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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741 thoughts on “Gluten Free FAQs

  1. I recently purchased the GF artisan bread cookbook. I have been using Bob’s red mill products as advised and weighung with a scale for accuracy. I just mixed up a container of the pizza/fatbread dough and it seemd like a thicker dryer dough than any other I had tried so i went back over the recipe and realized I had used bob’s red mill corn flour NOT corn meal. How will this affect my dough? Should I mix in more water. Not sure if you will see this in time to help. I hope I didn’t ruin this …the flours are so expensive.

    1. Hi Lisa,

      Yes, you can add a bit more water to the dough. Because you are using it as a flat bread it will be more forgiving. It may be too dense as a loaf of bread, but as a pizza you will probably be just fine. Roll it thin if you find it is denser than you’d hoped.

      Thanks, Zoë

      1. I ended up adding 1/4 c more water. I made a thicker crusted pizza last night and it was good but then tonight I used oiled parchment paper on top to roll it super thin, (1/8 th inch aprox). It was super crunchy on edges and tasted really good. Everyone was raving over it. I am very pleased with the recipes in this book. I am looking forward to trying more but I fear I may need to buy bigger clothes.

  2. I have the original artisan bread in 5 minutes a day, and then when my daughter was diagnosed with grain allergies we bought the gluten free book. It is our favourite, and we have made so many recipes. We especially enjoy the doughnuts as here in the UK a decent gluten free doughnut is the holy grail. At the moment I’m making them ring shaped as per directions. Would they work cut out with a round cutter, so I could put jam or creme patisserie or similar inside after cooking – a bit like a certain market leader in the doughnut world!! How long should I fry for at what temperature? I guess I could trial and error but the dough is so expensive to make, I can’t afford too many mistakes. Many thanks Liz.

    1. Hi Liz,

      Yes, you can cut them into circles, fry them and fill them. I would test one to see the proper timing, the oil should be 360-370°F. The timing will depend on how thick and how large the circles are.

      I am so thrilled you are enjoying all of the bread!

      Cheers, Zoë

  3. I have a question, but it’s aimed more towards other bakers. Has anyone figured out how to use other flour blends successfully for any of the GF recipes? I don’t use Bob’s flours because they are gritty to me. I prefer other brands. I’ve tried making the sandwich bread using mix #1 twice, but both times ended up with dough that didn’t rise and was quite gummy after baking.

  4. First time Baker: can I use a “heavy duty” hand held “wand” mixer to mix up original dough? Can not afford to buy standing mixer right now, and even. No I used the Danish dough mixer I’m not satisfied that I mixed it up enough… it’s still a bit “lumpy” after much stirring, Have not even tried to bake it!

    1. Hi LisaJo,

      Does the wand mixer have an attachment other than a blade? I’m not sure it will be strong enough, but maybe give it a try and if it sounds like it is struggling, you should stop. If you try it, please let me know how it goes.

      Thanks, Zoë

  5. Is Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free All Purpose Baking Flour suitable for your recipes contained in your book.. “Gluten-Free Artisan Bread in Five Minutes A Day” ? Replacing the listed flours in your Master Recipe with a ratio 1:1 with Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free All Purpose Baking Flour and adding Xanthum Gum also to the recipe.
    Thank you for your help.

    1. Hi Shawn,

      I didn’t test the recipes with that flour blend, since it wasn’t available at the time when we are writing the book. You can give it a try, but I would start with a small batch to make sure you like the texture and flavor. I have had good luck with Better Batter flour blend.

      Thanks, Zoë

  6. I have been attempting to make the boule from GF in 5 minutes with Mixture #1 (I substituted white for brown rice and used psyllium instead of Xanthan)p.64 and 60 I bake it in my french cast-iron pot. The bread comes out with a crust so hard we can’t cut it! It looks like bread until we try to touch it … and it is definitely very dense. 🙁
    Help! I want to love my bread! Also I use my stand mixer and I do not overly mix it. This time I tried the tip from the “no rest no rise just bake” box. It was worst than the other times. Thanks for helping!

    1. Audrey: Have you tested your oven temp? Is the loaf taking much longer to bake than what we say? How is the rise before you refrigerate? Any chance your yeast is old?

      1. Audrey: Also should have asked–are you making any substitutes for the flours we call for and tested with in the book (Bob’s Red Mill–which is the only one that’s reliably available all over the US). Other brands require different water amounts, and that throws off everything.

        Also–when you say “I’m careful not to overmix…” that might be your problem. This dough has to be very well mixed, or else the ingredients don’t emulsify. The best way to do that is with the stand mixer, as you’re doing.

  7. Just bought your GF book for myself and my mom. Cant wait to start. One quick question, can I half the recipe? The whole batch might be a little too much.

  8. I bought your book and have been working my way through the recipes. I am amazed at how well the breads turn out – thank you, thank you, thank you for writing this! The instructions are so clear. My favorite instructions is “about the size of a large peach” – that perfectly describes how much to use. I’ve also gifted the book to a survivor of the CampFire disaster in Northern California who lost all her gluten-free cookbooks in the fire. She is thrilled to get it Neanderthal said it really cheered her up. That’s a great cookbook!!!!

    1. The second to the last line should say “She is thrilled to get it and said it really cheered her up.” I have no idea what I typed for spell check to substitute ‘Neanderthal” – lol!

  9. Hi, I posted some questions a little earlier, but don’t see that they got posted with a reply. Since my attempts at using the Mixture #1 with brown rice flour instead of white rice flour for the Master Recipe for making Boule have pretty much ended up with rock solid loafs, I’m wondering if it’s the brand flour I’m using? I’ve been using the rice and sorghum flours from the bulk refrigerated section of a local natural foods store. I did weigh the ingredients, used a stand mixer, baking stone, oven thermometer and all the rest. I’m am not using eggs. Any ideas for me?

    Thanks!
    kt

    1. As we say in the book, we tested with Bob’s Red Mill flours, and substitutions result in massive changes in water requirement. My guess is that your hydration is off. Best bet to to try with Bob’s flours and see what you think. Also, the with-egg version (especially with egg whites) results in a lighter loaf (see details in the book http://amzn.to/1msOBmY).

  10. I have long been a baker, taking on GF baking when I discovered that my body didn’t appreciate gluten. I have managed to bake almost everything EXCEPT bread that I enjoyed. I just discovered your book, will be getting it soon, but I wonder if you have ever used pressure cookers to (steam) cook bread? All the old little cookbooks that came with pressure cookers had a recipe for Brown Bread (more sweeter than regular bread).

    1. We don’t have one. The steamed brown bread is very particular, very heavy concoction. Sometimes called Boston Brown Bread. I believe most recipes are treacly-sweet and more resemble a pudding than bread. If I had to guess, I’d say it’ll be too dense to do as gluten-free.

      1. Again, thanks for this insight Jeff. It seems I need a better understanding about how steam plays its part in bread making.
        I do find it interesting that so many people are afraid of using a stove top pressure cooker, but the new electric ‘instant pots’ are much the rave these days. Same principles and probably equipment too, just different power source. (I have 5 of the originals of varying sizes collected from thrift store and garage sales 😉

  11. Reading your Equipment tab I see that a Kitchen Aide stand mixer is generally used. I am wondering if anyone has made use of a bread machine to do the mixing? I do have an old (circa 1950s!) Hamilton Beach stand mixer that works continues to work like a charm – but no dough hooks in all the accessories that I have. (no joy with finding on ebay or Hamilton Beach parts)

    1. We haven’t, but it’d probably work. But– you’ll probably have to halve, or even quarter our recipes, which make a lot of dough. And my guess is that it won’t work well to bake in those–too much moisture in our stuff to dissipate.

      1. Thanks Jeff for your insights. I would for sure expect to give mixing by use of bread machine a go with a smaller batch of mix. I never bake using the bread machine anyway – don’t like the shape of the loaf or how the bread turns out. Transferring to a bread pan or baking stone might be a bit challenging, but seeing as to how one shapes the loaf to be baked, handling dough is more a matter of practice I’m sure.
        Very much looking forward to actually making my own delicious GF bread!!

  12. Please help!! After enjoying all of your traditional heathy bread in 5 recipes I recently found out that I have allergies to yeast and gluten 🙁 I am so sad and want to continue making the bread somehow do you have any ideas for making a gluten free yeast free bread? I know the results may not be as great but I’m desperate for ideas as my family is really go to miss having fresh bread around! I should also note that I have allergies to milk & eggs, but this hasn’t posed a problem with your recipes as I have been able to successfully make substitutions on those with good results. Any help or advice on this would be greatly appreciated! Your books are wonderful and have changed our life by making fresh bread a part of it!

    1. It’s the yeast-free that doesn’t work in our recipes, so no, I’m afraid we don’t. All the recipes in our gluten-free book (http://amzn.to/1msOBmY) have yeast. You could try adapting natural yeast (from the air, from the flour), as we do in the last chapter of our whole wheat book (http://amzn.to/1NdVkgj)–natural sourdough (aka “levain”). But be aware–we haven’t tested that with the denser gluten-free breads.

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