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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921 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

  11. Hi,

    We purchased your book, “The New Artisan Brad in Five Minutes a Day,” a couple weeks ago. We have enjoyed making a few different breads so far. However, when we made the gluten-free chocolate bread on p. 291, it did not rise at all and the resulting bread was somewhat “gummy” inside. I noticed that the directions for other gluten-free bread recipes require mixing the yeast with water and sugar separately. Then after the yeast has been activated, the directions say to mix the wet yeast with the dry ingredients. Should we try this method with your recipes? I don’t see how the yeast could get activated in your recipe when it’s mixed with all the gluten-free flours and water is added later.

    Thanks for your help. I’m looking forward to baking more gluten-free bread with more success after I hear back from you.

    1. Yes… modern yeast can be used in exactly this way, but if you’re worried, you can mix it with the liquids. But that’s not your problem, I’m guessing. If you’re not weighing your flours, it’s probably the case that the measurement is off. Weights are much better for these powdery flours. And you can’t make any substitutions for the GF stuff–it’s very sensitive to any changes or omissions. For example, it doesn’t work at all if you try to omit the xanthan gum.

  12. Hi. I have been making your breads for around 6 months. I mainly make the master recipe and pizza dough. I have recently started making the master dough with egg whites to lighten the loaf because my bread seemed very dense. I have read a few of your online Q &A and have tweaked what I am doing but still, a big problem for me is that the load collapses in the oven. I had a beautiful well risen though in a tin – it had reached the top of the tin. It has shrunk around 2cm during baking. Thanks

  13. I would like to make a rice-free loaf of gluten-free bread. Can you recommend a replacement for the rice flour in your recipes? Thanks!

  14. I made your challah and brioche bread (made them as buns) and it was amazing!
    unfortunately, I need to find a good substitute for the eggs, I tried mash potato with the same weight of the eggs and it turned out very dense bread… do you have any advice for me for a good substitute for the eggs?
    I’m looking for very soft and light bread, thank you!!!

    1. People talk about a ground flax slurry, but it doesn’t taste or look anything like eggs. We experimented with this once, in a gluten-free dough at https://artisanbreadinfive.com/2010/06/01/gluten-free-baguettes-egg-free-and-a-king-arthur-gluten-free-flour-giveaway/

      … nothing like challah and brioche though, and we’ve never tried this with a wheat dough. The real question is whether the commercial egg substitutes work well and I’m afraid we haven’t tried that, so you’ll have to experiment.

  15. Hello! I just made my first bread from your cookbook – the 1 pound boule! The bread turned out great, and I was wondering if I could double the portion and make a 2 pound loaf. If so, how long do you recommend baking this for? Can I use the method where the bread rises and cooks in the oven in one go, as described on page 68? Thank you!

    1. Yes you can. depending on your oven it will probably take anywhere from 10 to 50% more baking time, but not if you make a flat-ish loaf. And yes you should be able to rise and bacon one go.

  16. Today is baking day with my very first loaf of GF bread. Loved you instructions that led to today! When I was making bread with a wet dough wheat flour, I got great results by baking in it my Staub Dutch oven. I don’t see mention of that method in the GF book. Is it something you recommend, or should I stick to the stone method?
    Thank you for your investment in this project. Having to go GF/DF/eggless is no fun, and I’m super excited to be able to make great bread that I can eat.

      1. Oh, goodness! I can’t believe I didn’t see that. Sorry to have bothered you, and thanks for your prompt reply.

  17. First off, I have to say, I can not describe my joy at finding your Gluten-Free Artisan Bread cookbook!! When I figured out I was unable to tolerate gluten… I mean, if I had to pick one food I’d eat for the rest of my life, it would be bread. So, THANK YOU!! I’ve only made 2 recipes so far, but both were amazing! I’m going to start making larger batches, as my housemates agree, this bread is so good, they’ll happily eat it too.

  18. Have you tested using a slow cooker for the Whole-Grain Gluten-Free Loaf on page 99-101 in Gluten-free Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes cookbook? I need to bake, but it’s going to be 90+ degrees today and tomorrow, I’d rather not use the oven unless it’s REALLY necessary 🙂

    1. we haven’t specifically tested that one. It’s an extremely dense loaf, and if there was ever going to be a problem with an over moist, / dense result in a slow cooker, it would be this one. If you try it make sure you test it by sticking something into the love and see if it comes back wet. maybe try a small one, or even a flat-ish one, which is easier to get fully baked to the center.

  19. I’ve been using the ciabatta recipe and the maple oatmeal recipe for a few months now. One day, I needed to get some bread done ASAP, so instead of letting it rise in a loosely covered container, I did it directly in the bread pans for the 2 hours. I then baked it as usual. My bread had the consistency and look as well as flavor of regular bread that isn’t gluten-free. I absolutely love it! So grateful for your book. So grateful for the website ‘A Hint of Rosemary’ where I found the ciabatta recipe and about your book. After 5 years of being gluten free and not having bread, this is amazing and others that have seen and tasted it (including gluten eaters) cannot tell the difference between it and whole wheat/oatmeal bread or white breads. Thank you, Thank you. Blessings!

    1. Hi Christie,

      This is terrific, thank you for sharing your experience, I’m so thrilled you are enjoying all the bread!

      Cheers, Zoë

  20. Will your bread recipes work with Better Batter flour, Cup4Cup and Carol’s Gluten free flour? I have all three and would like to use them up before I make your flour.

    Thank you,
    Donna

    1. Hi Donna,

      the closest I have ever come to success with a commercial blend is Better Batter. I’ve never tried Carol’s. If you give them a try, do a small batch to make sure you like the results.

      Thanks, Zoë

  21. Hello,
    I’m a French with severe gluten intolerance! I tried recently your gluten free brioche recipe (not the one from this book though, but the one from a previous book which wasn’t all gluten free, the recipe has oil instead of butter – never would I have thought an oil brioche could taste that good) and was so thrilled with the results that I bought the Gluten Free Artisan Bread book!
    However I have a question regarding egg weight, is 225g for 4 large eggs the weight with our without shell? I’m used to egg weights meaning weight out of shell, but taking a second look it seems like it matches the 56g US standard for large eggs in shell…! (I use a lot of american recipe so I’m always careful with standards which can be quite different between France and the US!)
    Thanks a lot 🙂

    1. Hi Oriane,

      I’m so glad you are enjoying the gluten-free brioche. We weigh the eggs without the shell.

      Thanks, Zoë

  22. Sourdough – I have a happy active GF sourdough starter, and a poor result from 99% of the recipes I find online. I bought your GF book. Can I use my starter instead of all or part of the yeast? Any recipes or groups of recipes I really can’t use it with?
    Thanks!

    1. Hi Michal,

      We didn’t test any of the recipes with gluten-free starter, so I am not personally sure how the recipes will do or how to guide you on which to try. I know some of our readers have had success, so I am hoping some will weigh in on your question.

      Thanks Zoë

  23. Hi. Been a fan for a decade now and your bagel recipe is a staple in our home. I’m interested in trying to make gluten-free bagels for a friend and wonder if you have a recipe (I’m not so interested in buying the gluten-free baking book because I’m a gluten devotee myself). I’ve been looking on website this morning and not finding such…

    1. Well, that recipe is in our Gluten-Free book, and you’re right, you won’t find it here on the website. Our publisher would stop speaking to us if we put all our material from the books on the website! But you can use any of the lean-dough GF recipes here on the site, shaping them as per usual (it’s trickier with GF), and omitting the boiling step (they’d fall apart).

  24. I have been Gluten Free due to celicas for over 5 years and have just gotten in to bread baking, and bought your book. I was wondering what brand of Psyllium Husk Powder you use for your recipes ? Is one better than another?

    1. Given that it isn’t that easy to find, we didn’t specify a brand. We used whatever bulk product they had in our local food co-ops–and bulk products are labeled with a brand in that situation. Whatever people are using, we haven’t gotten any reports of variability among brands.

  25. I just received your GF artisan bread in 5 as a gift. its seems great! I am looking forward to trying some of the different items. Before receiving your book, I have been concentrating on GF sourdough baguettes, e.g. (I have made GF starter). so I have questions not addressed in your book.
    1. is 1 to 1, cup 4 cup or other similar flours the same as all purpose GF flour and can they be used for yeast breads? What are your thoughts on these flours for bread?
    2. I have a steam oven, (Wolf) how would I use it instead of adding water to a pan in reg or convection oven?
    I am anxious to try your combination, you say it gets sour but can you add starter for more flavor? Thank you!

    1. We didn’t have luck with any commercial GF pre-packaged mixtures as substitutes for our “Mixture #1,” with one exception, see our post on that at https://artisanbreadinfive.com/2016/08/09/gluten-free-epi-and-a-better-batter-gluten-free-flour-giveaway/ (the giveaway is long-since closed, winners announced and the promo distributed). We tried those ones you mentioned–our guess is that they were optimized for cookies and maybe cake, but don’t work well in bread.

      About the steam oven, neither of us have one and we didn’t have access to one for testing, so all I can say is to check with the Wolf’s owner’s manual–I’m sure there are detailed instructions for bread in there.

      About starter, we haven’t specifically tested GF starter, but many of our readers report good results. You can use our post on wheat sourdough as a set of guidelines; type “easy sourdough starter” into our Search Bar above and that’ll take you to the post.

  26. Question – I am making the gluten free loaf with the basic recipe from the book with the no rest, no rise, just bake method. Baking them in a cast iron skillet with lid. If I wanted to make a larger loaf, say 2 lbs instead of 1 lb, do you know what the cooking time would be? These 1 lb loafs bake for 75 mins. I just would like a larger loaf. Do you have baking times for that? I would like a larger loaf for larger slices of bread, what is the largest loaf you would recommend baking this way, and how long should I bake it for? Thanks!

    1. See the Crusty White Sandwich Loaf on page 85 and that’ll be exactly what you need–baking temp and time are right there. And check you oven temp, because it sounds like you might be running cool– our 1-pounders don’t take that long (maybe the cast-iron is absorbing a lot heat though…).

  27. For the Master Recipe boule dough (p64 from Gluten-free Artisan bread in 5 min A Day)

    I’ve been making the bread using super fine white rice flour. The result has been great (rises well, tastes delicious, lovely crust) but no matter how long I rest it, small bits of the dough sticks to the bread knife as you cut into it. Should I be baking at a slightly lower temperature and for longer ?

    Note: Because I was using superfine rice flour, I thought it might absorb more liquid and started out by increasing the water by 10 g (435 g for half batch of master recipe) but now am back to the original recipe using 425g of water.

  28. Question re: Chapter 9 – Brioche and Sunflower Breakfast loaf from Gluten-free Artisan bread in 5 min A Day.

    I’ve made these a few times – I always use the stand mixer with paddle attachment but I’m not happy with the result. The flavor is wonderful but the problems I would like to work to improve are:

    A) Both brioche and sunflower loaf has a floury aftertaste.

    B) Both have been quite dense, and lacks softness

    C) Even after reducing the baking time, it tastes quite dry.

    I can’t eat dairy so have substituted the diary with vegan butter and almond milk. Could this be the problem ? Any suggestions you might have would be great !

    1. We didn’t try that swap, but what we found with GF in our stored-dough method is this: any changes typically resulted in major changes in taste, texture, or moisture level in the finished loaves. So my guess is that that the vegan butter and almond milk are the problems, and I don’t see a clear path on what you might test next to fix this problem if you can’t eat what our recipe calls for.

      Same for the Superfine as opposed to Bob’s Red Mill’s standard rice flour. For that, it does sound like you may have too much moisture and you could continue to experiment with less liquid.

      1. I am GF and just received your GF Artisan Bread in 5 min a day. I am loving it! I had a question regarding making Brioche pg 216. I am lactose intolerant. I can handle butter if its baked, however NOT milk. Is there anything I can substitute for the milk? like coconut or almond milk without drastically changing the taste of a brioche? Same question for any recipe that calls for milk?

      2. In most bread recipes, any water-based liquid will work, but we’ve found that are GF recipes are very persnickety, and what seems like minor change creates major problems in consistency or taste. But I bet you’ll get away with what you suggest. I think almond milk might be a better choice–less fatty so won’t through off the fat content as much. The taste should be good. Alternative: water.

  29. I’m I misunderstanding your chart on p. 268 when I need more than 1 stick of butter to make 115 grams? That is much more than 4 ozs. I am using the WH-B05 scale. It was the same with the number of eggs.

  30. I recently used your book, “Gluten-Free Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day” to make the basic loaf of bread and rolls. Both turned out well so I was inspired to try the Buttermilk Bread since I wanted a soft roll. Is the ratio of 20 oz of cornstarch to 11 oz of Mixture #1 GF All Purpose correct?! If so, why so much cornstarch? Thank you.

    1. Hi Chris,

      After much trial and error this is the ratio that resulted in the texture we were going for. We also tried it with other starches and it just didn’t come out with the same results. There may be more options now in terms of flour blends, but that will require some testing. If you do, I recommend starting with a small batch.

      Thanks, Zoë

  31. I looked through the comments, but didn’t see this question. I just tried the sandwich bread without eggs. The dough rose beautifully in the bucket. It never achieved oven spring the next day after refrigeration. I let is rest for 90 minutes, but the pan felt cold going into the oven. The bread actually shrunk away from the sides of the pan and didn’t brown. Any ideas?

    1. Have u checked oven temp? (Not browning is suspicious). are you using the same flours with which we tested? Bob’s red Mill I mean.

  32. Hi, I have your gluten free book but it doesn’t quite mention what the consistency or texture of the dough should be like once mixed in a stand mixer. You say that it should be smooth but should it be a sticky and wet smooth consistency which is hard to handle or should it be dry enough that you can pick up with your hands and form a shape (similar to bread with gluten). Just not quite sure that my texture is correct and can’t find it anywhere in the book. Please help!

    1. It’s hard to describe a texture, that’s for sure. The easiest thing to do is to see the video and say whether yours looks that way. Go to: http://www.artisanbreadinfive.com/2015/03/03/gluten-free-bread-in-five-minutes-a-day-the-video

      And no, you can’t shape it like a wheat bread–you have to just “smooth” it into shape, as in the video.

      But the bigger question is whether the bread is coming out well when it’s baked. If so, your consistency must be good.

  33. I made the master recipe in the Gluten-Free Artisan Bread book in a loaf pan, as instructed on pages 85-87. It rose beautifully before baking, then came out of the oven a shrunken brick. What’s going on?

    1. Did you make any substitutions at all? Did you use the same flours we tested with, which are Bob’s Red Mill? In particular did you use xanthan gum or psyllium? Did you check your oven temperature?

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