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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1,011 thoughts on “Gluten Free FAQs

  1. I am using the Challenger bread pan for my GF Boule. I assume 20 mins with top on then 20 mins with it off with pan and oven preheated to 450?

    1. I’m not familiar with that pan, but if you’re using it to trap steam, we usually recommend two thirds of the baking time covered and one third open..

  2. I just went shopping for the “mixture #1” all-purpose flour – all Bob’s Red Mill, small bags. One of each ingredient (except for the white rice flour, needed two bags of that). Total outlay for the five flour mixture ingredients: US$25.74 (the xanthan gum is pricey, but you don’t need much).

    While scanning the shelves, I found Bob’s “Gluten Free 1-to-1 Baking Flour.” They say it’s “…not meant for yeast dough…”; without giving too much away, the ingredients are almost exactly the same as those in mixture #1. No telling if the ratios are similar, though.

    Have you guys, or any visitors, tried this premix? I ask because it would save time and labor, but also money, as because I can buy a 4-pound bag of the stuff for less than 10 bucks. Any input would be appreciated…

      1. Thanks Zoe! I hadn’t seen that particular post – similar to the instructions from your book, but good to have another source to work from! I’ll use that post in conjunction with an earlier (2010) post which shows baking in a cast-iron dutch oven, which is how I’ll be baking.

        Reading that post, incidentally, is the first time I’ve come across anyone warning about the limited heat tolerance of the lids’ phenolic knobs, so that’s a bonus!

  3. Hi Jeff and Zoë,

    I’ve just been give a copy of your gluten-free book, and am looking forward to getting started.

    I have one question, concerning yeast. I have two kinds of yeast in my kitchen. One is labelled “Quick yeast”; it is a fine powder, and is the kind that is generally used in bread-making machines. The other is labelled “Dried active yeast”; it looks more like granules, and would normally be reconstituted by dissolving in warm water with a little sugar before adding to the flour.

    So which one should I use in your recipes? You mention granules, but you don’t say anything about reconstituting. I am not familiar with American brand names.

    Thanks in advance for your help.

      1. Zoe,
        The link you offered is for gluten breads. It recommends a different flour—how would you change your gluten free all purpose flour blend at high altitudes?

      2. Hi Russell,

        This will take some experimenting, but I am not sure there is a way to change the flour, since none of them have gluten, there will be very little difference from one to the next. The difference will be in the amount of yeast, and sugars.

        Thanks, Zoë

  4. Can I take gf dough out of the refrigerator, shape it and let it sit for 6 hours at room temperature before baking?

    1. Hi Joanne,

      That is too long to let the dough sit, it will over proof and deflate. Each recipe gives a recommended rest time once shaped and you can push that by about 30 minutes, slightly more if your room is cool, but not a lot more.

      Thanks, Zoë

  5. I am flummoxed. I’m getting this beautiful rise in the initial two hours that promptly deflates when baked. I tried using the master recipe as sandwich bread and it shrank visibly in the pan by a full quarter inch, despite a 90 minute rest out of the fridge and putting it between aluminum broiler pans to try and preserve the steam (my attempts without this were equally flat). My infrared non-contact thermometer has read all over the place, but the slow oven thermometer is reading 450. Help!

    1. Hi Katherine,

      Have you seen our post on baking this bread? There may be some helpful tips and you can compare your dough to what we have in the post: https://artisanbreadinfive.com/2014/11/03/master-recipe-from-gluten-free-abin5/

      Are there any substitutions you’ve made that may help me figure out what is causing the dough to deflate?

      There is a sidebar on page 68 that has a technique that may help you’re loaf rise and bake as you wish.

      Thanks, Zoë

  6. I am loving the Gluten-Free Artisan Bread book. I am new to all of the ingredients but am learning from my daughter-in-law who is paleo. I do have one question. Do you know the carbohydrates for the different breads? I have someone in my family that is eating low carbohydrates because of health issues. They crave bread but it is usually so high in carbohydrates, it is a no-no. I am hoping the gluten free bread may be less and an occasional yes for this person.

  7. I am attempting to make the GF bagels, but I have a few questions. I am heating my baking stone in the oven, but the recipe then says to “lay the bagels on the prepared baking sheet, cover loosely with plastic wrap”. Am I correct in assuming you mean baking stone? Also, if I let them rest for 20 minutes on the stone, will it crack when returned to the oven? In addition, the recipe says to bake for 20 to 25 minutes, but doesn’t specify the oven temperature, so again, I assume it should still be at 450 degrees. Is that correct?

    1. Hi Sue,

      You will preheat the stone in the oven and slide the baking sheet with the bagels right on top of the stone. The reason to use the stone is because it conducts and radiates heat really well, so the bagels will come out better. You don’t absolutely have to use the stone, but we like the results better with it.

      Yes, you are correct, the stone is preheated and left at 450°F

      Thanks, Zoë

  8. Hi –
    The recipe for the gluten-free crusty boule in “Healthy Bread in Five” (page 236) calls for 2 T of yeast for a four-loaf batch. But the Gluten-free Master Recipe on the website calls for just 1 T of yeast for a large batch of dough. Is this correct?
    Is it because of differences in the flour mixture?
    Thanks!

    1. Each will work in its own recipe–the one from the book has a lot of whole grain, and does better with more yeast. The one on the website is a much lighter recipe.

  9. Working with G-F A B in 5 M a Day, Challah page 210-213.
    Works quite wonderfully “for gluten-free” but wonder if it is insane to think of a second rising time — say bringing dough to room temperature, kneading with a bit of additional yeast slurry, and letting it rise again for further plumpf.
    Thoughts?

    1. My guess is that it’s going to be overdense, because the aged stuff might not absorb the slurry well. I could be wrong, and it could be worth an experiment, but do a small batch in case it’s a waste

  10. Dear Zoe and Jeff,

    I was very pleased when I found your Gluten-Free Artisan Bread book
    and could not wait to try. I am Italian and I miss so much loaf bread.
    As you recommended, at first, I tried the master recipes to make ciabatta.
    I have all ingredients you mentioned, I followed all passages in detail.
    The ciabatta did not “sing” when I removed hot from the oven and it is a piece of stone 🙁
    I supposed I should not wait till the oven was cooler to remove the bread as I usually do for cake.
    What did I do wrong?
    Unfortunately I cannot access the video you posted as I live in Europe and the access is denied 🙁
    I must say, the dough did not raise during the first two hours at room temperature (20 C)
    I know you said not to expect a big raise, but nothing at all?
    The yeast is instant (granulated) and always works well.
    Did I got right that I had not to cover airtight also during the first two hours?
    I then left in the fridge overnight (no airtight). Also here, no changes
    The day after I let it rest (after shaping) for 30 minutes (under a glass bowl) and then baked for 35 minutes.
    I still have almost 1.5 kg dough in the fridge, can I adjust something?
    Thanks a lot in advance for any advices
    best wishes from England
    Cristina

    1. It sounds like you did it correctly, but my guess is that you weren’t able to get the flour brand that we tested with (Bob’s Red Mill) in the UK. Is that correct? If you had to use other brands, the recipe has be re-tested for the ratio of water to flour, and that would take some trial and error, I’m afraid.

  11. Hi! Thank you so much for writing this amazing book. My daughter is Celiac and finally we are able to eat great artisan bread. I have been making a lot of your recipes and I really enjoy making a big batch of brioche dough that I use for doughnuts, brioche, cinnamon rolls and beignets. I was wondering though if I could use the brioche dough to make croissants. Any suggestion? Would that work?
    Thanks!!

    1. You’ll never get the croissant-flakiness you’re looking for from GF dough–so we didn’t test this. But the brioche would be the closest. You could try this technique, skipping the rosemary: https://artisanbreadinfive.com/2011/09/21/rosemary-crescent-rolls/ , and understanding that this recipe uses wheat dough. It’ll be the shape of croissants, anyway. I’m just not sure whether they’ll be over-dense with this roll-up. Try a small number and see how it comes out, and don’t use dough that you’ve stored for the max time.

  12. My yeast instructs to use water that is 120 degrees. Why do you say to only heat to 100? Wondering if that impacted my lack of rise in my first loaf.

    1. we do it that way, because we get a good rise from 100, and as you push that, you run the risk if it’s a little bit over 120, of killing the east. I don’t think this is the source of your problem.

  13. I just got your GF Artisan Bread book. How long do I bake if using a Dutch Oven? It’s mentioned on page 33 but no time is listed. Thanks

    1. It doesn’t change, but as we say in that section, you bake with the top on for 2/3, and then off for 1/3 of the baking time

  14. I am trying to make your gf bread recipe. I cannot find sorghum flour, is gf oat flour a good substitute?

  15. I received your book as a gift for Christmas. I am very excited to try out the recipes, today is my first try. Can I cook two boules at once using your master recipe or must they be separate? I am am going to try both at once as I am a little pressed for time and on the hook for bread today. Thanks for putting together the great book!

    1. David, you can definitely do two at once. In some smaller ovens you may have to bake a little longer but this shouldn’t be a big deal.

  16. I was SO excited for the GF book to come in the mail (i used to bake bread in my prior ‘wheat’ life so i was thrilled). I bought all the flours, got everything yesteray and decided to do the crusty bread loaf in the pan as my first ‘try’. as it was freshly made, i didn’t refrigerate it before letting it just rest at over an hour….i know the book says it’s not supposed to rise that much but the loaf is flat, looks like the desert (all hard and cracked on top) and about as dense as a brick. i did use psyllium husk instead of xanthan gum, and had a kitchenaid mixer/paddle attachment to mix it all together. i’m not sure what i’m missing besides the steam try was slightly above the loaf pan in the oven, so maybe that’s why?? any help would be great, right now i’m scared to try any other recipe and ruin another loaf! thank you.

  17. I have had you original book for a long time, am attempting to make Gluten Free olive oil bread. I carefully measured all ingredients, I made a sub of lupin flour for the listed soy, (I thought I had it, but did not). After mixing it’s quite runny as a thick pancake mix would be? So Is my sub not a good idea? I looked on the internet, as soy and lupin are both legumes, and lupin, just on the wet fingertip test, says that lupin was sweeter. So I chose it over chickpea. I will get soy flour, but as the only celiac in the house I will be a week before this batch will be gone, if it’s moisture content does not resolve itself. Will the flours absorb the moisture during the 2 hr sitting time? Help me please..

    1. Hi Chris,

      I haven’t baked with lupin flour, so I am not sure how it compares. Which recipe are you using? What binder are you using? There may be a way to salvage the batch.

      Thanks, Zoë

  18. Even though I used all the Bob’s Red Mill flours and followed the instructions carefully, my first batch of dough came out super dry. It hardly rose, and it didn’t brown at all once baked. It felt like a rock. It tasted okay, but much more like a big soft chewy pretzel than bread. I do not have a scale. I’m wondering if I should try not packing the flour next time? Or add a lot more water?? I’m also considering making it with the eggs, but I kind of want to figure out the original recipe first so I can compare better. I’m just surprised at how dry my dough came out compared to the video. I keep going back to the recipe to make sure I did it correctly. Is 6 1/2 cups mix 1 to 3 3/4 cups water correct?

  19. Help!!! I’ve had several attempts at making bread using the master recipe in GF Artisan Bread book and the exact combinations of ingredients and instructions. Made boules as well crusty white sandwich loaves, with and without egg and in every case, the bread is heavy and dense; looks nothing like your results. I’ve tried letting it rise for a longer period, placing it in different locations too but it really makes no difference. The only thing I don’t have is a pizza stone so I use heavy gauge pans preheated to 450. Do you have any suggestions? Also, one of your you-tube videos shows boule making but with eggs and oil which I’d like to try but can’t find the recipe.

      1. Hi!

        I’ve been baking the challah recipe for the past couple of weeks and I love it! It’s the closest recipe I’ve found to tasting like “real” challah. However, every time I make it, the dough ends up being too sticky to handle and I’m unable to actually shape (or in this case braid) the dough. I’ve used a combination of rice flour and greasing my hands, but ultimately the dough requires a lot of handling in order to roll it out into strands and the rice flour ends up being absorbed into the dough. Any adjustments?

      2. Hi Colette,

        I am glad you are enjoying the challah. Is the dough fully chilled before you are using it? If you alter the recipe to make it drier, it may also change the texture of the baked bread. Try dusting the dough with more flour as you are working with it, so it isn’t quite as sticky.

        Thanks, Zoë

  20. Hello; I just purchased your book: Gluten-Free Artisan Bread in Five Minutes A Day. On page 69, Step# 5 – I’m told to look on this website for a video of the shaping step… I’m probably way too excited to get started; however, I can’t seem to find this source. The links from 2014 no longer support video – they are either non-existent links, or – they are just images. Can you help me please?

  21. Is there a way to keep gluten free dough from climbing up the beaters of my stand mixer? About every third try it behaves perfectly, then the next time (or two or three) it’s a battle again. I thought it had to do with keeping the sides of the bowl clean and making sure the dough hooks were spotless before I start. Now I’m not so sure. I’m about ready to use pan spray on the hooks before I start. Any other suggestions?

    1. Hi Ann,

      Does your paddle attachment have rubber edges? If you turn up the speed a little, it will force the dough off the beater.

      Thanks, Zoë

  22. Hello team,

    On book gluten free in 5 minutes, page 187-188 “Prosciutto and olive flatbread” it says “brush with olive oil and then slash the top about 1/2inch deep, using a serrated bread knife. Slide the loaf dorectly onto the hot stone”

    I’m not sure if that belongs here. As a flat bread, it shouldn’t be a loaf no? And second question: on the other flatbreads you mention stone is not needed. Is this one different?

    Thanks for claryfing! Again you guys are awesome!!

    1. Hi Pau,

      No, you are absolutely right, that must have been copied into the recipe by accident, this is baked just like the other flatbreads.

      Thanks for letting us know, Zoë

      1. No problem! You helped me a lot! And it’s me who is thankful!

        Have a great day!

    1. Neither of us have one of these, so I can’t advise. Just use the ovens directions. Which of our books are you working from, which recipe and page number?

  23. So I left my master recipe dough on the counter for way too long, like 5 hours (left the house and came back ready to bake and, whoops!) I did shape & baugette as planned , but it flattened out in the oven. I put the rest of the dough in the fridge in hopes that the cold might do some magic.
    Is my dough forever over proofed or can I use it for loads or flatbread?

    1. Which of our GF “Master” recipes are you using; there are many… From which of our books and page number?

  24. I purchased your Gluten Free Cookbook which I love, but was wondering if I can swap out the Cornmeal in the pizza dough for something else? My daughter is also corn sensitive!!!!!!

    1. You can just slightly, proportionally increase the other flours. Or just use the Master Recipe for pizza.

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