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:

  1. Dense or gummy interior, or inadequate rising. What am I doing wrong?
  2. Gluten: What is it? And what grains contain gluten?
  3. Nutritional information: How can I calculate it?
  4. Substitutions for ingredients in our gluten-free recipes
  5. Videos: Where can I view videos so I can see what your gluten-free dough’s supposed to look like?
  6. Whole grains in gluten-free baking: how can I get more of them into the flour mixtures?

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549 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.

      1. HI there,
        From Gluten Free: any suggestions on “rising” the dough at elevation. I live at 8000 ft. The wheat recipes from the original book worked fine here. However, I must bake GF. I’ve added egg to the boule and its helped make the bagette “sliceable” but overall the boule is baking very dense, not rising at the rest period (90 minute) or in the oven during baking. I am an experienced bread baker… but not with GF recipes. Any suggestions, I’ve followed all in the book: egg, longer rest period, not over handling the dough and nothing made it much better. Love the taste! Could more yeast or yeast with some sweetener (honey) to boost the yeast? or make a sponge first?

      2. Try egg whites instead of the whole egg… Lighter. Assume you’re using all Bob’s Red Mill products.

  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?

  11. Hi, I have baked gluten-free bread many times & they have been perfect! The last 7 times, all the recipes come out exactly the same?? Cooked on the outside, raw inside?? No substituting, following to a T, also following exactly on youtube one time, using the same bread dishes as they ask for / as always. My husband thinks I’ve lost it!? Sometimes, I have put a slice or two in the toaster, or in a pan with oil to try and get the middle to cook? No matter what I do, the middle will not cook? I can use the hottest or cooler temp, I have tried everything and I’ve never heard of something that won’t cook or why? Especially flour, milk, egg, olive oil, baking soda, vinegar,ect?? All those ingredients have cooked all my life. They are cookable ingredients even in toasters! With yeast & without, I have tried both. I’m using all, very good gf flours & together properly. Help!?? Any help/advise would be greatly appreciated!!!!! Cheers, Deanna

    1. Hi Deanna,

      Which of our recipes are you having trouble with? We have several books with Gluten-free recipe and they are all slightly different, so knowing which one you are using will help.

      Thanks, Zoë

  12. I would like them to make a gluten-free bread or eggs recipe. I have your book that has gluten-free recipes but the basic recipe carries eggs. How could I replace the egg in the recipe with good results.

  13. Hi, I just buy at kindle the gluten free Artisian Bread Book, and also have a Hamilton Beach bread maker, can I make these recipes with the bread machine?


    1. Hi Paola,

      We’ve never tried it. Our recipes are based on making enough for 4 loaves per batch, so the amount of dough would be too much for the bread machine. We also store the dough in the refrigerator, so you can bake when you want to over several days.

      Thank you, Zoë

  14. I just purchased your book and wonder if I should purchase the baking stone (which one is your preference?) or the Dutch oven (which one is your preference?) first?
    Which of all your breads has the closest flavor to wheat? Which bread do you recommend I make first?
    Thanks for writing this book.

      1. Thanks for the link. I look forward to make tasty bread. I will let you know about my experience.

  15. I am baking the Master Recipe Boule from the Gluten-Free book. Every time I have made it (at least 10 by now) the crust comes out so hard I have to saw to get through the top. I’ve even had to buy a sturdier bread knife! My hand aches so much from cutting that I can’t slice the whole loaf at one time. I’ve tried leaving off the dusting flour, adding an egg wash on top and putting foil on top partway through the baking. It still comes out hard. Interestingly, it chews okay–doesn’t take much greater effort than any thick-crusted bread. What can I do differently? Thank you!

      1. I am baking on a cookie sheet with steam. I found a baking stone at a thrift store this weekend so I can try that next time. I have not baked in a dutch oven. Does it have to be a cast iron one? I have a heavy gauge stainless steel pot with a lid.


      2. Hi Linda,

        Try the baking stone and see if that helps. Let the stone get right up to oven temperature, which can take 30 minutes for thin stones and up to 45 minutes for thick ones. You may also need an oven thermometer to make sure your oven is true to temp.

        The Dutch oven works best if it is heavy duty lidded pot. The heavy gauge metal or ceramic will retain and conduct heat better than a thin metal.

        Thanks, Zoë

      3. I made a good crust!

        First I tried baking on a baking stone with steam. That didn’t help.

        This time I put an aluminum foil cake pan over my loaf, again on the baking stone with steam. I uncovered it for the last 10 minutes because the crust needed some color. The crust came out good–easy to cut on top but still somewhat tough on the bottom.

        I guess, though, if I cover the loaf I don’t need to add water to the oven. Is that true?

        It was wonderful not to have to hack through the crust!

      4. Hi Linda,

        This is great to know. Thanks for sharing your experience. If you are covering the dough with the inverted pan, then you don’t need additional water.

        Thanks, Zoë

      1. Thanks for your reply. I bought some more rice flour because I thought that would be the case. Is it possible to freeze the dough unbaked or should I make the bread and then freeze it? I’m new at this!

      2. Hi Verna,

        You can freeze the dough for a couple of weeks and then defrost and bake as normal. You can also freeze the baked loaves. GF breads stale quickly, so I recommend freezing if you can’t eat it all in a day or two.

        Thanks, Zoë

  16. Just got the Gluten-free Artisan in 5 min book….LOVE IT!!!!! I’m baking In Denver…I’ve already allowed a longer rise time…extra 15 min. and some extra oven time……extra 10 min….but I still have a gummy center on the basic 1 lb round loaf recipe. Wondering if I need less moisture? A slightly different flour mix?…they look perfect…and except for the middle taste great.

      1. Hi, I’m using Master Recipe #1 from GF ABIF and am wondering if the in-a-hurry method will work with the egg enriched version of the classic boule? I’d like to try the enriched version, and usually make a loaf or two of the regular when I mix a batch of dough. Thank you!!!

  17. Hi I have your gluten free bread in a five a day – and love it!!! Just a quick question…. recommended this to someone – but they cannot tolerate oat flour at all – for your mix number two what would you say best can replace all of the oat flour in that mixture – I know your book makes recommendations – but just want to know what would be replace that whole flour measure for measure in the mixture number 2…..thank you

    1. We really didn’t have success messing with this one–it was hard to come up with a mixture that works (at least, well enough to release in a book), so you’ll have to experiment. Could increase the proportions of the other 3 ingredients.

  18. Hiya. I’m in the UK and cornmeal is not as common here. I can easily get polenta (the easy cook stuff is what’s easy to get hold of), but I’m not sure whether that would work well. I can also get fine cornmeal online. Which would be better? Thanks.

      1. Hmmm. That does have a lot of cornmeal. I’d just switch to any of the other non-egg doughs–they can all be used for pizza.

  19. Thanks Jeff, that’s good to know. If I’m able to source cornmeal what grind would you recommend? Fine, medium or coarse? Thanks.

  20. Dear authors,
    I kindly request your recommendations for par baked gf pizza doe/crusts. I have your GF Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes, and have been reading the “No-fail pizza crust roll-out:” section, an did not find any direct reference on par baking.

    I also have your first book on Artisan Bread in 5; both books are great and I take this opportunity to congratulate you on both.

    Many thanks for any insights you may provide.

    Kind regards

    1. We found that GF discs were a bit brittle for par-baking and freezing for later use, and that they were less resistant to fragmenting in the freezer when jostled. But you can try it (be careful). Same instructions as in the book for par-baking breads (maybe don’t go to 90% baked, just until it’s firm). If you have the 1st edition of “Artisan Bread” (2007), it’s on page 24. If you have the 2nd edition (2013), it’s on page 49. More detailed directions are in our pizza book (on Amazon at

      If you just meant to par-bake before topping (not par-bake and freeze)–we’ve found that about 35 to 50% of the baking works well, but you need to experiment–depends on how thin you get your dough round.

      1. Many thanks for your reply; please forgive me because I re-posted this question earlier today in another post because I did not receive notice of your response beforehand…

  21. Have you used the Emile Henry La Cloche with a gluten free bread recipe? Do we still preheat for easiest use, given that it’s ceramic? Thanks so much! I just read your book last week and am debating which cloche to purchase.

  22. Hi! I’m using the Gluten-free Artisan Bread in 5 minutes book! its amazing and I love it!!! I have 2 questions:
    1. Im having trouble finding Soughum flour in my country, Can I replace it in mix 1 and 2 with Millet flour in the same proportion?
    2. In mix # 2 I have issues finding Teff flour here. Is it possible to replace it with Buckwheat in the same proportions?
    3. In mix #2 can I replace the oat flour with Amaranth Flour?
    I really appreciate your comments!

    1. Well, unfortunately…

      We tested lots of swaps (though I can’t remember if we tested the exact ones you mention), and we found that the only ones that worked out the way we liked were the ones we published with, on page 61. Nothing else was good enough to put into the book. So experiment–you’ll probably find some proportion you like.

  23. I have been using your book for many years and last week tried your gluten-free recipe. Unfortunately, the dough did not rise at all. What could have gone wrong? Should I just throw it out and try again?

    1. First–try to the dough as a flatbread and see what you think. It may just be a matter of expectations. GF does not rise as briskly as wheat.

  24. Why does the Gluten-Free Master Recipe on page 268 of The New Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day call for Potato Flour (not starch) but your website recipe…Flour Mixture #1…calls for Potato Starch and instructs not to substitute with Potato Flour?

    1. Hi Chris,

      As we experimented with flour blends over the years we landed on liking the texture of the potato starch better and it was more readily available.

      Thanks, Zoë

  25. Page 22 of GF Artisan Bread says to add
    1 1/2 tsp xanthum per 6 c. Flour to a GF flour mix that doesn’t have it already . But your GF flour recipe calls for 1/4cup –
    12 tsp- for 12 cups of flour- that’s 1 tsp per cup. Please clarify. Thanks

    1. Hi Feigi,

      Oh, this is a mistake, thank you for catching it. What we meant to say is that you may need to add more xanthan to some commercial flours, but it will really depend on the brand. Some of these flours actually have so much xanthan that they produce a gummy bread, so you don’t want to automatically add more xanthan to a flour mix. The only brand I’ve had good luck with so far is Better Batter, but I have not tried all the brands, so there may be others that work.

      Thanks, Zoë

      1. I was just wondering about this. You have used Better Batter? In a cup for cup ratio without adding anything and it worked? I just purchased your book and was going to use the recipe provided for flour mixtures but I buy Better Batter in bulk and keep it on hand because I love it so much so if I don’t have to mix anything else that would be amazing!

      2. Hi Jackie,

        So far, Better Batter is the best I’ve tried and I didn’t make any adjustments. I’ve not tried it in all recipes, so I would make a small batch and make sure you like the results.

        Thanks, Zoë

  26. Hi! Thanks for publishing the book, Gluten-Free Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day. I purchased a digital scale and all the ingredients to make mixture #1 on page 60 and was getting ready to begin when I noticed the weights for the tapioca flour and potato starch are identical while the measurements are different. Would you be able to email the corrected U.S. and Metric weights for those two ingredients please? We can’t wait to try this recipe. Thanks for all your research!

    1. Hi Francine,

      The cup measurements and weights are often different depending on the density of the flour, so you can use the weights that are given in the book, they are correct.

      Thanks, Zoë

  27. Hi, I thought I posted this question but can’t find it now. For the 100 percent whole grain gf bread in the book, could I soak the millet before adding it to the dough? I like to soak all grains 8-12 hours for digestibility. Thanks!

    1. Hi Shawndra,

      I left a response for you on “Substitutions for ingredients in our gluten-free recipes”:

      Yes, that will work too. It may require you add a couple more tablespoons of the flour mixture, since we were accounting on some of the water being absorbed by the millet.

      Thanks, Zoë

      1. Great, thank you! I’m excited to try that recipe out because … whole grains!! And once I get the hang, I’m definitely going the sourdough route.

  28. My breads always seem to be very dry after baking them. What do I need to do to make my breads come out more moist?

    1. Hi Fredericka,

      Which recipe you are baking? Does it seem dry when you first cut into it, or does it dry after it’s sat for a day or two?

      Thanks, Zoë

  29. We have recently bought your Gluten Free Artisan Bread in Five Minutes A Day book and the master recipe just uses water as the liquid addition, but in your video it shows you using oil, which is the correct recipe. This is going to be our first attempt at baking gluten free bread so any advice would be welcomed.

  30. I am wondering whether your GF Flour Mix #1 can also replace all purpose flour for baking cakes, cookies, etc. Or is it most suitable only for bread flour sub?
    Thank you,

    1. I’m embarrassed to admit that we’ve never tried that. It’d require some experimentation, mainly around how much liquid you need to approximate the looseness of the wheat-based recipe.

      Try the cookies first–they’re the most forgiving.

  31. Hello, don’t know what happened to the lengthy first question I had; I made a 2nd loaf of rustic bread in a dutch oven, and it collapsed/deflated when transferring from an 8″ parchment lined skillet to the preheated 3qt dutch oven- 2nd time, am I letting it rise too much before transferring? What I used was a combination of recipes, and used a starter of 2 oz sorgh /quinoa flours, each to 1t yeast 1 c water, 1T sugar, after 30 min, added to 10 oz of your GF#1, to 2 oz of your GF WG, 1c +2T water, 1 T honey, 1.5t salt, 5 T psyllium, 1T acv, and 2 eggs. With the starter, I only let the dough rise for about 40 min ( maybe too long), while preheating the dutch ov, to 495*- went to transfer the dough, parchment paper and all, to the dutch ov, on top of a cutting board, and then it all deflated to a flat shrunken loaf of dough: drats! please help;; shall eat it anyway, and bake as you direct for dutch oven: 15 min at 475*, lower to 425* 15 min, lid on , then another 15 min 425*, lid off. thanks

    1. Well, you’ve made a lot of substitutions, so all bets are off. And while natural starters should work with GF, it’s not something we tested for in our books. Not sure how to advise, except to say that when we tried things like this, it usually meant 10 or 15 repeat experiments. There’s no way to help you without actually doing it.

  32. OK, Jeff; kinda thought: so last time I used a 1 # sized loaf of I believe your GF peasant light version. It also
    deflated when I took from one spot to place into the preheated d oven. So, that makes me think that the dough has over risen…hard to get from a flat place, parchment paper, lifting up and over the d oven, without disturbing it…my dilemma. I like the taste of yesterdays, and the first time also, and it was crustier and chewier, and more holes; yesterday came out a little denser. Thanks for your reply.
    I just don’t eat enough bread to make lots of dough, as the GF are still starches, and I like to try different ones, so guess they’ll all be experiments. My son is also reactive to many GF: he can have oats, I cannot; he can’t have millet, amaranth, tapioca, teff, hemp; I can have all but tapioca- so it gets real tricky for substitutions- that is why I usually make 2 loaves- one for me; one for him.

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