Substitutions for ingredients in our gluten-free recipes

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We tried to accommodate a wide variety of food sensitivities in our gluten-free book, but some people have asked about substitutions for what we call for in the book’s flour mixtures, and on this page, we’ll summarize swaps for flours that some of our readers don’t eat. Others may be possible, but these are the gluten-free substitutes ones we’ve tested and liked.

Our 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? All we can say is that they might work, but we just haven’t tested them yet. Experiment, and adjust the liquids as needed:

White rice flour: can be replaced by brown rice flour, but you need to increase the water by 2 tablespoons per full batch of our dough recipes. We have not been able to get good results without some rice flour in the recipes.

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 our brioche recipe.

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 our video.

Corn starch: We had a hard time decreasing 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, we were frustrated. 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 our books, the doughs have 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 we can’t make any guarantees here.

Finally, some readers have asked why we didn’t base our gluten-free flour mixtures on ingredients like almond, millet, or quinoa. Though we use those in some of our recipes in the book, we’ve found that they don’t make a good yeasted bread unless they are used in relatively small amounts.

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