Gluten-Free FAQs

Gluten-Free FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

We wrote Gluten-Free Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day because readers asked for it, here on the website. So we expect no shortage of gluten-free questions.  Click on any of them below– these are the ones that seem to be on a lot of gluten-free bakers’ minds.  If you’re having a problem with one of our recipes, breeze through these FAQs first.  If you can’t find an answer in the FAQs, click on any “Comments” or “Reply” field (doesn’t have to be related to the content underneath).  Please tell us which book you’re working from, and which recipe and page number:

Dense or gummy interior, or inadequate rising. What am I doing wrong?

Gluten: What is it? And what grains contain gluten?

Nutritional information: How can I calculate it?

Substitutions for ingredients in our gluten-free recipes

Videos: Where can I view videos so I can see what your gluten-free dough’s supposed to look like?

Whole grains in gluten-free baking: how can I get more of them into the flour mixtures?

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481 thoughts on “Gluten-Free FAQs

  1. Hi, I’m not sure I can see a clarification related to substituting milk in the GF recipes. The Challah bread contains milk. What is the closest substitute that works? Thanks

  2. Is it possible to use the whole-grain gluten free flour mixture in the brioche or challah recipes in Gluten-Free Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day?

    I would like to bake healthy egg-enriched gluten-free bread, but I don’t see any gluten free bread recipes using the whole grain mixture and eggs.

    1. Hi Susan,

      I tested tons of flour combinations for the brioche and challah recipes and just couldn’t get the texture of the bread that I liked. If you want to experiment with the whole grain flour mix, I would start with a small batch until you get a loaf you really like. If you do, please let us know what you come up with, I’m sure others would love to know what you discover!

      Thanks, Zoë

  3. Hello! Thank you for such wonderful options for those of us who are gluten free. I am also corn intolerant and I am wondering what I could use as a cornstarch and cornmeal replacement in your recipes.
    Thank you.

    1. We haven’t found a swap for that. You can try proportionally increasing the other starches/flours in a recipe–but honestly– we didn’t succeed with that and eventually gave up. Exception: Our mixture #2, the whole grain gluten-free flour mixture from our book (see for that book on Amazon), and if you use it to make one of the two 100% whole grain recipes from that book–it’ll have no corn product in it.

      That said, it’s a very different kind of result that breads made with lighter flours–quite unique.

  4. My granddaughter is on a gluten, egg, and dairy free diet. Are there any egg replacers that will work in any of your gluten free breads? I’m using the Healthy Bread in five minutes a day book.

  5. I notice in the New Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day (copyright 2013, for the gluten free Master Recipe it calls for Potato Flour, not starch. I just received my copy of Gluten-Free Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day (copyright 2014), and it calls for Potato Starch, not flour! Is there any explanation for this? (By the way, I had success with my first batch, made with Potato Flour from NABin5, but not without a special trip to the store to get Potato Flour. Also, my kitchen is located at 9500′)

    1. Hi Margaret,

      I’m glad you had success with the bread and at that altitude! We tried just about every flour combination when we were creating the GFin5 flour mixtures and found that the potato starch, in combination with the other flours, made for the best flavor and texture. It also seemed more easily sourced.

      Thanks, Zoë

  6. HI. foR The master GF recipe which calls for four egg whites, what size eggs should we use? There’s large, extra, extra extra and jumbo. Thanks!

  7. Hi Zoe,
    Due to a nightshade intolerance, can you recommend a substitute for potato starch listed in Mixture #1 Gluten-Free All-Purpose Flour? I note tapioca starch is already in the Mixture. Would I simply sub arrowroot or extra tapioca starch? Have you tested that Mixture using a sub for potato starch?

    1. Hi Hellen,

      We tested the recipe with so many flour combinations and the potato starch added the right texture to the dough. I haven’t found anything that behaves in the same way. Have you ever used sweet potato starch? I’ve not, but I wonder if that isn’t a good place to start. I have no idea how difficult it is to find, but the internet is wonderful for hard to find items. If you try a starch substitute, I would start with a small batch of dough until you find the right texture.

      Thanks, Zoë

  8. Hi,

    I just bought your Gluten Free Artisan Bread book, and at the same time (thinking I was getting ready to bake a LOT), I bought 15 lbs of Bob’s Red Mill 1 to 1 Baking Flour. I am just wondering if you have tried that and if so, are there any additions I should make to create the #1 mix.

    Elena Quinn

    1. Hi Elena,

      I did try it and liked the flavor, but thought the texture was a bit dense and gummy. If you give it a try, you’ll want to make a small batch of dough to make sure you are happy with it. I have had great luck using that flour blend to make cookies and cakes, it is just bread that was a challenge.

      Thanks, Zoë

      1. Hi Elena,

        The problem with adding more xanthan is that it just adds to the gumminess. I would try a very small batch and see what you think and then you can try to modify from there.

        Thanks, Zoë

  9. I’m using the master recipe from Gluten-Free Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day and was wondering about timing before eating. If I want to have the bread with dinner, how soon should I start? The book mentions not to cut the loaf until two hours after baking. If I want to eat it at 5pm, with a 60 min rest, 45 min bake, and 2 hour cooling, do I need to start at 1:15 pm? How soon can I eat it after it comes out of the oven? Thanks for the help!

    1. Hi Justin,

      Have you already made the dough? If not, you can use the extra fast method on page 68 (no rest, no rise, just bake). If you already have the dough in the refrigerator, then I would suggest making rolls or baguettes, because they rest for a shorter time and cool much faster.

      Thanks, Zoë

      1. Thank you for the quick reply! I already made the dough. I will try the rolls when I need a quick bread fix. Thank you.


  10. If I wanted to make the gluten free master recipe totally vegan, what is the best oil to substitute for the butter – olive, corn?

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