June’s Instagram baking tip was;
“Did you know that for best results you should let your mixed ingredients sit for 10 minutes before baking to make sure the xanthan gum can do its job!”
That’s all fine and dandy, but what the heck does it mean?!
I’m not the strongest baker we have here at the café, and thank goodness for that, but I’m also not a stranger to the kitchen. If you would have asked me when I first started working at SaraBella’s what xanthan gum was, I would have said “bless you” and laughed it off. So lets start there;
What is xanthan gum?
Xanthan gum is a popular food additive that's commonly added to foods as a thickener, stabilizer, or binding agent.
Alright so it makes things thicker or more stable, but what does that mean for my baking? I don’t ever remember going to the store and seeing an option in the baking isle for “thickener or stabilizer”.... So why do I need xanthan gum??
Why do we use xanthan gum in gluten free baking?
In gluten-free baking, we rely on xanthan gum to provide elasticity and stickiness in our base doughs. Since we don’t have gluten present, we need something that acts as the binding agent for the flour, to help give the baked good some structure.
Oh, okay, I think I’m getting it now, we are trying to replicate what gluten does without using gluten. Is there a way to do that super effectively, or do we just throw it all in a mixer, cross our fingers and hope for the best (I mean I already do that, so….)
The reason we want to let any gluten free baking with xanthan gum sit out on the counter for about 10 minutes is so that it becomes the most effective version of itself. It needs some time to breathe, meet the other ingredients and mingle around before it can start single handedly holding everything together and providing structure (I am still talking about xanthan gum right??).
Hopefully this sheds some light on xanthan gum and how to make your gluten free baking a little bit better, and a little bit easier! If you have any questions you would like to see answered here, please shoot us a message and we will do our best!