• Converting Recipe from Wheat flour to Gluten free flour

    by Ellen on February 24, 2007 · 10 comments

    I’m ready to make the jump. I’m ready to experiment without a net. But I need some help from my GF friends. I know I’ve read it in at least a million places, but I just can’t remember – so if anyone knows the answer, please comment and let me know.

    When you are replacing wheat flour with gluten free flours in baking, how do you make the switch? Cup for cup? And if so, how much if any xanthan gum do you add? Are there any other ingredients that must be added to make up for the loss of the wheat flour?

    I found a chocolate chip recipe that I want to make, but need to know how to make the conversions. Thanks!

    { 10 comments… read them below or add one }

    Sasha February 25, 2007 at 12:01 am

    Well here’s my two cents…

    I go a little bit on instinct for the xanthun gum, depending on how tender or chewy I think things should be. Mostly I use between 1/2 tsp for cakes on up to 1 1/2 TBS for big batches of bread dough. I use a little more because my daughter can’t eat eggs, which would otherwise help bind things together.

    For a flour mix I usually use about equal part sorghum, rice (mostly brown rice) flour, and tapioca (or cornstarch.) I use 1 cup of this mixture to 1 cup of wheat flour.

    I don’t really subscribe to the idea that gluten free batters need to be extra wet like I have often read, and I have good results with many regular recipes including muffins and cookies.

    Ingredients like yogurt and buttermilk do seem to help produce good fluffy baked goods. I am careful not to overmix my batters, because even though it doesn’t necessarily make the finished item more tough, it can take the air out of the leavening reaction that happens when you add yogurt or buttermilk.

    My baked goods do take longert to cook than recipes state, but that may be because of the lack of eggs so your results may be different. As long as you have experience with knowing when things are done this shouldn’t be a problem.

    I do use a mix for cakes (Dowd and Rogers) and have not found that I can make them better from scratch. Often I make chocolate chip cookies with this cake mix as well with good results.

    Happy Baking!

    Reply

    Lynn Barry February 25, 2007 at 7:47 am

    I substitute cup for cup, in other words one cup of flour means one cup of flour, any kind. I use one teaspoon of Xanthan Gum per cup of flour. That’s all I do. SO if the recipe asks for 2 cups of flour I use 2 cups of rice flour and 2 teaspoons of Xantha Gum.
    I found that if I use a few flours, say Sorghum, I use a small amount of the sorghum and starchy ones like tapioca and the bulk in the rice flours. I have used buckwheat flour instead of wheat for chocolate cookies and been pleased. Example, two cups of wheat flour needed, I used two cups of buckwheat flour and 2 teaspoons of Xantha Gum. My flour of substitution choice is white rice flour. Again, I use cup for cup and 1 teaspoon of Xanthan Gum per cup of flour.
    HAVE FUN!!!!! HUGS

    Reply

    Gluten Free MappyB February 25, 2007 at 8:44 am

    I bought the Bob’s Red Mill All Purpose Gluten Free Baking Flour thinking I could just sub that whenever needed, but it hasn’t ever worked for chocolate chip cookie recipes. I have no idea why, it’s frustrating! I’ll have to play around with it more, but just letting you know, subbing that may not work for you.

    Reply

    Gluten Free Suzi February 25, 2007 at 5:35 pm

    I used Bob’s Redmill Gluten Free flour mixes for about a year, with good success. I have always just used cup for cup in my recipes.. but then I am not one for measuring too much. I tend to go by the consistency of the mixture rather than the measurement. I recently tried Pamelas Gluten Free baking mix & was really impressed. It has a nicer flavor (almost vanilla) and cooks well.

    If you need any baking recipes to test with, I have posted all mine on my website http://www.gluten-free-living.net/recipes/

    Tip: sometimes I use say 3/4 cup GF flour baking mix and a 1/4 cup rice flour. This is especially nice in something like brownies, it gives it a different texture.

    Good luck..

    Suzi

    Reply

    Jean Layton-GF Momma February 25, 2007 at 8:47 pm

    Hi Ellen,
    I substitute cup for cup but vary the flours based on the ultimate use.
    For very white food – I use 1/2 and 1/2 white rice flour and taapioca.
    I don’t really like xanthan gum. i think I react to it with a lot of digestive rumblings So I add 1 T sweet (glutinous) rice to each cup of flour.
    I find this works really well for the white white foods.
    For recipes that are more wheaty in taste like pancakes, muffins and such, I make a mix of 1/3 brown rice flour, 1/3 amaranth and 1/3 sorghum plus use 1-2 T sweet rice flour. Occasionally I add 1 t xanthan if i am adding a lot of additions to the batter like fruit or nuts.
    For Chocolate items, I use 1/3 brown rice flour, 1/3 sorghum and 1/3 teff flour with 1-2 T sweet rice per cup.
    I tend to use honey as a sweetener for its hygroscopic properties or raw sugar. I do use eggs in my cooking or substitute ground flax seeds (1T plus 3 T water = 1 egg.
    Hope this helps
    Enjoy

    Reply

    Sheri February 26, 2007 at 8:29 pm

    Just to make things more difficult, when I am playing with flours, I cut the recipe in half because…well, I am cheap and this stuff is expensive! That way, if it’s garbage-worthy, I only feel half-bad instead of all bad that I had to pitch it.

    Reply

    Nina February 26, 2007 at 10:53 pm

    I’m with Sheri. All my experiments are in 1/2 batches. Even when something turns out well, I make another 1/2 batch and tweak it some more. I quickly found out that you can ruin a recipe with too much xanthan gum. 1/2 tsp per cup of flour is closer to what I use. And write everything down so you have a record of what worked and what didn’t. Good luck, Ellen.

    Reply

    Anonymous September 13, 2009 at 12:20 am

    I had to experiment tonight with a flour mix for banana muffins so I followed your suggestions about using 1/3 rice, 1/3 tapioca, then I used 1/3 garbanzo because that is the only other flour I had. I needed a total of 2 C flour so I doubled all flours. After tasting I wish I had only used 1/3 C of the garbanzo in the total mix because the garbanzo is a strong flavor. Next time I will use the other half in rice flour. The muffins; however, are still quite edible and the rise went well. Banana muffins can be tricky and can sink if not careful but that did not happen and they looked beautiful. To look at them, you would not be able to tell they were GF! Now just to fine tune the flour mix! Thank you for the tips. I would not have been able to improvise and have it turn out so well otherwise!

    Reply

    Anonymous May 8, 2010 at 9:19 pm

    Hello fellow GF bakers,

    I am new at the whole Gluten Free baking thing and my question is… when converting a ordinary wheat recipe to GF, I understand the flour ratio and the xanthan gum, but do you have to increase say the baking powder or baking soda amounts to compensate for the change in flour type? Please help!
    Thanks, Cathy

    Reply

    Erica October 15, 2010 at 12:31 pm

    Great Info on your site! I've recently been tested & realized I need to go completely gluten-free and want to be able to back yummy treats for everyone but also so I can eat them too! Feel so much better not eating gluten :)

    ~Erica
    http://www.CoreAthletica.com

    Reply

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