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Posts posted by MerrillC1977

  1. Gelatin won't really replace xanthan gum.

    If you want to experiment with breads without gums, you can try using different combinations gluten-free flours that tend to gum up more when baked. These are buckwheat kasha, almond meal, amaranth. Flax meal soaked in warm water will gel up and act as a binder. So will chia seed (soaked in cold water, not hot) and soaked ground psyllium husk, normally used as a "fiber" source. (thanks to Rice Guy for telling us about this one)

    I just ate some toast made out of a little microwave loaf with almond meal, blue corn, buckwheat, amaranth, garbanzo bean and potato starch. I used soaked chia seed and soaked psyllium husk and one egg, and it's almost too dense and sturdy, but I added a lot of sweetener so it tastes okay (but the color of the result was sort of ridiculous). I keep experimenting with this out of curiosity, as I can taste xanthan gum and think it's sort of weird, and I'd rather eat something less like white bread and higher in protein. When I first started baking gluten free, I used nothing but almond meal and eggs, so all this other stuff to me is still just sort of exotic. I had a mixture that tasted pretty close to whole wheat, by adding sorghum and millet to the above, but have had to tinker with it further, as the millet was not sitting right with me at all. (anyone want some leftover bread, I have instructed Spouse he must eat that last batch with the millet before more is forthcoming, and he's tired of it :lol: )

    One of the easiest ways to do a gumless bread is either in a mini cast iron pan, like a cornbread is done, or as a flatbread/pancake. If you use 1/3 each buckwheat, garbanzo bean, and potato starch, it holds together well for a pancake and doesn't even need egg.

    Thank you!. I will try these tips for sure. :)

  2. I doubt gelatin can be used in place of xanthan for breads. The reason is that gelatin melts at a relatively low temperature, thus it won't help the dough to hold the bubbles from leavening. Also, when it does cool enough to form a gel, the texture is notably different than xanthan. Some bread recipes do call for both xanthan and gelatin, and in such recipes I suppose the gelatin is there for moistness.

    I've also read that "For breads...substitutes for guar or xanthan gums include milled flax seeds, coconut flour, and a yam product called glucomannan. All of these can be used 1:1 to substitute for either guar or xanthan gum."

    Anyone know anything about this (specifically I am interested in the coconut flour) or have any expeirence with it? Thank you.

  3. I haven't personally done this, but I recall reading about it recently. I read that you use twice as much gelatin as xantham gum.

    As far as cookies, I've made chocolate chip cookies without gum or starch. They are a little crumbly, but really work out fine. They are less crumbly if I make sure they are not undercooked at all.

    Yes, I've also read that doubling is the way to go....but I've also read that a 1:1 substitution is the way to go, too. Hmmmm.

  4. I have been reading a lot about Xanthan Gum lately, because well....it seems to need to go into most gluten-free baked goods. My research tells me that xanthan gum can be used as a laxative, as a cholesterol lowering agent and as a blood sugar lowering agent.





    Last night, for example, I made a chicken pot pie - there was 2 teaspoons (6 grams) of xanthan gum in the crust....The pie was cut into 6 servings, so we each ate about 1 gram of XG last night. There's 2/3 of a gram of XG in 2 slices of my gluten-free bread. Some things I bake don't contain XG at all and so are fine.

    But I am worried that we are eating too much of it, being that one of these links above says the safe limit is 10mg/kg per day. At my weight, my daily limit would be 3/4 of a gram.....meaning I had too much last night and 2 slices of bread on any given day would put me very near the limit.


  5. There's nothing in wheat, barley or rye that your body needs, they are just cheap fillers.....

    Not to be argumentative, but I don't think this statement is completely true. There are vitamins and minerals (and of course calories, carbohydrates, proteins and fats) in wheat, barley and rye that the body can certainly utilize and even needs....however, it's pretty easy to get those same vitamins and minerals etc. from other sources, too. So, while it's not wholly accurate to say there's "nothing" in them that the body needs, it would be wholly accurate to say that we can certainly live without these grains without any negative consequnces whatsoever.

    • Upvote 1



    Gluten-Free Apple Pie


    • 1 cup white rice flour
    • ½ cup sorghum flour
    • ½ cup potato starch
    • 1 Tablespoon sugar
    • ½ teaspoon Kosher salt
    • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
    • 4 ounces (1 stick) unsalted butter, cubed and chilled
    • 1 egg
    • 2 Tablespoons apple cider vinegar

    • 2-¼ pounds of apples
    • 2 Tablespoons unsalted butter
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    • 1/3 cup sugar
    • 1 lemon, juiced and zested
    • 1 Tablespoon cornstarch, made into a slurry with 2 Tablespoons of cold water
    • Freshly grated Nutmeg, to taste
    • Cinnamon, to taste
    • 1 egg, beaten
    • Sugar, for sprinkling


    1. Combine all the dry ingredients in a mixing bowl, or the bowl of your food processor if you have one. Mix (or pulse the processor) until well combined.
    2. Add in the cubed butter and toss to lightly cover it with the flour mixture. Then begin to incorporate the butter into the flour by "cutting it in" or pulsing your food processor if you're using one. You want to end up with something that is the texture of coarse bread crumbs or coarse cornmeal.
    3. Form a well in the center of the flour mixture, and add the egg and apple cider vinegar into the well. Using a fork, incorporate the liquids into the flour mixture until you get a sticky, clumpy mix (the final consistency should feel moist, but not too wet -- you can always add a little more rice flour if you think it's too wet and/or sticky).
    4. Form it into a smooth ball, wrap the ball in plastic wrap, and place it in the fridge.
    5. While the dough is chilling, it's time to prepare the filling.
    6. Pre-heat your oven to 350-degrees.
    7. Peel, core and slice the apples.
    8. In a medium saucepan, melt together the butter, sugar, vanilla extract, lemon juice and lemon zest.
    9. Add the sliced apples and cook over medium heat for 5 minutes, stirring to coat the apples with the liquid mixture, until the apples just begin to soften.
    10. Add the cornstarch slurry, and cook for one minute more, stirring gently. This will thicken the liquids and cause them to coat the apple slices better.
    11. Strain the apples in a colander and discard the extra juices which run off. Add your desired amounts freshly grated nutmeg and cinnamon to the colander and gently mix into the apples.
    12. Remove your dough from the fridge and using either two sheets of wax paper, parchment paper, and/or rice flour for dusting, roll it out so that it's more than large enough to cover the bottom and sides of your pie pan. You want the dough to be no more than ¼" thick, and making it this thickness should allow that you will have enough left to cover the pie, too.
    13. Gently pick up the dough and place it in your greased pie pan, making sure it falls into the corners. Trim off the excess (there should definitely be some), form the excess into another ball, and roll it out. This will become the top of your pie.
    14. Pour the apples into the now bottom-crusted pie pan, spread them out to create an even layer, and then use the remaining dough to cover the top (either in one full sheet, or a lattice pattern, or any other design you might endeavor to create). Just make sure there are a couple of holes/slits for steam to escape while cooking.
    15. Bake for 30 minutes.
    16. Brush the top of the pie with the beaten egg, sprinkle with some sugar, and bake several minutes more (or however long it takes) for the crust to become golden brown and fairly crispy looking.


    This was only my second attempt ever at making an apple pie (the first being years ago with regular wheat flour). It was not any easier or harder this time. Making pie, as you probably know, is a little time consuming and can be a bit of a pain in the buttocks, but it's always well worth it. It was delicious, and well-liked by the non-gluten-free-ers who I served it to, as well.

    Here are a few thoughts and suggestions based on my experience with this particular recipe and the ways I went about making it:

    First, I want to note that there was no xanthan gum in the crust. This doesn't pose any problems whatsoever as long as you are serving the pie cold. When cold, it slices well and holds together very nicely. See?


    But when we re-heated the pie (in the oven) for serving, the crust easily crumbled and fell apart some when slicing and picking it up out of the pan for plating. Perhaps this could have been alleviated by slicing it cold, and then re-heating individual pieces in the microwave. Alternatively, perhaps the addition of a little bit of xanthan gum to the dough might help this issue, and also allow us to reheat it without worry of it turning into an apple cobbler. (I notice a lot of other crust recipes do include xanthan gum.) I guess it all just depends on how you like to eat your pie (hot or cold) whether you want to experiment with xanthan gum and/or different re-heating processes.

    I found that I had to bake my pie longer than the 30 minutes it should have taken. I think this was because my dough was too wet. I should have added a bit more rice flour to the dough before chilling it, and probably also should have dusted my surfaces with some rice flour before rolling out (I had some issues with the dough sticking to my wax paper). You always see the TV chefs dusting their surfaces every time -- why I didn't think to do this I have no idea. Lol.

    Finally, I am not going to calculate and give the usual nutritional information on this pie, like I do with other recipes, because, well


    Fluffernutter, for those that may not know, is a sandwich made with peanut butter and Marshmallow Fluff. It's apparently a New England thing, and very much a favorite of Massachusetts kids.

    You'll notice that I call this recipe "Version 2.0" -- that's because this is my second attempt at it. The first time around I added some Xanthan Gum in addition to swapping out the flour, because I thought it was necessary. When I did that, I found the dough/batter to be incredibly thick and sticky and it wasn't spreading in the oven like the recipe said it would. It made for whoopie pies that were somewhat oddly shaped, and more cookie-like than cake-like in texture.

    Overall, Version 1.0 was good and they tasted great....even a friend at work really liked them. The filling, in particular, is to die for and absolutely addictive. Personally, though, I didn't think the cake part of these whoopie pies was quite right.

    Fast forward to when I made my Gluten-Free Brownies last week, whose recipe didn't call for any Xanthan Gum at all. The brownies turned out spectacularly, so I thought: "Maybe I don't need to add Xanthan Gum to all baked goods; maybe it's only essential in breads." And so whoopie pie Version 2.0 was born. This is what Version 2.0 looks like:


    I should note that I've never made either version of this recipe with regular flour (or any homemade whoopie pies for that matter), so I don't know how either compares to how the cakes would have turned out with regular flour....and I don't really know whether Version 1.0 or Version 2.0 is closer to how the folks at Fluff intended them to be. Either way, I prefer Version 2.0 for sure (and Hubby says they're better than any storebought whoopie pies he's ever had, gluten-free or not -- and he's a whoopie pie connoisseur).

    :) Here is the recipe:



    1. Heat oven to 350 F2. In a large bowl with mixer at medium speed beat egg and vegetable oil. Gradually pour in sugar and continue beating until pale yellow in color. In another bowl, sift together the flours, (xanthan gum if you are going for Version 1.0), cocoa, baking soda, and salt.

    3. In a measuring cup combine milk and vanilla.4. Add the flour and milk mixtures alternately to the egg/oil/sugar mixture, beginning and ending with dry ingredients.5. Let sit 10 minutes.6. Drop by tablespoons onto a cookie sheet lined with Silpat (I used a melon ball scooper -- spray the scooper with Pam if you are doing Version 1.0 to make sure it lets go of that sticky xanthan gum dough).

    7. The original recipe indicated that the cakes would spread a lot during baking, which was certainly true with this Version 2.0, so make sure to leave plenty of room for that to happen (i.e. don't put more than four pie halves on one cookie sheet). For Version 1.0, they didn't spread out at all and basically kept the shape they were when plopped onto the cookie sheet. What this tells me is that the more Xanthan Gum you use, the taller and smaller diameter your whoopie pies will end up. It's also worth nothing that there was no crumbling problem at all, even in Version 2.0 with -0- Xanthan Gum.

    8. Bake about 8-9 minutes.

    9. Remove to wire racks or waxed paper to cool.

    10. You may find that the cakes seem to stick to the pan or Silpat. Just dig under them carefully until they release from the pan. Then, scrape off anything left behind stuck to the pan and move on to your next batch. (I found it's not a good idea to grease the Silpat/pan because the batter spreads too far and unevenly if you do).



    1. Bring butter and peanut butter to room temperature.

    2. In a medium bowl with mixer at low speed, beat butter and remaining ingredients until light and fluffy. (And try not to eat it all with your fingers before putting it into the sandwiches!)

    3. When the cakes are cool, which they should be by the time you have the filling made, use filling and two cakes to make sandwiches.

    You should get about 18 (three-to-four-inch-diameter) whoopie pies, each with:

    • 320 calories
    • 4 grams protein
    • 52 grams carbs
    • 11 grams fat
    • 1 gram fiber
    • 139 mg sodium

    Here are a couple more pictures, just for fun....



    PS -- I would suggest storing any uneaten pies in the fridge, since the filling contains both milk and butter.

  8. Merrilic...this has nothing to do with bread...but I just have to say something about your avitar!!! Just love it! In our house we refer to this behavior as "Jelly Spine"!

    this usreally happens when my hubby tries to make the cat sit up and do silly things or talk to him ...or when you try to remove said cat from place where cat should not be! Passive resistance...love it!!!

    Lol. We have 2 cats in our house. So, we feel your "pain." :)

  9. I have made this recipe 3 times now. All three times the bread taste great, the texture is good but the bread has never baked as high as your picture. It will rise in the pan to 1/2 below top of pan then I bake at 375 for 50-55 minutes.

    I let mine rise until it's about an inch ABOVE the top of the pan. Maybe try that? I am not sure why your results are not good. Maybe, as I mentioned above, it's an issue of altitude.

  10. I'm having the same problem. The batter/dough was really *gloppy*, more so than any other recipe I've tried. I didn't add flaxseed meal although I do like it. Followed the recipe exactly using KA flour, which I'm now out of. I baked it in a 9x4x4" pan (from King Arthur).

    So I am also puzzled as to how some people can get it to rise so nicely.

    Maybe it's an altitude thing? I know on some regular cake mixes for example, they have you adjust certain ingredients if you are above/below a certain altitude. Maybe that's why you are getting different results that I do? I am in Boston, where are you?

    Unfortunately, I don't know the answer to the question, so I am just speculating. I'm sorry I can't be of more help. :(

  11. Who needs wheat flour to make the most awesomest brownies ever? Not me! :D

    I made these over the weekend to take to a friend's house (she's gluten-free and also lactose intolerant, and Hubby and I wanted to make a dessert that we can all enjoy). None of us had any problem enjoying the holy hell out of these....



    • 1 cup of light brown sugar
    • 1/2 cup of almond meal/flour (I made my own in the food processor, from sliced almonds)
    • 1/4 cup of white rice flour
    • 1/2 teaspoon Morton Kosher Salt
    • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
    • 5 ounces of chocolate (I used Baker's Semi-Sweet Baking Chocolate Squares)
    • 1/2 cup of unsalted butter
    • 2 eggs
    • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract


    1. Pre-heat your oven to 350-degrees.
    2. Combine all the dry ingredients (if you have a stand mixer, use its bowl) and mix well using the whisk attachment. If you don't have a stand mixer, an electric hand mixer is just fine, or even a regular whisk plus some elbow grease.
    3. Melt the chocolate and the butter together (I did this in the microwave) and stir together well.
    4. Break the eggs into the bowl of dry ingredients, add the vanilla, and mix well (still using the whisk attachment if you are using a stand mixer).
    5. Add the butter/chocolate mixture, and mix on medium-high speed until well combined.
    6. Pour it all into the greased brownie pan of your choice (I topped mine with a few bits of sliced almonds on top), and bake for 35-40 minutes.
    7. Let them cool outside of the oven (if you can resist digging right in immediately), and then cut into squares.


    These are SO good that every time I went anywhere near the kitchen, Hubby said "you should bring me another brownie." ;)

    Nutrition Facts (for each of 15 brownies):

    • 198 calories
    • 3 grams protein
    • 23 grams carbs
    • 12 grams fat
    • 1 gram fiber
    • 88 mg sodium

    Look how they compare to store bought full-wheat brownies (I am using my standby favorite Duncan Hines Chewy Fudge Brownies as the example) baked as directed on the package and cut into 15 servings:
    • 227 calories
    • 3 grams protein
    • 32 grams carbs
    • 11 grams fat
    • 1 gram fiber
    • 140 mg sodium

    Not bad at all, especially considering the nutritional value that the almond flour brings to the party. I am 100% pleased with these brownies. Wow and Yum!

    PS: Hubby had the idea of, next time, using hazelnut flour instead of almond flour. And I don't see why that wouldn't work....or any nut flour from any kind of nut you would normally put into brownies (walnuts, pecans, etc). Go for it, experiement. That's why cooking and baking is fun, after all, right? :)

  12. Two things I've seen on TV lately that realy bugged me:

    First, I was watching Paula Deen on the Food Network a few days ago, and she had some guest cook with her who claimed that Pastry Flour is gluten-free. Simply wrong, yes?

    Second, I am watching Chopped right now, and one of the cooks said that Buckwheat Flour is "highly glutenous." I hope she meant simply "sticky," and not actually full of gluten.


  13. I'm thinking of trying it with gluten free oat flour next, for even lower net carb count. I've made a few dessert loaves with oat flour, and I've tolerated it well, and I ordered a grain mill so that I can buy whole gluten free oats, and grind them myself. It'll cost about half as much that way, and I can also use the mill to grind nut flours, and bean flours.

    Please do post the multi-grain recipe when you get it perfected. I love crunchy bread :) This recipe works great as a base for it.

    I would love to incorporate oat flour into a recipe. I love oats. I will definitely try it. I once made protein muffins using oat flour that I ground up myself from whole oats(and no wheat flour at all) and they came out really well. Come to think of it, I didn't use (or even have) Xanthan Gum at that point, and they came out well -- no crumblies.

    I am working on the multigrain recipe, and what I am finding is that there are soooo many gluten-free flours to choose from, it's hard to choose which to use (I want to use them all to make the bread as nutritious and flavorful as possible!). :)

  14. The yeast amount is the same.

    Whoops. My bad. I mis-read my own recipe! I thought I had less yeast than you. Lol.

    I think your bread looks even better than mine, and I will be trying your recipe this weekend. I have one other recipe I was planning to try, too, and since it requires that I buy separate flours and make my own mixes, I plan to try yours, too.

    What kind of/shape/dimensions of pan did you use? I know you mentioned a 7 x 11 pan, but is your pan 7" wide or 7" deep?

    Thank you!!

  15. For those that can't buy King's Arthur flour

    12 Tbsp. white rice flour

    12 Tbsp. brown rice flour

    8 Tbsp. potato starch

    8 Tbsp. tapioca starch

    This is very close the the blend ratio that KA gives on their website.


    I bet your increasing of the tapioca makes your bread more bread-like than that made with the KA flour. According to some gluten-free baking literature I have been studying, tapioca "provides moisture and lightness; prevents crumbling in cakes and breads; lightens while adding chewiness."

    Other than the homemade flour blend, and your using a little more yeast, this recipe is the same as the one I posted. I wonder what kind of effect the increased yeast has?

    From the picture of your bread, it looks like both of your changes were very good moves indeed! :) Thank you!!

  16. I have really enjoyed reading this thread as well as the one about Challah by Simona. Out of respect for all those who have gone before in the bread baking saga of gluten free baking I wanted to post this link.


    I think your recipe must belong at the end of this thread in light of the reviews it is getting. The Challah by Simona rates up there too from the reviews I've read.

    I've never baked a loaf of gluten free bread. It wasn't worth it to me after reading the reverse engineering thread when I first got on here a year ago. I was exhausted and frustrated by the prospect of bread. :blink: But the pictures of your loaf and Simona's are very enticing. I think there might be some bread baking in this house this winter! :o;)

    Thank you both.

    Thank you for all the compliments everyone. I am also reading and studying very carefully my new eBook cookbooks, and I am learning a TON about the different flours, their tastes, how they affect the baking of certain/particular items, etc.....and will be experimenting with other recipes soon. I will be sure to post any/all successes. :)

  17. False negatives on biopsies are really common. Your rash does look an awful lot like DH. Since you plan on 'spurging' with gluten now and then that should tell you if it is DH. It may take a couple days after injestion for the rash to occur or it could happen very quickly. So keep a record of when you cheat on the diet and watch for a recurrance of the rash after gluten injestion.

    Also with hubby watch for a sharp increase in his colitis issues when you have your splurges. You may find his colitis becomes markedly worse. Again the gluten reactions can be delayed by as much as a week so keep notes.

    I will keep an eye out, but I am pretty convinced at this point, based on several factors, that it was nickel all along. And we are always checking on his colitis. :)

    However, a question -- if it was DH....would the rash resolve itself even though I never stopped eating gluten (I am referring to the first few times I got the rash, lat year and prior, not this time when eliminating gluten was an additional factor)? In other words, if it was DH the first few times, but I never limited my gluten intake back then, would it have made sense for the rash to go away like it did, multiple times, or should I have had it all along, non-stop, until gluten was removed?

    Thank you.

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