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    You are in: Home / Community Forums / Gluten-free Diet / Celiac Disease / What is Xanthan and Guar Gums?
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    What is Xanthan and Guar Gums?

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    **Jubes**
    Mon Feb 27, 2012 11:55 pm
    Forum Host



    Are you new to cooking gluten-free? You may have noticed that a recipe will call for either Xanthan Gum or Guar Gum to be used.

    Gluten-free baking is different to baking with flours that contain gluten. Gluten provides elasticity, and strength in baking. It holds air bubbles in cakes and baked goods that allows them to be light and airy. It’s what allows air to be trapped in a baked good and gives doughs the elastic powers required to knead and stretch them.

    In gluten-free baking we generally use a variety of flours and starches as none on their own contain all the properties of wheat flour. To compensate for gluten, many gluten-free recipes will use a blend of flours and starches and may have a gum added such as Xanthan or Guar Gum. Some recipes may also use gelatine/gelatine as an alternative.

    Ready purchased store-bought blended gluten-free flours will usually already have added gums or other stabilisers in them. If you purchase one of these flours to use, you may avoid the need to add in additional gums. This is usually what I recommend to someone who is cooking a one-off cake or cookie for a friend who is gluten-free. This saves them having to purchase two or more gluten-free flours/starches and purchase wither xanthan or guar gum.

    Both Xanthan Gum and Guar Gum are widely used in gluten-free baking. Both are able to be purchased from supermarkets and generally found in the health food aisles or in health food stores and are both easily purchased on-line.


    What is Xanthan Gum?
    Xanthan gum is corn-based and made by fermenting corn sugar with a microbial called "Xanthomonas campestris." It is a very fine powder that should be stored in an airtight container. Xanthan gum is quite expensive to buy, but has a very long shelf life and is generally used in small amounts (¼ to 2 teaspoons per recipe). It is suitable for vegans.
    Those with allergies or sensitivities to corn should avoid using xanthan gum.


    What is Guar Gum?
    Guar gum comes from the seed of bean-like (legume) plant and it is high in soluble fiber. Like Xanthan Gum it also is a fine powdery substance and should be stored in an airtight container. Guar gum is a high fiber product and may upset those with gastrointestinal sensitivities.



    I use xanthan gum in my baking and have not had any issues with it. Guar gum is not generally stocked in Australian supermarkets but can be easily purchased on-line.


    Last edited by **Jubes** on Fri Mar 02, 2012 3:06 pm, edited 1 time in total
    **Jubes**
    Tue Feb 28, 2012 6:45 am
    Forum Host
    A guide recommended by Bob''s Red Mill for quantities of xanthan or guar gum to be used in recipes

    How much Xanthan Gum for Gluten Free Baking?
    Cookies………………………………¼ teaspoon per cup of flour
    Cakes and Pancakes………………..½ teaspoon per cup of flour
    Muffins and Quick Breads………… ¾ teaspoon per cup of flour
    Breads……………………………….1 to 1-½ tsp. per cup of flour
    Pizza Dough…………………..…… 2 teaspoons per cup of flour
    For Salad Dressings…Use ½ tsp. Xanthan Gum per 8 oz. of liquid.

    How much Guar Gum for Gluten Free Baking?
    Cookies………………………………¼ to ½ tsp. per cup of flour
    Cakes and Pancakes………………..¾ teaspoon per cup of flour
    Muffins and Quick Breads………….1 teaspoon per cup of flour
    Breads……………………………….1-½ to 2 tsp. per cup of flour
    Pizza Dough…………………..…….1 Tablespoon per cup of flour
    For Hot Foods (gravies, stews , heated pudding)…Use 1-3 teaspoons per one quart of liquid.
    For Cold Foods (salad dressing, ice creams, pudding) Use about 1-2 teaspoons per quart of liquid.


    Read more on the Bob's Red Mill site about using xanthan or guar gum
    http://www.bobsredmill.com/blog/2010/05/14/guar-gum-vs-xanthan-gum/

    UmmBinat
    Sat Mar 03, 2012 11:16 pm
    Food.com Groupie
    I understand guar gum is derived from soy.
    **Jubes**
    Sat Mar 03, 2012 11:45 pm
    Forum Host
    I haven't used guar gum as the supermarkets here only stock xanthan gum

    though this is what I have found on the net....

    "Guar Gum is derived from the ground endosperm of Cyamopsis Tetragonolobus, a plant of the Leguminosae family. The plant grows to about 1-2 metres high with vertical stalks. The Guar seed pods, about 15 cm long, grow on these stalks and hold 6-9 seeds which are about 2-3 mm in diameter. Roughly, 14-16% of the Guar seed is the hull, 38-45% is the endosperm and 40-46% germ. "Guar" crop is sown after the first rains in June/July and is harvested after 3-4 months.It is a hardy, drought resistant crop that requiresmoderate rainfall at regular intervals.

    Guar ( also called guaran), is primarily the ground endosperm of Guar beans.The Guar seeds are dehusked, milled and screened to obtain the guar gum. It is typically produced as a free flowing, pale, off-white colored, coarse to fine ground powder. Guar gum powder "
    source -http://www.guargum.com.au


    and from - http://www.choosingvoluntarysimplicity.com/living-with-a-soy-allergy/
    " Although guar gum and gum arabic are made from legumes that are closely related to soybeans, the real problem is the soy added during the manufacturing process. (Guar gum, for example, sometimes has up to ten percent of added soy protein.)"
    **Jubes**
    Sat Mar 03, 2012 11:52 pm
    Forum Host
    I have made a couple of bread recipes that used gelatin/gelatine powder, instead of adding xanthan or guar gums.............but I wasn't over impressed with the texture that it gave.

    I was wondering if anyone else has used alternatives to guar gum or xanthan gum successfully.
    UmmBinat
    Sun Mar 04, 2012 8:26 am
    Food.com Groupie
    I am wondering that as well.

    I remember the lady in the health food shop said maybe eggs??

    Now I recall guar gum is closely related to soy so if you have a soy sensitivity/allergy it will probably cause the same issues.
    Acadia*
    Tue Mar 27, 2012 8:06 pm
    Food.com Groupie
    wave.gif Hi All,
    I haven't yet used the xanthan gum I just bought after trying unsuccessfully to make a loaf of brown rice bread with out it. However it is on my agenda this week. I'm glad I stumbled into this thread icon_biggrin.gif
    Acadia*
    Tue Mar 27, 2012 8:27 pm
    Food.com Groupie
    UmmBinat wrote:
    I am wondering that as well.


    I remember the lady in the health food shop said maybe eggs??

    Now I recall guar gum is closely related to soy so if you have a soy sensitivity/allergy it will probably cause the same issues.


    I tried adding eggs to make up for that extreme dryness of the dough to act as a binder but the finished texture of the bread was like saw dust. The dough seemed better after I added the eggs. Of course the whole thing could have been doomed from the beginning.
    **Jubes**
    Tue Mar 27, 2012 11:32 pm
    Forum Host
    wave.gif I haven't made a successful gf bread without xanthan gum yet.

    .....haven't made a gf bread for a while now. I've been thinking I might continue my search for the 'perfect' loaf again soon.

    I've seen a few discussions recently about adding almond meal(ground almonds) or cocnut flour to gf bread recipes. Might give that try to see how it works out
    Acadia*
    Wed Mar 28, 2012 12:04 am
    Food.com Groupie
    Thats why I bought xantham gum as it definitely needs some type of binder to keep it together. This is all new to me and it has been trial by error. LOL! Mostly error icon_lol.gif
    **Jubes**
    Wed Mar 28, 2012 12:12 am
    Forum Host
    Keep with it Acadia......gluten-free cooking and baking really does get easier.

    When I first started it was very, very frustrating. I think more of what I cooked would go in the bin (and not in my tummy) ! It does take a while to get used to the different qualities and baking properties of the gluten-free starches and flours.

    Tends to me that most recipes that have 1 to 11/2 cups of flour will work well just using a purchased blended gluten-free all-purpose flour. But....bread recipes are a totally different story.

    I've had more luck with the bread recipes by making them in a tray with sides....more like foccacia style. Top them with some cheese, herbs, olives.....whatever you fancy. I haven't mastered breads yet though icon_redface.gif

    For an easy breakfast....I make up a big batch of gluten-free waffles...lay paper between them and pack for the freezer. Tehy're great toasted in the mornings for a quick breakfast.

    I did see that PaulaG has posted a delicious looking sourdough bread recipe. Her photos look so good too icon_smile.gif

    -Julie
    Acadia*
    Wed Mar 28, 2012 1:18 am
    Food.com Groupie
    **Jubes** wrote:
    Keep with it Acadia......gluten-free cooking and baking really does get easier.

    When I first started it was very, very frustrating. I think more of what I cooked would go in the bin (and not in my tummy) ! It does take a while to get used to the different qualities and baking properties of the gluten-free starches and flours.

    Tends to me that most recipes that have 1 to 11/2 cups of flour will work well just using a purchased blended gluten-free all-purpose flour. But....bread recipes are a totally different story.

    I've had more luck with the bread recipes by making them in a tray with sides....more like foccacia style. Top them with some cheese, herbs, olives.....whatever you fancy. I haven't mastered breads yet though icon_redface.gif

    For an easy breakfast....I make up a big batch of gluten-free waffles...lay paper between them and pack for the freezer. Tehy're great toasted in the mornings for a quick breakfast.

    I did see that PaulaG has posted a delicious looking sourdough bread recipe. Her photos look so good too icon_smile.gif

    -Julie


    Thanks Julie! I just purchased a gluten free pancakes mix, but I haven't tried them yet. Its tough giving up wheat flour LOL! Funny, I don't normally go into the community through the community tab, but i wasn't getting any notifications for PAC. So that is when I saw this link. My DH is the one who needs to convert, so I am joining him in order to keep him healthy. I'm sure it will be beneficial to me as well.

    -Deb
    **Jubes**
    Wed Mar 28, 2012 8:31 am
    Forum Host
    I hope that your husband begins to feel much better for being on a gluten-free diet. It really does make the diet easier when you feel the results.

    I'm always around if you need some help...or just encouragement to stay on the gluten-free learning curve!! I'm still learning too...even after 8 years. :hugs:

    Please let me know if you find the perfect gluten-free bread recipe too icon_smile.gif

    -Julie
    Acadia*
    Wed Mar 28, 2012 9:56 am
    Food.com Groupie
    **Jubes** wrote:
    I hope that your husband begins to feel much better for being on a gluten-free diet. It really does make the diet easier when you feel the results.

    I'm always around if you need some help...or just encouragement to stay on the gluten-free learning curve!! I'm still learning too...even after 8 years. :hugs:

    Please let me know if you find the perfect gluten-free bread recipe too icon_smile.gif

    -Julie


    Thanks Julie! I will. I know the learning curve is going to be a tough haul, but it will be worth it in the end.
    UmmBinat
    Wed Mar 28, 2012 12:40 pm
    Food.com Groupie
    **Jubes** wrote:
    Keep with it Acadia......gluten-free cooking and baking really does get easier.

    When I first started it was very, very frustrating. I think more of what I cooked would go in the bin (and not in my tummy) ! It does take a while to get used to the different qualities and baking properties of the gluten-free starches and flours.

    Tends to me that most recipes that have 1 to 11/2 cups of flour will work well just using a purchased blended gluten-free all-purpose flour. But....bread recipes are a totally different story.

    I've had more luck with the bread recipes by making them in a tray with sides....more like foccacia style. Top them with some cheese, herbs, olives.....whatever you fancy. I haven't mastered breads yet though icon_redface.gif

    For an easy breakfast....I make up a big batch of gluten-free waffles...lay paper between them and pack for the freezer. Tehy're great toasted in the mornings for a quick breakfast.

    I did see that PaulaG has posted a delicious looking sourdough bread recipe. Her photos look so good too icon_smile.gif

    -Julie


    Which waffle recipe do you like? use?
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