Ingredients - Gluten-Free

Gluten-Free Thick Crust Pizza RecipeIf you are new to Gluten-Free Baking you may find yourself wondering about all of the different ingredients included in a recipe. 

Gluten Free means a product is free from wheat, rye, barley and other gluten-containing grains and their derivatives. Wheat free, however, does not mean a product is definitely gluten free. If truly gluten-free, make sure it ha been processed and packaged in a gluten-free facility to avoid contamination. Always read ingredient labels carefully. 


How much Xanthan or Guar Gum for Gluten Free Baking?
NOTE: These are guidelines, only. (Bob's Red Mill)
The final difference between the two gums is the variation in quantities you will need for different foods. There are no hard and fast rules; you’ll have to experiment yourself to see what works best in your recipes. Here are some helpful measurements, though I use much less:
Cookies 1/4 teaspoon
Cakes and Pancakes 1/2 teaspoon
Muffins and Quick-Breads 3/4 teaspoon
Yeast Breads 1 to 1 1/2 teaspoons
Pizza Dough 2 teaspoons
Salad Dressings 1/2 teaspoon per 8oz. liquid
Cookies 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon
Cakes and Pancakes 3/4 teaspoon
Muffins and Quick-Breads 1 teaspoon
Yeast Breads 1 1/2 to 2 teaspoons
Pizza Dough 1 Tablespoon
Hot Foods (gravies, stews , heated pudding) 1 to 3 teaspoons per 1qt. liquid
Cold Foods (salad dressing, ice creams, pudding) 1 to 2 teaspoons per 1 qt. liquid

Some gums are also used as thickeners.

Guar gum is derived from the seed of a legume and has many times the thickening power of cornstarch. Using too much can produce a heavy or stringy texture in baked goods, so measure carefully. 

Xanthan gum powder is from a microorganism which is fed corn or soy and the protective layer it forms around itself is what's harvested for the xanthan gum. It is a polysaccharide, meaning that it is a large molecule composed of several saccharides or sugars linked together.

Xanthan gum is used as a thickening agent, stabilizer, and emulsifier. It also helps with the creation of foams and retards or controls the formation of ice crystals. Using too much can produce a heavy or gummy texture, so measure carefully. Find it with baking ingredients.

Guar Gum can be used in its place. You would use 1 1/2 times the amount of Guar Gum as a recipe calls for Xanthan Gum.

How does it work in gluten-free baking? Wheat gluten gives the stretch to the dough and is that which allows bubbles to form in the bread as gases are produced by the yeast. Without gluten, the gases are not trapped into gluten surrounded bubbles, and the bread is flat and not really bread-like at all. Obviously, gluten-free means you do not have gluten. Xanthan gum (and guar gum) replaces gluten by providing the viscosity to the batter to trap the gases, forming the airy texture you want in bread.

Gum Substitutes: When mixed with water, some seeds, form a thick gel that make them a good substitute for gums in recipes.

  • Chia seeds, ground NOTE: Too much chia will make your bread gummier.
  • Golden Flax Seeds, ground or flax seed meal 

Amounts: What ever amount (weight) of guar and/or xantham gum is used in the recipe, substitute it with the same amount of chia and/or flax seeds. Combine that with twice as much boiling hot water and stir.
SARAH SAYS: To do, put your ground seeds in a bowl, then boil some water in a pot or tea kettle. After it’s boiling, measure out the xx tablespoons of water and pour it over the seeds in the bowl, and stir. There’s your slurry!
I grind the flax and chia as I need it because they are perishable. 

NOTE: For bread, start out with 1-2 teaspoons of ground chia and 2 tablespoons of flax.

Gluten-Free Everyday Chocolate Cake or Cupcakes RecipeGuar Gum versus Xanthan Gum:
Both guar and/or xanthan gums are frequently called for in gluten free recipes and can seem exotic at first, but they both serve the same general purpose as thickeners and emulsifiers. Quite simply, both these ingredients help keep your mixes mixed. They keep oil droplets from sticking together and separating, and solid particles from settling to the bottom. You can use just one or the other; or sometimes for the best results, you can use them in combination together.

In conventional recipes containing wheat, rye, barley or triticale flour, the protein, gluten in these flours serve the same purpose that guar and xanthan gums do in gluten free baking. Gluten protein is what traditional recipes rely on to thicken dough and batters, and trap air bubbles to make your baked goods light and fluffy. Xanthan gum provides the viscosity to the batter, which helps starches combine to trap air, while guar gum helps keep large particles suspended in the mix.

One of the differences between the two products is where they come from. Guar gum is made from a seed native to tropical Asia, while xanthan gum is made by a micro organism called Xanthomonas Camestris that is fed a diet of corn or soy. Since it is unknown whether xanthan gum could cause a reaction in people severely allergic to corn and soy products, we recommend using guar gum as a precaution for people with severe allergies to those foods.

In the kitchen, there are also important differences in using xanthan gum versus guar gum. In general, guar gum is good for cold foods such as ice cream or pastry fillings, while xanthan gum is better for baked goods. Xanthan gum is the right choice for yeasted breads. Foods with a high acid content (such as lemon juice) can cause guar gum to loose its thickening abilities. For recipes involving citrus you will want to use xanthan gum or increase the amount of guar gum used.

In general, it is best to add both xanthan and guar gum to the oil component in a recipe, making complete mix of oil and gum before adding to the rest of liquid ingredients. Using a blender or a food processor is a great way to get the gums to dissolve properly.


Psyllium husk powder: It adds a great texture to gluten-free bread at 1 - 3 tablespoons per batch. 

Seasonings: They can contain a wide variety of ingredients, so some are not gluten free. Seasonings can contain wheat flour or wheat starch, which will be noted on the label. Others contain only spices, herbs and gluten-free ingredients.

Spices: Pure spices are gluten free. Some contain silicon dioxide, used to keep them free flowing and is gluten-free.

Vinegar: All distilled vinegar is gluten-free. Malt vinegar contains gluten.

Whey: When cheese is made, whey is the liquid part of milk that is separated from solids. It is used as an additive in many processed foods and is gluten free.

Yeast: All brand-name packaged yeasts sold in the US are gluten free. When salt is deliberately added to live yeast, however, it becomes an entirely new food ingredient known as autolyzed yeast, and it is generally considered gluten-free. Brewers' yeast, when it's a by-product of beer, is not considered gluten free. Brewers yeast nutritional supplements, however, can be made from either brewer's yeast or sugar. If made from sugar, they are gluten free.

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