Converting a standard recipe to become gluten free isn’t as easy as just swapping out ingredients, but it also isn’t hard once you see how to do it. This took me months to figure out and once I did my life was way easier!
So why is converting a recipe so hard? The simple answer is that at a cellular level, gluten free flours differ from a wheat flour.
The major difference that I have found is that a gluten free flour is drier than a wheat flour which means one of two things when converting a recipe. You can either use more liquid or less flour.
More liquid: You would think this would be the easier of the two choices, but oftentimes I found the taste wasn’t as good. I believe this to be due to diluting the flavors of what you are cooking with too much liquid.
Less flour: I prefer less flour. Because gluten free flours are drier than a wheat flour they need to hydrate and will suck up more of the liquid without diluting any of the flavors.
Xanthan Gum: Using less gluten free flour alone will not bring the recipe home, you have to add a binder to the recipe and that’s where Xanthan Gum comes in.
Xanthan Gum is a plant-based powdered substance that helps to smooth out the consistency of gluten free foods. It helps fill in the void of not having gluten in your recipe. I find using Xanthan Gum in my recipes helps them have the right consistency and taste like a standard baked good.
This chart below shows how much gluten free flour I use when converting a recipe, and how much Xanthan Gum I would add.
Wheat FlourGluten FreeXanthan Gum1 Cup3/4 Cup1/2 tsp.2 Cups1 1/2 Cups1 tsp.3 Cups2 1/4 Cups1 1/2 tsp.4 Cups3 Cups2 tsp.Gluten Free Flour / Xanthan Gum Conversion Chart
Final note on Xanthan Gum. If you check out my shopping list, you see that I almost always use King Arthur Gluten Free Measure for Measure flour. Those of you with a keen eye for ingredients will notice that this flour has Xanthan Gum in it already.
So, do we add more or just call it a day since it is included in this flour blend? ALWAYS ADD XANTHAN GUM! Even if your blend has it, it may not be enough to make a nice consistency, so when it doubt, add the xanthan gum.
Hope that helps to clear up some conversion questions!