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Gluten Free Baking: Gluten Replacers

If you have ever tried baking with Gluten Free flours, you know that they just don’t act, feel or respond in the same way as wheat flour.

Gluten-Replacers in Gluten-Free Baking

Gluten has several properties in baking, such as:         Bread - Loaves 3

  • It binds ingredients together
  • It  provides structure to your end product
  • It as elasticity

Jeanne Sauvage, author of the Art of Gluten Free Baking, posted a wonderful article on understanding the gluten substitutes and how to use them.  Here is a few quotes from her article:

Xanthan gum is the product created from the fermentation of the bacteria Xanthomonas campestris in a sugar solution.  In my opinion, xanthan gum is the one that behaves most like gluten. … And for most baking recipes you only need to use about ¼ teaspoon of xanthan gum per cup of flour…

Guar gum is made from the guar bean plant.   It is pretty good at binding and structure-building. But it is much less elastic than xanthan gum…. When I use it, I use the same amount of guar gum that I use of xanthan gum per cup of flour–about 1/4 teaspoon….

…various combinations of psyllium, chia, and flax seeds seem to be the holy grail of gluten-replacers, although you do have to use a lot (several tablespoons in a recipe).

Personally, I have been a subscriber of Jeanne’s website for awhile now, and am very impressed by her knowledge on Gluten Free Baking.  She currently has a book out on the subject:

Gluten Free Baking for the HolidaysGluten Free Baking for the holidays

I have a copy of this book in my own cookbook library and love all the interesting cookies and treats …. that can be eaten all year ’round!  In the beginning of the book is a section called  ‘Gluten Free Baking Primer’ that has a wealth of information for newbies!

I highly recommend Jeanne’s book if you want to learn to bake Gluten Free!

NOTE:  Not all recipes are Vegan!!


New Gluten Free Cookbook for the Holidays

A new cookbook, Gluten Free Baking for the Holidays: 60 Recipes for Traditional Festive Treats by Jeanne Sauvage, author of the Art of Baking Blog, has just been released — just in time for holiday planning and baking!  According to the blog, Jeanne is on and off touring, promoting the book.  I believe she just got back from  Portland, Oregon.  (You can read her post here!)

I have been following Jeanne’s blog for awhile now and have thoroughly enjoyed her tips and recipes.  I was so excited to hear about her new cookbook and doubly excited when my copy arrived in the mail on Friday!

If you have never tried it, Gluten Free Baking is a completely different animal than baking with wheat-based flour.  But Jeanne shares some excellent tips and recipes that she has developed for herself and her family.  Jeanne also shared her personal Gluten Free All Purpose Flour Recipe:

 1¼ cup brown rice flour
1¼ cup white rice flour
1 cup sweet rice flour
1 cup tapioca flour
Scant 2 tsp. xanthan gum

Before I received Jeanne’s Gluten Free Baking for the Holidays Cookbook, I had no idea there were so many types of yummy holiday treats!  Here is a quick list of her Gluten Free Cookie recipes:

  • Speculaas
  • Lebkuchen
  • Pfeffernuesse
  • Springerle
  • Pepparkakor
  • Regulach
  • Benne Cookies
  • Fortune Cookies
  • Mexican Wedding Cookies
  • Spritz Cookies
  • Shortbread Cookies
  • Candy Can Cookies
  • Cutout Cookjies
  • Thumbprint Cookies
  • Gingerbreasd Cookies
  • Chocolate Chip Cookies
  • Chocolate Chip Meringues
  • Meringue Mushrooms
  • Chocolate-Cherry Biscotti
  • Lemon Bars
  • Gingerbread House

There is also separate sections of recipes for cakes, pies & tarts, breads & crackers, and deep-fried treats!

The cookbook is a wonderfully formatted hardcover book that includes 60 recipes for traditional festive treats!

Two things I did not like about the book (honestly, I could only find two!!):

1.  There was not nearly enough photos!  With such wonderfully sounding recipes, I was hoping to see what they looked like!

2.  The recipes are not vegan — although she gives several tips and substitution in the front of the book that would be very helpful for the beginner.

If you are looking for some great sounding Gluten Free recipes for the holidays or if you are just interested in finding some new ideas, I would highly recommend Jeanne’s Gluten-Free Baking for the Holidays!