How To Use Xanthan Gum And Guar Gum
Xanthan gum and guar gum are both binding and thickening agents. They are both used for gluten free baking recipes. If xanthan or guar gum is not used with gluten free flours, the pastry will fall apart. They both look similar to baking powder and you only need a small amount for your cooking. Xanthan gum can be bought from Tesco, Sainsbury’s, health food stores and online sites. Guar gum can be bought from health food stores or online stores. There’s information below about each gum and how to use them in your baking.
What you'll need:
Xanthan gum is produced from corn sugar which is fermented. It is used often in many foods like ice cream to prevent ice crystals forming and salad dressings to keep it stable and thick. It’s also used in the cosmetic industry for gel or cream based products to keep the ingredients together. Some people are sensitive to xanthan gum when it’s added to their food, but it’s usually not a problem with most people. Without the use of xanthan gum in many of our foods, we would have a crumbled or liquid mess with our foods or drinks. You will find that a packet or bag of xanthan gum will last you a long time. Make sure you follow the required amount of xanthan gum for each recipe. If you add too much you may find that you baked products may have a gummy or heavy texture. To use xanthan gum for baking, you should add 1 teaspoon for every cup of gluten or wheat free flour to replace a wheat flour recipe.
Guar gum is processed form the guar plant, which is grown mostly in Pakistan and some areas in India. The guar gum is used as a binding and thickening agent in many food products. It’s used in ice creams, canned sauces and puddings to stabilize ingredients and keep them from being watery. Guar gums acts in the same way as xanthan gum, but guar gum gives a more creamy texture to processed foods and sauces. Guar gum is used in little amounts and should be measured according to recipe instructions. You can use guar gum for all your gluten free recipes, but some people get stomach upsets from it. To use guar gum for baking, you can add 1 teaspoon to replace each cup of wheat flour in your recipe.
General baking guidelines for xanthan and guar gum. For cookie recipes use ½ teaspoon of xanthan or guar gum for each cup of wheat and gluten free flour. For cake and muffin recipes, you can use ½ or up to 1 teaspoon of guar or xanthan gum for every cup of gluten or wheat free flour. For bread recipes, you can use 1 or up to 2 teaspoon of xanthan or guar gum for each cup of wheat or gluten free flour.
It’s down to personal choice whether you use xanthan or guar gum for your gluten free baking or cooking. Try them out and see which one is more to your liking. For coeliac sufferers using Xanthan or guar gum can sometimes be a great alternative for baking recipes.
If you buy pre mixed gluten free flours, check if there is xanthan added already. You may not need to add any yourself, just check package label instructions.