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I'm curious, are any other substances that could substitute for guar gum or xanthan gum in gluten-free baking? Xanthan isn't an option because of allergies, and while guar gum seems to work OK for most things, I'm not a fan of the slick or slimy texture that sometimes results when I have to use a lot of it.

Thanks in advance. :)

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up vote 3 down vote accepted

It's not quite as effective as xanthan gum but I find arrowroot flour works wonders. You can also try locust bean gum or psyllium husk (soak it in water before mixing so that it can dissolve)

Those are more starchey than the gums and are meant to be mixed with amaranth, rice, quinoa, or other more coarse flours it gives you that same "slimey" start that hold the bubbles as the bread cooks. That's generally gone by the time it's cooked.

When you're using guar gum, try to keep the quantity down to about 1% by weight of the dry ingredients. Also give it time to fully hydrate before adding the rest of the ingredients. I normally mix mine in dry with the flour and then add milk or water to get things wet and then leave it for a couple minutes before continuing.

If the gum (or even the arrowroot flour) is properly hydrated it will be more effective in baking. Plus you can use less liquid overall which is good because it's easy to overdo the liquid in GF bread.

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I have arrowroot and psyllium husk - I never thought I could use them in that way but I will experiment. Where could one find locust bean gum? – Heather Sep 8 '10 at 14:07
Not sure of a chain or online, but I see it from time to time at the same local store that sells xanthan gum in bulk. – Eric Goodwin Sep 8 '10 at 18:35
I'll just have to keep my eyes peeled then. Thanks! – Heather Sep 8 '10 at 21:28

Carboxymethyl cellulose is a gum that is often used in Australia as a gluten replacement. I sometimes see it in gluten free baking mixes in Canada.

Carboxymethyl cellulose info and raw ingredient.

As mentioned above psyllium husks work. I use it in unleavened breads. Additionally you can use flax meal or chia seeds. I've never used chia, but I like to add flax meal because it ups the fibre which the gluten-free diet tends to lack.

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Ferran Adria sells a variety of thickeners, it's possible that one may fit your needs.

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