Gluten Free FAQs

Gluten Free FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

Readers asked for Gluten-Free Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day here on the website. There’ve been lots 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 say 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 the 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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1,128 thoughts on “Gluten Free FAQs

  1. Good morning,
    I have recently had to go gluten-free but I am a bread lover. I was excited to find your book and have tried the master recipe (twice) and the brioche (once) so far. I keep struggling with the master recipe especially as it is just so wet that I cannot shape it at all and so it ends up being a massive blob because I am pretty much just pouring it out of the bucket. The resulting bread (although tasty) is dense because of this. I measure using the weights. I’ve tried hand mixing and the stand mixer. I found with the stand mixer I definitely got a better mix on it. Could you provide any tips as to what I am doing wrong? I’ll try using the cup measures next but aside from that I’m at a bit of a loss. I’m really excited to get this mastered though because if I can then I will feel better moving on to your other recipes that look really delicious. Thank you for your help!

      1. Thank you for your response. I typically have been using the Bob’s Red Hill flours; however, sometimes I can’t get those and have used other brands. I’ll try adding in some extra flour to see if that helps. Thank you for the link as I hadn’t found that yet. I’ll also continue to weigh for the measurements. Fingers crossed. Even though my bread has been “flat” it still tastes great so I can’t wait until I get this sorted out! Have a great day.

  2. Can I use the GF Master Recipe for English muffins? Or does it really need the egg in the Challah/Brioche dough? Thank you.

    1. Hi Tamara,

      Yes, it should work. The texture may not have as many nooks and crannies. Give it a try, but maybe do a half batch.

      Thanks, Zoë

  3. I have been making a lot of gluten free bread and have been pleasantly surprised by how well they have turned out. I got your book and have been trying your recipes but they don’t seem to rise. I compared your recipes to the Better Batter Artisan loaf that I make, which always works perfectly, and I see that you recommend 10g yeast for 990g flour, while Better Batter says 11g yeast for 405g flour. If I have luck with theirs and not yours, should I try just doubling the yeast? Any other thoughts about getting your loaves to rise? I have a proofer so the temp isn’t an issue.

  4. Good morning! I love my Gluten-Free Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day cookbook. I’ve gifted your other books to my gluten-loving friends and they are just as excited about the ease of baking bread. My problem is the outside of my basic GF bread recipe. It does not brown up like the ones in the book at all. In fact, it looks very bland – not artisan at all! (I’ve watched Zoe’s video.) When I brush the top with water, it seems to make the problem even worse. Am I just not baking long enough? The crust seems very done (crusty). I am going to try some recipes with egg this weekend. Maybe I will have more success with those?

    1. It’s true, the white flower recipes in that book don’t Brown terribly well, especially in larger ovens. Make sure you using steam. Also gas ovens can allow the steam to dissipate too quickly and that’s a problem. Using some of the mixture number two will be helpful here. The other thing is to brush the top with egg white that should help

  5. Are you able to only make half of the master batch? If so any special tips? I see in the book not to put the bread in plastic in the fridge. Any tips on strong for a couple of days?


    1. You definitely can make half a recipe, and they’re no adjustments needed. I find that the best way to store bread is it room temperature with the cut side down on a non-porous surface like a plate or countertop. The bread will dry out, but the crust won’t get all soft. If you don’t mind the crust getting soft, you can put it in any airtight container or plastic. I don’t think refrigeration makes much difference

  6. Hi just got your book. Loved the pizza dough recipe. I am going to get a steel . Do you use a steel and do you use it on the barbeque ? Also do you have an egg substitution? Thanks for your time. Linda

    1. Hi Linda,

      I have used my steel on the grill, you just want to make sure the flame isn’t direct on it or the steel can actually get too hot.

      We don’t have a specific egg replacer to recommend, but many of our readers say they use their favorite brands in our recipes with success. If you try it, I recommend making a half batch to be sure you like the results.

      Thanks, Zoë

  7. Hi! I have loved your master loaf recipe when I finally got my act together to make it. Now I want to make a GF loaf for my mom who is also sensitive to potatoes (they trigger arthritis pain). She can tolerate potato starch but not potato flour. I’ve looked at a lot of substitutions for potato flour on line and wonder what you would suggest. One mentions equal parts rice flour and potato starch. Another mentions tapioca flour – which is already in the recipe…perhaps I just increase that. Or coconut flour was mentioned in another place. I’d love your advice. Thank you!!

    1. The only swaps that we found worked were the ones on page 61 of the book. Other than that, you’re in for a lot of experimentation, and I not sure how to advise.

      1. I don’t think I have that book. The one I have is The New Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day.

      2. The list, is also here on the website, just search in the search bar for substitutions

  8. Are Gluten free fillings useable with regular Brioche dough? I.e. Fruit and Nut Spiral Rolls. Also, are you familiar with Ankarsrum Mixers? Can I use this to make and store the dough?

  9. In addition to gluten, I am also unable to have nightshades, therefore cannot use potato starch. What are some substitutes I could use in place of the potato starch in the Gluten-Free All-Purpose Flour recipe? The book mentions substitutes for the tapioca starch. Would those also work as substitutes for the potato starch, or are there other substitutes that would better replace the potato starch?

    1. On page 61 of the book (same as here on the website), you see all substitutions I tried that worked well. In other words, this was very finicky– and density really started to be a problem for pretty much any combinations other than the ones you see. You can start experimenting, but I’m afraid I can’t vouch for anything in particular–it’s probably going to throw off the liquid requirement radically. Yes, you could try arrowroot–but start with small batches since you may not like the result.

  10. Love, love, love, your baking and breads!
    I ave a wee problem, just found out I am not only gluten intolerant but allergic to yeast and oats!
    Any thoughts? Did find Base Culture bread products and they are not bad at all.
    Wondering if you all have experimented with vinegar and baking soda instead of yeast?

    Baking your bread for the family!

    Anne MacDonald

    1. Haven’t, but of course, there’s a whole universe of baking soda/baking powder “quick” breads. I just haven’t done anything in terms of recipe development with those.

  11. I have baked breads for many years now, and am just beginning my gluten free adventure. I make breads and give them away at Church. I have had much interest expressed in gluten free bread. Assuming my experience with the basic (GF) bread is positive, my question is: can I adapt my current bread recipes by replacing the flour(s) with AP mix? I would expect that some experimenting and adjusting would be required.
    Thank you in advance.

  12. For the No Rest, No Rise, Just bake: on page 68. It states to pull of the pound and put it on parchment in cold oven 75 min at 400. Is that really it, or do I dust and slash ( add the flour on top, the cross hatch,) and add the pan of water for steaming…

    Also, if I am going to mix it in the stand glass mixing bowl but want to store it in a plastic container when should I move it… before or after it rises. (I am tempted to do after for the first time as I don’t know how big it will get and don’t want to have too small a container – which I often do as there is only so much room in the fridge so I am constantly squishing things in. Thank you. My celiac son is quite excited to try the bread!

    1. In that case, you skip the slashing. You can start with the steam, but use hot water or it won’t vaporize quickly.

      Move the dough before it rises. To estimate, it rises to slightly more than double.

  13. Hi,
    I am using the recipe for gluten free artisan loaf on page 64 of the book. My dough is way too wet. I used Bob’s Red Mill one to one GF flour because the ingredients are the same. I guess that the proportions weren’t the same. I have added more flour. Will that work?

    1. I didn’t have success with that product, which is why the custom recipe was developed. The product you’re using is better for cookies, and cake. It might work to try and dry it out, but it’s still going to be a dense result.

  14. I we have been making your GF bread recipes for about a year, and have loved them all. Yesterday, I made the Master Recipe, and forgot to leave the dough out for 2 hours to let it rise—I just put it right in the fridge. Today, I tried to bake a loaf by first leaving it out for a couple hours, then doing the regular rise and bake. The loaf was small and lumpy. Is there any way to salvage the rest of the dough? Thank you!

  15. Hi, earlier this year I made about 6 loaves, so carefully, measuring all the ingredients, following directions exactly and none have turned out. They are gummy inside. I tried the pizza stone and then the dutch oven. The dutch oven seems to be better but still not good. They look beautiful but are not really edible inside. I do have a gas oven, so would you recommend the dutch oven or which method for gas ovens?
    Also, we live in Texas and our room temp is about 73-77 degrees, if that helps.
    I’m going to try a stand mixer just to see if I could be under mixing. I don’t want to give up as I’d really love to be able to make this bread and all the recipes… and purchased a ton of the flours.

    1. When you say “purchased all of the flours”, I assume you mean Bob’s Red Mill brand? Because that’s what these were tested with. If you make changes, all bets are off in terms of moisture requirement, and the density, and the possibility that things will be gummy. But the biggest thing, is probably the stand mixer, that helps emulsify the ingredients and leads to a much better result in terms of exactly the concerns your voicing here. The other thing is to try the version with egg whites, do you see where that appears in the book?

      The Dutch oven will help only in terms of the crust, not the internal crumb structure.

  16. Hello Jeff and team,
    I hope you are all well.

    I recently bought ‘Gluten-free Artisan Bread in 5 minutes à Day’ (I know… Almost 10 years later ) and am busy making the two “mixtures”.

    I am making the ‘Mixture #1: Gluten-free All-purpose Flour’ recipe from page 60, where it calls for ‘1020g White Rice Four’.

    My question is:
    I just realised that I bought 500g of ‘rice flour’ and 500g of ‘Impalpable(?) rice flour’ (on different occasions)
    The ‘Impalpable rice flour’ lable reads: (in Italian: idéale per Dolci soffici, biscotti, fritture, créma pasticcera, besciamella)
    In english: Soft cakes, biscuits, fried foods, pastry créma, béchamel sauce.
    Can I use this for the ‘Mixture #1’? (mix the two types together), Or do I need to go out to get another bag of plain/normal rice flour?

    Trying my best I live in the countryside in Spain, so everytime I get an ingredient wrong or forget something at the shops, its quite a drive to get back!

    Your advice would be greatly appreciated.

    Thank you so much.

    1. I’m afraid I’m not familiar with this ingredient, and I had no luck translating the word “impalpable” from Italian. I suppose it’s worth a try, but in all likelihood it’s going to absorb water differently than what I tested with, so this may take a lot of trial and error on your own.

      1. I suspect this means Asian style rice flour (not glutinous) which is milled much finer than ordinary rice flour. I use it for Chinese dumpling wrappers.

      2. Correct, but that said, you may have trouble with flours in the flour mixture that weren’t tested for the book. As you’ve suspected, this was only tested with US flour, and it may work differently with the products that are available to you where you are.

  17. Hello, my question is from Gluten Free artisan bread in 5. I want to use psyllium husk or psyllium husk powder in making sticky buns for the holidays. To make your basic gluten free flour blend (for Challah bread dough) how much (and which one husk or powder) psyllium do you recommend I add to the flour mix. Appreciate your help. I want to make these for the upcoming holidays.
    Best, Suzi

    1. It should be labeled “ground psyllium husk;” it may or may not be the case that “powder” means the same thing. If you want to be extra safe, I’d seek out one labeled exactly as the one that was tested for the book. The amounts for the full batch of Gluten-Free All-Purpose Flour, in cup-measures, ounces, and grams, are in the table on page 60 of “Gluten-Free Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day,” available on Amazon at It’s the last line in the table.

      1. thank you for your response. usually the amount of psyllium husk ground or whole is much more than the amount of xanthan gum. used in a recipe Just wanted to be sure with your thinking and clarify that.

      2. Hmmm. With the ground psyllium husk product available in food coops, they measured the same–thats what the recipes were tested with. Problem might be non-standardization of this particular product, but I haven’t heard problems in this regard from readers here on the site.

    2. Please be careful. Ground psyllium husk is NOT the same as the powder. I used one for the other in a recipe for GF hamburger buns and the result was a mess.

      1. Okay, you’ve convinced me. Stick with the ground psyllium husk as written in the recipes, don’t use products labeled “psyllium powder.”

  18. Hi, very excited to come across your GF book. I really appreciate the fact that you give actual flour mixtures rather than brands that are not available in London!

    My question is this: given the energy crisis, have you developed a recipe for a bread maker? I mean a bread machine that kneads etc. I thought you might have something that may involve mixing etc by hand, and baking in the bread maker. I’m sure that it would be better than the manufacturer’s instructions.



    1. No, afraid I haven’t done any testing with bread makers. You can mix the gluten-free dough by hand, as it reads in the book, but the truth is, as you may have guessed, it does come out better with a mixer. Emulsifies it better, and the result is a better texture. Interested to hear what you think after trying it.

  19. Can the Master Blend recipe be altered to use in other types of Gluten Free baked goods such as cookies and cakes and pie crust? I am using the Mixture#1 Gluten Free All-Purpose Flour in the First Edition 2014 “Gluten Free Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day” book. Thanks for any suggestions.

    1. My guess is that it probably can, though that wasn’t tested for these books. These were optimized for bread, which means they needed more structure (hence the xanthan gum or ground psyllium husk). Their presence here probably won’t be a problem for cookies, but it might make cakes seem tough. In any case, you’ll need to adjust the recipe for water requirement–no idea whether you’ll need more or less than whatever base recipe you’re starting from.

  20. Hey there,

    Just read the gf book and made my first batch of bread. The standard artisan loaf is a bit small and gets eaten quickly in my house! Can I double the amount of dough in the loaf or can I bake two loaves at one time? Thanks!

    1. Yes, you can make a larger loaf. And it’ll work fine without much difference in baking time so long as you don’t make it twice as high. Similarly, nothing should change if you put two loaves in the oven.

  21. I am working from The Best of Artisan Bread in 5 minutes a Day, pages 171-175, and I am confused. In the introduction to that section, you mention Bob’s Red Mill, but when you look at the recipes, none of the recipes in that Chapter call for Bob’s. If I have Bob’s, can I substitute that for the Brown rice flour, Sorghum Flour and Tapioca flour, etc. quantities? I am baking this for a friend. I understand that Bob’s AP is missing Xantham gum, so will still need to add that. If I am using Measure for measure… that would already have Xantham gum in it. How do Bob’s and King Arthur GF flours compare for your recipes? Any thoughts on using commercially available flours for bread for the occasional guest? Thanks.

    1. On page 171, I’m talking there about the brand of brown rice flour, sorghum flour, tapioca flour/starch, etc., and the idea was to convey that everything had been tested with Bob’s Red Mill brand for those individual flours, not with Bob’s GF flour-mix–which did not work in these recipes. After many failures with commercial GF flour mixtures, I stuck with the custom mixes in the recipes, and tested them with Bob’s Red Mill brand flours.

  22. Hello Zoe and Jeff! I finally geared up to try and make GF bread at home. I made a batch of dough yesterday and baked today. My first loaf is a failure: hard and small. I used a KA stand mixer (though the smaller size 4.5 bowl) and measured all the Bob’s flours by weight and followed directions. I gave it plenty of rising time, but my kitchen is cool. Would it help to use the proof function on my countertop convection oven? I think I put it in too early, after the pizza stone had preheated for 30 min but was not yet at 450 in my gas oven. The water dissipated almost immediately; should I put in more to keep steam going? Would the not hot enough oven be enough to produce my soft-ball sized rock loaf? I’d be grateful for any advice.

    1. The proof function is a good place to start… See if that helps, and definitely let the oven fully preheat to maximize oven spring. Finally, for the next batch, let the KA run longer to see if more emulsification helps.

      1. OK, did the proof function and preheated oven for an hour with the stone. Got zero oven spring! Inside is dense and a little spongy. I used a packet of yeast in this batch rather than a full tablespoon. I also was leery of letting it overmix in the KA, so those might be factors. after that first rise, it sank when I refrigerated it. Is that right? Would any of the recipes besides the boule be good if my dough isn’t springing up?

      2. Does the dough seem wetter than typical dough to you? It should. If not, increase the water a bit. Given that your result isn’t actually a solid rock, you may be getting good expansion, but it may be going sideways. See what you think. If you do the bread in a loaf pan, especially if you have a nice small one

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