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Substitutions for ingredients in our gluten-free recipes

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We tried to accommodate a wide variety of food sensitivities in our gluten-free book, but some people have asked about substitutions for what we call for in the book’s flour mixtures, and on this page, we’ll summarize swaps for flours that some of our readers don’t eat. Others may be possible, but these are the ones we’ve tested and liked.

Our Flour Mixture #1 is based on rice, sorghum, tapioca, and potato, with xanthan gum or psyllium providing structure. If you’re sensitive to the bold-faced ingredient in the list below, you can try swapping in one of the suggested alternatives. But keep in mind that if the recipe already has some of that ingredient, you may throw off the flavor or consistency. Are other substitutions possible? All we can say is that they might work, but we just haven’t tested them yet. Experiment, and adjust the liquids as needed:

White rice flour: can be replaced by brown rice flour, but you need to increase the water by 2 tablespoons per full batch of our dough recipes. We have not been able to get good results without some rice flour in the recipes.

Sorghum flour: can be replaced with oat or amaranth flour

Tapioca starch/flour: can be replaced with arrowroot starch/flour or cornstarch. However, cornstarch cannot be omitted from our brioche recipe.

Potato starch: You can try proportionally increasing the other starches/flours in the flour mixture, but you may have to adjust the water to keep the consistency at about the level that you see in our video.

Finally, some readers have asked why we didn’t base our gluten-free flour mixtures on ingredients like almond, millet, or quinoa. Though we use those in some of our recipes in the book, we’ve found that they don’t make a good yeasted bread unless they are used in relatively small amounts.

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95 thoughts on “Substitutions for ingredients in our gluten-free recipes

  1. In flour mixture #2, is there a good substitute for the teff flour? I can’t find this flour anywhere…and would actually prefer not to have to buy yet another flour. I’ve already got 3 kinds of rice flour, potato flour and starch, sorghum flour and millet flour. All in silly tiny bags, LOL. I see there’s an asterisk next to it in the book and a reference to subs on a prior page, but then no mention of a teff sub on that page. I’m not familiar w/teff so have no idea what it tastes like. Would millet flour work? White rice flour along with the brown in the recipe for the mixture? Thanks!

    • Yes, you’ve found a typo– there’s not supposed to have been that asterisk next to the teff, because we didn’t test a swap for it. We both like the flavor of teff, and find it has an earthy sweetness like rye (which has gluten, though less than wheat). My guess is that you can swap millet– but we can’t vouch for the water requirement in the recipes, because we haven’t tested it. I know that white rice and brown can be swapped (but white takes less water, see page 61).

      • Oh dear I substituted quinoa for the teff , I have a very small amount of teff in grain not flour can I add to mixture 2 as a seed to give it flavor? Will try and let you know.

      • Well… no idea if this is going to work in terms of taste and texture, but worth a try? I’ve never seen or tried teff grain, don’t know how it’ll bake up. Beware of hard kernels…

  2. If you exchange psyllium powder for xanthan gum is it alright to keep the dough in the refrigerator for 10 days? I’m using your new GF book.

  3. Is there a substitute for the Oat flour in the Mixture #2 in teh GF book. My doctor in Canada still doesn’t want us eating oats yet (even the certified gluten free ones)

    • Hi Christine,

      You will get a similar texture to the bread if you use sorghum or amaranth, but obviously the flavor will not be the same.

      Thanks, Zoë

  4. I am baking bread for our family get-together over the holidays and didn’t want to exclude the gluten-intolerant few. I also didn’t want to purchase a lot of ingredients which I may never use again. I noticed in the grocery that Pillsbury now had a gluten-free flour that contains rice flour, potato starch, pea fiber, tapioca starch, and xanthan gum. The obvious difference is the pea fiber and not knowing the ratio of ingredients. Do you feel this would have worked in your master recipe (other than a possible flavor difference)?

    • Hi Dorothy,

      Without knowing the ratio of flours, it is impossible to know. If you do try it, I suggest you make a small batch and make sure you like the results.

      Thanks! Zoë

  5. I’ve been a fan of yours for several years but only started to bake GF bread in the last month as my daughter is now in need of it. I’m so glad you’ve taken on the challenge!

    I realize you’ve used Bob’s Red Mill for all your tests, but I’m hoping I can use a finer milled rice flour that I get at the asian food store. It’s not sweet/glutinous rice flour, it’s just less gritty. I don’t know if this would affect the weight measurement, or any other aspect of the recipe and would appreciate your thoughts and recommendations. I do weigh the ingredients.

    Thank you and Happy New Year!

    • Hi Carolyn,

      When I first started testing the GF recipes for Healthy Bread in Five I tried the extra fine rice flour from Asian markets. I was advised against it from several of my GF friends because the bags weren’t labeled GF and there are not the regulations in some Asian countries that we can rely on. Having said this, here is a conversation that may interest you: http://www.celiac.com/gluten-free/topic/71687-can-i-buy-gluten-free-flour-at-the-asian-market/ As a result of the advice I got, I didn’t test any of the recipes in our GF book with the Asian product, so you will have to test it to see. I’d start with a small batch.

      Thanks, Zoë

      • Thank you Zoë — such a quick reply! That link provided some good input. As one person pointed out each Asian country is unique and they shouldn’t be thought of as one group. I’ll be careful, and when making any substitutions I’ll stick with small batches.

      • Hey – a tip on using finely ground flours (more than Bob’s) go by weight, or use 3/4 of a cup of the finely ground vs 1 cup of Bob’s. I don’t know how that works in these breads, but I find that works for my muffins, cakes etc. (Authentic Foods have excellent find ground flours for cakes/muffin – no I don’t work for them – but not sure how they would work in bread).

      • Hi Christine,

        The superfine flours absorb water differently, so the results will not be the same. We tested with the Bob’s products and not superfine flours, so I’m not sure how to guide you. We had one reader say that the superfine flours resulted in breads that came out gummy. Perhaps you can try to reduce the hydration, but it’s only a guess. I’d try a small batch to make sure it works.

        Here is a post about using the egg white version of the master recipe, which may also help? http://www.artisanbreadinfive.com/2014/11/03/master-recipe-from-gluten-free-abin5

        Thanks, Zoë

  6. Authentic Foods makes a gluten free superfine rice flours. Makes incredible texture for cakes, cookies etc. But I’ve never tried it with bread. You can get this on Amazon or at a local heath food store. The rice is grown in California. Celiac and gluten free for 15 years – 30 years to diagnose it. :/

    • See our GF FAQs page and click on “Substitutions for ingredients in our gluten-free recipes.” But don’t try this for recipes where cornstarch is a major constituent, like brioche.

      • There doesn’t seem to be an answer to what can we substitute for cornstarch in the FAQs. What can be substituted for cornstarch in recipes other than brioche?

      • Hi Carol.

        Here is the info for substituting starches. You can use tapioca or arrowroot for our flour blend, but don’t try it with the brioche, as it says here.

        Tapioca starch/flour: can be replaced with arrowroot starch/flour or cornstarch. However, cornstarch cannot be omitted from our brioche recipe.

        Thanks, Zoë

      • Thanks for the information Zoe . Just got the book and can’t wait to start. Used to make bread from your other books before we had to give up gluten so I’m really excited about the prospect of great bread again!

  7. Hi, I am not gluten free but your gluten free whole grain seeded bread on p. 272 in the new AB in 5 sounds amazing. I love all the seeds in there. Can I substitute this with AP or WW or even rye flour?

    Thanks!

    • Hi Lindsay,

      We have a bread that is very similar in our Healthy Bread Book called Betsy’s Seeded Loaf, which is based on whole wheat. If you want to add the seeds to a bread in this book, I’d try the Pain d’Epi on page 75 because it is made with bread flour, so it is strong enough to hold up to all of those seeds. You may find that you need to add a tablespoon or so more water to compensate for all those seeds. I’d start with a half batch and see how you like it. You could also try it with our American-style whole wheat on page 137, but use bread flour instead of AP and again add more water.

      Let me know how it comes out. Thanks, Zoë

      • Hi Zoe,

        Thank you for your suggestions. I have the healthy bread book and Betsy’s loaf sounds perfect, however, I do not have vital wheat gluten. Can I tweak this recipe at all to be made without VWG? For example, maybe a cup more of all purpose and a cup less of whole wheat flour? Also, if I wanted to add seeds to the pain d’epi, how much do you suggest? 1/4 cup of each?

      • Sorry one more question. I love the measurements by weight you have in the new book. Is there any way to tell how many grams are in 1 cup of APF, WW or Rye flour? I tried to divide it based on the recipe but it seems like it was slightly different in each recipe.

      • Hi Lindsay,

        Here are the weights per cup for those flours:

        AP flour = 140g
        Whole wheat = 130g
        Rye = 120g

        There may be some slight rounding errors in the recipes, but nothing so large that it will effect the recipe at all.

        Thanks, Zoë

  8. I used to bake gluten free (I am celiac with a cross-sensitivity to corn), and loved your recipe with the sorghum, which, to me, tastes a bit like wheat, the flavor I miss so much from all GF breads. And when I suddenly became allergic to SORGHUM (!!!), I got very depressed.

    I kept trying for some time, but eventually gave up. Because of my corn problems, I had also been trying to avoid ingredients made from corn, which includes almost all xanthan gum (except for Authentic Foods), pretty much anything ending in ‘ose’ (glucose, sucrose, etc.), corn flour, of course, maltodextrin, vanilla (due to the alcohol) and on and on.

    FInally I gave up.

    Recently I have found that some of my trouble (which trouble I had been attributing to corn-derived ingredients) is from SIBO (small intestine bacterial overgrowth), and that some tiny amounts of corn-derived ingredients, such as alcohol and maybe xanthan gum, may not be such huge obstacles. I’m not sure yet, but am willing to check these things out individually.

    But sorghum, alas, I think is over for me. It gives me hives.

    I really dislike the flavor of amaranth, and cannot eat oats, so if you ever come across another substitution for sorghum, I will jump up and down with glee!

    Thanks for your great recipes.

    • Hi Ellen,

      It is always an experiment to find flours that behave well together. You may need to mix several flours to replace the sorghum. Have you tried millet or quinoa? I find they are pretty strong flavors, so I’d cut them with some rice flour. If you do it, start with a small batch, since you can’t be sure you’ll like the flavor or texture until it’s baked.

      Thanks, Zoë

  9. Hi – Loved reading your recipes in the new GF book. For health reasons I must avoid all gluten. My other issue is with yeast – it seems that yeasted GF breads cause a nasty reaction (bloating, discomfort)and I read the reference in your book to some yeasts incorporating wheat enzymes? Are there any yeast brands which do not? And is there a substitute (like sourdough or other?) so I can omit the yeast altogether? I realize it will impact end product lightness; I’ll get a heavier loaf w/o the ‘rise’. I’ve heard separating eggs and whipping/folding in egg whites last thing can add lightness to GF recipes. And this might impact how one stores the batch in the fridge? Also, could a yeast-free version of the dough work in a bread machine with a GF setting? Many thx for any suggestions.

    • Hi Janet,

      Most commercial yeasts do not contain wheat enzymes, it is typically only those that have “dough enhancers” in them. Red Star yeast is labeled gluten-free and that is what we use. I have not yet created a gluten-free starter to test the breads. If you find a GF starter, it will likely work. Like you said, it may not come out as light, but it will still work.

      Here is a recipe from the book that contains egg whites. I find that it gives the loaf a bit more oven spring. http://www.artisanbreadinfive.com/2014/11/03/master-recipe-from-gluten-free-abin5 There is no need to whip the whites, since the dough is stored in the refrigerator for a number of days they would deflate anyway.

      I have never used the bread machine, so I am not sure if it will work. Our recipes are based on making several loaves at once, so I am not sure how to adapt it to a single loaf bread machine?

      Thanks, Zoë

  10. hi, correction on my prior post. In the book it says to use potato flour but the ON LINE recipe says to use potato starch and NOT potato flour. which one do i use?? Thanks

  11. I just made the gluten free master recipe on page 268 of book New Artisan bread in five minutes a day.My question is, there seems to be more liquids then flours. When I mixed it together with the mixer, I had to add some fava flour. This is my first time making gluten free and I’m a little nervous.

  12. Hi,

    I just received the Gluten-Free A B in 5 book after trying out the recipe on this website. The basic recipe is fantastic, just trying to get the liquid balance right!
    2 questions:
    1. I can’t find Bob’s Red Mill Rice Flour here in Australia. Do I understand that it is a coarser grind than the Asian rice flours? Can anyone in Australia suggest a different brand? The Erewan Asian rice flour works to a degree, but gives me such a hard crust I can barely cut through it.
    2. Is there anything you could substitute for the cornstarch in the Brioche and Buttermilk recipes? I’m assuming not, given that it’s such a large proportion of the flours used, but thought I’d ask just in case.

    Many thanks!
    Claire

    • Hi Claire,

      The Asian rice flour is much finer than the Bob’s so it will absorb water differently. It may work after playing with the amount of water, but I’m afraid we didn’t test it, so I’m not sure how to advise you.

      I tried the brioche with Tapioca and arrowroot, but the result was too gummy for my taste.

      If you experiment with the recipes I just suggest you make a small batch until you get a result you like.

      Thanks, Zoë

  13. Thanks Zoe! I’ll experiment with coarser rice flours for the main recipe and stick to the challah recipe for enriched breads.

    Many thanks!
    Claire

    • Hi Claire

      I’m in Australia and waiting on my first batch of rolls from the master recipe to come out of the oven. I also couldn’t find the Bob’s rice flour and used McKenzie’s rice flour from the baking aisle.

      I only came across the mention of the book 2 days ago so this is all new to me even though my daughter has been a diagnosed coeliac for 11 years. I thought my days of cooking where over!

      So Claire, if you have any hints regarding ingredients for people in Australia, please share, because this could be a very exciting discovery!

      Thank you Zoe and Jeff for taking the trouble to cater to coeliac’s.

      Nicole

      • I did get the consistency of the dough, but need to play with the heat now. I used fan forced, lowered the temp, but still think it was too high. I also took the bread rolls out far too early as they were getting too brown. In short, I think I cooked them too quickly, for too short a time as they were still very dense and slightly moist inside. On to the next batch now!

      • Hi,

        I was fortunate enough to spend some time in the USA recently, and was able to use Bob’s Red Mill rice flour to see what the recipe is supposed to be like! I’ve been using McKenzies in Australia up until now but I’ve switched to Lotus (available in various places online) which gives a result much more like BRM. The batter is far more like dough and less like cake batter. The resulting bread is more moist and goes stale much more slowly.

        Many thanks,
        Claire

  14. Im using your gluten free book and my breads are not coming out as nicely browned as the ones in your pictures. Can´t brush them with eggs cause I´m allergic. I´ve tried brushing them with water and with almond milk but they don´t seem to work…Any suggestions?
    thanks!

    • Hi Eliezra,

      Which recipe are you using? If it is the master recipe, you can dust them with flour, which gives a different look. Or you can use a solution that is used on pretzels, which is a mix of baking soda and water. 1 teaspoon baking soda and 2 tablespoons water. If you are using a sweeter dough you can try a honey solution. It will help the loaf brown and add a sweetness to the bread. 1 teaspoon honey mixed with 1 tablespoon water.

      Thanks, Zoë

      • Thank you solo much! I am using the master recipe. I tried both of your suggestions and the honey- water glaze worked perfectly. Thanks for your help and for your amazing work!

    • Hi Sabrina,

      Most of our recipes don’t call for eggs. A few of the sweet, enriched doughs do call for eggs. Most of them can be made with egg replacer.

      Thanks, Zoë

      • Hi Sabrina,

        Yes, you can use any dairy substitutes you like. I’ve done this for both butter and milk.

        Thanks, Zoë

  15. 30 years ago i was diagnosed with wheat and corn allergies. Your bread is such a Godsend! It’s the first wheat and corn free bread that tastes and chews like wheat bread.

    One of the things I really miss is eating a hot dog or hamburger on a bun. On your website you recommend using the brioche dough. In another place you say the cornstarch can’t be replaced with anything. Do you have any suggestions?

    • Hi Pj,

      Thank you for the lovely note, we’re so glad you are enjoying the bread!

      I would try the challah dough for your buns. You can make it without the cornstarch in the flour mix.

      Enjoy, Zoë

    • Hi Jessica,

      Every flour blend is different and they all behave differently. We tested our recipes with several store bought flour blends and never had much success. Which one are you using?

      Thanks, Zoë

  16. Hi, I didn’t read through all the comments, but I’m interested in knowing if there’s a substitution for corn meal? I would love to make the pizza crust, but we can’t eat corn. What might you suggest replacing the corn meal for?

    Thanks!

      • Gluten Free Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day on page 172

        I’m assuming the corn meal helps with the crunch factor, but we can’t eat corn. I didn’t know if millet or even almond flour could be substituted for the cornmeal.

      • Ah, thanks. There’s a lot of cornmeal in that one, and we haven’t tried swapping anything in there, so you’d be in experimental zones. Yes, it does create a crunch.

        But you can make a fine GF pizza with the other lean doughs in the book–as we say on page 174, anything in the book except the doughs in chapter 9.

  17. We found a number of gluten-free all-purpose flours (1-to-1). Can I substitute that in any of the recipes (like from the first book)? What do I need to add, if anything. In our case, the issue is not the gluten, but the fructose in the flour.

    • We have not had great luck with commercial GF flours, in particular the 1:1 product. We developed our own gluten-free AP flour mixture, based on a mix of Bob’s Red Mill GF flours– for our gluten-free book that we released in 2014 (click on the book image above), but even that mixture can’t just be swapped into our wheat-based recipes.

      Turns out it’s much more complicated than that, you need to create structure with an agent like xanthan or psyllium.

      • Thanks Jeff. One brand I seen, Bob something, said it was specially blended to be just like real flour. It had xanthan in it. I might try a small batch some day just to try it.

    • Hi Brigitte,

      This is a tough one, since our flour mixture is based on rice. You can substitute some flours, like sorghum for the rice, but the flavor of that flour is more intense. Millet flour is another one to try. It will require some experimenting, so I recommend you start with a half batch of dough until you get a loaf you like.

      Thanks, Zoë

  18. Hi Jeff and Zoe,
    I’m a Vegan and would like to know what’s a good egg substitute for the WW Brioche in HB5MD. Bought all 4 books except GF on iTunes. Thx for helping me break bread with family again!

    • Wow, Victor– that one takes 5 eggs, so I’m not sure you’re going to be able to get away with anything. We’ve tested for smaller levels of egg replacement with this: http://www.artisanbreadinfive.com/2010/06/01/gluten-free-baguettes-egg-free-and-a-king-arthur-gluten-free-flour-giveaway

      … but my guess is that it just won’t work here– it’ll weigh things down too much. And we’ve never tested with the commercial egg substitutes.

      • Hi Jeff – thx for the prompt response! I’m on the same vegan plan as Pres Clinton (Dr Esselstyn’s Reversing Heart Disease) after a heart attack. Ener G claims its product can act as a direct sub for eggs in baking but wanted to know if anyone has tried it b4 I venture out into unchartered waters!
        On the 3rd loaf I’ve ever baked and I’m being heralded a baker! Thx – u guys are geniuses! Yes, I was hiding under a rock, eating out all the time! Just heard about you! 🙂

      • Great. See what you think with the swap– but you’ll be in uncharted waters. Small batches as you test?

  19. I have purchased coconut flour, mistakenly thinking it was used in bread. What can it be used for? I don’t see any mention of it in the GF Artisan Bread book, but can it be used in other recipes? Thanks

  20. I have looked through the comments and did not see any comments about Sweet Rice Flour. Can this be used in place of (partially or fully) White Rice Flour.

    Thanks! Can’t wait to make bread again!

    Jamie

    • Only a fraction of our books’ content is here on the website (our publisher would kill us if we put everything!). What you’re looking for is on the top paragraph of page 20 of “Gluten-Free Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day.”

  21. I LOVE< LOVE< LOVE your Mixture #1 recipe, but the crust is soooo hard, it's almost impossible to cut and I'm getting very flat loaves. I'm using oat flour. I've tried both with water and with eggs. the egg recipe was super flat, but the dough almost climbed out of the pan from the first rest.

    • Hi Beth,

      Do you have a Dutch Oven? If so, try baking in that. It may help your crust a lot and may also help with the spreading. Did you see our video? If so, is your dough about as wet as ours or does it seem wetter?

      Thanks, Zoë

  22. Hi! I’m reading through the book right now before I attempt any of the recipes and have a question about using a cloche. I’ve just won one in a drawing! I’m a little confused on the method with this. If I use the cloche does that eliminate the need for steaming? Not sure if I am understanding that correctly from page 33. Will you clarify that for me?

    Thanks!

    • Hi Shelley,

      The nice thing about baking in a Dutch Oven or Cloche is that you will not have to add water to create steam. The moisture from the dough itself creates the steam within the vessel.

      Thanks, Zoë

  23. Hi, I have just bought your gluten free book and although generally gluten free I find that I can tolerate rye, I’m using mixes of wholemeal and refined white rye flours with other flours for general use. I see that you don’t use any rye in any of the recipes as technically I guess that there is a form of gluten as with oats. It would be really helpful if you could help me by letting me know where I could substitute with rye as unfortunately I cannot tolerate some of the other flours.
    Am basically only using rice, quinoa, amaranth, teff, millet, with linseeds, chia and egg to bind.
    Would really appreciate any top tips.
    Happy Easter

    • Well, not a form of gluten– it’s just gluten. But there’s a lot less of it in rye than in wheat.

      Unfortunately, we’ve never tested rye in the GF recipes, because celiacs can’t eat it. Likewise we’ve never used linseed, and haven’t had great results with chia, so we gave up on our chia-tests early on. Basically, sounds like you might be able to swap in rye for one of the flours you can’t tolerate in Mixture #1 or #2. My guess is that it’ll be a dense result, but see what you think. If it is, you can often get away with it in flatbread.

  24. Hi,
    For Gluten Free Free-Form Loaf (p. 64), it notes that the recipe can be halved. On page 73, there’s notes about using it as a sourdough starter, stating that up to 2 cups of dough can be used. Can I use 2 cups of dough as a sourdough starter if I’m halving the Free-Form Loaf recipe?

    And thank you so much for writing this book! It has been a true God send!!

    Sherri

    • Hi Sherri,

      If you have going to make a half batch, you’ll want to halve the amount of the older dough as well.

      Thanks and enjoy! Zoë

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