Let’s Talk Ingredient Substitutions (With Substitution Recommendations)

by Jeanne on August 13, 2012

Today I want to discuss substitutions in baking.  I get lots of questions about how to substitute for various ingredients that people can’t or don’t want to use.  I am happy to help when I can, but I wanted to have a little chat about what substitutes can and cannot do.

First and foremost: substitutes are what they sound like–they are substituting for the preferred item.  So, most of the time they are not going to behave, taste, or feel EXACTLY like the preferred ingredients.  If they did the same exact job in the same exact way, they wouldn’t be substitutes–they would be the preferred thing.  This blog is already all about a big substitution: gluten-free flour used in the place of wheat flour for baking.

It takes time to develop a recipe and I go the extra mile to make sure that it is the best it can be.  And part of this development process is choosing the ingredients carefully.  Therefore, I do get frustrated when, for example, someone asks me for ideas on an egg substitute in a recipe full of eggs–and then that person comes back to me complaining that the egg substitute didn’t act or taste exactly like an egg.  To which I say, “Of course not.  It isn’t an egg.”

I also think that people tend to forget that there are many different approaches to gluten-free baking.  My type of gluten-free baking has the goal of mimicking classic wheat baking.  It’s not vegan, it’s not whole grain, it’s not sugar-free, it’s not paleo.  All of these approaches to gluten-free baking are valid and good, but they are quite different from each other.   So, if you use substitutes in my recipes with the goal of making them sugar-free or paleo or whole grain or dairy-free or whatever, you are not going to end up with a cookie that tastes the same as the one I created.  In addition, the substitute ingredients you use may or may not behave the same or work well in the recipes.

Below I have listed the ingredients that I have used as substitutes for various ingredients.  If the substitution is not listed, then I haven’t tried it and therefore, I can’t recommend for or against it.  Also, please realize that you may need to do some experimentation on your own to find out what substitutes you like best.

Butter

Butter is an amazing ingredient in baking.  It tastes good and has a good mouth-feel.  Luckily, there are a zillion butter substitutes out there.  Margarine is the most common substitute.  My family can’t eat soy because Girlfriend is allergic to soy.  Also, hydrogenated margarines are really (really) bad for you, so I avoid hydrogenated oils.  Up until recently, my preferred butter substitute was Earth Balance Soy-Free Butter Spread.  They just changed their recipe (spring 2013) and added flax oil, which has changed the taste–which I’m not that keen on.

Lately (fall 2013),  I have been experimenting with using a half and half mixture of Earth Balance Soy-Free Butter Spread and Omega Nutrition Coconut Oil in my recipes.  So far, I like the results.  The taste is neutral, which I like.  Up until now I haven’t been a fan of using coconut oil because it had a strong coconut taste.  I don’t mind the taste, but coconut isn’t the taste that I want in all of my recipes.  But, companies are now aware of this issue and are creating coconut oils that are much less “coconutty” than before.

Be aware that  butter replacers are softer than butter at room temperature.  This means that they melt at a lower temperature than butter.  Therefore, if you use it for pie crust or something else you need to use cold fat for, you need to monitor the temperature a bit more.  In addition, butter replacers have more water in them, so your pie crust will probably need less water.

Do not substitute a liquid oil for butter in a recipe.  Butter is solid at room temperature, so if a recipe calls for butter, you need to use something else that is also solid at room temperature.

Milk

Use the milk alternative of choice.  I like to use coconut milk.

Evaporated Milk

Place 4 cups of gluten-free milk alternative in a wide pan over low heat. Simmer for about 2 hours, stirring every so often, until it has reduced to 1 1/2 cups. Make sure not to burn the bottom–just barely simmering is what you want. Once reduced, remove from heat to cool before using. You can also do this ahead of time and store in a sealed container in the refrigerator. Be sure to shake/mix well before using.

Buttermilk

1 cup of milk alternative plus 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar or distilled white vinegar mixed together makes an excellent buttermilk alternative.

Sour Cream

Use a non-dairy sour cream alternative.  Or make your own–Google “non-dairy sour cream.”

Cream Cheese

Use a non-dairy cream cheese alternative.  Or make your own–Google “non-dairy cream cheese.”

Eggs

Eggs are one of the most difficult things to replace in baking.  Eggs provide structure to baked items in addition to binding.  Without eggs, your baked items are going to be flatter than they would be with eggs.  If you are sensitive to chicken eggs, I would recommend asking your doctor if s/he would recommend that you try duck eggs.  Duck eggs are a terrific substitute for chicken eggs if you can tolerate them, and they are bigger than most chicken eggs–so they naturally replace the “extra-large egg” I recommend in most of my recipes.

If you cannot tolerate duck eggs, my next preferred overall egg substitute is ground flax seeds mixed with hot water.  This creates a flax seed gel that acts as a binder and a moisture source in the place of eggs.  For 1 extra-large egg, I recommend mixing 1 TBL of ground flax seeds with 2-3 TBL of hot water (the amount of water you use will depend on your recipe–you need to do your own experimenting).  Whisk together and then let sit for 15-20 minutes in order to make a gel.  Whisk frequently during this time to make sure the gel comes together.  Then use this gel as you would the eggs–you can beat it with your mixer.  Of course, this will NOT work for a meringue or for a sponge cake or pâte à choux (which rely on eggs for the leavening), but it will substitute for eggs in many regular baked items.  The flax will provide a bit of a nutty flavor, so be prepared for that.  I know there are many other substitutes, but this the one I use if I need an egg substitute.

If your recipe turns out flatter than you want it to be using the flax seed egg substitute, you can also add extra baking powder (not baking soda) to the recipe.  I would add 1 teaspoon to start with and see if this helps with the rise.  Please note that the resulting baked item is still not going to be quite as fluffy as it would have been if you used eggs.

Flours

I have already provided a gluten-free flour substitution for wheat flour in the form of my Jeanne’s Gluten-Free All-Purpose Flour Mix. And yet, people ask me for substitutes for the substitutes.  Please be aware that my mix is truly one of the reasons my recipes work so well.  And therefore, be aware that substituting flours for the flours in my mix will give the mix a different taste and a bit of a different texture.  Here’s what I recommend if you must use substitutes:

Flour Mix Substitutions
Brown rice flour: substitute sorghum flour
White rice flour: substitute millet flour
Sweet rice (also know as glutinous rice) flour: substitute potato flour (not starch)
Tapioca flour: substitute potato starch (not flour)

Note: all of these flours are available online.   I get my flours from Bob’s Red Mill or from Authentic Foods.  If these aren’t available in your town, you can order them online.  These products are available on Amazon–and if you have Amazon Prime, the shipping is free.  Many are also available at stores like Whole Foods, health food stores, Asian markets, and even regular grocery stores depending on the town or city.  The one thing that is imperative to do is to get flours that are labelled “gluten-free.”    If something isn’t labelled “gluten-free,” there is a chance that it is cross-contaminated with gluten.  If you are celiac or wheat allergic, this is not acceptable.

Added note about Asian stores: people always ask me about flours from Asian stores.  Many of the flours available at Asian stores aren’t labeled gluten-free.   This means that they may or may not be cross-contaminated with gluten-containing ingredients.  But, other than contacting the company to find out about their practices, there isn’t any way to guarantee that they are gluten-free.  Therefore, if you are gluten-free for a health reason and cannot have cross-contamination, I recommend that you avoid anything that isn’t labeled gluten-free.

Sugar (Granulated)

Substituting for sugar is tough for baking.  Sugar does so many things in baking.  It provides sweetness, of course.  It also gives a good mouth-feel to your baked goods.  It’s a preservative, so it allows for your baked items to stay good for a few days.  It attracts water, which is why the tops of muffins get a little gummy after awhile.  But it also keeps baked goods moist inside.  I pretty much bake with sugar.  I don’t really have any experience with sugar replacers like Splenda, so I can’t really recommend any.  The chemistry of sugar replacers is complicated and creates a chain effect of issues throughout the baking process.  Below is my experience with the following natural sugars:

Maple sugar is a nice alternative to cane sugar.  It behaves the same as cane sugar, but will add a slight maple taste to baked items.

Palm sugar is another nice alternative to cane sugar.  It comes in many forms.  The granulated form can be used in baked goods.

Honey and agave are hard to use in the place of sugar in baked goods.  They are a bit sweeter than cane sugar and they are liquid.  So, when you use them to substitute for cane sugar in a recipe, you need to adjust for sweetness and for liquidity–meaning you will have to reduce other liquids in your recipe.  I don’t really have any single ratio for how to use honey or agave as a substitute for sugar in recipes–you will need to do your own experimentation for it.

Sugar (Powdered/Confectioners)

In a blender or a food processor, grind until powdery 1 1/2 cups of granulated sugar to 1 tablespoon of cornstarch or tapioca flour/starch.

Yeast

Yeast is a really tough thing to substitute for.  Because it is a living thing (a fungus of sorts), it has more staying power than any of the other leaveners (baking soda, baking powder, steam).  So, I really do not recommend that you try to substitute for yeast unless you are allergic to it.  I haven’t done any experiments with the suggestions in the following link (as of 1/25/14), but I trust this site and therefore think that their recommendations are worth a shot:

Modernist Pantry Blog (Fit Day) on Yeast Substitutes

Please note that when using their suggestions for baking powder or baking soda, you do not need to let the bread rise. If you try these suggestions in my recipes, let me know how it goes.

Xanthan Gum and Other Gums and Pectin

Please check out my post on Gluten-Replacers

I use xanthan gum as the “gluten-replacer” in my baking.  I truly feel it is the best product available for creating baked items that taste and feel like their wheat counterparts.  It not only has the binding and structure building properties of gluten, it is the most elastic of the gluten replacers.  And you only need to use a tiny amount of it per cup of gluten-free flour (about a 1/4 teaspoon).

There is a lot of misinformation going around about xanthan gum.  So much so that it is hard to talk to many people rationally about it.  Xanthan gum is the resulting product when the xanthomanoas campetris bacteria is grown on a sugar medium.  Often that sugar medium is corn, but it can also be tapioca or even wheat.  According to the food scientists that I’ve spoken with, xanthan gum should not contain any of the growth medium–corn, tapioca, or wheat.  It should be completely processed out.  It’s kind of like when you eat an apple–if you were tested, you wouldn’t test as containing apple because your body has converted it into skin and organs and blood, etc.  That said, if you are allergic to the growing medium of the xanthan gum (usually corn), then I would ask your doctor if s/he recommends that you eat it.

There is no truly good substitute for xanthan gum in the kind of baking I do (to mimic the taste and feel of wheat baking).  Some people use guar gum (from the guar plant), but I find that it’s not quite elastic enough for my purposes.

Other folks use flax seeds, chia seeds, and psyllium husks as gluten substitutes.  In my experience, these don’t behave in the way I want my gluten replacer to behave. And they add a significant taste to baked goods. In the experiments I’ve done with the seeds, they have created a good looking product, but the product is gummy (because you have to use a relatively large amount of the seeds for them to work well), and then after a day or two, the product is crumbly in a gummy way (yes, it’s weird).

Also, I can’t use flax, psyllium, or chia in my baking because they are all strong laxatives and you need to use a relatively large amount of them in baked goods (several tablespoons) to get the desired result.  They wreak havoc on my body.  As someone whose digestive system is already pretty loose (ahem), the last thing I need is more laxatives in my diet.

This is all to say that I don’t really have (at this point) any useful advice for substituting seeds for the gums.  Please use the below resources for information on how to do that.  In addition, I don’t have any advice on how to use pectin in the place of gums.

ADDED 12/13/12: I have heard that some people have tried to use pectin and gelatin as their gluten-replacers.  These don’t work that well because they are binders but not really structure builders.  And they aren’t elastic the way you need them to be.  So, they are better as egg replacers from what I can tell.

Resources

Here are a few resources and blogs (in no particular order) to check out that can help you with many of the substitutions mentioned here. Please note that this list is not in any way exhaustive.  Please let me know if you have other books and sites that you have found particularly helpful for the substitution process:

Elana Amsterdam: Elana’s Pantry
-Elana is a genius with baking dairy-free with almond flour, coconut flour, natural sugar substitutes, and no gums.  She has written two cookbooks that are excellent:

The Gluten-Free Almond Flour Cookbook
Gluten-Free Cupcakes

Karen Morgan: Blackbird Bakery
-Karen is a whiz at gluten-free baking with guar gum.  And her book is awesome:

Blackbird Bakery Gluten-Free: 75 Recipes for Irresistible Gluten-Free Desserts and Pastries

Peter Reinhart and Denene Wallace
-Peter Reinhart is one of my baking gods. I have several of his wheat bread baking books (they are must-haves) and I have learned a lot from them. He is a wheat baker, but has found that gluten-free baking is a nice break for his body. I had the honor of meeting him one year at the International Association of Culinary Professionals conference after a baking session he taught. He just co-wrote (with Denene Wallace) a gluten-free, grain-free, and sugar-free baking book that is due out this month. I have an advance copy of the book and it looks fabulous. I’m guessing it will become a classic on the grain-free and sugar-free baking shelf:

The Joy of Gluten-Free, Sugar-Free Baking: 80 Low-Carb Recipes that Offer Solutions for Celiac Disease, Diabetes, and Weight Loss

The following blogs are excellent sources for cooking and baking gluten-free and other other-allergens-free:

Karina Allrich: Gluten-Free Goddess

Shirley Braden: Gluten-Free Easily

Heidi Kelly: Adventures of a Gluten-Free Mom

Kim Maes: Cook it Allergy Free
-Kim also has developed an excellent iPhone/iPad app to help you with the substitution process.

Nancy: The Sensitive Pantry

(As of 10/27/13)

 

 

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{ 50 comments… read them below or add one }

Lauren Beach June 22, 2014 at 9:41 am

Wonderful blog! I just discovered that I am extremely sensitive to tapioca flour. As someone that adores gluten/dairy/soy free baking, I am at a loss! Can you recommend any substitute for tapioca?

Thank you!

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Jeanne June 24, 2014 at 1:40 pm

Lauren: Yes! Check out the “Flours” section of this post.

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Kylie April 26, 2014 at 7:05 pm

Hi, thank you so much for this fantastic resource! I have been doing an elimination diet for health reasons (fedup.com.au) and have found that wheat is a problem. Problem is, so is corn and potato and just about all the commercial flour mixes contain at least one of these ingredients! Hence, your information is a great find. May I ask about yet another substitution please?! (Sorry, it seems as if I’m picking fault with the obviously excellent starting recipe lol!). Vinegar and olive oil are not allowed on the elimination diet so my questions are: can canola oil be used instead of olive oil? Also, can the vinegar be omitted or what could be used instead do you think? Many thanks!

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Jeanne April 28, 2014 at 9:48 pm

Kylie: I’m glad this blog is helpful. And yes: you can substitute other oil for olive oil and I would substitute lemon juice for the vinegar (let me know if you can’t eat lemon juice). Happy baking!

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PAULA W February 21, 2014 at 2:07 pm

your flour mix does not call for Cornstarch. That’s GREAT. Most bread mixes call for cornstarch, can I use arrowroot, potato, or tapioca starch instead of cornstarch. I can not do wheat, soy or corn. Please help. I am experimenting Bread Recipes.

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Jeanne February 23, 2014 at 2:24 pm

Paula: Yes, you can substitute potato, tapioca, or arrowroot for cornstarch. Be careful with arrowroot, though–I have found that it seems to go bad in record time. If it smells or tastes metallic, it’s gone bad.

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Faye December 19, 2013 at 2:03 am

Is there anything I can substitute for yeast in the sandwich bread recipe? My sister is allergic to it. Sounds fabulous otherwise!

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Jeanne December 20, 2013 at 10:56 am

Faye: Not really. Yeast is its own thing–there really isn’t a good substitute for it that I know of.

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Laurie April 19, 2014 at 10:03 pm

Try a soda bread recipe, those use baking powder and baking soda to get the bread to rise instead of yeast.

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Layna October 22, 2013 at 11:01 am

I loved reading this – very informative! You did a lot of research for us in this. It is appreciated. I am allergic to eggs.. so I just don’t use them in my baking, I have only found a few things that i cant substitute them in (i don’t eat or make it then, like brownies) But was worried about using egg replacer’s – they have TAPIOCA FLOUR/starch in there – doesn’t tapioca flour have egg powder in it?? or ? I was afraid to use it, several people have given me some in the recent yrs. Egg allergies are not to have tapioca. or is that just the puddings??? If someone knows – would love to have more info on that.

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Jeanne October 22, 2013 at 11:44 am

Layna: Tapioca starch (aka, flour–same thing) is just that–tapioca. If an egg-replacer contains tapioca starch, the tapioca starch doesn’t contain egg. The other ingredients might be egg, but not that.

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Priscilla February 5, 2014 at 2:52 am

Layna, I think you should be able to substitute yogurt for eggs, in brownies. You would have to play around with it to get it right. You would need to use a full fat yogurt. If you are not averse to soy, silken tofu is also useful.

Tapioca flour is made from the root of the cassava plant. It has no eggs.

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Carol September 24, 2013 at 7:10 am

This is for bakingbob who wanted a G-F bagel recipe. I wrote a reply somewhere here, my computer crashed and now I can’t find just where I read Bob’s request. Carol Fenster’s “Wheat-Free Recipes & Menus” has a bagel recipe which she says is surprisingly easy. So, Bob, hope you see this and good luck! (I haven’t tried them.)

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Maria September 12, 2013 at 10:25 am

Dear Jeanne,
Love the post. I have used xanthan gum and guar gum. I am currently working with the Expandex, a version of xanthan gum that has a greater lifting and binding quality than the original product.
Slightly off topic – substitute teachers are not necessarily substitutes because we cannot be “real teachers”. We are retired teachers or those who choose not to stay in one classroom every day.
Anyway, love the baking blog! Thanks for all the good advice.

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Jeanne September 12, 2013 at 2:46 pm

Maria: Yes! I need to do some experimentation with Expandex. Also, please know that I it wasn’t my intention to criticize substitute teachers. I was more trying to get across the concept that a substitute teacher is there to teach in a pinch. They haven’t been the ones to develop that particular class curriculum, etc. I need to work on that analogy a bit to make it better, I think…:) Thanks for the note.

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Carol September 24, 2013 at 6:42 am

Thanks for all the work you put into G-F baking! I agree with Maria though and glad you are willing to rethink the substitute teacher analogy. Having been a classroom teacher and later a sub when my children were older, I know the difference and how difficult subbing can be. How about a comparison with something mechanical like using a coat hanger when you don’t have the right part.

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Sarah August 23, 2013 at 4:05 pm

Thanks for the great article. When I use xanthan gum in recipes it just doesn’t sit right in my stomach, so I learnt about using other substitutes and discovered that I could use guar gum or chia seeds. Although guar gum doesn’t always work that best for baking – depends on the application. however I did find some other gum substitutes here if that helps others.
http://www.xanthangumsubstitute.com/

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Jeanne August 30, 2013 at 12:57 pm

Sarah: Thanks for the link. I will check it out!

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Karolina August 22, 2013 at 11:50 pm

Hello,

how can I replace active dried yeast with pressed yeast? In most recipes, there is 2tablespoons of active dried yeast so how much of the pressed one should I use?

Thank you a lot!

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Jeanne August 30, 2013 at 1:42 pm

Karoline: I haven’t used fresh yeast on most of my recipes, so I can’t say how it will behave. But I think using about 39 g of fresh yeast in the place of 2 tablespoons of active dry should be a good start.

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cris August 16, 2013 at 3:51 am

I have read your blog I need to substitute Sweet rice flour as can not find it in Australia at the moment and I have only found potato starch not flour
I did come across red rice flour will this be ok

many thanks cris :)

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Jeanne August 16, 2013 at 1:54 pm

Cris: I would recommend one of two options: first, you can buy sweet (also known as glutinous) rice at the store and trying grinding it yourself into a flour (with a blender or a food processor). Or you can try a combo of half and half tapioca flour and white rice flour in the place of the amount of sweet rice flour. Let me know what you do and how it goes!

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Reply

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Reply

Jeanne Sauvage (@fourchickens) March 11, 2013 at 5:12 pm

@DrHornetBupp Check out the links I have at the bottom of this post: http://t.co/JHXol5Cq5A

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Dionne February 10, 2013 at 12:53 pm

I am just starting a gluten free diet for my 3 yr old. Need clarification on your all purpose flour mix. I found all of the ingredients except one at my local organic store. However, I found Bob’s Red Mill sweet white rice flour, but not the separate white rice flour. Should I use two cups of the “sweet white rice flour” to your flour blend or should I continue to search for the “white rice flour”?

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Jeanne February 12, 2013 at 1:44 pm

Dionne: Hm, that’s interesting. Most people have problems find the the sweet rice flour, not the white rice flour. If you can’t find the white rice flour, add more brown rice flour (not sweet rice flour) in the place of it. It will be a little bit more gritty but should be OK. Also, you can order flours online.

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Lowen Gartner January 26, 2013 at 8:25 pm

I am on a diet where egg whites are OK and egg yolks are not. When a whole egg is called for, is there something else I can use for that?

I get real egg whites from Costco. tx

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Jeanne January 27, 2013 at 3:22 pm

Lowen: The egg yolk provides fat and moisture. What I would do is use 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil per egg. And then use 3 tablespoons of egg whites per egg.

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Lowen Gartner February 17, 2013 at 8:47 pm

Earlier you mentioned that I could substitute for an egg in baking, 1 table spoon of oil and 3 tablespoons of egg white.

I have been looking for a substitute for an egg yolk in making standard mayonnaise recipes and keep coming upon lecithin granules.

Do you have any suggestions about what to substitute into a standard mayo recipe for an egg yolk (not tofu mayo recipe, etc.)?

Have you tried using lecithin granules along with some oil and egg whites in baking?

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Jeanne February 18, 2013 at 11:37 am

Lowen: I haven’t used lecithin granules at all, so I can’t be of any help with using those. I do know about a technique for making milk mayonnaise–which eliminates the need for eggs altogether. You might want to try that. I’ve done it and it works well.

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Lori January 20, 2013 at 2:14 pm

Hi Jeanne,
Have you ever try your mix to make fresh pasta? Thank you

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Jeanne January 21, 2013 at 12:34 pm
Igne January 12, 2013 at 5:58 am

Hi, I just discovered your website and can’t wait to try this flour mix. So far I’ve been using various premade mixes (and some of them are quite good), I still haven’t been able to find anything close to the regular flour. Here’s hoping this will change!
I’ve never heard of sweet rice flour before, however I’ve got a pack f Thai rice flour which is very starchy and sticky, I’m thus wondering whether this is the same type of flour just under a different name?

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Jeanne January 14, 2013 at 3:33 pm

Igne: I’m not sure what Thai rice flour is. But, it’s always worth a try! Also, you can get sweet rice flour online. :)

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Nancy Coyne November 29, 2012 at 7:44 pm

We make Paintbrush Cookies with the grandchildren at Christmas. The receipt calls for 1/3 cup soft shortening, 1/3 cup sugar, 1 egg, 2/3 cup honey, 1 teaspoon vanilla (mix thoroughly), stir in 2-3/4 cups sifted Gold Medal Flour, 1 teaspoon soda, 1 teaspoon salt (Chill).
Can I substitute your gf flour for Gold Medal Flour. Will the grandchildren notice the difference?

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Jeanne December 2, 2012 at 11:55 am

Nancy: I think it should work fine! Happy baking!

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Cindy (Vegetarian Mamma) August 23, 2012 at 6:47 pm

This is great, I’d love for you to link it up and any recipes you’d like to share at our Gluten Free Fridays!
You can find this week’s link up here: http://vegetarianmamma.com/gluten-free-fridays-recipe-party-2/
Also be sure to link up your blog on our Gluten Free Bloggers directory. You can reach the directory by clicking the “glutenfree bloggers” tab on our blog! Thanks, Cindy :)

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Kadee August 14, 2012 at 2:01 pm

what an awesome post – easy to read and easy to find what you need to substitute. Genius idea for a post Jeanne :)

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admin August 15, 2012 at 10:15 am

Thanks, Kadee!

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Linda J-H August 14, 2012 at 9:29 am

Great post Jeanne! Bravo!

I always enjoy reading your blog and the information that you give us goes a long way to making gluten-free baking go from scrunched up noses and no thank you (or yuck) to rave reviews and I can’t believe this is gluten free. I’ll just say it: You are a genius in the gluten-free kitchen.

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admin August 15, 2012 at 10:38 am

Thanks, Linda!

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Doris August 14, 2012 at 5:09 am

Nancy keep up the good work. Even though I have only been diagnosed as gluten intolerant since March 2010, I have done all my own baking since that first week. Yes it was alot of experimentation. And like you found what worked for me. I started with Annalise Roberts Baking Classics for my flour mix and have since found a better mix to use. Gluten free baking is ,and from what i read from other bloggers, one big experiment . We each need to find out what our bodies tolerate and work with that knowledge. And yes I agree that substitutes are just that. A great site for flour conversions is http://realfoodmadeeasy.ca/gluten-free-baking/gluten-free-flour-weight-volume-measures/ its a downloadable pdf file and I printed a copy and leave it in front of my recipe binder for easy reference.

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Kelly August 14, 2012 at 12:23 am

And I love how you take the time to help troubleshoot when those of us who need to substitute use your recipes, even though it has to be really annoying. Especially for recipes where technique is nearly as important as the exact ingredients. Pie crust comes to mind. :-) I mean, not only are there allergic folks who have to substitute, some folks live in countries where some ingredients just aren’t available. (I can’t get Earth Balance, xanthan gum, sorghum flour, or finely ground almond flour in Germany. But I can get sunflower seed flour!) I think you are amazingly patient and generous to even address the substitution questions. THANK YOU!

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admin August 15, 2012 at 10:38 am

Thanks, Kelly!

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jamilah August 13, 2012 at 9:14 pm

I thank you for this post, I used your blueberry honey muffins yesterday, however, i subbed the blueberries for orange zest and craisins. I used just a little orange juice, and I normally use Bob’s Red Mill gluten free all purpose flour when I bake or cook.

The muffins were beautiful out of the oven, with tops high and all!!!

I was so pleased. I normally dont go gluten free myself, but my mother is strictly off of wheat products and I like to surprise her every so often.
However, after a few minutes, the beautifully shaped muffins deflated :(

I understand also that you bake from a higher altitude, I am in the Bahamas, but I still wonder about my muffins, should i have turned off the oven and left them in prior to taking them out?

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admin August 13, 2012 at 10:03 pm

Jamilah: I’m guessing that we are at the same altitude–sea level. Seattle is right next to the ocean :). What causes baked goods to deflate is that they rise too high during baking for the ingredients to maintain the structure. It’s often not a horrible thing–the taste is the same–but the look is disappointing. The blueberry honey muffins are one of my earlier recipes. They are more heavy than ones made with sugar–the honey provides less structure than does sugar and therefore provides less support for the loft of the muffins. For this recipe, I would recommend filling your muffin cups less full. This will give the muffins more support around the edges when they rise.

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Shirley @ gfe August 13, 2012 at 7:32 pm

I was already loving this post and about to finish reading it and cut and paste the link to share on Facebook when I saw your mention of me. How extremely kind to include me, Jeanne! Thank you so very much! I love your analogy on substitutes and again am so honored to be included in your post.

Shirley

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admin August 13, 2012 at 10:09 pm

Shirley: No kindness needed on my part–I truly think your blog is a terrific resource!! :)

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Michelle O August 13, 2012 at 12:34 pm

I LOVE this post! I get so sick of people complaining about a recipe having this or that in it and getting upset with the blogger . The recipes are created and shared with love. They are a gift and they cost nothing and yet people are always critical. I have A LOT of limitations, but I don’t complain if a recipe is not me perfect. I either substitute and know it is going to be different or I try to find another one.

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