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danandkate

Can You Just Swap Flour For Gluten Free Flour?

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Hi, I'm completely new and unknowing here, this is my first stop in learning anything about living gluten free. After searching with a list of symptoms I believe my husband has Celiac disease.

I have a lot of recipes for cake, cookies, breads, etc. from scratch but they all are for regular flour. My biggest question is can I just swap out the flour for a gluten free flour? I am sure the taste will be somewhat different, but will it work? Cup for cup can it be substituted?

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You can, but with cakes, muffins, quick breads and cookies, you'll need to add xanthan gum as a binder. My general rule is scant 1/2 tsp xanthan gum for every cup of gluten-free flour. Too little will create a very crumbly product that won't hold together and too much will create a dense, almost gummy textured product.

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I don't add xanthum gum to my muffins (they aren't crumbly, but they aren't free of crumbs :P) but your mileage may vary on whether or not you need to add the gum depending on the recipe.

It's not quite as simple as "sub and be done" - gluten is what provides elasticity in the baking, so it's hard to replace. You'll probably find you want to experiment a bit, and don't be surprised if some things do not turn out well.

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I use Authentic Foods Mulit Blend gluten-free Flour and for the most part use it cup for cup. I do not make "bread" from the flour but have had success with pancakes, muffins, cookies and quick breads. Others on the board have raved about Better Batter flour. Good luck!

Hez

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It's a "maybe" on the cakes, cookies, pancakes, etc, but a definite NO on making bread by just substituting gluten-free flour. Our breads are not kneaded and are very fussy. You should consult a gluten-free cookbook for bread recipes or search this site. If you want your family to eat gluten-free, there's a lot more to it than just switching the flour in your homemade baked goods. You have to consider everything that goes into their mouths, because most processed food contains some form of gluten, and even pills and drinks and makeup can contain something with gluten. So if you're serious about going gluten-free, consult this website as a start to find out about the multiple changes you'll have to make and the many places gluten can lurk. For example, if you buy gluten-free pasta but drain it in the same colander you have been using for normal pasta, you'll contaminate it with gluten because it's pretty much impossible to remove every trace of it from the holes in the colander. That innocent-seeming box of corn flakes or Rice Krispies can't be eaten because it contains malt flavoring. So if you want to go gluten-free, be prepared for a lot of work, but you could also achieve some considerable improvement in health, so it's worth it.

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We generally switch cup for cup with Better Batter gluten free flour.

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I use Pamela's flour basically cup for cup. When baking breads I add Oran's Gluten Substitute. Gluten free batters usually need more liquid than regular batters; I make my doughs look a little bit runny by adding extra liquid. It works for me.

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It's a "maybe" on the cakes, cookies, pancakes, etc, but a definite NO on making bread by just substituting gluten-free flour. Our breads are not kneaded and are very fussy. You should consult a gluten-free cookbook for bread recipes or search this site. If you want your family to eat gluten-free, there's a lot more to it than just switching the flour in your homemade baked goods. You have to consider everything that goes into their mouths, because most processed food contains some form of gluten, and even pills and drinks and makeup can contain something with gluten. So if you're serious about going gluten-free, consult this website as a start to find out about the multiple changes you'll have to make and the many places gluten can lurk. For example, if you buy gluten-free pasta but drain it in the same colander you have been using for normal pasta, you'll contaminate it with gluten because it's pretty much impossible to remove every trace of it from the holes in the colander. That innocent-seeming box of corn flakes or Rice Krispies can't be eaten because it contains malt flavoring. So if you want to go gluten-free, be prepared for a lot of work, but you could also achieve some considerable improvement in health, so it's worth it.

I don't mean to ask a stupid question, but are you saying that even after being through the dishwasher my colander will still have gluten on it?! I read about the toaster that I wouldn't have thought of, and about the make-up and med's and malts, and my husband even noticed there's wheat in his favorite RedVines candy! It's a lot to take in, and I'm taking it slow. I think I'm going to have to just get over my dislike for messing up my cooking and do a lot of unedible trial and error.

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I think I'm going to have to just get over my dislike for messing up my cooking and do a lot of unedible trial and error.

Yep, there's quite a bit of that in converting to gluten free baking. Try to look at the trial part and find other uses for your errors (crumbs for a pie base, croutons, feeding the ducks/rabbits/dog, whatever :P

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