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What the heck is Xanthan Gum?

(8 Posts)
Biscuitsandtea Thu 18-Jul-13 21:24:48

I'm looking at a recipe which has Xanthan Gum as one of the ingredients. I've never heard of it!

However, the recipe is a gluten free one - is this stuff something used in GF cooking? I don't need to make it gluten free so was thinking I could replace the GF ingredients with 'regular' versions (flour, chocolate), so is there any need for it? Should I replace it with anything?

Thanks smile

EeyoreIsh Thu 18-Jul-13 21:36:48

I think it helps to stick everything together in lieu of the gluten in normal flour. You can buy it in baking aisle of large supermarkets.

EeyoreIsh Thu 18-Jul-13 21:37:32

and of course, if not GF then no need!

MoreBeta Thu 18-Jul-13 21:44:52

Xanthan Gum is not terribly good for you over the long term and tastes a little bit bitter. I am severely gluten intolerant and find I can miss it out of most recipes except for gluten free bread. I replace it with dried egg white if I need a bit of extra structure.

In fact Victoria sponge recipes come out incredibly light baked with gluten free flour just using a normal Victoria sponge recipe as do scones and most other recipes and with no Xanthan Gum required.

I also have perfected a really nice tart and quiche pastry all without Xanthan Gum. It is sometimes really required but most gluten free recipe books just say put it in everything and it isn't always needed.

Gluten free flour is just like a super light sponge flour.

ouryve Thu 18-Jul-13 21:46:38

IIRC, Xanthan Gum is extracted from fermented cabbage.

Appetising, yeah?

SanityClause Thu 18-Jul-13 21:52:02

Wine is made from fermented grapes.

Yoghurt is made from fermented milk.

Worcestershire sauce if made from fermented fish.

Get a grip.

Biscuitsandtea Fri 19-Jul-13 06:51:48

Brilliant - thank you all.

So if I'm just using 'normal' (ie not GF ingredients) then I can just not bother it then.

Your baking sounds delish though eeyore smile

Jergens Thu 08-Aug-13 05:48:04

MoreBeta, can I ask why it's not good for you?

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