Pamela’s Not Xanthan Not Guar binder review


Norcalbaker59

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I was excited to see a new gum free binder by Pamela’s Products called Not Xanthan Not Guar.

For many gluten-free baked goods, especially piecrust and bread, getting good results without Xanthan or Guar is near impossible. So I was excited to see a gum free binder on the market.

I made a test batch of my gluten-free piecrust to test Pamela’s No Xanthan No Guar gluten free binder. I used my recipe as written with the exception of replacing the Xanthan gum with the Pamela’s binder and I used the recommended amount indicated on the package.

Pamela’s binder is a total fail. The crust held together fine in the mixing, rolling, and filling. But it disintegrated in the baking. Plus it did not produce good even browning.

I contacted Pamela’s customer service and was instructed to increase the amount of binder. I opted not to do this since the binder is a blend of potato starch and psyllium husk. My recipe contains potato starch so increasing the amount will simply throw my gluten free flour ratios out of whack.

Until something better comes along I’ll continue to use xanthan gum.

The binder
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Blueberry hand pies disintegrated during the bake. Note the uneven browning.
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For comparison, this is my gluten free pie crust WITH xanthan gum unbaked
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My GF crust with xanthan after baking
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Becky

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Oh no, what a shame! Sorry to hear it didn't work out well. Your xanthan gum gluten free pastry looks great though! Is there a reason you're trying to avoid gum as an ingredient?
 

Norcalbaker59

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Oh no, what a shame! Sorry to hear it didn't work out well. Your xanthan gum gluten free pastry looks great though! Is there a reason you're trying to avoid gum as an ingredient?
I noticed too much xanthan gum can upset my stomach. I’m one of those ultra sensitive celiacs. So I’ve been trying to reduce the gums in my GF baking and I avoid most commercially produced GF baked goods since they contain a lot of gums.
 

Becky

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I noticed too much xanthan gum can upset my stomach. I’m one of those ultra sensitive celiacs. So I’ve been trying to reduce the gums in my GF baking and I avoid most commercially produced GF baked goods since they contain a lot of gums.
Ah I see, I didn't realise that. Sounds like a sensible move, so it's a shame the replacement didn't work out! Have you tried psyllium husk? I see it's an ingredient in the gum free thing, and I've seen it in shops here in the UK.
 

Norcalbaker59

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@Becky, yes I actually keep psyllium husks stocked in my pantry. I find its good in small quantities; too much can effect taste and texture. I find it works best when mixed with other binders like arrowroot and still a bit of anthem gun. It does help in reducing the amount of anthem needed.

The one non gum binder that I simply cannot handle is the chia seeds. It's so slimy and the taste and color very off putting,:confused:
 

Becky

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The one non gum binder that I simply cannot handle is the chia seeds. It's so slimy and the taste and color very off putting,
Haha I'm with you on that! I've got a friend who is really into China pudding, but it's just a bowl of slime to me! :oops:

Out of interest, does your GF pastry recipe include egg?
 
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Norcalbaker59

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@Becky, no I do not use egg in my GF pie crust.

I mix a 70/30 blend starch to whole grain gluten free flour blend

Use the rough puff pastry technique but with just a single trifold

I chill the mixed pie dough overnight before rolling

Cate’s Gluten Free Pie Crust

Flour Blend
72g white rice .30
36g brown rice .15
36g sorghum .15
36g potato starch .15
36g tapioca starch .15
24g arrowroot .10
24g sugar .10

Binders
10g Pomonas Pectin* .04
8g xanthan gum .03

Hydration: I dissolve salt in ice water

68g water .28
3g salt

Fat
168g unsalted butter .70

*Pomona’s pectin is derived from lemons, lime, and orange peel. I prefer Pomona’s pectin because it’s a pure form of pectin that does not have the activator premixed into the pectin. I don’t want the activator, just the pure pectin.

Where most pectin is premixed with an activation, usually dextrose, Pomona’s packages the calcium activator in a separate package. I just use the pure pectin and toss the calcium in the trash since in a baking application I don’t want a lot of jell power.

Pomona’s pectin is not widely available; I looked up distributors in the UK. It’s available through Branwen’s Kitchen.

http://branwenskitchen.co.uk
 
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Norcalbaker59

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I forgot to mention that the scale is 20g gluten free flour blend per 1” of pie plate.

Example
9” pie plate
2” sides for deep dish
Total pie plate 12”

20g gf flour x 12” pie plate = 240g gf flour for a single crust

For a double crust double the pie plate measurements.

When I say gf flour blend I’m referring just to the flours, not the binders, sugar, salt

White rice flour
Brown rice flour
Sorghum flour
Potato starch
Tapioca starch
Arrowroot

For my traditional wheat pie crust I use the same 20g flour per 1” of pie plate and use the rough puff pastry technique with just a single tri fold. I increase the water to about 30% and the fat to 75%.
 

Becky

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That's interesting about the pectin as an ingredient, I don't think I've come across it being used in that way before. Sounds like a lot of research has gone into this recipe! :)
 

Norcalbaker59

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@Becky, yes I baked pie crust everyday for several weeks. :confused: I even wrote in to a Dorie Greenspan live online Q&A to ask if she thought pure pectin would work as a binder.

My family says this crust tastes like a “real” crust; since everyone eats this crust without complaints I rarely bake wheat crust anymore.
 

Angelica

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Everything seems quiet on the gluten free front so I hope you don't mind a late reply. I've had a wonderful success with flax and chia (combo) as a gluten replacement. I add only a tiny bit of psyllium because that can cause problems too. I never use xanthan or any other gum either because they all irritate my gut. If I can't do it without xanthan, I don't eat it. But the results are really good. I can't post links yet. And I"m a bit afraid to. New to the forums and all. Thanks for posting your recipe, I love to read about how people choose their flour combinations and how it works out.
 
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Norcalbaker59

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Everything seems quiet on the gluten free front so I hope you don't mind a late reply. I've had a wonderful success with flax and chia (combo) as a gluten replacement. I add only a tiny bit of psyllium because that can cause problems too. I never use xanthan or any other gum either because they all irritate my gut. If I can't do it without xanthan, I don't eat it. But the results are really good. I can't post links yet. And I"m a bit afraid to. New to the forums and all. Thanks for posting your recipe, I love to read about how people choose their flour combinations and how it works out.
I’m at a crossroads in my baking now. I’m starting to rethink gluten free. I’m 11 years gluten-free and I’m at a point where I can bake stuff that looks and tastes “real”. But I’m really put off with all starchy flours.


I bake stuff like this and everyone will eat it because it “passes”. But There’s nothing nutritional about it because it’s just made up of rice flours, sorghum, tapioca starch, potato starch, arrowroot. It’s just starch. There’s something really wrong about this type of baking.
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Angelica

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I’m at a crossroads in my baking now. I’m starting to rethink gluten free. I’m 11 years gluten-free and I’m at a point where I can bake stuff that looks and tastes “real”. But I’m really put off with all starchy flours.


I bake stuff like this and everyone will eat it because it “passes”. But There’s nothing nutritional about it because it’s just made up of rice flours, sorghum, tapioca starch, potato starch, arrowroot. It’s just starch. There’s something really wrong about this type of baking.
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I'm not a big fan of the killer starches either. I've been much more Paleo oriented lately, even keto. But I have another 40 years on this Earth and I can't swear off all starches for that long. It would be inhuman to myself to expect that.

A book that may provide some new inspiration to you is from an Australian sourdough (GF) baker, and it's called "Promise and Fulfillment" https://www.miliaceum.com/proso/realbreadglutenfree/

Other books which cross the gluten/ gluten free divide but talk about bread specifically are discussing sprouted grains which are certainly improved as far as nutrition.

I hope the "fire" rekindles and you begin to enjoy it again.
 

Norcalbaker59

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I'm not a big fan of the killer starches either. I've been much more Paleo oriented lately, even keto. But I have another 40 years on this Earth and I can't swear off all starches for that long. It would be inhuman to myself to expect that.

A book that may provide some new inspiration to you is from an Australian sourdough (GF) baker, and it's called "Promise and Fulfillment" https://www.miliaceum.com/proso/realbreadglutenfree/

Other books which cross the gluten/ gluten free divide but talk about bread specifically are discussing sprouted grains which are certainly improved as far as nutrition.

I hope the "fire" rekindles and you begin to enjoy it again.
I bake frequently, I’m passionate about baking. And I always have been. Baking is a lifelong journey. I bake gluten for family and friends. People ask why I bake what I can’t eat. I can’t explain passion. Passion is something you’re just driven to do.

But for the gluten-free I have really stepped back to rethink what goes in the bowl. 11 years ago when I was diagnosed, I experimented with non gluten grain flours like teff, amaranth, millet, and buckwheat. But I am a super taster, so the flavors really overwhelmed me. As I’ve gotten older my sense of taste has changed. And I fine now I’m able to handle these flours.

And since my traditional baking is evolving toward ancient grains and now I’m looking at milling flour, so that’s where my gluten free is going back to.

But I not saying remove starch 100% from gluten free. But so much of gluten-free is all starch. Entire cookbooks are written with recipes using flour blends with 100% starch. There’s absolutely no balance in gluten-free baking.

Food first and foremost is to nourish the body. It should also be delicious.

we also have some categories of food that are not nutritional sound. Those are treats that we consume in moderation. Bread is not a treat. It’s something we consume to feed our body. So for me bread should be nutritionally sound, and it should be delicious. So it shouldn’t be packed full of starch flour.

If I make a pie, something that’s a treat that is going to be consumed in moderation, and very in frequently, then I’m okay with creating a pie crust with starches.

I have the same philosophy towards conventional baking as well. I know some bakers who absolutely refused to use bleached flour. And for the most part I do not use bleached conventional flour. But when it comes to chiffon cake, no other flour will do except cake flour.


There are some things where I do absolutely draw the line. Shortening is one. I will not use shortening in any of my frostings or baked goods.
 
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Angelica

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I agree, I don't think the all starch recipes are that good really. I won't use shortening or fake butter either. Thankfully I was raised to appreciate lard as an ingredient in baking. So it's not that strange to me to use it, or to render it and clean it at home. Tapioca flour isn't on my list of favorites mainly because afaik, there's no way for me to go from a cassava root to tapioca flour at home. I use it in mixes for convenience, for instance Chebe, but if I'm putting more effort into something, the most starchy gf flour will probably be brown rice flour.

I can buy cassava roots. I can buy tapioca pearls. I can buy tapioca flour. But I haven't ever found a way to go from cassava to tapioca flour. I'd be happy to find out how it's done. But I don't trust magic foods.
 

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