What is xanthan?

The xanthan gum is a food additive that performs several functions thickener, stabilizer and gelling agent is present in most “gluten-free” products but also in other food products not “gluten-free” of normal consumption.

On labels of food products containing it is referred to as E415.

What for?

In bakery products “glutenfree” is meant to be substituted for the role of gluten in the dough forms the “gluten mains” which retains air during the leavening of the baked goods.

Xanthan with a stabilizer and thickening power replaces gluten making it soft and workable the “gluten free” dough giving it consistency.

Why replace it?

  • Because xanthan is an organic chemical compound (polysaccharide) which is derived from the fermentation of a carbohydrate with natural strains of Xanthomonas campestris which is fed with a diet of corn or soybean. Soybeans and corn can cause allergies or dietary inflammation.
  • The recommended daily dose of 4 grams of the xanthan gum is, in the mixtures using 2 g of xanthan gum for 100 g of flour. Xanthan is present in many common products also not “gluten free” as sauces, pastry creams, baked goods, puddings, chewing gum, sweets, candies, dried fruit, pretzels, liquid desserts, dressings, and packaged salads also in some vegan products such as cheese and cold cuts. As you can imagine exceed the recommended dose without realizing it it is very easy.

How to replace it?

There are many natural thickeners which used rolling perfectly replace xanthan.

We do not need thickeners for all baked goods without gluten especially if they contain egg or flaxseed in vegan version (I am pointing you to the doses for each type of dough up to you if you use them) but are indispensable for products such as bread, pizza dough, rolls and leavened in general. In leavened dough thickeners allow a correct fermentation, a good increase in volume, softness, cohesion and the liquid handling that are more abundant compared to a traditional dough.

The thickening agents are mixed with the flour that will serve to achieve the recipe.


The psyllium husks absorb liquids like no other ingredient can do by creating a gel that allows you to hand-knead the dough giving it the shape we desire.

You can also use the psyllium seeds after having milled intermittently in a mixer up to transform them into a flour.

Doses for 100 g of flour Doses psyllium husks Doses psyllium seeds
Cookies and pies 1,00 g 1,25 g
Cakes and pancakes 2,00 g 2,50 g
Muffin and quick bread 3,20 g 4 g
Bread 4,30  g 5,40 g
Pizza 8,00 g 10,00 g

Pixie dust

A mixture of organic seeds, which acts as a thickener in bakery products without gluten, created by Dr. Jean Layton and she called “pixie dust”. This also creates a thickening gel that allows working and shaping the dough by hand.

These are the ingredients and doses that compose it:

  • 20 g of organic flaxseed
  • 10 g of organic chia seeds
  • 5 g of organic psyllium seed
Doses for 100 g of flour Doses pixie dust
Cookies and pie 1,50 g
Cakes and pancakes 2,50 g
Muffin and quick bread 4,00 g
Bread 6,00 g
Pizza 10,00 g

Guar gum

The guar gum is the product obtained by grinding the dried seeds of a herbaceous plant of the legume originating in India and Pakistan. Regulates the glycemic index by slowing down the absorption of carbohydrates.

He thickening power and high liquid absorbency, peculiarities very useful in the leavened dough gluten characterized by plenty of liquids.

Foods with a high content of acid (citrus, pineapple, strawberry, pomegranate, black currant, kiwi) may result in the loss of its thickening ability so if your dough contains food acids used one of the other thickeners.

Doses for 100 g of flour Doses guar gum
Cookies an pies 1,00 g
Cakes and pancakes 1,80 g
Muffin nad quick bread 2,50 g
Bread 3,50 g
Pizza 4,00 g

Tara gum

The tara gum is derived from the seeds of the tare (Caesalpina spinosa) an original shrub of the Peru valleys and spread in Latin America in Morocco and South Africa.

It is known as tare or tara flour or Peruvian carob.

Compared to other thickeners and stabilizers, it is distinguished by its ability to dissolve both in hot water and cold water, it gives the foods to which it is added the ability to conserve its texture without covering its flavor, aroma and not changing its color but exalting it.

Doses for 100 g of flour Doses guar gum
Cookies an pies 1,00 g
Cakes and pancakes 1,80 g
Muffin nad quick bread 2,50 g
Bread 3,50 g
Pizza 4,00 g

Agar agar

In baked goods without gluten replaces the function of the xanthan thickener. It is mixed with the flour that will be used for the dough in these doses:

Doses fo 100 g flour Doses agar agar
Cookies and pies 1,00 g
Cakes and pancakes 1,75 g
Muffin and quick bread 2,50 g
Bread 3,50 g
Pizza 4,00 g

Konjac root

The powder or konjac root flour can be used as a thickener and also a source of fiber for bakery products.

Doses for 100 g flour Doses konjac flour
Cookies and pies 0,50 g
Cake and pancake 1,00 g
Muffin and quick bread 1,60 g
Bread 2,00 g
Pizza 2,50 g


Eggs can be used as a thickener, albumin, a protein contained nell’albume, has properties uprights that are very useful in the absence of “gluten network”; as well as lecithin contained in egg yolk has emulsifying power, which is also very useful in a yeast dough.

I prefer not to use them for this purpose you would end up consuming a fixed daily amount, and I find that like any other ingredient you should not make a massive use.

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