Why is it So Hard to Replace Wheat?

Dr. Alessio Fasano answers the question, “Why is replacing wheat hard?” in his Scientific American article, “Surprises from Celiac Disease.”

Explains Fasano, gluten is what makes wheat-containing baked goods so airy and light. During the baking process, the strands of gluten “trap” carbon dioxide gas and water from the ingredients, and then they expand.

In making gluten-free goods, GF bakers usually use a combination of several different flours and starches, as well as other ingredients because just one substance can’t do on its own what the gluten in wheat does.

This explains why GF products can be so much more expansive than wheat-based items and why it’s so hard to get that true-to-taste quality in them.

Stay tuned for more interesting tidbits and be sure and visit the all wheat and gluten-free recipes on this site!


Miranda Jade Turbin


From our home to yours, Tina Turbin
If you have any questions or suggestions just email me at info (at) GlutenFreeHelp.info.

About Us

I'm a cookbook-collecting, recipe-developing paleo junkie, and I live in the kitchen. I'm hooked on farmers' markets, traveling, eating healthy, and hiking until my legs scream at me. There's nothing better than hanging out with family and good friends. I have fun and sleeping is just plain boring. Read more About Tina Turbin.

6 thoughts on “Why is it So Hard to Replace Wheat?

  1. Yeah gluten free baking is a whole subject in itself, very different from other baking I’ve noticed, especially because in my experience at least people who are gluten free also have other food allergies or sensitivities. I for example can’t have gluten, egg, dairy, soy, and corn! To tell you the truth though I kind of enjoy the challenge of finding substitutes I can eat!

  2. Yeah it’s really tough to replace gluten all right! As long as you use a gum like guar gum or xanthan gum and some protein, it shouldn’t be too bad. It takes a lot of experimentation to get things right I find. But professional gluten free goodies taste great! It’s my goal to get my gluten-free stuff to taste that good!

  3. If you guys haven’t tried Tina’s gluten-free flour mixes you really should. https://glutenfreehelp.info/recipes/best-home-made-gluten-free-flour-mixes/gluten-free-flour-mixes-to-have-on-hand/ I used to feel hopeless about replacing wheat flour because the gluten free mixes were really expensive and some just weren’t very good, but by making these flour blends above at home I save lots of money and I think I do a fairly good job of replacing wheat.

  4. @Nancy thanks so much for the link! I know you can make your own mixes and it’s a cheaper alternative but I wasn’t sure what flour blend recipes to go with.

  5. It’s pretty interesting taking a look at the science behind baking. Before I was gluten free I never paid attention to that stuff, but now that I have totally stopped eating gluten, I’ve found that it’s really important to have an understanding of the science. That way you can replace wheat and gluten much more easily because you know exactly what it is about these ingredients you need to recreate using a substitute. I encourage people to study up on this subject if they want to get really good at gluten free baking.

  6. @Marina I totally agree with you! Now that I understand the science I know things like how I need to also substitute wheat not only with a gum but also with a protein like egg or milk…

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