Xanthan gum is one of the common ingredients you will see in gluten free recipes. It acts like our gluten, adding bounce and binding to breads and cookies that would otherwise crumble. Xanthan gum is a powder milled from the dried cell coat of a micro-organism called Xanthonomonas campestris, grown under laboratory conditions. In the US Xanthan gum is grown off of corn syrup (but tests out corn-free in the lab after processing).
Most gluten-free flours will require the addition of xanthan or guar gum (another gum binder) to compensate for the lack of gluten. The amount needed to add will depend on the type of product you are baking and it’s reliance on the gluten structure. Breads rely heavily on gluten for their structure, cakes to a lesser extent, and cookies almost none. Typically the starchier and/or more refined the crumb, the less the reliance on gluten.
Some gluten-free groups discourage the use of guar because of the higher fiber (and therefore possible laxative effect) of large amounts of guar gum use. The best way to know which gum to use for your binder is to try both and see which you prefer. I generally use xanthan as it is much easier to find (and afford!) in my area. If these gums are not appropriate for you, some suggest the use of mung bean (also known as green bean) flour (as a rate of 1/8 of cup to every cup flour) or pre-gelled potato flour. I have also seen some experimentation with chia seeds, but have not tried that myself.
The suggested ratio for every cup of wheat-free/gluten-free flour use:
1 tsp. to 2 tsp. Xanthan gum for pizza
3/4 tsp. to 1 tsp. Xanthan gum for breads
1/2 tsp. Xanthan gum for cakes
1/4 tsp to ½ tsp. xanthan gum for most cookies.
I have all the content, words and what-have-you, transfered over to this site now. Yay! However, I do still have quite a bit of work left to clean up the entries, reattach photos, assign categories, and linking recipes to the recipe page. Soooo, if you are looking for something specific, please use the search button to the right. If you need something linked up to the recipe page sooner, leave me a comment and I’ll hook it up as soon as possible.
Thank you for your patience!
When I have corn tortillas on a shopping list I mean these, but I don’t want to make them: http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Corn-Tortillas/Detail.aspx
When I want tortilla chips for a meal, then I’ll say tortilla chips…
I can’t make tacos with chips. ;o)
Thanks for going to the store, though.
(Understand that my kids have been asking for tacos for a couple of weeks. Twice my sweet husband has gone grocery shopping for me to get tortillas… Um, yeah… Good thing he’s cute!)
Day Three at Organized Christmas is to set up your holiday calendar with free print out calendar link and some sound advice on under-scheduling your holiday. The recipe today is Sand Art Gift in a Jar Brownies. I think for gluten and dairy free goodness, either of these recipes from Karina’s Kitchen could be adapted to be jar gifts, though I haven’t made these recipes myself (but I think I need to now!): Cappuccino Brownies, and Chocolate Chip Peppermint Cookies. I also have several “Gifts in a Jar” recipes I found last year in this post.
Hi, everybody! Just a head’s up that things are a bit busier than normal for the next week, so I am taking a little blog break. If we can get it set up, I will hopefully be able to blog about the Gluten Free Culinary Conference when I am there. If I can’t figure it out (did I tell you I am not tech-savvy?), the I’ll write about it all after I get back. I’m so excited!!
I will still be checking my blog pretty often, so if you have and questions or comments, I will try to get back to you as soon as I am able…
Chat at ya soon!