- How can I be sure King Arthur mixes are 100% gluten-free?
Our mixes, and some of our baking ingredients, are Certified Gluten-Free™ by the non-profit Gluten-Free Certification Organization (GFCO), a program of the Gluten Intolerance Group (GIG®). GFCO products are tested to be less than 10ppm (parts per million) gluten. This is stricter than even the FDA requirement of less than 20ppm gluten.
- I see your mixes are kosher. Can you clarify?
Our mixes are certified kosher by Orthodox Union.
- How can a flour company be absolutely certain no gluten gets into its gluten-free products? Are these products packed at King Arthur, or somewhere else?
Our gluten-free products are packed offsite, at a dedicated gluten-free facility. This facility processes only gluten-free foods, and all personnel are carefully trained in practices and procedures that support gluten-free manufacturing of food products.
- What’s the difference between gluten-free and wheat-free?
Gluten is a combination of proteins that form an elastic network that gives wheat-, barley-, and rye-based baked goods their structure. Wheat-free is the absence of any part of the wheat berry; gluten-free is the absence of gluten – which again, can be found in rye and barley, as well as in wheat. Oats, though gluten-free, are often problematic because of cross-contamination with wheat. Also, oats contain a protein similar to the protein in gluten, and this causes problems for people with celiac disease. Thus oats are often grouped with cereal grains, as a product to avoid when you're baking gluten-free.
- Why does anyone want to bake without gluten? Isn’t it a key ingredient in all baked goods?
Various health concerns prompt people to bake gluten-free (GF), including a gluten allergy, wheat reaction, or celiac disease.
- How do I know which baking ingredients contain gluten, and which are GF?
whatcontainsgluten.com is a good place to start. Also, look for packages that contain the words "gluten free;" or those bearing a "gluten free" symbol.
- What’s the best way to store gluten-free items?
Gluten-containing flours and mixes should be stored on a shelf that is physically lower than any gluten free ingredients, flours or mixes to avoid contamination of your GF ingredients. If you are concerned about the possibility of the gluten-free and gluten-based ingredients getting mixed up, store the gluten-containing ingredients in a separate space in your kitchen.
- How do GF baked goods differ from regular ones?
When baking GF for the first time, it helps to manage your expectations. You’ll never replicate exactly your favorite gluten-based baked treats. But if you learn what GF baked goods taste like, and their typical texture, it's easier to track your progress towards your goal of great GF baking.
Because they lack the structure gluten adds, some GF baked goods may seem more crumbly than their wheat-based equivalent. Because of the combination of flours used, they also may become stale more quickly. As you learn to bake gluten-free, you’ll figure out which ingredients, and combinations of ingredients, yield your favorite combination of taste, texture, and freshness.
Happily, baked goods made from King Arthur Flour gluten-free mixes were developed to stay fresher longer. If you have any leftover treats you don’t plan on enjoying within a few days, wrap them tightly in plastic, and freeze for up to a month or so.
- Will the gluten floating around in my kitchen from my regular baking "contaminate" any GF baking I try?
According to the Gluten Intolerance Group (GIG) standard flour dust can hang in the air up to 24 hours, so when baking GF in an area that also handles gluten, you can do your GF baking first and store it in a covered container or wait 24 hours after baking with gluten-based ingredients before baking GF. Before starting, clean your baking area thoroughly – that means wiping down mixers, counters and working with clean dishes and utensils. Anything that the gluten-containing products touch that will be used for GF baking should be well cleaned to avoid contamination.
People handle being GF in different ways. Some folks find it easier to eliminate gluten all together from their kitchens. Others choose to use a dedicated bread machine for gluten-free baking along with separate non-gluten exposed utensils. No matter what your concern, a clean kitchen is always a good idea.
- How do I turn a regular recipe into a GF recipe?
With lots of experimenting!
You’ll need to replace any flour containing gluten with a GF blend. Try our King Arthur Gluten-Free Flour. Or make your own GF blend, as follows:
Whisk together 6 cups (32 ounces) King Arthur stabilized brown rice flour; 2 cups (10 3/4 ounces) potato starch; and 1 cup (4 ounces) tapioca flour or tapioca starch. Store airtight at room temperature. Note: You can substitute white rice flour for the brown rice flour if you like; it'll make your baked goods grittier (unless you manage to find a finely ground version).
Recipes using less than ½ cup flour can usually be converted to GF simply by substituting a GF flour blend, such as the one above. In addition, any other ingredients in the recipe should be checked to see if they include gluten, or were packaged in a facility also packaging products with gluten.
For recipes using more than ½ cup flour, you’ll need to make additional changes, such as adding xanthan gum to step in for the missing gluten. How much? Start with ½ teaspoon, and experiment until you find the level you like.
Understand that taking a regular recipe and substituting gluten-free ingredients will change the recipe substantially. As we said at the start – you’ll need to experiment to find just which tweaks work with any particular recipe.
Finally, it's best not to try to convert an existing yeast bread recipe to GF. Better to use a yeast bread recipe specifically developed to use GF ingredients. You’ll find GF yeast bread recipes, plus many more GF recipes, in the gluten-free section of our recipe site.
- Could you tell me a little bit about what the most common GF flours do in your recipe? Like, what do they add to the final texture, taste, etc.
Rice flour (brown or white), potato starch or potato flour (they’re different), tapioca flour/starch (they’re the same), cornstarch/cornmeal, and our Ancient Grains Blend are some of the common GF flours used in GF baking.
Rice flour is used in many commercial gluten-free mixes. There are several types to choose from, and most recipes will specify which to use: regular long-grain rice flour, medium-grain rice flour, short "sweet" rice flour, or brown rice flour.
Purchase stabilized brown rice flour when possible, as rice bran gets rancid very quickly. Rice flour is used as the backbone of many GF recipes, but if used alone will have a gritty texture.
This pure white starch feels similar to cornstarch, and contains no fiber. It's used to smooth the texture of GF baked goods.
Used in small amounts in bread, potato flour includes the skin of the potato as well as its flesh. It contains fiber, and adds noticeable potato flavor to GF baked goods. It's particularly good in yeast breads.
Tapioca starch (a.k.a. tapioca flour), also known as cassava or manioc, is a pure white starch. It's used to add “body” to baked goods, especially yeast breads, where it imparts chewy texture. Too much tapioca can make baked goods rubbery, so measure carefully.
Cornstarch, a familiar pantry ingredient, is pure white starch. It lightens the texture of GF baked goods, without adding any flavor.
Cornmeal can be either whole-grain (ground from the entire corn kernel), or de-germed (the germ removed to preserve freshness). It adds wonderful corn flavor to GF treats, but no structure; it must be used in conjunction with other flours.
Ancient Grains Blend
Ancient Grains Blend, a blend of four whole-grain GF flours (amaranth, millet, sorghum, and quinoa), adds nutrition to GF baked goods. It doesn’t add to structure, so must be used in conjunction with other flours.
Because many gluten-free grains are not used in whole form, a gluten-free diet may lack fiber. Choosing whole grains where possible is important, but you may also choose to use a fiber such as Hi-maize fiber (a corn product), or small amounts of bean flour. When choosing bean flour, be sure to buy one that’s been processed from cooked beans. Cooking makes the flour better-tasting, and easier on the digestion.