X is for Xantham Gum
Out of necessity, I have had to learn a lot of gluten free baking tips and tricks. Thankfully, I have been able to surround myself with people who are already good at this, and they have helped me along the way.
I wanted to post about what is, in my opinion, the number one necessity for gluten free baking. That is the addition of xantham gum into the batter.
There are members of my family who have eaten 'regular' for years, and have just gone gluten free recently. They do remember the taste of wheat flour products and baking, and although gluten free baking definitely cannot fully replicate that taste and texture, it can be made more palatable, and dare I even say, enjoyable!
Xantham gum is used in gluten free baking as a replacement to the stabilizer or ingredient that binds together all the others. Since gluten does this in regular baking, and you are removing that element, it is necessary to add something or your gluten free baked goods will either crumble apart, be very grainy, or remind you of a brick!
Here is a cheat list of how much xantham gum to add to your baking. I always add it, even if I am using a flour blend that already includes it. I have found that I get better results that way, although you will definitely need to experiment a bit on your own to find what works for you. When I bake gluten free pancakes or muffins with the addition of xantham gum, sometimes I can't even tell which ones are the gluten free and which ones are the regular when set side by side. It makes that much of a difference!
From Bob's Red Mill here is a list of the suggested amount of xantham gum to use in your baking:
Cookies - 1/4 tsp per cup of flour
Cakes & Pancakes - 1/2 tsp per cup of flour
Quickbreads & Muffins - 3/4 tsp per cup of flour
Breads and pizza Crusts - 1 to 1-1/2 tsp per cup of flour.
While I have used several different brands of xantham gum, the one I prefer and have had the best results with is from Now Foods.
Below are some of my Amazon links to some good gluten free products. If you click through my website, I will earn a small percentage from your purchase. Thanks!
I am linking this up with :Blogging Through The Alphabet" at "Ben and Me".