consuming a lot of bread in a short period of time. For me it is baking a lot of bread in a short period of time.

I was on a quest for an incredibly easy,  soft, gluten free white (or sandwich) bread recipe that literally anyone could make. And since I have no patience, I wanted to be able to enjoy warm bread in an hour or so not an afternoon.

Aside from being dead simple to make, quick, soft, and tasty, I wanted the bread to be gum free. Psyllium husks are great for use in gluten free baking, they are cheaper and easier to come by than xanthan gum and don’t cause the tummy upsets that gums can for some people. While I have used psyllium husks in gluten free baking I had yet to try it in bread.

I feel a little bit of a ramble coming on so if you would prefer to just scroll down and get to the recipe, be my guest!

The first loaf I baked tasted fantastic, it was light, moist, and soft, it rose up beautifully and sliced well – pretty much everything I wanted – except it sunk in the middle. Not a lot, but enough to send me back to the drawing board (or in this case, kitchen.)

I should tell you that my husband said I could call the recipe a success; he loved the first loaf and didn’t understand why a little sinking in the center was such an issue. Additionally he thought the answer to the problem was to let the bread cool upside down on the cooling rack. I should also tell you that he is not a recipe developer and never will be.

So began the painstaking process of changing just on tiny thing at a time; a half teaspoon less yeast, a tad less salt, more sugar, less water, more psyllium husks, less psyllium husks… With each tiny correction I came closer and closer and the dent in the center began less and less pronounced.

The final change was to swap out the water I had been using in the recipe with milk; I figured a tad more protein couldn’t hurt. That did it – no more sinking!

Although I didn’t try it, I am thinking if you are dairy free you can use a high protein milk substitute like soy or you can just use water, it will sink slightly in the middle but it will still be soft, tasty, quick, easy, and gum free! And you can always try the letting the bread cool upside down suggestion from my hubby.

Prior to creating this recipe I always thought a good stand mixer was essential to baking homemade gluten free bread. Interestingly, this recipe worked best with just a bowl and a whisk. Yep. Seriously, this recipe just keeps getting easier and easier.

gluten-free-Soft-white-bread-ingredients

Here are a few more thoughts and notes about the recipe, just in case you are interested.

  1. I used Erawan brand white rice flour, glutinous (sweet rice) flour, and tapioca starch. Asian flours are milled finer thus giving superior results when you are looking for a soft, even texture and they are about a third of the price of the flours and starches you get at the health food store.
  2. Look for psyllium husks in the supplement department of your health food store; it is typically sold where they sell colon cleansers and such. Try not to think about that when you are buying it.
  3. Be sure to grease AND flour your loaf pan; if you just grease it your bread may get a little soggy at the bottom.
  4. Heat your milk or water to warm (about 110 degrees) not hot. If you stick your finger in it, the liquid should feel warm and you can keep your finger in there for several seconds comfortably.
  5. Let your yeast proof until it is has a nice head of foam (like a glass of beer) about an inch thick. If you store your yeast in the fridge, it may take about 10 minutes.
  6. Measure your psyllium husks carefully. Trust me, after making 19 loaves of bread I found that exactly 1 level tablespoon is the correct amount.
  7. The batter for this bread is thinner than you might expect – it is similar to a thick pancake batter.
  8. Don’t let your batter rise too much; it should come just under the top of your pan for the best results.

So there you have it, soft, gluten free bread that could not be easier. Enjoy!

And one last thing! To make thing even easier, click here to see my cooking demonstration of this recipe on Daytime TV.

Gluten Free Soft Bread

Gluten Free Soft Bread Recipe

Ingredients

1¼ cups warm (110 degrees) milk
4½ teaspoons dry active yeast
3 tablespoons sugar, divided use
1½ cups superfine or Asian white rice flour
1 cup tapioca starch
½ cup glutinous (sweet rice) flour plus more for preparing the pan
1 tablespoon psyllium husks powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
3 large eggs
¼ cup grapeseed or vegetable oil plus more for preparing the pan

Directions

Whisk together the milk, yeast, and 1 tablespoon of sugar. Let sit until the yeast has proofed (almost double in size with a head of foam about 1 inch thick), 5 – 10 minutes.

Grease a 9.25 by 5.25 by 2.75 inch loaf pan with oil. Sprinkle in some sweet rice flour, coat the pan, and tap out the excess.

Whisk the rice flour, tapioca starch, sweet rice flour, psyllium husks powder, salt, and remaining 2 tablespoons of sugar. Add the proofed yeast mixture, eggs, and oil, and whisk until smooth and lump free. Pour into the prepared pan, cover with a clean tea towel and let rise in a warm, draft free environment for 20 or 25 minutes or until the batter comes almost to the top of the pan. Preheat the oven to 375 while the bread is rising.

Bake the bread for 30 – 40 minutes or until golden brown. Let cool in the pan then remove to a wire rack to finish cooling.

Servings:

Makes one 9×5 inch loaf

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Categories:    Breads

{ 63 comments… read them below or add one }

Kalinda April 4, 2013 at 11:00 am

Haha, the part about your husband is too funny. A similar situation plays out in our kitchen frequently.

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Carol Kicinski April 6, 2013 at 9:23 pm

Those hubbies – they like to get theoir two cents in there, don’t they?

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Laurie Barrie April 4, 2013 at 11:20 am

I remember early on, probably 20 years ago, trying to bake a loaf of gluten-free bread with only rice flour and soy flour. They fell and came out so dense I could have killed someone with them! Many loaves went in the garbage! It’s great to have so many flours to work with these days.

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Carol Kicinski April 6, 2013 at 9:22 pm

I hear you Laurie! I clearly recall my first attempt at gluten free bread 20 years ago – complete and utter disaster!

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Maggie April 4, 2013 at 11:55 am

I remember all the attempts I made for my first bread recipe :) Many of them were okay for us to eat, but not to share with the world! This one looks fab Carol. I love a good bread binge!

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Carol Kicinski April 6, 2013 at 9:20 pm

Thanks Maggie – nothing like a good bread binge to keep the spirits up :)

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Kathryn April 4, 2013 at 2:17 pm

Actually letting the loaf cool upside down on a cookie rack works pretty well for that perpetual sink in the middle. It’s been my own solution rather than adding more gums to the mix. :)

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Carol Kicinski April 6, 2013 at 9:20 pm

Hi Kathryn, ok so now I am going to have to tell my hubby he is right! That will make him very happy :) Thank you!

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Melissa April 4, 2013 at 6:44 pm

I’m avoiding white bread like fire. I’m definitely going to try your recipe!

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Carol Kicinski April 6, 2013 at 9:19 pm

Hi Melissa, I understand! I will be working on some more easy bread recipes with more whole grains so check back! I hope you enjoy this recipe.

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Venus McKenzie April 5, 2013 at 8:28 am

I’m new to gluten free eating and baking. So I’m confused about glutinous rice flour. What is glutinous rice flour and is it consider to be gluten free? Also I’m vegan how can I substitute the eggs in these recipes?

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Carol Kicinski April 6, 2013 at 9:18 pm

Hi Venus. It can be confussing! Glutinous rice flour does not have gluten in it, it comes from a sticker rice which is why it is called “glutinous”. It also goes by the name of sweet rice flour. I would try using egg replacer for 2 eggs and possibly you may have to add a tablespoon more liquid. I have not yet tried it that way, but it should work. You may get that little indentation in the center as it falls slightly when you make it vegan as I found the increased protien helped with that but it will still taste great and you can always try cooling it upside down like my husband suggested :)

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Pam April 5, 2013 at 9:06 am

Does it have to be psyllium powder & not husks?

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Carol Kicinski April 6, 2013 at 9:15 pm

I use the powder because it is easy for my to find but I believe there is no diffence. I would not swear to it though, it is just what I have heard, no actual hands on expirience. Good luck!

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Bonnie April 18, 2013 at 11:04 am

I could not find the psyllium with out the husks so I used it and my, o my, we are smiling for we are eating white bread. It rose lovely and the taste is so much like my home made white bread with reg. flour (that we have been missing so much, by the way!) hope this helps.

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Carol Kicinski April 19, 2013 at 9:13 am

Great Bonnie, did you just add the husk whole or gind them up?

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Bonnie April 22, 2013 at 7:51 am

hmmm, you know it just said, “psylliym with husks” its not a powder like flour is, it reminds me of All Bran flakes that you use in muffins (it is cream in color, the one that comes in the green box) I purchased mine at a bulk barn where you can purchase just what you need. I did ask for the powder but she said this is all they have. Sorry I can’t help more.

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Carol Kicinski April 22, 2013 at 7:52 am

That’s ok Bonnie. Thanks. I am really happy to know the recipe works with both ground and whole husks!

Bonnie April 29, 2013 at 7:17 am

Hi Carol,
I did research on the “psylliym” yes it was with the Husks.
I am thrilled that it works with it for I couldn’t find the powder and the owner of the store
where I purchased it said there isn’t the sales to carry it.
Again thanks for the recipe!!!! Best bread yet!!

gfandme April 6, 2013 at 2:02 pm

This bread looks fantastic. Bread that’s good for sandwiches has seemed to be the biggest GF challenge so far!

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Carol Kicinski April 6, 2013 at 9:05 pm

Thank you! And it is really so easy. Enjoy!

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Salima April 7, 2013 at 5:02 am

This bread looks fantastic. I’m definitely going to try your recipe! Thank you for your informative post.

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Carol Kicinski April 8, 2013 at 9:28 am

My pleasure Salima, thank you!

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Maria Whitman April 8, 2013 at 3:23 am

“The final change was to swap out the water I had been using in the recipe with milk; I figured a tad more protein couldn’t hurt. That did it – no more sinking!”

Its all in the experimentation. Keeping trying you’ll eventually get there in the end.

I’ve never tried gluten free bread before, but I will definitely give this a try. I’ve been baking my own bread as the so called white bread they sell in stores is not real bread. Plain white bread should only have 3 key ingredients flour, water and salt. But the white bread in stores is full of emulsifiers and other ***p that I would not touch it.

Thanks for posting.

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Carol Kicinski April 8, 2013 at 9:24 am

Thanks Maria. Unfortunately in my expirience, gluten free bread can’t be made so simply. Gluten free flour lack the protuen from the gluten so it needs something like eggs or flax or chia seeds or something to help hold it together.

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Nancy Olson April 8, 2013 at 5:54 pm

Hi Carol,
Your simple bread is so amazing. Just want to ask if what will be the substitute for the milk? I don’t like much of milk.
Thanks for sharing.

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Carol Kicinski April 8, 2013 at 6:03 pm

You can just use water or rice milk. It may have a slight dip in the center without milk but it will taste great. And you can always try letting the bread cool upsoide down as my hubby suggests :)

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Molly (Sprue Story) April 11, 2013 at 8:23 am

Do you scoop your flour from the container or spoon it into the measuring cups to get 1.5 cups?

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Carol Kicinski April 11, 2013 at 9:00 pm

I scoop it from a canister, I find it is lighter that way.

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Jackson April 21, 2013 at 8:58 am

Another fantastic gluten free recipe. I worship this website. I’m always on the lookout for wonderful gluten free bread recipes. I like to toss my bread recipes into my machine. I have three of them, a Cuisinart among them. They each have strengths and the aforementioned works well with gluten free. The machine kneads but with gluten free it’s not entirely necessary, only to bring the ingredients together so being able to adjust kneading time is helpful. Anyone else have machine faves?

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Carol Kicinski April 22, 2013 at 7:47 am

That’s great Jackson. I have not tried this in a bread machine.

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Beverly April 28, 2013 at 4:53 pm

I tried this recipe this last week. My yeast proofed but not as high as called for in the recipe. I followed through anyway and ended up with really flat (but edible) biscuits. I am trying again today with new yeast. The yeast proofed really well. I am waiting for the bread to rise….it has been 30 minutes and it is not looking good. I was unable to find tapioca starch so ground my own from tapioca. Is that why it isn’t working? The dough is very stiff (cannot whisk it) and seems to really such up the liquid quickly. What do you think?

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Carol Kicinski May 3, 2013 at 8:38 pm

Hi Beverly. I have not tried this recipe with ground tapioca. Tapioca starch is fairly easy to find in health food stores or on the internet. Not excatly sure what’s goiung on here. My dough is more like athick batter. Maybe you could email specifics andI can be more helo – carol@simplycluten-free.com.

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Helen May 12, 2013 at 2:11 am

I have been looking for a gluten free bread and I was wondering if you have or know of a gluten free bread recipe that does not call for yeast or eggs? My daughter (and I to an extent) is gluten free but she also can not have eggs, yeast or dairy. I have used the egg replacer in my recipes and the dairy can be replaced but the yeast – not sure what to do with that for breads…any suggestions? Also, I will be trying your flour mix (homemade version) for the first time tomorrow and I am very excited! Hope I have good results….thanks for your response and many hours of trial and error to help all of us who are searching for good, easy and delicious gluten free options!

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Carol Kicinski May 14, 2013 at 7:16 am

Hi Helen. You can try this recipe with a egg replacer. It is a quick bread. You can play with the seasoninings to suit your tastes. You could use 1 1/2 cups of my glour instead of the flours it calls for. I so understand about the trial and error! Good luck and I am sure the improved health will be worth the effort.

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Cindy June 3, 2013 at 5:06 pm

Hi Carol, Yes this recipe of yours is terrific! However, I can’t seem to keep the top from sinking. I’ve adjusted the liquid, given I live at a high altitude, added a tad more GF flour to no avail. Every loaf tastes great but I want it too look better. Do you have any other suggestions for me?

Thanks,
Cindy

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Carol Kicinski June 5, 2013 at 11:56 am

Hi Cindy. I am not sure if the altitude is the problem. I live at sea level and I did a ton of tweaking to get the top not to sink in. Make sure the bread is not rising too much – just under level with the top of the pan is best, even if it only takes half the time to do so. You could also try degreasing the yeast just a tad. I have heard that decreasing the sugar or increasing the salt with help slow down rising but I am not an expert at baking at higher altitudes. However if you are happy with the taste I might suggest you try my hubby’s suggestion of cooling the loaf upside down on a cooling rack. It actually works pretty well!

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Billie Donna July 15, 2013 at 10:22 pm

I love the bread. I did sink in the middle but most likely due to the fact I used potato starch as I cannot tolerate corn or tapioca starch. Do you know of an alternative that I can use in lieu of potato starch? I have coconut flour but don’t know if that would work or even how much to use. You may want to indicate in your recipes for those of us who are intolerant to tapioca that when substituting corn or potato starch they need to halve the amount used. 1 tbs corn or potato starch = 2 tbs tapioca starch. This may be why some are having issues with there end product.

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kim August 6, 2013 at 11:27 pm

Best recipe ever. My bread came out perfect. Thank you for sharing. What is the best way to store the bread after it cools.

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CarolKicinski August 14, 2013 at 8:58 pm

Thanks Kim. To be honest we usually just eat it so fast storiung is not much of a problem howevr it is fine wrapped up in the fridge for a day or two – after that I suggest freezing it, Cut into slices and freeze, so easy to use that way!

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Christy S September 24, 2013 at 2:34 pm

Carol – I’m rising my first loaf of your Soft White Bread and I’m wondering, to what purpose is the psyillum husk powder in this recipe? Is it to add fiber? Can’t wait to try this bread. My hubbie is a big French bread and roll fan, so I’m hoping to WOW him with this so he’ll be convinced to get away from the other breads he’s been eating…… Thanks, Christy S

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CarolKicinski September 25, 2013 at 11:34 am

Hi Christy,
It adds stickiness to the dough and helps hold the bread together in lieu of xanthan or guar gum. Gluten is sticky and without it we need to add some back in there. Good luck! Hope the hubby is Wowed!

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annagg September 27, 2013 at 12:08 am

I keep looking at this! Looks great! I have been gluten free since August 25, and found out within days that I also can’t do xanthan gum. I need a sandwich. I ordered all the ingredients, and am just waiting!

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CarolKicinski October 5, 2013 at 12:06 pm

Let me know what you think! Enjoy.

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Kim B October 10, 2013 at 7:53 am

Can you use your flour mix in this recipe? Or do I have to buy the separate flours?

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CarolKicinski October 23, 2013 at 9:08 pm

Yes just substitute the flours and starch with my flour but still add the xanthan gum. Enjoy!

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Em October 27, 2013 at 2:34 am

Hi there! This is my go-to quick and easy bread without gums. The kids love it. Thanks very much for your hard work! A quick question – if I use instant dried yeast do I still need to carry out the first step of proofing the yeast?

Thanks so much,
Em

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shelly October 29, 2013 at 5:08 pm

I have just begun a gluten free diet and bread is what I miss the most. This is delicious and finally I sat and ate two pieces of “real” bread with butter. Thank you!!

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CarolKicinski October 30, 2013 at 7:27 pm

Yay Shelly! Glad you enjoyed it! You’re very welcome!

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CarolKicinski October 30, 2013 at 7:31 pm

My pleasure Em. I still proof the yeast even for instant. I am happy you like the recipe!

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gchase August 28, 2014 at 1:57 pm

I,m tryin this one!

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Carol Kicinski August 28, 2014 at 3:51 pm

Let me know how you like them!
xo,
Carol

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Margaret November 3, 2014 at 12:03 pm

Can you tell me if I can substitute can’t him gum for the psyllium as I am allergic to it?

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Carol Kicinski December 1, 2014 at 11:47 am

Margaret, did you mean xanthan gum? If you did, then yes you can surely substitute it for psyllium.

xo,
Carol

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Helen January 12, 2015 at 10:43 am

Why can’t I see the comments?

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Carol Kicinski April 6, 2015 at 4:15 pm

Hi Helen,

I’m not sure because when I go to the site I can see the comments.

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Sallie June 25, 2015 at 6:42 pm

Can a Gluten Free All purpose flour like Better Batter be used in place of the other Flours. Gluten free baking is very new to me and I’m trying to find a bread that tastes good!

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Carol Kicinski July 24, 2015 at 10:27 am

Hi Sallie, Yes it can! xo, Carol

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Nancy October 22, 2015 at 1:11 pm

Hi Carol,
Is the Sweet rice Flour superfine as well?

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Carol Kicinski October 23, 2015 at 9:40 am

Nancy,
Yes, I typically use erawan, which you can find at Asian markets. It’s a lot less expensive than the super fine sweet rice flour that you generally find in health food stores. xo, Carol

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lucyk January 11, 2016 at 11:01 pm

Hi Carol
Can I replace the sweet rice flour with normal rice flour? Sweet rice flour is difficult to get it in my city.

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Carol Kicinski February 10, 2016 at 11:22 am

Lucy,
Yes, it wont be exactly the same, the sweet rice flour sort of evens out the texture and helps with browning, but it should still be very acceptable. Enjoy!
xo,
Carol

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Carol Kicinski May 3, 2013 at 8:34 pm

Hi Bonnie, it seems that psylliym wirks wheather it is husk or podwer. Thank YOU!

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