Commonly used in processed foods, this vegan alternative to gelatin is made from seaweed. Agar-agar is very high in fiber. Using too much of this ingredient can make baked goods soggy, so measure carefully. Use about a teaspoon of agar-agar powder for each cup of liquid in a recipe.
|Agar Agar Powder|
Flaxseed, when ground, absorbs water and becomes a gel. You grind the seeds first and then combine them with boiling water to form a thick mixture. Flaxseed is very high in fiber and omega-3 fatty acids, so it’s good for you. You may want to choose golden flaxseeds. The brown ones contain a bit of chlorophyll, and you may end up with green-tinged bread.
|Flaxseed - whole and ground|
Like flaxseeds, chia seeds form a gel when mixed with boiling water. They are full of omega-3s and antioxidants. They are also extremely high in fiber. They're a good substitute for xanthan and guar gums.
The protein in eggs forms a web that traps air and water when beaten. Eggs are an easy way to add structure to any gluten-free baked product. However, if you're allergic to eggs, you can substitute a gel made from flaxseeds or chia seeds in many recipes.
|Free Range Eggs|
This product, which is uncommon in retail markets, is modified tapioca starch. It forms a web with water, so it really mimics gluten’s structure with no added taste because it’s flavorless. Add from 1/4 to 3/4 cup of Expandex to bread recipes in place of some of the flour.
|Modified Tapioca Starch|
This ingredient is used to make doughs more pliable. When mixed with water, gelatin forms, well, a gel that helps trap water and makes doughs stretchier. Use the unflavored variety only; your breads don’t need to be strawberry-flavored!
Pectin is a complex carbohydrate used to thicken jams and jellies. Dried pectin, which can be difficult to find, helps provide structure for breads and cakes. It absorbs moisture, which helps keep baked goods from drying out and keeps them soft.
|Jam made with Pectin|
Psyllium is fairly new as a gluten substitute for gluten free baking but it is by far taking the lead of all substitutes. It provides great strength and flexibility to gluten-free dough. The baked goods that truly rely on gluten - breads, pizza dough, rolls, pasta do extremely well with psyllium. Psyllium is a source of soluble dietary fiber and used to relieve constipation, irritable bowel syndrome, and diarrhea. Mixing psyllium with water makes a thick glutinous-like substance that works wonders for gluten free baking. It makes the bread soft and tender while still holding together very well.