Substitutions for ingredients in my gluten-free recipes

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Gluten-Free Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day tries to accommodate a wide variety of food sensitivities but some readers asked about substitutions for what’s called for in the book’s flour mixtures, and so here are swaps for flours that some of our readers don’t eat. Others may be possible, but these are the gluten-free substitutes that actually worked.

Flour Mixture #1 is based on rice, sorghum, tapioca, and potato, with xanthan gum or psyllium providing structure. If you’re sensitive to the bold-faced ingredient in the list below, you can try swapping in one of the suggested gluten-free substitutes. But keep in mind that if the recipe already has some of that ingredient, you may throw off the flavor or consistency. Are other substitutions possible? Maybe, but it’s risky.

White rice flour can be replaced by brown rice flour, but increase the water by 2 tablespoons per full batch of our dough recipes. It seems that at least some rice flour is pretty much a requirement for a good result, whether white or brown. If you can’t use rice at all, you probably need to try a different method.

Sorghum flour can be replaced with oat or amaranth flour.

Tapioca starch/flour can be replaced with arrowroot starch/flour or cornstarch. However, cornstarch cannot be omitted from the brioche recipe–substitutions there just did not work.

Potato starch: You can try proportionally increasing the other starches/flours in the flour mixture, but you may have to adjust the water to keep the consistency at about the level that you see in the video.

Corn starch: In testing, it was tough to decrease corn starch in these recipes, despite much experimentation. You could start trying partial swaps, or combination swaps for other powdery starches or GF flours, but as I say, this was frustrating. On the other hand, if you can tolerate a little density, or are willing to settle for flatbreads only, you could end up with something acceptable to you. For the books, the doughs had to be multi-purpose, including working well in sandwich loaves and other lofty breads. The flatter you’re willing to accept–the more leeway you’ll have when you experiment with swaps for corn starch–but I can’t make any guarantees here.

Finally, some readers have asked about ingredients like almond, millet, or quinoa. Though those appear in small amounts in some of the book’s recipes, they don’t make a good yeasted bread when you start to use more significant amounts.

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