The Culinary Artist’s Gluten Free Flour (no gums added)

by Donna Hann on 07/02/2012

The Culinary Artist's Gluten Free Flour (no gums)

I’ve already shared with you the recipe for my all purpose gluten free flour.  In it, I included xanthan gum (and an option for equal parts xanthan and guar gum if you have both gums at home) to provide the binding qualities that gluten provides in wheat flour.  Not only have I been reading that some folks don’t tolerate gums very well, I have also realized that not all recipes require the same amount of binder (gums).  For example, when using my flour blend to dredge chicken, fish, or eggplant or when making a batter for fried chicken, you don’t need any gum.  I’ve found that pancakes and brownies don’t really need gums, either.  However, cake, pizza, and yeast breads typically do need some type of binder.  Historically, I’ve used xanthan and guar gum in equal proportions as my binders of choice, as I don’t feel any ill effects from them.  There are other options, however.  In addition to the pectin I include in my gluten free flour blend, some other gluten free binders to explore are eggs, gelatin (made from animal bones and skin and not suitable for vegans), flax seed meal (a source of fiber and omega 3 fatty acids), chia meal (high in omega 3 fatty acids and a source of soluble fiber), psyllium husk (source of soluble fiber) and agar agar (a vegetarian “gelatin” substitute made from a variety of seaweed vegetation).  We’ll talk about these as options as we go along.  But for today, here is my flour blend with no gums added.  You can use this flour recipe as a 1:1 replacement for wheat flour in most of your favorite recipes.  You’ll need to add binders for certain things like cake, pizza, and yeast breads.  Use this recipe and the following guide to help determine how much gum to add to your specific recipe.  You may need to tweak the gum amounts listed as these amounts are only given as a starting point.

The Culinary Artist’s Gluten Free Flour (no gums added)
  1. In a large bowl, dump all of the ingredients. Stir with a wire whisk until well incorporated. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

Bob’s Red Mill is a wonderful online source for so many gluten free items.  I love their gluten free rolled oats and frequently use their xanthan gum.  They also have a blog and featured a helpful post that I recommend you read.  In the article they discuss the differences between xanthan and guar gum and offer a wonderful guide for how much of either gum to add to your recipes.  I’ve listed their guide here, but again, I encourage you to read all of their information on the topic.  Although they recommend gum in most gluten free baked products, I challenge you to try eliminating it from things like brownies, cookies, pancakes and waffles.  I don’t think you’ll miss it.

How much Xanthan Gum for Gluten Free Baking?
Cookies………………………………¼ teaspoon per cup of flour
Cakes and Pancakes………………..½ teaspoon per cup of flour
Muffins and Quick Breads………… ¾ teaspoon per cup of flour
Breads……………………………….1 to 1-½ tsp. per cup of flour
Pizza Dough…………………..…… 2 teaspoons per cup of flour
For Salad Dressings…Use ½ tsp. Xanthan Gum per 8 oz. of liquid.

How much Guar Gum for Gluten Free Baking?
Cookies………………………………¼ to ½ tsp. per cup of flour
Cakes and Pancakes………………..¾ teaspoon per cup of flour
Muffins and Quick Breads………….1 teaspoon per cup of flour
Breads……………………………….1-½ to 2 tsp. per cup of flour
Pizza Dough…………………..…….1 Tablespoon per cup of flour
For Hot Foods (gravies, stews , heated pudding)…Use 1-3 teaspoons per one quart of liquid.
For Cold Foods (salad dressing, ice creams, pudding) Use about 1-2 teaspoons per quart of liquid.

I’d love to hear your feedback on the topic of gums and alternative gluten free binders.  Can you tolerate xanthan and guar gum?  Have you found others binders that do the job for you?  We all benefit when we share our knowledge (both flops and successes) on our gluten free journey.


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  • Artemis River

    Does it matter what brand of pectin you use? I tried sure-jel from my local grocery store and it does seem to work great in cakes especially, those that take vinegar like wacky cake.

    • Artemis,
      I have not used any other brand of pectin besides Pomona’s Universal. I chose to begin my experiments using their pectin as a binder in gluten free baking because it is derived from the peel and pulp of lemon and lime, and to a minor extent orange and grapefruit. It is sugar free and preservative free. Many pectin brands require large amounts of sugar to be added in order for the gelling process to be activated. Pomona’s Universal is formulated to be used with low sugar amounts and even other sweeteners such as honey, stevia, maple syrup, and xylitol. It is also GMO free. Thanks for letting us know that you’ve had success with Sure-Jel. Feedback like this helps all of us find success in the kitchen.

  • Artemis River

    Does it matter what brand of pectin you use? If you use the Pomana’s brand, in the Amazon page it states it includes a packet of monocalcium phosphate, do you include that in the mix too?

    • Artemis,
      I do not include the monocalcium phosphate packet that comes with the Pomona pectin when mixing up my flour blends. The food industry adds this ingredient as a yeast nutrient in baking, an acidulate in baking powder, and a mineral supplement.
      My thought is that if I’m baking something that needs to rise, my recipe will likely already include baking powder, which has mono calcium phosphate as the first ingredient. So I opt to leave it out and it works just fine.
      Best of luck with your baking! Let me know how you like using pectin in your gluten free creations.

  • Aliyanna Mancuso

    I would like to understand why you use pectin….lol…we aren’t making jelly. One other question….when I bake bread roll or whatever they rise beautifully til I take em out of the oven….then they crash…..why?? It has done this on several recipes.

    • Aliyanna,
      Thanks for stopping by some months ago. So sorry for the long delay in replying. I have been recovering from an accident and hope to relaunch the blog very soon. Pectin in my flour blend acts much as it does when we make jelly. It binds it all together. Without the protein in the gluten to create that bind our baked goods can suffer in their ability to be stretchy/pliable/tender. The pectin provides a bit of that.
      Regarding your bread falling – often times this happens if the bread isn’t fully baked before removing it from the oven. Many breads do best when baked until an internal temperature measures at least 200 degrees. I use an instant read thermometer. Best of luck!

  • Saša

    Im trying to make pasta. Do you know can i use only tapioca and rice or tapioca and millet ?

  • Donna, I was gluten intolerant for years but my intolerance seemed to ease when I got rid of a major stress in my life. I ate gluten-full for about two years and have recently started having issues again. I want to include more gluten-free products back in my life, but unfortunately, got rid of most of my recipes in my excitement of feeling better. I should have saved them as I had a ton of recipes I manipulated to use without the gums. :-/ Stupid me!!! Now I am starting from scratch again – I am interested in knowing how your loaves turned out that you mentioned below (with chia seeds, etc) – have you devised a “perfect” loaf yet that is gum free??? I have searched the site and haven’t found any recipes (I may not be searching for the right terms). Thanks, Judi

  • nikki nelson

    Thank you for making such a great flour mix and putting in another of your recipes (I think the blueberry one) the comment about you were wanting to use old recipes and found out it was as easy as subing the all purpose flour with your gluten free mix. My little boy was diagnosed with a wheat allergy last week and it was a little bit of a shock to the system since everything we ate was wheat! The gluten free items at our local store are expensive and making a meal at home was stressful. I felt like what do we eat. 🙂 Now I realize it’s a really easy thing to fix because I cooked most of our things at home anyways and I just need to sub stuff out. Thanks again for making things much easier!!!!

  • i realize that this post is a year old and you may have had some innovations over the year. However, for my situation where my husband has multiple food allergies and I have a sensitivity to the gums, I need something that delivers baked products that are not more experiments gone bad! Gluten-free baking is challenging and expensive. And super disappointing when the results are dense, gummy and just downright inedible. I have just started looking at the use of pectin with psyllium husks, flax and chia seeds in baking. My goal for 2013 is to bake sandwich bread that is light and delicious. Any direction you can point me to obtain my goal would be welcome!

    • Mary,

      I can empathize with you that gums can cause reactions, particularly xanthan. I, too, have been doing my own experimenting using psyllium husks, flax and chia. In fact, I have a few loaves of gluten free, dairy free, gum free sandwich bread rising on the counter as we speak- Using both flax and psyllium husks as binders. When I’m totally jazzed about the result, you can bet I’ll post it here. Stay tuned and feel free share your success stories here for us all to learn from…

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  • Cris

    I have a sensitivity to Xanthum gum as tears up my stomach :/ I love that you have a gum free GF recipe for all purpose flour 🙂 Thank you !

    • Cris,
      I have been so happy with the gum free recipe thus far. Please let me know if you try it and what you create! Thanks for following along.

  • Kate B.

    Used this flour recipe to make avacado chocolate chip muffins. Substituted the flour 1:1, and they turned out absolutely delicious! I didn’t add any gums at all for this one- the recipe called for avacado, eggs, and 2 tbs. of coconut oil. Think those were enough for a binder for them. This is the best gluten free flour blend I’ve tried so far!

    • I am so delighted to hear you had success with my flour blend! I swear by it and believe the pectin in it does wonders as a binder. Thanks so much for the feedback and pass me one of those cookies…

  • Adrianne T.

    Do you know a good substitute for xanthun gum in cookie, muffin and pancake recipes? I used xanthun gum in a a gf cookie recipe and had a really bad reaction.

    • Adrianne,
      Frankly, I believe that xanthan gum is overused in gluten free baking. Xanthan gum is used to replace the stretchy, binding properties that gluten provides in things like bread dough. I have very successfully omitted xanthan gum from most of my cookie and pancake recipes – they don’t need that same kind of “stretch”. You’ll see that I have included pectin in my flour blend above (pectin acts as a binder). You might try my flour blend and see how you fare. You are certainly not alone in having a reaction to gums. I wish you luck.

  • Amber H

    Great flour mix! And I love your helpful guide. Fantastic!

    • Amber,
      Thanks for the dropping by and sharing your comment. I follow your blog, The Tasty Alternative, as well! We can only continue to grow and learn from sharing our experiences. Look forward to sharing more!

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