How to Make Gum-Free Baking Binder and Using Xanthan + Guar Gum in Gluten-Free Baking

How to Use Gluten-Free Baking Binders and Mix Your Own Grain-Free, Gum-Free Binder

If you’ve been gluten-free for more than four minutes, you’ve probably tried to bake a cake, or bread, or a pie. So you know all flour blends are not created equally. The truth is, even the best gluten-free flour blends are made to shoot-in-the-middle for GF bakers. They probably have a little too much binder for pancakes, and not quite enough to convert your favorite bread recipe. That’s where baking binders come in.

I have found that I prefer using gum-free baking binder in most cases. However, both xanthan gum and guar gum are easy to find and many gluten-free recipes have been formulated with one of them. Below is a simple guide to use for using xanthan gum or guar gum in recipes. I’ve also included my favorite gum-free baking binder recipe and a guide for using that as well. 

Making Grain-Free Gum-Free Baking Binder:

I really liked the Not Xanthan Not Guar from Pamela’s, but it’s been discontinued, according to the company that bought Pamela’s Products. So I created this gum-free baking binder from that recipe. 

I blend roughly 60% psyllium husk powder + 40% potato starch to make he binder (see the recipe below).  PS: Potato starch and potato flour are NOT the same. Blend them in a food processor for about 5 minutes, store in a cool, dry place, sealed tight. It won’t last forever, so I blend about 1 cup at a time.

Basic Guide for Using Grain-Free Gum-Free Baking Binder:

You MUST let the dough or batter sit to allow the binder to hydrate for 5-10 minutes after mixing before baking, cooking or proofing. (That includes pancakes!) Textures will change substantially after resting. I have found this type of binder to be much more forgiving than gums. 

per cup of gluten-free flour used:
Pancakes and Waffles: 1/2  tsp.
Cookies, Cakes & Muffins: 1 tsp.
Breads & Rolls: 2 tsp.

Basic Guide for Using Xanthan Gum and Guar Gum:

We suggest starting with the smallest measurement first, then increasing. Too much of either of these products can lead to an odd texture in your finished product or a “gum line” at the bottom of cakes & breads.

per cup of gluten-free flour used:
Pancakes and Waffles: 1/8 – 1/4  tsp.
Cookies: 3/4 – 1 1/4 tsp.
Muffins: 1 – 1 1/4  tsp.
Breads: 1 1/2 – 2 tsp.

If you’ve got an amazing tip or trick for using gluten-free baking binders, I’d love to hear it. Please share below! You can also check out our best gluten-free baking tips here. Grab the recipe for those brownies in the picture right here!

XO – KC 

gluten free sherry spice cake
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Grain-Free Gum-Free Baking Binder

This gum-free baking binder works well in any gluten-free baked goods, and helps to thicken smoothies and other food products too.
Prep Time10 mins
Cuisine: American
Keyword: gluten-free baking
Servings: 1
Author: K.C. Cornwell

Equipment

  • food processor
  • scale or measuring cups

Ingredients

Instructions

  • Blend the ingredients in a food processor for about 5 minutes total, stopping a few times so the powder does not heat up.
  • Store tightly sealed in a in a cool, dry place.

Notes

Let doughs or batters rest for 5-10 minutes after mixing to allow the binder to hydrate and work well.

Photos: Meg van der Kruik

5 thoughts on “How to Make Gum-Free Baking Binder and Using Xanthan + Guar Gum in Gluten-Free Baking

  1. Excellent result. After numerous googling I tried your binder in rusks today with Gluten free flour and an almond milk /lemon juice as part of my wet ingredients I have a successful result . Thank you thank you

  2. Please comment on the following. Pamela’s “not xanthum/not guar” ingredient list reflects potato Starch first by weight. Yet your suggested mimicry of pamela’s former product has psyllium first by weight. Is there a typo in your suggested recipe or did you find your weight proportions to work better for baking?

    Than you for your efforts here.

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