Gluten-free baking without xanthan gum

Gluten-free baking without xanthan gum
July 15, 2023

What is it?

Xanthan gum is a food additivecode E415, used as a thickener in the preparation of precooked foods such as sauces, creams, soups, etc.

Xanthan gum is low in fat and calories and has health benefits, such as lowering blood sugar. In the pharmaceutical and cosmetic industry it is used as an emulsifying agent and to give body to products.

Gluten-free baking without xanthan gum
Gluten-free baking without xanthan gum

What is it for?

You already know that gluten is responsible for retaining the gases released during fermentation generating the bread crumb (eyes or alveoli) and making the doughs gain volume during baking. Thanks to him the breads are fluffy. That is, gluten is vital.

Therefore, if we use flours that do not contain that vital ingredient, we must look for substitutes or, at least, something that resembles it. And can’t you imagine what ingredient it looks like? That’s right, xanthan gum, which although it is not a binder by definition (it is a thickener and gelling agent), we can use it as such.

Xanthan gum is very soluble in water and produces highly viscous solutions at low concentration. This makes it very useful for maintaining proper texture and consistency in the elaboration of different products. In addition, xanthan gum has a number of health benefits, such as the ability to reduce blood sugar levels, promote intestinal transit and lower cholesterol by 10%.

On the other hand, xanthan gum is low in fat and calories, which makes it a good option for those looking to take care of their diet.

Where to buy Gluten-free baking without xanthan gum

You will not find xanthan gum in the Mercadona, but in large areas that have a specific area of natural food, gluten-free and postgraduate supplements such as Carrefour. In addition to buy it you can go to your trusted organic or dietetic store and order it in case they did not have it or buy it in specific stores of pastry products or gluten-free products.

In my selection of product recommendations and ingredients from Amazon that I use, you can also buy it online and receive it in the most comfortable way.

Gluten-free baking without xanthan gum

Buy online

Online shopping is a convenient and practical option to acquire xanthan gum without having to leave home. There are numerous websites that offer the possibility of buying this food additive and receiving it at home, and also include a wide variety of brands and product presentations. Some of the most popular websites are:

  • Amazon
  • Foody
  • Dayelet
  • Mykaramelly
  • Maria Lunarillos

It is important to check the expiration date and nutritional information of the product before purchasing it and make sure that you are buying a quality product.

Are there other binders?

Yes, I have tested a few, including: guar gum, linen, chia… But the ones I liked the most were xanthan gum and psyllium (which I will talk about in future posts).

Here you can see an image of a test I performed comparing psyllium with xanthan gum in different proportions:

Gluten-free baking without xanthan gum
Gluten-free baking without xanthan gum

Should you use Gluten-free baking without xanthan gum?

If you want a fluffy bread you should use a binder; Use the one you want (I recommend xanthan gum or psyllium).

Read also:vegetarian low carb recipes

How can you use it to make gluten-free bread?

Very easy: add all the flours from your gluten-free bread recipe (including starches). Then calculate 3% of that amount. For example, if your recipe has 300 grams of flour and 200 grams of cornstarch, it adds up to 500 grams. 3% would be 15 grams, an amount that you would have to add of xanthan gum. It’s that easy. Don’t forget to add the other ingredients!

The role of Gluten-free baking without xanthan gum

In gluten-free cooking, xanthan gum acts as a binder, a gluten substitute that holds baked goods together, prevents them from crumbling too much, and greatly improves their texture. It gives them elasticity, extensibility and flexibility, and it’s all due to their hydrocolloid properties and their ability to form a sticky gel.

Keep in mind that xanthan gum is not a substitute for gluten 1:1 and certainly although it achieves very good results it does not provide the same degree of elasticity as gluten. However, in the case of biscuits, pies, muffins, cookies, brownies and the like, it is not a problem at all. After all, these elaborations do not need much elasticity. It just needs enough binding power to prevent them from being too delicate or crumbling excessively. And that’s exactly what xanthan gum provides.

On the other hand: xanthan gum is not the best binder for gluten-free bread (although it is a great helper it needs another fundamental ingredient). There, the psyllium husk is the protagonist: it is the ingredient that allows the gluten-free bread to be kneaded and that gives the gluten-free dough enough extensibility to be able to rise correctly.

Gluten-free baking without xanthan gum

Recipe 1: Gluten-Free Chocolate Chip Cookies

Indulge in the timeless classic of chocolate chip cookies made without xanthan gum. Our recipe combines almond flour, coconut sugar, and high-quality chocolate chips for a delightful treat that is sure to satisfy your cravings.

Recipe 2: Dairy-Free Bread

Savor the aroma of freshly baked bread with our dairy-free recipe. Using a blend of rice flour, tapioca flour, and psyllium husk, we’ve created a light and fluffy bread that is perfect for sandwiches or enjoying on its own.

Recipe 3: Gluten-Free Pizza Crust

Craving pizza? Our gluten-free pizza crust recipe will not disappoint. With a blend of rice flour, almond flour, and a secret combination of herbs and spices, you’ll achieve a crispy and flavorful crust without the need for xanthan gum.

Gluten-free baking without xanthan gum


You may be thinking that “E415” doesn’t sound too good to you, that white powder looks very “chemical” and that you prefer more natural things. In that case I recommend that you use psyllium, a much more natural ingredient. 

I hope this post clarifies and has helped you about this indispensable ingredient in gluten-free cooking. It is really a wonderful ingredient with which thanks to it we get textures practically indistinguishable from their equivalents that contain gluten.

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