The Gluten-Free Conversion Conundrum

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I know, I know, I know! It’s such a royal PAIN to have to change your lifestyle when it comes to your diet. You go from the comforts of wheat-based bread and pasta to searching for ANY gluten-free product that doesn’t feel like sand in your mouth.

On top of THAT, you have the added inconvenience of needing to replace your well-loved and often memorized childhood recipes with new ones; recipes with ingredients that you’ve never used or tasted; some you may not be able to pronounce, even.

Wait, what’s that stuff called? Is it EX-an-than gum?

Can’t we just make these old favorites with gluten-free flour and cross our fingers for the best?

Well, you could, but even the finest optimism wouldn’t help you. Trust me, I’ve been there, throwing the tried and true birthday maple cupcake recipe together in gluten-free fashion without making any alterations. The result? Small piles of maple cake crumbles and a very sad birthday boy!

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We begin the conversion process with an acceptance of the things that will work and those that will not. Your time and ingredients are hard-earned, so I hope reading this brings new confidence to your gluten-free baking and invites you to take some chances on experimentation. But first, two easily remembered suggestions:

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1) For making cakes, muffins, cookies and yeast doughs, meet Stand Mixer, your new baking BFF! The power of the paddle attachment will stir your blends, aerate your batters, agitate your doughs and hydrate your gums better than mere muscle alone. If you don’t have one already, it’s the best investment you’ll make – next to shedding gluten from your diet!

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2) When adding xanthan (zan-than) gum to a recipe, use about 1/4 teaspoon per cup of flour. Blend it evenly into your dry ingredients before mixing.

Have you ever spilled x-gum on your work space and tried to clean it up with a wet sponge? Unless you want a counter-top slip-and-slide (not to mention a few bucks down the drain), it’s best to use a bench knife for cleanup, so you can maneuver the gum back into its container.

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The Cookie Question

Gluten-free cookies. Crumbly. Dry. Gritty. Just to name a few of the most common complaints.

How important could gluten be to cookies, anyway? Gluten not only helps provide the elastic strengthening network in yeast breads, it also is able to bond with wheat starches in a way that minimizes a potentially gritty/powdery mouth-feel.

In the absence of gluten, and with a low hydration rate, fat is one of the few ingredients that can be helpful to cookies. It can help smooth out the mouth feel by reducing the perception of unhydrated starch – which is what causes that sandy feeling in your mouth.

Fat has a low hydration rate; even though it feels wet and slippery, it has very little, or no water in it. So increasing its level in a cookie recipe will not encourage a cake-like texture. Butter and shortening can be increased by up to 2 tablespoons, and high-fat nut flours such as almond or hazelnut can be used to replace a portion of the flour in the recipe.

Xanthan gum, though intended to lock in moisture, enhance texture, and control spread, has a very low level of water to work with in a cookie dough. Resting the dough for at least an hour (overnight is best) before baking is the best way to ensure that the gums and starches are hydrated to their full potential. Because of the lower level of liquid in cookie dough, the hydration rate is slower; thus a longer rest is necessary.

Can I leave out the xanthan gum? Sure you can. Totally doable, though the cookies will spread out and be thin, fragile, and crisp. I would only recommend taking this risk with a drop cookie recipe. Definitely use the gum for shortbread, butter, and rollout-style cookies.

Adding liquids (egg, water, milk) will increase hydration and develop structure, but keep in mind that they may also promote a cake-like texture. Using fruit purées in place of some of the liquid content can help aid in building structure.

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Yammering About Yeast Breads

Gluten-free yeast doughs are not convertible due to the many alterations needed for leavening and structure. Eggs, air, yeast, xanthan gum, and sometimes even chemical leavening agents are necessary to produce an ideal result along with sufficient hydration (a higher ratio than with wheat-based breads).

The short answer? Save yourself a painful and expensive trial-and-error game and locate a gluten-free recipe for yeast bread.

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A Cake Catastrophe?

I hope not. Surprisingly, cakes are one of the easier, more straightforward treats to recreate without gluten.

Cakes, too, need a calibration of xanthan gum (1/4 teaspoon per cup of flour is sufficient) and additional liquids. I usually suggest adding an extra egg to efficiently provide leavening, structure, and liquid.

Though it’s important to aerate a cake batter, take care not to over-beat, as it can cause deflation in the oven. Baking cake to an internal temperature of 210°F ensures minimal sinking as the cake cools.

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Loaf-style quick breads and muffins require the same ingredient guidelines as cakes.

Giving cake and quick-bread batters a 10 to 15 minute rest before baking will allow the starches and xanthan gum to fully hydrate. Also, if you’re adding fruit, chocolate chips, or nuts to your batters, complete the rest before stirring them in, to prevent them from sinking to the bottom during the bake. When the flour and xanthan gum are hydrated, the batter will thicken and be able to suspend any added elements successfully.

Wanna hear more? Well there IS more where that came from, so please, PLEASE send me your requests. Are ingredient substitutions on your mind? Using different flour blends? How one starch differs from another? I may not have all the answers (I can guarantee I don’t!), but I have just as much interest in finding them as you do, so ASK ME!

Stay tuned;  this blog post is the first in a gluten-free self-help mini-series of sorts. If you send me your gluten-free baking quandaries, I’ll incorporate the answers into a blog somehow or another. Deal?

Thank you for allowing me to be your resource, and for freeing the gluten. I look forward to hearing from you soon!

 

 

 

Amy Trage
About

Amy Trage is a native of Vermont where she spent much of her childhood skiing and training for the equestrian event circuit. With a strong desire to pursue food writing, Amy took her English degree from Saint Anselm College to the New England Culinary Institute ...

comments

  1. Aura Mae

    Can sourdough be cultured and made gluten free? And any tips for making biscuits? I will try letting the dough rest for a bit and see if that improves things. (It’s the gritty texture that’s not working for me.)
    I’m so glad you asked! I encourage you to read more about making gluten-free sourdough and would love to point you to a gluten-free biscuit recipe or two! ~Amy

    Reply
  2. Judy Geimer

    Thank you so much. A lot here I was not aware of and I love baking and your store up in VT. Used to work at the college next door and visited your store on a regular basis. Got married and now live on a farm in Indiana. Miss your store but visit when we come up to visit family in VT.
    Glad to hear that you keep coming back when you can, Judy! Maybe you could arrange your next trip around one of our gluten free baking classes here at the Education Center! ~Amy

    Reply
  3. Q

    My spouse is gluten-free and is on the Paleo-ish diet. A paleo site I was reading said it was often cultured off of wheat or corn, so you can still find gluten in it. In order to not make my husband ill, he has to eat oopsie bread (possibly with coconut flour) or no bread products currently. It looks like flax seed might be a suitable alternative to xanthan gum.

    If you have a chance to do a Paleo twist in the future, I’d be very happy to read it.
    Yes, I definitely plan to discuss some alternatives to xanthan gum in a future blog- thanks for the reminder! ~Amy

    Reply
  4. Kathee Bolack

    Seeing that yeast breads require a higher protein “flour” what is your favorite blend for that?
    Gluten is a product of the proteins glutenin and gliadin. When hydrated, glutenin and gliadin form gluten, which gives wheat, barley and rye-based doughs elasticity and structure. When you hear of a higher protein flour for a yeast bread, it is concerning the gluten content rather than what one would usually consider nutritional protein. The proteins found in gluten-free flours do not provide this structure, which is why it is necessary to build with leavening agents such as eggs, and additions like xanthan gum. Though there is protein in gluten-free grains, a higher protein flour, in the realm of gluten-free baking, will not aid in the structure of your yeast breads. I am thankful that you brought up the subject of using different flour blends, as it is one of the topics on my list for a future blog. For a yeasted sandwich bread, I tend to use sorghum and teff flour because I enjoy the flavors, I often will add grains and seeds such as millet and sesame or sunflower seeds for texture. ~Amy

    Reply
    1. Liz

      My nephew is on a gluten-free, yeast-free diet. Any help and information about making yeast free breads would be appreciated.

    2. PJ Hamel

      Sorry, Liz, gluten-free/yeast-free breads isn’t a subject we’ve worked on at all; so really can’t give any guidance on sandwich-type loaves. But how aboutcornbread; cheese buns; or biscuits? Those at least approximate the bread experience – PJH

    3. Amy

      Gluten/yeast/dairy/nut free bread:
      3 1/2 cups gluten free bread mix (Pamela’s works the best)
      1 1/2 cups warm water
      1/4 cup oil (your choice)
      3 eggs or prepared egg replacer equal to 3 eggs
      1 TBSP plus 2 tsp baking powder
      Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Use heavy stand mixer with whisk attachment not bread maker. If using egg replacer, prepare in separate container. Combine all ingredients together and mix for 3 minutes on medium/high. Pour dough into 8″ by 4″ greased pan. Bake for 65-70 minutes. Baking time and liquid amount vary with region (adjust if comes out undone in center). Toothpick will lie so have to experiment with liquid and baking time a little. Delicious!

  5. Angie

    will guar gum work the sam as the xanthan?
    They do, from what I know, work similarly. I have heard some complaints about the taste guar gum can impart on baked goods, though. I will look into this subject more as I explore and test more options for gum substitutions. ~Amy

    Reply
  6. Tami

    I have dabbled in GF baking a bit and have had great lucky, just adding the gum..i can never spell that xanthan correctly. Molten cakes, chocolate sponge cake and my award winning pumpkin whoopee pies have all be successfully made with swapping out the AP flour for GF flour and adding just a bit of xanthan. I look forward to seeing what you come up with for these posts.
    I’m glad you have found such success in your baking, Tami and I am happy to help. Definitely stay tuned for more good gluten-free baking tips and information! And you spelled xanthan perfectly, by the way! :) ~Amy

    Reply
  7. Marilyn Lewis

    Great blog, very helpful information, new at this with trying to find things for a granddaughter. She loves the King Arthur Chocolate chip cookie recipe and I have found that if I mix it up, cool it, shape into cookie dough balls and freeze
    then prepackage into groups of four, keep in freezer she can grab a baggie bake her own treat and have enough for a sweet tooth, still be a part of a giggly girl group and not be different.
    That’s a great thing you are doing for your little sweetheart. Anything we can do to allow kids to lead as normal a life as possible will certainly pay off in the end! ~Amy

    Reply
  8. Jen

    Awesome! Thank you so much for thinking of us, King Arthur. I have loved every product I have tried so far and have all of my baked goods come out tasting great using KA GF flour blend. Way better than anything I have found in a GF bakery so far. I am very excited about the mini-blog, but what I would really love (ok, in addition to the blog) is a GF equivalent to some of the yummy things I find on my FB page every day. Perhaps a separate feed for GF folks? Kills me (us) when I see something really yummy first thing in the AM and know that there is no way for me to make it. Keep it up!

    Unfortunately I don’t think that is possible with Facebook at this time, but I will certainly pass along the suggestion!-Jon

    Reply
  9. Maryanne Brown

    Thank you so much for all these great ideas! It’s wonderful to know that I don’t have to give up King Arthur!!!

    Reply
  10. Tricia M

    Why struggle to be gluten free if you DON’T HAVE CELIAC DISEASE? This is just another diet fad. I remember in the ’80s, so many of my friends were eating “Royal Jelly”. Diet pills. The cabbage soup diet. Then, low fat. Then, Atkin’s. Then, low carb. Fasting. Then pay a fortune for nasty diet meals delivered to you.
    If you have celiac disease, it’s great to have so many gluten free products WHICH ARE CERTAINLY MORE EXPENSIVE than regular products. Don’t be a sucker and buy into this. Your doctor will certainly tell you if you have celiac disease.
    (At least the cabbage soup was cheap and delicious!)
    Thank you for your feedback. The gluten-free diet is in fact not a fad, but a true concern for many; not just those with Celiac disease, but for those with diabetes and certain auto-immune disorders and for those who just have a simple intolerance to gluten or who feel better when they avoid it. Fortunately people are allowed to make choices about their diets and I hope I am able to help those who are avoiding gluten, whether they are doing it by choice or not. The ingredients used in gluten-free baking are expensive and the undertaking can be overwhelming at times, but hopefully we can be a good resource to help folks utilize their time and ingredients efficiently with the information and recipe tips from our website. ~Amy

    Reply
    1. Meg M

      I do not have Celiac disease, but I have recently discovered that I have a gluten-intolerance. Yes, I have lost quite a bit of weight by cutting out gluten, but even more important to me is that I have more energy and feel healthier. I love baking, and really appreciate the advice on this topic, so that I can continue to bake and still treat my body right.

    2. Greer Brenda

      Oh no it’s not just a fad. I do t have celiac so but I am gluten intolerant I’ve been gluten free 2 years now. I know immediately when I get glutened. I get really sick. I can’t talk properly. Put two thoughts together, and my mind is like a ping pong ball. I don’t even see as well. Gluten free has really changed my life. I have total body inflamation. Yes diagnosed. Between going gluten free and starting Tumeric capsules, I am so much better. No pain now from fibromyalgia either. Both are autoimmune diseases. I just wish more people would realize that you foods are so genetically changed and so full of pesticides it’s making them sick. Gluten free is a good, abet expensive way of helping yourself.

  11. Severina

    I have tried other GF flours and definitely yours is the best. Some of the others
    are so gritty that you feel like someone added sand to the batter.

    Do you have a recipe for blending your own ingredients for different types baked goods.

    I make cookies for the holidays and I am afraid that they will not turn out as good as they usually do. Help!
    I plan to share more about different flour blends in the future. In the meantime, I recommend using teff flour in your cookies and, as the blog states, using some almond or hazelnut flours to add fat and promote a better mouth feel. ~Amy

    Reply
  12. Lisa

    Thank you for embracing the gluten-free issues…most bread companies here where I live just ignore you when you ask if they offer a gluten-free option like they are scared to concur the challenge. My nieces have been gluten-free for 15 years and baking gluten-free has certainly changed in those years. I’m really happy that I have new things to offer them when they are around our home. Thank you, King Arthur for offering great recipes for gluten-free options!

    Reply
  13. Laura J

    I’ve been dabbling with gluten free flours for about 6 months now, definitely a learning curve involved. Thanks for the awesome tips. Have you worked with coconut flour? Any pointers if you have would be appreciated!!! Thanks!!
    I haven’t worked with coconut flour yet, but I am looking forward to trying it!! ~Amy

    Reply
  14. sara

    These are great tips! Unfortunately my son is allergic not only to wheat, but also to eggs, nuts and dairy. Hoping he will outgrow his allergies but in the meantime I’m learning all the substitution tricks out there!

    Food allergies can really test our baking skills! However there is a ton of information online for substitutions. Good luck and happy baking!-Jon

    Reply
  15. Tanya

    I agree about the KA GF facebook page – that would be wonderful!

    I take a slightly different approach to hydration. I usually reduce the flour by 25% effectively raising the liquid ratio in the recipe. I find the extra baking soda/powder gives extra lightness to my quick breads.

    A couple questions though: If I try to use only baking soda (no cream of tarter or baking powder) the KA GF multi-purpose flour tends to glump up. Why is this?

    Also when I was trying Weight Watchers I was trying to swap out the fats in some of my quick breads by substituting applesauce. I found that applesauce, no fat, and xantham gum in a recipe yields an unedible, rubbery loaf. Any idea why? Any idea how to reduce fats?

    Hello Tanya! I am not exactly sure what you mean by the first question but I can say for certain that removing the tenderizing fat from a gluten free recipe will generally produce a rather rubbery product. Apple sauce may provide moisture, but it does nothing to tenderize and soften the bread. If you would like to follow up, please send us an email (bakers@kingarthurflour.com).-Jon

    Reply
  16. JanH

    If you haven’t already done so, please be sure to check out Peter Reinhart’s newest book “The Joy of Gluten-Free, Sugar-Free Baking.” While most of the recipes use nut flours, there are also some with seed flours, bean flours, and coconut flours. Considerable discussion on swapping different flours is included. Peter and his co-author Denene Wallace also include information about substitutions for eggs, dairy and xanthan gum.

    Mr. Reinhart was actually here to teach a class last month, I am told that it was quite informative!-Jon

    Reply
  17. Luella

    I am so happy to find this emphasis on gluten free. I am not a celiac but I have numerous digestive challenges and am trying to be gluten free as I feel better and I think my gastroparesis is lessened when I am gluten free. I have to be soy free as well so there are some challenges in trying to follow the diet. I do not want to settle for less tasty foods so I thank you for doing this. My daughter lives near your bake shop and I stop in often. I hope I will be visiting someday when you are having a gluten free class.

    We can’t wait to have you attend, make sure to say “hello” to Amy!-Jon

    Reply
  18. Rita

    I have an auto-immune disease and went GF about 3 months ago. It has helped tremendously. I would like to try to start baking again, as I haven’t been very satisfied with purchased GF baked goods. Many are loaded with sugar. I look forward to your posts.

    Reply
  19. Deb

    This is for Tricia M, people can be gluten intolerant without having Celiac Disease. I have arthritis in my knees and have to eat a gluten free diet. Whenever I “cheat” and eat bread or pasta, my arthritis flares up and I’m in severe pain for a few days and can barely walk. Needless to say I have learned my lesson and avoid all wheat products. Do some reading and educate yourself.

    Reply
  20. Ricardo Neves Gonzalez - Petrópolis, R.J. - BRAZIL

    As a baking enthusiastic have been working with gluten-free breads during last years. According to my practice i may say the following.
    For best results you may use a balanced gluten-free flour with this proportions:
    70% of flours with more gritness. I use 60% rice flour and 10% Corn Meal.
    20% of some Starch like manioc and potatoe.
    10% mixed of another flours such Flaxseed,Quinoa and Peanut.
    I could affirm that for much softly bread you could add milk as main liquid, a generous amount of fat ( i use unsalted butter , sometimes oil ), add 6 g. of baking power each kg. of gluten-free blend flour and finally add 1 egg and 4 egg yolks for each 500 g. of the gluten-free blend flour. The presence of soy lecythin at egg yolks helps turn bread softly! I noticed that liquid/flour ratio is another important question. A bread with 70 % hydratation is better and much softly than 55 or 60%. But any increase over that 70% or around it could turn batter shaggy, seemed unbaked after long time in the oven. Another test i´ve done was to rest batter directly inside pan. This works not good! The best choice is to rest batter for 1 and half hour in a bowl and then after that time, add the batter to definitive pan and rest for more 15 to 20 minutes until the batter goes almost on top. The final task is to spray water all over the bread surface at the exactly moment that bread goes to the oven.It will avoid cracker of bread surface during baking. I use here MCC ( Methyl Carboxi Celulosis ) because it´s much easier to find and at lower cost than Xanthan Gum. You can substitute in same proportions. I use 3 g. each 500 g. of blended flour. it works nice!
    Nothing to say about cakes and cookies. I have no experiences with them!
    Hope have been helpfull!

    Wow thank you so much for the information! It sounds like you have done quite a bit of research into making gluten free breads.-Jon

    Reply
  21. Phyllis

    Some of the questions I’ve had have been asked and answered by others . The comments are helpful. Thank you.

    Reply
  22. Connie Q

    I prefer to leave out xanthan or guar gums in my gluten free baking. I’ve been able to make pie crust, roll out cookies, and graham crackers by rolling the dough between layers of parchment paper, then transferring the dough to the pan. If the pie crust falls apart, I just patch it up with scraps of the dough. My cookies seem to turn out just fine, actually better, since I don’t care for the gumminess of xanthan or guar gums.

    Reply
  23. Marla

    This is wonderful. My good friend’s daughter has celiac and apparently the one thing she misses above all is kneading challah dough (and eating it). All attempts we’ve made at gluten free dough have made batters – nothing remotely kneadable. Any advice? Can a gluten free dough be kneaded (even though there’s not gluten structure to form)?
    Thanks.
    Many gluten-free doughs have the consistency of a thick batter which would be near impossible to knead. The dough won’t offer you any resistance even if you do make it a stiffer consistency, so you will most likely end up smearing it into a mess more than anything. I just tried to take a bagel dough I made today and knead it, but unfortunately had little success. ~Amy

    Reply
  24. JulianeT

    I do not yet have health issues that necessitate a GF lifestyle.
    But in teaching nutrition and cooking, questions are becoming more prevalent as the health concerns that indicate GF living are on the rise in the US.

    A new article I read asks the question “Why do Europeans have so little Gluten Intolerance issues?” and then throws out some theories.
    You might find it interesting.
    I think we are just scratching the surface of cause and effect at this point.

    http://www.motherearthnews.com/real-food/gluten-intolerant-zm0z13aszmar.aspx?newsletter=1&utm_source=Sailthru&utm_medium=email&utm_term=RF%20eNews&utm_campaign=08.05.13%20RFSR#axzz2b65KHz30

    Reply
  25. Amy

    Big thanks for this blog! I’ve searched for this level of science-based detail for years! Woohoo! A great service! Any chance of online classes being offered?

    You never know……..

    Reply
  26. Sherry Baer

    Hi Amy–Super post! Thanks! 2 things: Check the Blackbird Bakery site. She gives a detailed description of xanthan gum and guar gum. I only use guar gum now. I don’t think xanthan gum is very good for you, and I don’t like its taste. The second thing is a question: I made a banana bread today, and when I added the buttermilk it “curdled” and lost its thickness. I called the King’s help number and was told to add 1/4 cup more flour SLOWLY. It was explained that I was using a 2-stage recipe and that that can happen. Can you explain why and what I can do next time so this won’t happen. I have used the recipe successfully 4 times in the past. Thank you!!
    Hi Sherry! Great to hear from you and thanks so much about the information and feedback on the guar vs. xanthan! If there is any possibility for you to call the hotline again and ask for me in the next few days, I would love to chat about what happened with the banana bread. Hope to hear from you soon. ~Amy

    Reply
  27. Michele

    Hi there! thanks for this article. I was wondering – I read that the potato flour brings moisture to recipes. Can you use it with the GF flour and x-gum? Would that help hydration and better mouth feel?
    Potato flour does in fact aid in moisture, but can also produce a gummy product if too much is used. If you are adding it, do it sparingly to test. I would avoid using it in pie crust and cookies. ~Amy

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  28. Rosalee B

    Hi Amy,
    I have severe celiac disease along with Crohn’s disease. Your blog is a terrific source for me now that I have found it & my questions were answered by you as others had those same questions. I am going to try once ( 100x) to do some G/F baking & hope the end product has a good result. I am going to try using the G/F multipurpose flour for my cake baking but wonder would I be better off using KA’s G/F flour blend of G/F brn rice, potato starch, & tapioca starch to get better results ? Some of my G/F cakes come out good & the bisquits all end up in the garbage & I have no idea why this is so. Any ideas or suggestions ? Thanx for all you do to help us all bake better.
    Rosalee
    Hi Rosalee! I would think that either blend would work well for the cakes. The only difference with the multi-purpose flour is that it contains white rice flour in addition to brown rice, whereas the blend recipe calls for brown rice flour only. If you have any other specific questions about baking GF cakes, please feel free to give me a shout on the baker’s hotline, I would love to help anytime! ~Amy

    Reply
  29. sharon veenker

    Wonderful blog and I’ll check it regularly. My grandson has celiac deisease (diagnosed last February) and I’ve been looking for suggestions on making the dough for the gingerbread house I’ve made for him (and his father before) for almost 40 yrs. One batch calls for 6 c.flour, 1 3/4 c.sugar, 1 c.sour cream, 2 eggs, 2/3 c. butter, 2 tsp. baking powder, 1sp. baking soda, vanilla, salt & spices. It makes a cookie house with sides about 1/4 inch thick. Do you have any suggestions about amount of Xanthan gum amount or flour mixture that might keep the firmness of the 1/4 inch sides of the house? Thanks much for any help you can give as decorating the gingerbread house is a Christmas tradition for us. Sharon Veenker
    TRy using 1 1/2 teaspoons of xanthan gum with the recipe you have. If you find that the structure of the cookie is not holding up well, then my suggestion would be to reduce the sour cream a little. ~Amy

    Reply
  30. Onalee S

    I have two recipes that have won ribbons at fairs using regular all purpose flour. Now I medically must be gluten free and my family has committed to this with me. I so want to convert my cookie recipe and my quick bread recipe to GF which my family so dearly loves, I’m hoping you can help.

    Because I live at high altitude I’ve always had to cut my leavening ingredients in half in all baked good recipes. My cookie recipe is quite expensive to make and I must admit I’m finding it very hard to step off my lily pad and experiment’ losing $20 worth of ingredients if I don’t convert correctly.

    I read on the blog that some say the xanthan gum makes a gritty taste and to use guar instead?

    Thank-you Amy for your wonderful article I will read and re-read it to hopefully build my confidence!
    Hi Onalee! You can follow the high altitude baking tips on our website for gluten-free baking. I have not known xanthan gum to offer a gritty mouth feel; rather, it should reduce it. Guar gum, though, has been known to impart a flavor that some people dislike. ~Amy

    Smiles from Idaho,
    Onalee

    Reply
  31. Danielle C

    Thanks for recommending this blog post during yesterday’s gf baking class. I found it incredibly helpful and shared it with my husband who really is interested in the science behind baking. He is completely sold on GF baking after tasting some of the goodies we brought home yesterday.
    Glad that everyone got a little bit of fun from your class. Happy baking! ~ MJ

    Reply
  32. Louise

    I am new to GF cooking and baking. It appears I am sensitive to gluten, and I am doing a trial on GF per my nutritionist to see if it will reduce the incidence of migraines (yes, there are some preliminary studies linking the two). I would love to be able to convert some of my existing recipes but haven’t seen any conversions in my search. I really like pound cake and anything with pumpkin – any chance of seeing recipes here for these items? Thank you.
    We are collecting more and more recipes for GF every day, so keep checking our recipe listings online to see what our team has come up with. So many recipes, we need more hands! ~ MJ

    Reply
  33. HHH8

    Love the recipes and info as my 11 year old daughter is newly gluten-free. Have had great success with the sandwich bread and cakes using the GF flour blend recipe on your site. I’d love to try some of the muffin recipes but I’m not sure how to substitute the GF flour blend for the GF baking mix. I know I need to add a leavening agent, but not sure how much.

    You’ve had great success with the GF flour blend and recipes, so stick with that instead of trying to make your own GF baking mix. We do have recipes for apple, banana, blueberry, corn, pumpkin and other GF fruit muffins. We don’t have conversions for baking mix in recipes. Happy Baking! Irene@KAF

    Reply
  34. sonja

    Great tips! I love King Arthur’s all-purpose GF flour and have had great success using it. I would like to encourage Louise to continue eating gluten free to help with her migraines. I tested negative for Celiac disease, but after 6 years of chronic, intractable migraines, my doctor suggested I try giving up gluten. Within two weeks my migraines were gone, and now I have only a few per year (unless I accidentally ingest gluten, then the migraine comes swiftly and is intense). Making changes in cooking and eating habits has been a small price to pay to get my life back, and sites such as this are so helpful. Good luck!

    Reply
  35. Jennifer

    Thanks for the tips! After 5 years GF, I never knew all that! Would love to see you convert the English Muffin bread on the KAF site that they just sent out. It looks amazing and GF English Muffins are super expensive. THanks for the tips on letting the doughs rest!

    Reply
  36. Maryann Miller

    I read just the other day in Living Without magazine, that xanthan gum is corn based. All corn in the US and in Japan where I used to live, is Monsanto GMO corn and I get violently sick from it. They suggested using Guar Gum as a substitute, but now your saying, for baking that doesn’t work as well. What?! Help!
    Love,
    Maryann

    Reply
    1. MaryJane Robbins

      Hi Maryann,

      Actually, not all corn is GMO. By definition organic corn cannot be GMO. So, you may want to look for a source of organic xanthan gum, or a non-corn based xanthan gum such as the one we sell.

      Also, our gluten free mixes that contain xanthan gum are Non-GMO as well, so those may work out well for you. Hope this helps! ~ MJ

  37. Joyce Andrews

    Question – have you ever made gluten free biscotti? I have a number of recipes for it that I would like to be able to make with King Arthur’s Gluten Free All Purpose Flour. Would it be enough to add the 1/4 teaspoon of xanthan gum per cup of GF flour to the recipe and then refrigerate overnight, bake the following day?

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      It does not look like we have a GF biscotti recipe to date. A 1/4 – 1/2 t. oof xanthan gum per cup of GF flour is a good place to start. What you should do is find a GF biscotti recipe and compare it to your wheat recipe for other modifications. The overnight rest sounds like a great plan. It will help to continue with the activation of the xanthan gum and improve the texture. I have found 2 recipe on sites that I really like to refer to. Enjoy! Elisabeth
      http://glutenfreegirl.com/2009/01/lemon-pecan-biscotti-gluten-free/
      http://noglutennoproblem.blogspot.com/2013/04/orange-almond-biscotti.html

  38. Joyce Andrews

    Thanks so much Elisabeth. I have looked them over and based on these recipes, plan to try one of mine modified with what I have learned. I’ll make a note of it so others may use it – that is assuming it works! Joyce

    Reply
    1. Joyce Andrews

      I used the Orange Almond Biscotti recipe Elisabeth suggested as a guide to adapt a favorite biscotti recipe to be gluten free and it turned out great. I did not add the orange extract, orange zest or almonds. Instead I used 2 tablespoons of Grand Marnier, 1 tablespoon of freshly grated orange peel, 1 cup lightly toasted, coarsely chopped pecans, and 4 ounces of chopped semisweet chocolate. Very good!

  39. Jeannette

    That was very interesting! Thank you for the information. I have been gluten free for a year and my eyes are open to anything I can learn. I love to bake and would hate to give it up now only because I couldn’t find ideas or recipes of things that work well.
    Do you have a blog I can get in my e-mailbox? Also, can you give me any tips/recipes for the bread machine? Thanks!

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Feel free to sign up for our email newsletter, there should be a gluten free option! Also, we have several gluten free breads that can be made in your bread machine (if it has a gluten free setting). Check out our recipe section for all of our recipes. Jon@KAF

  40. Barb White

    I was on the hunt for a traditional Christmas Fruit Cake Recipe and had a notion that I could substitute a Gluten Free Golden Cake Mix for the cake portion of the cake and use my Granny’s recipe for the fruit portion. I gave it a try but just guessed along the way.
    I have a really old cake pan that held all the ingredients. It is about 4inX 4in X 4in and I used that and the meat thermometer/probe on my oven and set it to 200degreesF which is as high as it would go. Was wondering if I have the internal temp of the cake correct. I use a instant Thermapen for my bread so I used it to check the temp after I took it out from the oven.
    Also I see that it is advisable to wait for 15 or 20 minutes before adding the fruit so that it will not sink. I added 4 tbsp brown rice flour to the fruit and then hoped that would stop the sinkage. It did sink down a bit so I will try waiting the extra time. Do you have any more hints.

    • 1 gluten free golden cake mix
    • ½ cup butter
    • 3 large eggs
    • Juice of ½ orange and water to make ⅔ cup of liquid
    • 1 tsp cinnamon
    • ¼ tsp ground cloves
    • ¼ tsp ground allspice
    • ½ tsp ground nutmeg
    • 1 cup raisins
    • 2 cups Christmas Cake Fruit
    • ½ cup Mixed Peel
    • ½ cup Citron
    • Juice of ½ orange
    • 4 tbsp brandy OR rum
    • 1 250 ml. Jar of maraschino cherries quartered
    • 4 tbsp brown rice flour
    Directions
    Place raisins, Christmas cake fruit, mixed peel, citron, orange juice, brandy OR rum, and quartered maraschino cherries into a bowl (glass or non reactive metal) and cover. Let marinate overnight.
    Line a loaf pan with several layers of parchment paper. Grease the inside layer with butter.
    Set oven at 325 degrees
    Add cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, and allspice to dry cake mix. Stir to combine spices with cakemix. Prepare the cake mix as directed on box with the butter, eggs, and liquid (water/orange juice).
    Sprinkle the 4 tbsp of brown rice flour onto the marinated fruit. (Extra flour will stop the fruit from sinking within the prepared cake mix) Stir to just combine.
    Add the floured mixed fruit to the prepared cake mix and gently fold in. Pour into the prepared loaf pan. Smooth the top.
    Bake at 325 degrees until the internal temp of the cake reaches 200 degrees (about 2 to 2½ hours) Check the cake to ensure it is not over browned on top. Place aluminum foil on the edges if becoming too brown. Carryover will bring it up to 210 the internal temp of a finished pound cake.
    After 20 minutes remove the cake from the pan and place on rack to cool fully.
    when totally cool remove parchment paper and paint with a small amount of brandy OR rum before wrapping in several layers of plastic wrap, aluminum foil, and a locking freezer bag. Place in the refrigerator for at least 1 day to allow flavours to develop.
    Ice with almond flavored icing or almond paste or leave plain. Slice with a serrated bread knife.

    Reply
    1. PJ Hamel

      Thanks so much for sharing this, barb – I’m sure there are lots of GF bakers out there who’ll enjoy trying it. Cheers! PJH

  41. Dori Ann

    The best, most moist chocolate cake I’ve ever made is (believe it or not) the recipe off of the Hershey’s Cocoa Special Dark. In the last year, I’ve had to go off of all gluten and I really want to make this cake again for the holidays. I’m wondering if all I have to do is add in 1/4 or 1/2 tsp of Xanthum gum along with KA Flour to make this cake turn out as good as it would with regular flour. Here is the recipe:

    2 c sugar
    1-3/4 c all purpose flour (sub out with KA Flour)
    3/4 c Hershey’s SD Cocoa
    1-1/2 tsp baking powder
    1-1/2 tsp baking soda
    1 tsp sale
    2 eggs
    1 c milk
    1/2 cup vegetable oil
    2 tsp vanilla extract
    1 c boiling water

    Mix dry ingredients. Add all wet ingredients except boiling water and beat on medium 2 minutes. Stir in boiling water. Bake in 2 9 inch pan for 30-35 min at 350.

    Thanks for your help!!!

    Reply
    1. Julie Payne

      I am fairly new at this gluten-free baking thing too and have read some other sites. The Gluten-free Girl being the one I am siting information from now. Anyway she says that to substitute Gluten-free flour for reg. wheat flour that you need to use 140 gms of Gluten free flour per 1 cup of wheat flour in a recipe and according to what I read up earlier on this site you would need to add about 1/4-1/2 t. of xanthan gum to your recipe above. I have also learned about 3 other agents that you can use instead of Xanthan gum or guar gum. One is Psyllium husks Powder, the other two are chia seed and flax seed powder. I read that say a recipe calls for 1/2t. xanthan gum, you can sub out all of that amount with one of these and use twice the water called for. So when I first tried this it was a mess, but I believe that I have learned that what you need to do is add your called for amount to the dry mixture and then add the extra water to the liquids you are adding to the recipe. I thought that you mixed it up with the water and then added to your other ingredients. Oh, no, what a mess. Anyway, I hope this helps you. I don’t personally have any problem with any of them, but have tried all of them so I have a variety of choices. I can not use any form of rice flour so I have my own challenges to tackle and a knowledgeable friend suggested trying Amaranth flour in place of the rice flour. It worked fine the one time I have tried it. Someone else also mentioned that they did not want to try to make something and losing $20 or so in ingredients if it didn’t work. I am right there with you. It is very expensive having to cook gluten-free and I am not getting answers to my questions very quickly.
      Amy mentioned earlier that you could add a couple of tablespoons of shortening or butter to a recipe of cookies, but then she also added that you could use some high fat nut flour to the recipe. I don’t know if you do one or both or how to know how much extra shortening or butter to add if you use a nut-flour? Sorry to make this so long. I did not see a place to make your own comment just to reply to what others have already said so if someone can help me know how to do that the next comment or reply won’t have to be so long. Thanks.

    2. Norine Stauske

      What is “1 tsp. sale” in the Hershey’s cake recipe above? I’d like to make it, but confused about that ingredient!

    3. The Baker's Hotline

      Norine, it’s a little hard to read, but I think it says, “1 tsp. salt.” Barb@KAF

  42. jerrie

    I’m enjoying learning to bake with KA ingredients and mixes. Thank you so much for the blog and your research. The one problem I’m finding with living GF is heart burn!. If I eat more than one slice of bread, or one cookie, or one brownie, I have this discomfort. Does anyone know which ingredient(s) could be responsible so I can avoid it? Thanks

    Reply
    1. Jillianne

      Jerrie, I have the exact same experience. Looking at my recipes, I thought it must be xanthan gum. I figured it out by baking two loaves of bread, one with xanthan gum, one with a gluten substitute that doesn’t contain xanthan gum. The heartburn was clearly present with the loaf made with xanthan gum and not present with the other loaf. The gluten substitute is by a brand called Orgran. It’s such a relief because I cannot tolerate any wheat/gluten and I certainly didn’t want to live with heartburn either! Hope it helps :)

  43. Jenny

    Question:
    If the gluten free flour blend already has xanthan gum listed in its ingredients, do I still need to add xanthan gum if the recipe calls for it? New to baking GF.

    Reply
    1. MaryJane Robbins

      Hi Jenny,
      First, be sure you are using GF flour where called for , or GF Baking mix where called for, as they are two different animals, so to speak. The flour blend will have just flours, and no xanthan gum. The Baking Mix will have flours, fats, flavors and xanthan gum. It’s like using Bisquick instead of flour. Once you have the right base, then you can follow the recipe with confidence, adding all the other ingredients called for. Hope this helps. ~ MJ

  44. Nancy

    Several years ago, I found a delicious Gluten Free Green Tea Muffin recipe on a website: http://www.yoursafekitchen.com. I made it with great results, using a Whole Foods Gluten Free Flour (I don’t think it contained xanthan gum, but I’m not sure. When Whole Foods stopped producing the flour, I tried Bob’s Red Mill several times and the muffins just fell apart. I just tried an Arrowhead Mills Gluten-Free All Purpose Flour (Baking Mix) which does contain xanthan gum and stated that it was a on-on-one substitution for regular flour. The dough was so gluey that it was really hard to mix so I added more coconut milk to the batter. They turned out firmer, but the muffin tops are all lumpy, like a rock formation, not smooth and rounded. Any advice for the novice gluten-free baker?

    Reply
    1. Amy Trage , post author

      It’s really important to read the ingredients on these GF baking mixes to see what they contain so that you can evaluate how successful it will be in a recipe according to what ingredients are called for in a recipe. If the mix and the recipe both contain xanthan gum and you use the mix in the recipe AND add the additional gum, it will be extremely gluey and gloppy. Xanthan gum, once hydrated locks in H2O and thickens a batter. If you have too much in what you’re making, it won’t be beneficial to the final outcome. ~Amy

  45. Mirna sydenham

    Hi,
    I have a little boy who is wheat dairy and soy free so I have been trying my hand at gluten free baking with limited success. I think I have tried about 5 or 6 muffin recipes and I wasn’t happy with any. My biggest complaint is that they all stick to my mouth and are hard to swallow, regardless of how fluffy and moist they seem. What am I doing wrong? I mainly use Orgran brand since most other brands available in Australia have soy/chickpea flour in them.

    Reply
    1. Amy Trage , post author

      Hi Mirna,
      What recipes are you using for the muffins? It would be great to talk with you on the phone in more detail about the ingredients you’re using. Give me a call on the baker’s hotline at your convenience.855-371-2253 ~Amy

  46. CathyAnn

    How can in convert some of my favorite (wheat flour) recipes to gluten free? Are there guidelines somewhere on how to do that? Cooking GF is very new to me. Thanks, in advance, for your reply.

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      As you’ll soon find out on your gluten-free journey, there are no cut-and-dried methods for converting wheat flour recipes to gluten-free flour recipes. Converting these recipes means experimenting and, often, a few tries to get it just right. Judging from the fruits of our labor in the test kitchen here at King Arthur, though, the destination is well worth the journey!~Jaydl@KAF

  47. Melissa

    I have never baked a gluten-free recipe before, and I am wanting to convert my grandmother’s pound cake recipe to a gluten, soy, dairy, and corn free recipe for a friend of mine, whose children can not have those four elements. I’ve researched, how to replace the sour cream, and we’ve found a type of egg that her kids CAN eat, and I already have organic substitutions for the butter and shortening, and sugar. I’m making my own baking powder that doesn’t contain cornstarch, so really the only question I have left remaining is…flour substitution. My friend says that the Bisquick gluten free pancake and baking mix is the best so far that she’s found, but I need to know, can you substitute the all purpose flour called for in the recipe cup for cup with the Bisquick gluten free mix?? Or would it be better to make my own all purpose gluten free flour blend? I don’t really have time or money to fully experiment multiple times to get it right, so I need the best possible advice here. Please help, I really want to make a baked treat that my friend and her family can enjoy.

    Reply
    1. PJ Hamel

      Melissa, the ingredients in the Bisquick you mention include rice and potato flours, leavening (baking soda, sodium aluminum phosphate, monocalcium phosphate), salt, and xanthan gum. We use a rice, potato, brown rice, and tapioca blend in our gluten-free flour blend, and don’t add leavening, salt, or xanthan gum – so to make the switch, you’d have to add those yourself. As for amounts – please call our hotline, 855-371-2253. Unfortunately I’m not a GF expert, but the hotline folks should be able to help. Good luck – PJH

  48. Bethany

    What would be the ratio of what rice flour or tapioca flour to pastry flour be?
    Say a recipe calls for 300g of pastry flour and I want to make it gluten free.
    Could I just do 300g of white rice flour and it will turn out the same?

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      This really depends on what you are making. I would suggest to call our Baker’s Hotline so that we can troubleshoot over the phone! 855 371 2253 Jon@KAF

  49. Laura

    Thank you for such an informative site. I have a toddler who is allergic to wheat dairy nuts and egg. I have been trying so hard to make him light fluffy, low sugar banana muffins. I have been creating muffins which look amazing, are raising well, but inside are thick and solid rubber. Wheat muffin recipes suggest minimal stirring of the dry and wet ingredients… and I have attempted to do the same – could this be where I’m going wrong? You mention the importance of a Stand mixer… Should I be beating my mix, and then letting it rest? ( I’m using xantham gum, gf flour, soy milk for increased fluid, a dairy free margarine). Would love to hear your thoughts !

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Bakers are often carefully not to overbeat muffin batters made with wheat flours, in order not to develop the gluten in the wheat. The hope is to create a tender muffin. When working with gluten-free muffin recipes, the vigorous beating can’t develop the tough gluten, but it can help incorporate more air into the batter. We find vigorous beating works really well to create tender, light gluten-free muffins.~Jaydl@KAF

  50. Sara Nikjah

    Amy, thank you so very much for valuable information about GF baking. I was planning to make some rice cookies and doing some studies on the web that came up with your blog. I’ve made rice cookies a few times before but the results were not satisfying. They turn out gritty, crumbly and flat. Xanthan gum is the only ingredients that will solve those problems? My second question is that if I use liquid oil instead of butter, what will happen to texture? I am just trying to substitute butter for an oil like vegetable or corn oil to avoid cholesterol? Thank you!
    Please save for Amy.

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Hi Sara, xanthan gum does help bind gluten-free baked goods. You might also try working with guar gum, or flax seed emulsions, if you prefer. If you want to avoid butter, you might find you have better success making cookies with a solid vegetable fat like Earthbalance.~Jaydl@KAF

  51. Ruby

    Hi! I’m trying to bake a vegan/gluten free cupcake. I’m converting an already vegan recipe into gluten free as well. I’m stuck on the gluten part:/
    Do I just need to replace my all purpose flour to a gluten free flour or do I need to change other ingredients as well to call this gluten free?
    I guess basically my question is once I substitute the flour in a recipe is that all I need to change do it can be gluten free or do I need to substitute sugar, baking soda etc.???
    Please help!
    Thank you

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      It may take some experimentation to get your cupcakes to just the texture you want. Adding xanthan gum will help replace the binding action of gluten. Allowing the batter to rest for 15 minutes before baking will help the gluten-free flour’s starches to absorb the recipe’s liquids. Best of luck, Jaydl@KAF

  52. Susan Liller

    Hi, from what I’ve read above, you recommend letting the cookie batters rest overnight, and cake batters at least 15 minutes. Has anyone let their cake batters rest longer, like overnight? Just curious.

    Reply
    1. PJ Hamel

      Susan, the leavening in batters and doughs gradually loses its strength, and the wetter the batter, the more quickly this happens. I think that’s the reason it’s a more likely scenario for cookie dough to rest overnight (or for several days), than cake batter. In addition, the leavening in cake batter has more work to do, raising the cake to its couple of inches tall. Plus, due to combinations of certain ingredients, cake batter can sometimes discolor overnight (you may have noticed this with pancake batter). But anyway, you raise a good point – definitely something we should try sometime. PJH

  53. Liane

    Would love it if King Arthur could develop a gluten free New England Hot Dog Bun mix or Hamburger bun mix.

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Hi Liane, that’s a wonderful suggestion. I will pass it along to the team.~Jaydl@KAF

  54. Rose Fox

    Thanks for these very helpful tips! I recently tried making cream biscuits with Trader Joe’s GF all-purpose flour and almond cream (homemade, just blended almond meal and water). The texture was fine–though not super-fluffy–but they had that gritty rice flour taste. Usually I’d let the batter rest for the flour to hydrate, but will that kill the biscuit texture?

    Reply
    1. Amy Trage , post author

      Rose, what recipe were you using and was the flour product you used a baking mix? ~Amy

    1. The Baker's Hotline

      I don’t believe this is something we have attempted yet. However, I would give a double batch of our a try. Make sure to oil the pan well and drizzle the top with oil and your seasonings of choice before baking. Jon@KAF

  55. Peggy

    I am having company for a Shrimp Etouffe dinner & one of my guest is gluten intolerant. I normally add 1/4 cup flour to the recipe to thicken. What type of substitute would you recommend? I add the flour after I sauté the vegetables before I add raw shrimp. I usually need to add up to a cup of water to make the sauce the right consistency. I need this help soon! There’s not much info out there for savory use of GF substitutes.

    Reply
    1. PJ Hamel

      Peggy, I’d substitute some tapioca flour; mix it with liquid first, and start with 1 tablespoon, going up from there to achieve the thickness you want. Good luck – PJH

  56. Becki

    Hi,
    It is my birthday boyfriend’s birthday this week. His mom sent me his favorite cake recipe. If I use your Arrow Mills GF baking flour mix, then add the X-gum, it will work? Here is her recipe: 1 1/2 c. Honey
    3/4 c. Butter
    1 tsp. vanilla
    4 eggs
    1 1/2 c. White flour
    1 1/2 c. Whole wheat flour
    1/3 c. Poppy seeds
    2 1/2 tsp. baking soda
    1/2 tsp. salt
    1/2 c. Buttermilk
    1 ripe banana

    Reply
    1. MaryJane Robbins

      HI Becki,
      Whoops, looks like you might have us confused with someone else, as we don’t make Arrowhead Mills products. That being said, we would suggest our King Arthur Gluten Free Multi-Purpose flour as your base, using the suggestions in the blog for xanthan gum. Be sure to do a trial run, as you may need to make adjustments to get the right texture and consistency. Good luck! ~ MJ

  57. Becki

    Hi,
    I am so sorry, as I google’d flour conversions for GF cake and your site popped up. I thought it was a general forum for GF baking. I will definitely try King Arthur’s GF Multi-Purpose flour in the future. I love that you have this website for support and information on successful baking. It is so sad when you take the time, energy, and TLC to bake something and it doesn’t turn out well.

    Thanks for your time!
    Becki

    Reply
    1. MaryJane Robbins

      No worries dear, we’re happy to help. :) Hope the birthday cake goes splendidly! ~ MJ

  58. Naomi

    I just found this site and I LOVE IT!!! To celebrate, I am going to make the Peach Cobbler!!! Thanks and keep the good stuff coming!!!

    Naomi

    Reply
  59. Ann

    I need gluten free and sugar free recipes. I do use stevia, but that is about it. Honey can be too sweet also. Appreciate any help.
    Thanks, Ann

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      I’m sorry to say that we are not a great resource for sugar free baking (we simply have very little experience with it). I know there are many online though, so I am sure you will be able to find a source that will work for you! Jon@KAF

  60. Anne Marie Erb

    Does KAF plan on offering gluten-free cocoa any time soon? I really would like to use black cocoa in some of my recipes, but I have been unsuccessful in finding a truly gluten-free version. Many versions carry the disclaimer that the cocoa has been processed on equipment that has also been used to process wheat/gluten. Since I have celiac disease, I need to be sure that the cocoas I purchase meet the newly implemented FDA guidelines for gluten free.

    Reply
    1. MaryJane Robbins

      We do hope to expand of GF options as we gain more dedicated spaces for processing. Thanks for the encouragement, Anne Marie. ~ MJ

  61. Nancy

    How can I get a print of this (and other articles/recipes) without all the pictures?
    Please have that option available. Thanks.

    Reply
    1. PJ Hamel

      Nancy, at this point if you want to print something other than a recipe (a print version of which is available on its recipe page), the only way to print without photos is to copy and paste the words into a word document, and print that. I’m sorry there’s not an easier way – we work with what we have, as far as this platform goes. I’ll pass your request along to our developers, though, to see if they can think of an easier way. PJH

  62. EJ Sydell

    Thanks for the great article. I have been tinkering with my favorite recipes with great success. Question? What will the texture be of a cake/quick bread if you add a bit too much xantham ( a little gummy?) & not quite enough xantham? Also, any tips for brownie recipes? Thanks so much!

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Hi Ej – Yes, you are correct. Too much xanthan gum and too little will change the texture and crumb. Usually about 1/4 t. of xanthan gum per cup of flour is about right for most recipes. We always encourage our customers to find a tested GF recipe but if you are up for the experimentation try adding just the xanthan gum for starters. If the texture is not what you were hoping for add an extra egg and perhaps increase the fat or use a nut flour in place of the wheat flour. Allowing the batter to sit for about 20 minutes prior to baking can help also. Good luck!

  63. rosemary

    I have a recipe for an Italian traditional fried doughnut made with flour, yeast ,and cooked riced potatoes mixed in the dough. Can I sub all purpose gluten free flour?

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Probably not, Rosemary. Yeast doughs are pretty hard to make gluten free, especially if you are going to fry them. I would try looking online for a gluten free version of your recipe. Jon@KAF

  64. Norine

    Thanks for all the info on gfree baking, very helpful! I’ve been trying to take some of my favorite recipes and convert them to gluten free. I’ve started my fall baking, and want to make my favorite pumpkin bars. I plan to switch out the flour for gfree flour, with the addition of the xanthan gum. Should I add an additional egg like you suggest when making a cake? (original recipe calls for 4 eggs and 1 cup oil) Thank you!

    Reply
  65. Mel White

    My husband is the baker, and my housemate Kathy is gluten-free and I am experimenting with it as well though not all the time. I am in love with some stuff though. My husband wants to translate a recipe from Bon Appetit for a salted brown butter apple galette into gluten-free. He tried it today using King Arthur all-purpose gluten free flour — he added 1/4 tsp. xanthan gum to the dry ingredients. I will report back! What else if anything would you suggest when translating a galette or pie crust recipe? Thanks — Mel White

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Hi Mel- Unfortunately, many recipes, especially those like a pie crust which are so dependent on the structure of gluten, will not convert well to gluten-free ingredients. If you do try to convert the recipe to gluten-free, you would use 1/4 teaspoon xanthan gum per cup of GF flour used. However, in this case I would really recommend you start with a recipe designed to be gluten-free such as this one: http://www.kingarthurflour.com/recipes/gluten-free-pie-crust-recipe. If you have any more questions, please feel free to call our Baker’s Hotline at 855-371-2253. Happy Baking! Jocelyn@KAF

  66. Mary Morris

    My daughter, who is now in her mid-forties, has just developed celiacs disease. To add insult to that, she has also become extremely allergic to wheat. We have found that a lot of boxed items sold in grocery stores claim to be gluten free and wheat free. However, read the ingredients well. Any flavor additives listed and any ingredient starting with multi- contain wheat. Through taste trial and error, she has to steer clear of any of these ingredients. It’s easy to cook regular meals for her, but I want to make an occasional cake or cookies – maybe even bread as only ten slices cost almost ten dollars. Oh, an by-the-way, many fast food restaurants – especially Wendy’s, uses wheat as filler in their hamburgers making the hamburger a no-no meal. She can’t have any rolled oats either. Peanut butter must include vegetable oil, Hellman’s mayonnaise with olive oil is ok, no soda. It’s very difficult. I’ve been reading some of the information on this site to get help in making cakes and cookies that taste good, have a good texture and won’t make her sick. I’m getting some good ideas. Thank you. From what I am reading, this is not going to be an easy task.

    Reply
    1. Susan Reid

      Hi, Mary. You’re right, there’s a lot of vigilance involved to find ingredients and products you can trust, but once you get your pantry staples collected it will get easier. Good luck to you and your daughter both; let us know if we can help you in any way. Susan

  67. Barb

    I love this blog! I am fairly new to GF and have slowly been converting my favorite recipes to something I can eat. One of my OMG mistakes turned out to be one of my biggest triumphs and thought I’d share it here. I make a “mounds” brownie. Basically its a rich brownie with dark choc chips and lots of coconut. Here is the recipe and my glorious mistake!
    1/2 c. butter
    1/2 c. coconut oil
    melt together in a bowl
    beat in in 2 tsp. vanilla
    3/4 c coconut sugar
    3/4 c sugar
    set aside for mixing in other ingredients
    in a separate bowl combine:
    1/4 c coconut flour
    1/4 c almond meal
    1/2 c gluten free flour
    1/2 tsp baking powder
    Go back to the original bowl and slowly beat in the combined dry ingredients.
    Here comes my mistake, OMG I forgot the eggs…. well, here we go.
    Add 4 eggs, 1 at a time beating until combined then adding the next. The dough will get weird, stringy and stretchy. Don’t panic!
    Add in 1+ cups of coconut and 1 cup of dark chocolate chips by hand and spread in a 13×9 greased pan and bake at 350 for about 30-35 minutes. Enjoy the goodness, warm or cold. The funny thing is, I’ve found that the brownies don’t dry out and get stale as fast, course they don’t last long either!

    Reply
    1. Susan Reid

      Hi, Barb. This sounds awesome; thanks for sharing. I’m going to make sure our product development team tries this method out; they’ll be fascinated, I’m sure. Very cool. Susan

  68. AB

    I’m looking at the KAF Whole Grain Baking recipe for Banana Chocolate Chip Squares and wondering – can you sub out the spelt flour for almond flour and xanthan gum? Not that I have anything against spelt, just that I find I have a quantity of fine-ground almond meal in my pantry, but no spelt! Thanks!

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Hello AB, a nut flour is really not going to work as a replacement for spelt flour. Nut flours not only do not absorb moisture as spelt will, it will also bring a lot more fat to the recipe. Jon@KAF

  69. Emilee

    Could i get your gluten free chocolate chip cookie recipe? I’ve tried several but they all come out cake like.. The picture and the description of your cookies are exactly what I’m wanting!!

    Reply
  70. Roz

    I recently made a quick bread recipe and substituted brown rice flour for the wheat flour, thinking that would make it gluten free – well, it was dry & gritty. ( A friend who baked GF often for her family had said the above would work). Is rice flour not a good substitute, even using the xanthan or guar gum and extra egg and resting? I usually make a date cake at Christmas and wonder how best to make it GF for some family members? Where, besides King Arthur, can one purchase GF flour on short notice? Thanks much for your help!

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      It’s tough to avoid that “picnic on the beach” mouthfeel when using only brown rice flour. We do have a version of GF flour you can blend at home at the bottom of this recipe:

      http://www.kingarthurflour.com/recipes/gluten-free-blueberry-muffins-recipe

      Another option is to check out the Store Locator feature on the bottom of our web page. You can type in your zip code and it will bring up all the stores in your area and the items they carry. Happy baking! Laurie@ KAF

  71. Sooz

    Hi,
    I grew up with a really lovely apricot and pecan christmas cake – its a dense blond non boiled fruit cake. I’d like to try and convert it to gluten free but a bit scared of wasting so many lovely ingredients and precious pre-christmas baking time! Do you think if I (1) substitute gluten free flour mix for wheat flour, (2) add xanthan gum and an extra egg and (3) rest the batter before adding the fruit and nuts that it will work out OK?
    Thanks for providing such a great GF resource for us bakers!

    Reply
  72. Rebecca

    Hello! Thank you for your help. I have been dying to find a GF recipe for pan dulce aka sweet bread. Specifically the Conchas. I would so appreciate any help with finding a GF recipe. Thank you!

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Unfortunately we don’t currently have a recipe for gluten-free Conchas. Sounds like something we need to work on, Rebecca. Thanks for the suggestion. Barb@KAF

  73. Barry Anderson

    gluten-free brownies

    Is it likely I could make a direct substitution of a half cup of KA gluten-free flour for all-purpose flour in a Moosewood Fudge Brownie recipe? Is it likely to call for any other adjustments? Just check for them being done at the expected time?

    I want to make some of these brownies for a friend who is staying away from gluten. It occurs to me that since the recipe calls for only a half cup of flour for a pan of brownies, and is intended to have a fudgy texture, this might work ok without more.

    Thanks for your observations about use of gluten-free flour.

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Give it a try, Barry. I would perhaps add 1/8 tsp of xanthan gum to your recipe. We also have a great GF brownie recipe! Jon@KAF

  74. Carolyn

    Most flour blends I have seen use tapioca and/or cornstarch as starches. The allergy test I had indicated that I am tapioca and corn sensitive. Can all potato starch be used? If not, is there a viable substitute for the other starches?

    Reply
    1. Alyssa Rimmer

      Hi Carolyn,

      I have had great success substituting potato starch for tapioca starch. There is also arrowroot starch which I am not quite as familiar with, but have heard it can also be used as a 1:1 substitution. I’d say start with potato starch and see where that leaves you. Good luck and make sure to let us know how it goes :)

      – Alyssa

  75. Monique M.

    I want to make my girlfriend a gluten free red velvet lava cake. The recipe calls for 1/2 a cup of flour .. This says 1/4 tsp per cup. Do I just omit the xanthan gum or do I put 1/8 tsp? I’m trying to convert a regular red velvet lava cake recipe into gluten free because I can’t seem to find a gluten free recipe.

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Gluten free baking is a different chemistry and usually recipes require a bit of tweaking to bring near the original. Better to stick with tested recipes and learn how the ingredients function before substituting one for one. Happy baking! Laurie@KAF

  76. Karen Custer Thurston

    Amy, Thanks so much for your flour swap tips for cake. I’m about to try a tried and true upside down cake recipe (pumpkin and cranberry) with GF flour. So appreciate what you have learned. This is one of several recipes I do not want to lose even though I’ve had the ‘privilege’ (i like to call it) to be GF now.

    KCT

    Reply
    1. Susan Reid

      Love your attitude, Karen! Good luck with the cake, and do let us know how it turns out! Susan

  77. Doral Hoffberg

    I love all the wisdom you are graciously imparting! I live in Santa Fe, New Mexico, an elevation of 7,000 ft. I have learned how to adjust my baking, as I have lived here since ’85, however, I haven’t a clue about what to do with the process for gluten free baked goods. Can you help those of us with “altitude”?
    Thanks so much,
    Doral
    Hi Doral, we would suggest giving the folks at the Colorado Extension service a call. They have excellent first-hand advice for high altitude baking. You can reach them at 877.692.9358, I’m sure they will be happy to help give you tips and tricks. ~ MJ

    Reply

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