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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672 thoughts on “Gluten-Free FAQs

  1. I was wondering if you are going to do a grain-free book anytime soon? I have all your books, but now am on the ketogenic diet for my terminal malignant cancer. I had to give up all carbs except a few leafy veggies. I am trying to make a yeast-based keto bread – a real challenge!!! THANKS!

  2. I’m going to make gf brotchen. Recipe says bake at 450 F but in previous pages it says to reduce heat to 350 F. Which is correct?

    1. Sorry–the egg whites don’t count in this case as “egg-enriched dough.” Shoulda said “whole-egg enriched…”

      450’s right.

  3. I haven’t been able to look inside your book ‘Gluten-Free Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day: The Baking Revolution Continues with 90 New, Delicious and Easy Recipes Made with Gluten-Free Flours’. I wanted to know whether you use Xanthan Gum in all your recipes or Psyllium Husk? I cannot tolerate Xanthan Gum so many recipes don’t work for me. If you do use Xanthan Gum do you provide information on how to substitute it in your recipes for something like Psyllium Husk?

    Many thanks

  4. I am using your Gluten Free AB in 5 book. Recently made my first batch of dough, using the GF Mixture #1 blend recipe on page 60. Mixed up the Master Recipe (p. 64), not using any eggs or egg whites. Been using it to make naan. Delicious!

    The book says this dough will keep for 10 days as long as there are no eggs in it. I am on day five now and noticed that the bread is developing a sort of sour tanginess that I’m not in love with. ( I enjoy sourdough bread but this is more sour and tangy.) Is this normal and to be expected? If so, I should probably make smaller batches of the dough.

    1. Hi Catherine,

      That flavor of fermentation is normal, but it isn’t to everyone’s taste. You can certainly make smaller batches or even freeze the dough, whichever suits your needs better.

      Enjoy, Zoë

  5. I’m working with the “Gluten-Free Artisan Bread in Five Minutes” and am ordering ingredients for Mixture #2: 100% Whole-Grain Gluten-Free Flour. The table in Chapter 5, on page 4 lists Teff flour. Are you using Brown Teff or Ivory? I can order either and wondered which would work best.

    I have all of your other books including the original and new Artisan Bread in Five Minutes. I’m 5 weeks into a 10 week elimination diet for arthritis, craving bread, and was thrilled to see you had a gluten free book.

    1. Hi Marilyn,

      We used the brown teff for the recipes.

      I hope you enjoy all the GF breads and they satisfy your cravings!

      Cheers, Zoë

  6. I made the Artisan bread, my dough was very sticky, what did I do wrong? It didn’t really make a ball, and I could not smooth it out with water. I am waiting for it to rise the 2nd time right now. Will see what it cooks like.

  7. Love your books but now find myself on a GF diet. My question…can your English Muffin recipe be made as a loaf? If yes, how to handle, baking time and temp, etc.

    Thanks so much, Jane

  8. I’m making brioche. Does the dough have to be refrigerated before using? Can I go from mixing it to placing it directly into the loaf pans where it will then be rested before baking? Thank you, Linda.

    1. Hi Linda,

      The dough can only have one rise, but it will not have as nice a texture of crumb doing it that way. It will be a bit cake like, not as much stretch to the dough. it will be very soft, so you will not really be able to shape a loaf as much as pour it into the pan. You’ll want to grease it very well.

      I think it would be a really great experiment.

      Zoë

  9. Evening,
    I have just worked up the courage to make the delicious looking sticky pecan caramel rolls for New years day. I was wondering whether the recipe would still work if the buns were made the day before and kept refrigerated until the next morning – when they would be baked as per the recipe.

    Thanks,
    Wendy

    1. Hi Wendy,

      The rolls will be great made the day before and refrigerated. It is often the preferred method with our readers.

      Enjoy and Happy New Year! Zoë

    1. We designed that recipe with a little more “structure” that would support the rise you need in a bread. We haven’t tested it in cookies/cakes/muffins–but I’m guessing it’d work pretty well, though you may need adjustments and it may not be a 1-for-1 swap. Another option–decrease or eliminate the xanthan gum/psyllium husk, since that’s the part that accounts for the structure. Might make your non-bread baked goods tough.

  10. Hi. I was wondering if I could bake the gluten free artisan bread in a Dutch oven and how long I should cook it. I am really looking forward to trying this recipe.

      1. So, I’ve got my first batch about to be “rested”, the oven is preheating, and I’m using a Dutch Oven. Should the lid be preheated along with the bottom? Or just the bottom pot, and then add the cold lid at the same time as the dough?

  11. I’ve had great success making all of the free-form loaves in the gf bread in five book thus far, but I cannot for the life of me get the crusty sandwich loaf to rise anywhere near beyond the sides of the pan. I end up with something that looks more like a flatter free-form loaf, no thicker than four inches at it’s widest… it’s delicious, but not really sandwich material. Help!

    1. Are you happy with the texture of the sandwich loaves? In other words, are they getting the same hole-pattern as your free-forms? Or are they dense, hole-free bricks? If you’re getting the same hole-pattern (and I’m guessing you are), then the truth is: GF loaves just don’t rise as high as wheat breads, and if you want a tall sandwich loaf, you’re just going to have to use more dough (fill the pan higher), and bake a little longer.

      1. I use the King Arthur GF bread pan. It skinnier, taller and ridged so it helps the bread grab as it rises. It’s been a game changer.

  12. I am looking for a correction to the recipe for european peasant bread ( light whole grain) in ‘gluten free artisan bread in five minutes a day’. Recipe on page 96 calls for 1 cup of mixture #2: 100% whole grain gluten free flour and 4 1/2 cups of lukewarm water…. that seems very, very wrong. I went ahead and mixed it per your instructions and it is terribly watery.

    1. The Ingredients table calls for every line in the table–it’s intended to use the first line (6 cups of Mixture #1) AND 1 cup of Mixture #2. Plus everything else in the table.

  13. Hi Jeff,
    I love making the gf baguettes is so easy and tasty.
    I was wondering if you or anyone ever tried to make gf bread using gf sourdough starter without store bought yeast? I would like to try but I’m not sure on the proportion and not sure should I cut down on the water content.
    Thanks

    1. Alicia: Haven’t tested that, but the method’s in The New Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day (with whole grain wheat flours). It ought to work—but we just haven’t tried it with GF flours.

      1. Hi Jeff,

        Thanks for the prompt reply. I’ll try it out myself.
        Btw I would like to make a GF croissants does any of the dough in your book would be a suitable dough base for gf croissants?

      2. It’d be the enriched dough–the Brioche would be my first call for this. But… you’ll never get the flakiness of a true croissant out of this method and with this dough. The closest you’ll get is a roll made from our GF brioche, shaped in a crescent-form. We didn’t put that in the book but basically it’s how we do the soft dinner rolls on page 90, but do the shape like this: https://artisanbreadinfive.com/2011/09/21/rosemary-crescent-rolls/

        You may have trouble with this kind of dough–when you try to roll it up like that, so consider making a little bun that you just pull into a crescent-shape.

  14. Hi Jeff,
    Thank you for replying. Could I ask if you could help me out, my gf baguettes turned out patchy brown not evenly brown . I never had that before until recently.
    But having said that the breads still turned out nice and cooked

    1. Hi Alicia,

      The gluten-free dough doesn’t tend to caramelize as well as wheat dough. Depending on the dough you are using, it may not brown as much. You can always brush the loaf with egg yolk wash, which gets a nice dark color when baked. Just mix a yolk with a teaspoon of water, then brush that over the top of the loaf before baking.

      Thanks, Zoë

  15. I’m in the process of making the Brioche, what is the dough consistency supposed to look like? I weighed all of my ingredients but it looks more like cake batter than bread dough….:( just trying to figure out what I did wrong or if there is a way to fix it.

    1. Hi Natalie,

      How did the dough look once it was chilled? Once the butter in the dough chills, it should be stiffer and easy to use.

      Thanks, Zoë

    1. Hi Rosanne,

      No, you can’t swap them, because they require very different hydration.

      Our recipes are much too large for a bread machine and the crust is not the same as doing it in the oven.

      Thanks, Zoë

  16. Hi! I’m working with the gf version. I was curious if I could omit the egg in the challah recipe on page 210? Is the egg for flavor or texture?
    Thanks!

    1. Hi Alison,

      The egg is for texture and flavor, but I know some of our readers have used egg replacer and liked the results. I have not tried it, so don’t know what the results are.

      Thanks, Zoë

  17. Hi Zoë & Jeff

    If I want to substitute xanthum gum for ground psyllium husks, would I use the same quantity called for in a recipe?

    Thanks for all the wonderful recipes and great ideas.

    Bronwyn

    1. I’m away from the book at the moment, can check in later today–but I believe the substitution is in the book…

  18. I vaguely remember seeing this discussed before, but couldn’t find it, so sorry if this has already been addressed in the past. Will this Emile Henry Bread Loaf Pan (https://www.bedbathandbeyond.com/store/product/emile-henry-reg-bread-loaf-pan/3274583) work as well as the Emile Henry Bread Cloche (https://www.bedbathandbeyond.com/store/product/emile-henry-reg-bread-cloche/3274587), or is it not suitable for GF bread? If yes, which would you recommend more?

  19. Hi!
    All the breads I’m making have a very hard crust, the texture is great on this inside, which normally I like, I’m just having a hard time cutting through the crust with my bread knife. Any suggestions?

    1. I had the same thing, that’s why I’m going to try it in the pan or cloche I linked to in the comment before yours to see if it’s better. I was using the master recipe from the gf book.

  20. Will make my first GF loaf tomorrow using the master recipe! I have one question: when I pull off a piece of dough to shape (it’s currently in the fridge), do I dust the dough with rice flour before pulling off a piece? The master recipe (boule) doesn’t mention this step but the baguette and couronne recipes mention this in Step One. Thanks!

  21. Firstly, thanks for allowing me to wow my friends with great bread. I do try and tell them that it’s really easy to make – but I think I just come off as smug 😉

    So, sadly I am now having to go gluten free. But I was thrilled when your book included some GF recipes. However, the master dough recipe, which I measure, seems to have waaaaayyy to much liquid. It is a soggy mess. So, my question: should I just add as much liquid as I think it requires to make a good consistency, or is this a comment you have had in the past and there is something I’m doing wrong? I’d love to know. I hate wasting the ingredients, so would love to hear from you.

    Thanks much!!

    1. First question is if you’re making any substitutions at all. Are you using xanthan gum? Are you using Bob’s Red Mill flowers which are the ones we tested with? Are you mixing up our basic flower mixtures from scratch?

  22. I just received this book as a gift. Can these recipes be made in a bread machine that has a gluten free option? Thank you.

    1. Hi Carolyn,

      If you make a full batch of our bread it will much too large for a bread machine, since you are making enough dough for 4 loaves. You can try a 1/4 batch and see how it goes, but I have never used it that way.

      Enjoy the bread and let me know how it goes if you do try it.

      Thanks, Zoë

  23. Namaste

    Your website is wonderful and thankyou so much for sharing your knowledege with us. However i have question regarding how can i substiture active yeast with glutenfree sourdough starter.? How much of the sourdough starter i require do i require to replace the active yeast ? Thankyou so much.

    1. Hi Mita,

      I have never made our gluten-free bread with a sourdough starter, so I can’t give you exact amounts. I know some of our readers have used their starters successfully, so perhaps one of them will have some advice for you.

      Thanks, Zoë

  24. Hello
    my first time preparing the Gluten free Boule recipe #1 the dough did not turn out sticky like mentioned- more like actual bread dough- I did sub Oat flour for the Sorghum and used 1 part brown rice flour and 2 part white rice flour. Should I add more water to get the sticky consistency?
    Also I did use a scale to measure the flour amounts
    Thank you

    1. Hi Melissa,

      Did you try baking a loaf already or you’ve just mixed up a batch and it looks dry compared to our dough? Did you add any more water already? Oat flour does absorb a bit more water than the sorghum and brown rice absorbs more than white rice, so your results make sense. You can add more water at any time.

      Thanks, Zoë

  25. I need help!! So I made the challah from the gluten free book. I braided it. When it came out of the oven, the braids all spread.
    I did accidentally knead the bread till I went back and read your book.
    Also after it was braided, I left it in the fridge, and then pulled it out for 5 mins and baked. Could this have caused it to spread??

    1. No, I doubt that this is the problem. Sounds like the dough might have been a little bit too loose. Are you making any substitutions in our flour mixtures at all, even for different brands than what we specified? We’ve found that GF recipes are much more finicky than wheat recipes, and different GF flour-brands absorb water very differently. And most importantly, are you using either xanthan gum or psyllium husk powder as specified? Otherwise it’s too loose for sure.

  26. Please refer to p166, soft pretzels from Gluten free Artisan bread in 5mins a day. I have tried this recipe twice and I can’t get my pretzels to look like your flaky version. Please help. I have tried egg wash, and even boiling my GF pretzel in baking soda water. It still looks more bready than flaky like yours which has a lovely Browning. How do you get it to look like that? I have photos if you’d like to see them.

    1. These definitely don’t come out flaky when we do them, so I’m not sure what you mean? If you mean that you just want them browner, try baking on a high shelf in the oven.

  27. Hi, I recently purchased your book gluten free artisan bread in 5 minutes. Just tried making some bread and it was fantastic! I am attempting to make some gluten free pasties. Would your master flour blend be suitable for making pastry?

    1. Well, we didn’t test our flour blend in that universe, but in general, sweet things are easy to succeed with than bread, so i’m guessing you can get away with it. It’s going to take some experimentation, and it depends what you mean by “pastry.” I’m guessing this won’t work as puff pastry.

  28. My mom has (probably) developed a slight gluten intolerance but hates store and bakery gluten free bread. AND she might be having problems with the gums (xantham etc) that are used. I love your system and have been debating getting this book for her, but do most or all of your gluten free breads use xantham or other gums?

    Thanks,

    1. Our GF recipes in “Gluten-Free Bread in Five Minutes a Day” (on Amazon at http://amzn.to/1msOBmY) call for EITHER xanthan gum or powdered psyllium husk. I haven’t heard of sensitivities to the latter, but you never know–can’t make any guarantees here.

  29. Hi, I am looking for a gluten free vegan challah and not sure whether your vegan boule/baguette (website)can hold a braid? Of can I substitute the flax mixture in your gluten free challah p. 210? Or just use the olive oil dough on p. 122 Thanks!

    1. Hi Allegra,

      Challah is by definition an egg bread, so the recipes will have quite a few eggs to replace and may not be as successful with flax. You may be better off starting with a dough that is not reliant on eggs. The baguette doughs would likely serve you well, because the flax adds a bit of stretch and structure to the dough, which will help with keeping the shape. You can still follow the challah instructions for shaping.

      Thanks, Zoe

  30. Hi! In the whole grain recipe, you say not to use xanthan if we used psyllium. Do we add more psyllium or just go with recipe and skip?

    Also curious as to why. 🙂 I did psyllium in my mix 1 but used xanthan in my cider brioche and it turned our beautiful.

    1. Hi Michelle,

      The two binders work so differently and we used twice as much of the psyllium in the Mixture #2, so adding more just made the dough too dry. Hope that helps?

      Thanks, Zoë

  31. I purchased the book ‘Gluten Free Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day’ and absolutely love it. I have been sampling the different recipes, but wondered: Do you have a gluten-free sourdough recipe? I miss that wonderful taste of bread with the wild yeast rather than the store-bought. Please let me know if you have thoughts on how to pursue that.

    Thanks

    1. Hi Paul,

      I have not worked with a gluten-free sourdough starter yet, but I do know many of our readers have had success using them in our recipes.

      Thanks, Zoë

  32. In some of the recipes, I see quite a large amount of corn starch is required.
    Is it possible to substitute arrowroot for cornstarch?

    thank you.

  33. Hi there Really enjoying trying out all the delicious recipes in GF Artisan Bread in 5 minutes. Seriously life changing after all these years of putting up with shop bought gf bread! Coming up to Christmas, I’m excited to try out the gf panettone but I’m following the FODMAP diet and can’t havd honey or dried fruits. I can replace the fruits with chocolate chips but can I replace the honey with sugar and, if so, how much? Thank you for your help!

    1. In the wheat recipes, the sugar and honey are almost a 1:1 volume swap, though if you’re a stickler you should add about 15% less sugar, and add a tablespoon of water. Might take a little experimentation..

  34. I’ve searched and read and can’t find the answer anywhere: Is it possible to use a silicone mat instead of the parchment paper? I haven’t actually tried any of the recipes yet. I do not like parchment paper, but the GF doughs seem to be sticky and need it, right? Is it possible to bake without it or to place a silicone mat on the stone?

      1. I’m using the Gluten-Free book. On page 69 it says you can use a baking sheet with a silicone mat, right? So do you still use the baking stone and steam? Do you sit the baking sheet on the stone? I guess I’m confused after watching the videos here on the website. Zoe always uses parchment paper.

      2. Yes, pastry chefs love parchment paper! For home use, I like the reusability of the silicone mats (with our without a baking sheet, both work), though they very slightly insulate the loaf from the stone (if you use one), and in theory that could slightly decrease oven spring and bottom-crust crispness. That won’t matter for enriched loaves, it might slightly matter for lean peasant-type breads. The stone is optional if you’re using silicone mats or a baking sheet (you can use both but you don’t have to). That said, the baking stone (again in theory) increases oven spring by delivering tremendous “thermal mass” to the loaf.

      3. should also say, for “lean” doughs, you can do without silicone OR parchment and use a grain coating on a pizza peel.

    1. The basic recipe, the master recipe from our gluten-free book would be perfect. The book’s called gluten-free artisan bread in five minutes a day. Or you could even try the the light whole grain and it should also be crusty result. We haven’t tested our gluten-free loaves with natural sourdough, but readers have suggested that they’ve gotten good results.

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