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I make the Tollhouse chocolate chip cookies recipe and swap out the flour for gluten free flour. I'm trying to figure out why the cookies crumbled after I made them. The butter was very soft; could that be the reason, or do I need an additional egg in the recipe because of the flour substitution?

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    What's in your gluten free flour? – Jolenealaska Dec 4 '16 at 14:34
  • @Jolenealaska is right, you need to specify exactly what substitutions you have made. – GdD Dec 4 '16 at 16:16
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    Other than the type of flour, you followed this recipe? verybestbaking.com/recipes/18476/… I'm leaning towards an answer that invoves letting the dough rest to fully hydrate the flour, but to do that I need to know about your flour. Gluten free flour can be made out of lots of different things, and each type behaves differently. – Jolenealaska Dec 4 '16 at 16:33
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    Another possibility is xanthan gum. See: google.com/… – Jolenealaska Dec 4 '16 at 16:53
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    Hydration tends to be a problem with gluten-free flours. You typically want the dough to rest for 30 min or so for the flour to fully hydrate so it doesn't end up gritty ... but this also means that it absorbs more moisture, so it's possible that's the issue. I don't know how much to adjust it ... I assume it's based on amount of gluten-free flour used, not the amount of moisture in the recipe, and it may be affected by what the mix is (bean, potato, rice, etc.) – Joe Dec 4 '16 at 22:33
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Gluten-free flour is not a perfect substitute for wheat flour. Each mixture out there is designed to mostly work in certain kinds of recipe, but not in all of them. And yes, it is perfectly normal for a gluten-free cookie to be crumbly, since it is the gluten itself that holds wheat cookes together.

I suppose the prepared flour mixture you have is just no good for cookies. Instead of making substitutions in an existing recipe and hoping for a miracle fit, just find a gluten-free cookie recipe (which is likely to use correct proportions of starches and binders, not the unknown mixture you get in the supermarket) and bake that. Troubleshooting substitutions is rarely worth the amount of work you have to invest, and the end result is not the same as without the substitution anyway.

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You can't just substitute gluten-free for regular flour. You just can't. Do you have to use gluten-free? If you don't have to use gluten-free, it is best to use regular flour.

  • It sounds like the OP has made more than one batch of these cookies, which indicates that this isn't a case of gluten-free flour being used just because that's what was handy. The flour is probably being swapped out for a reason. – JennieK_NS Jan 27 '17 at 15:28

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