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Baking Without Wheat, Corn, Or Soy?

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My 5 year old daughter and I were recently diagnosed (via Enterolab) as having an autoimmune reaction related to ingesting gluten (if I am understanding the results correctly). My 3 year old daughter has not been tested yet, but we suspect the same will be true for her, once we have saved up enough to run another test. This will be our first Thanksgiving and Christmas season without my baking. Typically, I make homemade dinner rolls for both meals, wreath-shaped cinnamon-raisin tea rings and butterfly-shaped orange rolls for holiday breakfasts, several varieties of cookies (especially butter-sugar and gingerbread people), and at least 5 types of pie -- all made from scratch, often with wheat flour I would grind myself.

Now, all of these traditions may be over...

Unless someone has some fantastic recipes. I cannot eat soy (as I have hypothyroidism, and soy inhibits thyroid function), and I have arthritis reactions to corn (including, apparently, xanthan gum, as my hands have become stiffer since switching from with-gluten Ezekiel bread to without-gluten rice bread).

All of the gluten-free flour mixes I have seen in stores and online have soy flour, cornmeal, corn starch, and/or xanthan gum in them. I would prefer to make something from scratch, but is it even possible?

(Just to complicate things, I am pregnant, and even though I am hardly nut-free, I am concerned that eating too many nuts could cause allergies in the baby)

Does anyone have any recipes worthy of becoming our new family traditions? We seem to tolerate dairy and eggs just fine. Maybe a rice pudding recipe or a crust-less cheesecake or custard pie that will make me forget all about my artful lattice crust tops? Or a vegetable-based dinner roll?

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Our house is also gluten, soy and corn free, in addition to some others. I know of two flour mix subs that are free of all those things. I am currently using Namaste Perfect Flour Blend. (Ingredients: sweet brown rice flour, tapioca flour, arrowroot flour, sorghum flour and xanthan gum) It does have xanthan in it, but I called them a few years ago about their corn-free labeled mixes containing xanthan and was told that the xanthan they use is not corn-derived. My daughter, who is corn allergic, has never reacted to Namaste mixes or the flour blend. It is a cup-for-cup replacement.

Another brand of cup-for-cup replacement flour blend that a friend uses is Tom Sawyer. From their website: "Tom Sawyer All Purpose Gluten Free Flour is a blended flour of rice and tapioca flours, xanthan gum, and unflavored gelatin." My daughter has eaten many things made with that blend from our friend and has not reacted to the xanthan gum in that either. They do have a trial pack size bag that you could give it a try to see if you react to it. My daughter is highly reactive to corn and corn derivatives (citric acid, ascorbic acid, polysorbate 80, sodium citrate, etc.), so I feel good about both flours here since she doesn't react to them, but each person is different.

You also can make up your own flour blends and include guar gum instead of xanthan. There are many, many flour blend recipes online. Just Google "gluten free flour blend" and lots of entries will come up. To replace wheat flour in recipes, it will take a blend of at least 3 or 4 flours plus a bunding agent like xanthan or guar gum. I bake a lot so have experimented with many blends, both prepared and self-blended. Quinoa flour, millet flour, light buckwheat flour, sweet rice flour and tapioca flour are some of my favorites to mix. We don't care for regular or dark buckwheat flour because the flavor is very "earthy" but many like it. (Buckwheat flour is gluten-free as it is not a wheat at all.)

Don't give up on your holiday baking traditions!! Use this first year as an experimental year and note your failures and successes so you can adjust recipes and try various flour blends. I couldn't seem to master baking yeast breads with regular flour before my celiac diagnosis so haven't ventured there with gluten-free flours, but know others who have so I know it can be done too.


Western Washington State

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Hi, I do very little bread and roll baking. I am not gluten-free, my 2 dd's are but they live an hour away. I don't get to "experiment on them" very often. And my oven is broken so I bake in a toaster oven...not good for large things. Recently I tried 2 roll recipes. You could use guar gum for the xanthan gum, though I have never used it. And sub potato starch for the cornstarch, I do all the time.

pumpkin dinner rolls


Mrs. P's yeast rolls


I plan to make Mrs. P's rolls for Thanksgiving. Karina has lots of allergy friendly and easy to sub recipes...you just might find something:


(I just checked, she has a simple sounding almond meal pie crust recipe)

I think this pie crust will work great for your pies:


I have never used it for a full size pie but I have used it many, many times for individual pot pies. There is a member on here that uses it all the time and loves it. You would have to sub guar gum. Some things I have tried: I use just a little sorghum sometimes but it makes the dough sticky and I tried it with 2 eggs instead of 1+2 yolks and it bubbles and splatters. I have used garlic/onion salt for meat pies and added ground flax too, brushing the top with one of the leftover egg whites. The fruit pies are great, sometimes I sprinkle sugar on top. I use Spectrum shortening. Its a great recipe as is! I will see if I can find the older posts on it.

Yay! I found the post I was looking for:


Read the replies from cruelshoes, one has a link and one has "how to freeze" tips.

"Cooking Free", by Carol Fenster has recipes for gingersnaps and vanilla wafers. I use them for cookie crumb pie crusts. She has several flour blend recipes. I use this one:

1 1/2 cups sorghum flour

1 1/2 potato starch or cornstarch

1 cup tapioca flour

Hope this helps! I love to bake from scratch so I know how you feel!

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I actually just posted this website on another blog too.... http://www.elanaspantry.com/

I've become obsessed with Elana's Pantry lately...All the desserts are so easy to make and are gluten free, grain free, corn free, soy free, and most all dairy free.....and yummy!! :P She makes a lot of her dessert recipes with almond flour.

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