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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870 thoughts on “Gluten Free FAQs

  1. Thanks for writing this book! My daughter and I are celiac, and we’re enjoying it a lot. I’m wondering if I can substitute buckwheat flour for the teff flour in the whole grain mixture, as teff is not as easy to find. Thanks!

    1. We didn’t find that was a swap that worked, but maybe we gave up quickly. Could be effective, but you’d be in for some experimentation here, and it might not be great (though often failures will work as flatbread, if you like those).

  2. Do you have a recipe for gluten free RYE bread? We used to have a bakery in San Antonio and we would always pick up loaves for all our Dallas GIG members when we went.

    1. That book include metric weights for all the important ingredients (including water) but not UK volume equivalents. In general, we recommend using weight measurement for best results.

  3. My bread is not rising much (maybe not at all) in the initial rise. What might I be doing wrong and how can I fix this in the future?

    1. Liz, when you bake it, what’s the result? Is there nice whole structure? Or is the bread dense like a brick? Which of our GF recipes are you using? We have many.

      1. Hi, I am having the same problem. My boule was nice a bubbly went it went in to the oven and didn’t rise at all. I do live at 6000 feet. Could it be the altitude? I find my bake times are longer. I did read your altitude FAQs but I cannot add gluten to my breads. Thanks!

      2. Hi Marj,

        Gluten-free breads at high altitude will be particularly challenging since there is so little structure to begin with in the dough. Are you using the dough with egg white? That may help give the dough a bit more structure, so it doesn’t expand and deflate as quickly.

        Thanks, Zoë

  4. Hi hi!

    I am absolutely loving going through the gf book — thank you!

    I have a question about bagels, page 165.

    In the beginning, the book says to preheat the stone. But then later it says to put the bagels on the prepared baking sheet. And then later it says put the baking stone in the oven.

    Do you mind helping out a confused gf newbie baker? Thank you so much!

    1. Sorry about that, a bit confusing. A lot of people just leave the stone in there to even out the heat, which is especially nice with an oven-full of small items in all corners of the oven, like bagels. But you don’t need it, and the preheat can be short if you omit it. And when we say “prepared” baking sheet, the easiest prep is parchment paper or silicone mat (ensure that the one you use can withstand this temperature), but you can also grease the pan well.

    1. Any coarse grain will work. Or just use parchment paper, pulling it out after the bread sets in the oven.

  5. I have the gluten free Artisan Bead book and have tried the olive oil dough. The flavor is delicious but the crust is so thick and hard I can’t really bite through it. I used King Arthur GF all purpose flour and made a baguette cooking on an inverted cookie sheet pan with baking mat. I did the water pan in oven and brushed with egg white. Nowhere have I found any information on to much or to hard a crust. Only on to soft or not enough. I also have a convection oven. Maybe lower temperature? Want to cook another baguette with a crisp yet tender and thin crust

    1. Deborah, we weren’t successful with any of the commercial GF mixtures, which is why we ended up creating our own mixture. Idea: skip the convection use the regular “Bake” setting.

      But I think it’s the flour, probably.

  6. I have been gluten free for decades, but have never attempted baking bread, just did without it. This week I made my first-ever loaf of bread (3-ingredients, rose 18 hours), using regular flour. After giving it away, I want to learn to bake GF bread, and have started a kombucha sourdough starter. Can I mix bread by hand? I can’t invest in a bread machine, processor whatever. I do have a Vitamix from my mom, but I know that functions differently. How can I use your recipe instructions which are based on machine help? For 60 years I never needed to cook. New world.

  7. Hi again!

    I’m still obsessed with the gf book and am diligently working my way through it.

    I’d like to take a small vacation from the book and try gf croissants. Have you made any attempts? Any guidance for how I should think about the flour mixture or technique? Or maybe I should just stop right here and never say the “C” word again? 😉

    Thanks so much for being such an incredible resource!

  8. i am using the “Gluten Free Artisan Bread in 5′ book for soft dinner rolls. I see different sets of instructions for soft rolls vs brotchen. The soft rolls bake at 350 and do not hove instructions for steam: the brotchen bake at 450 and have steam. Am i missing something or is this different and why? my soft rolls are baking as i write this at 350 with no steam.

    1. Hi Kathy,

      Brotchen are a crusty roll, so they require higher temperature and steam to get a nice crust.

      Enjoy, Zoë

  9. I’m buying your gluten-free book today! My daughter’s boyfriend is visiting in 2 weeks and he is gluten-free. What specialty ingredients should I buy today as well, as I want to order them STAT?! (I’m a doctor, too).

  10. After struggling with the science of making gluten free artisan bread at home, I landed on your website and directly purchased your gluten free book… it’s simply amazing – thank you.
    I have a quick question about the 100% Whole Grain bread recipe on page 103… can I skip the millet flour and millet (I understand it adds texture and flavor)? And if I do so, do I need to add more of mixture 2 to make up for it?

    1. Hi T.R.A,

      I am so glad you are enjoying the bread. You can replace the millet with something else, but make sure it is something that behaves similarly, like sorghum or brown rice, not cornstarch or tapioca.

      Thanks, Zoë

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