The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Cooking Gluten Free, Wheat Free and Yeast Free Crumpets!!

mberesford's picture

Cooking Gluten Free, Wheat Free and Yeast Free Crumpets!!


I have quite a few allergies and am unable to eat Wheat, Gluten and Bakers Yeast.  A lot of the time you can purchase Wheat and Gluten free breads/products, but they still use Yeast, therefore, I was hoping to try and make my own!!

I've been trying to make crumpets.  I have been substituting the yeast component with Bicarb Soda & Lemon Juice, but I still get a very doughy middle.  I understand there will never be the perfect substitute for any of the above products.  But I was wondering if anyone knows any secrets to still get a little bit of rise.

Does anyone have experience baking with Gluten Free flours and not using yeast.  What is the magic formula??

Any help would be appreciated



suave's picture

Why lemon juice?  Why not cream of tartar which is the traditional counterpart to baking soda?  Why not baking powder?

mberesford's picture

Well this is what the method for replacing bakers yeast was when I googled it, it was equal parts Bi Carb Soda and either Lemon Juice or Vinegar (as it requires an acidic component).

The recipes I've tried also use Baking Soda, so I do use this, but then I need to work out what to use instead of Bakers Yeast.

(I hope that makes sense)  I'm not an experienced baker at all, so I was just converting ingredients one for one.  Which clearly doesn't work.

If a recipe has for example one teaspoon of dried yeast, Can I use 1 tsp Cream of Tartar instead??  As most recipes use a combination of Baking Soda and Yeast, I didn't want to double up on the same ingredient, as it tends to alter the taste.

FlourChild's picture

Replacing yeast with either baking soda + acid or baking powder should be no problem, and it won't really matter too much whether you use one or the other.  It also won't matter too much which acid you pair with the baking soda, whether it's cream of tartar, lemon juice, vinegar or even something like buttermilk or yogurt.  As long as you remember that baking soda needs to be paired with an acid, while baking powder already has the acid in it.  And remember that baking soda has around four times the leavening power of baking powder (1/4 tsp baking soda equals about 1 tsp baking powder).

The only other consideration is that some baking powders have a delayed reaction, meaning that they won't give off all of their bubbles until they are heated.  If you need to let the crumpet dough sit for a while before cooking it then you might want to seek out a double-acting type of baking powder.  Also, be careful with stirring or scooping the dough after it has been mixed, you don't want to quash the air bubbles created by the leavening.

On the other hand, devloping a gluten-free recipe can be quite challenging, and I think it's more likely that your gumminess and lack of rise is due to a lack of structure/gluten.  You'll need something to bind the ingredients together and provide the structure that gluten normally provides.  Normally, this is either xanthan gum, or ground chia seeds, or ground flax seeds. 

Finally, you'll want a gluten-free flour that actually tastes OK.  This is harder than you might think.  I've found that rice flour, which is often a part of GF mixes, is really problematic- no matter what you do to the recipe, it just doesn't taste right with rice flour in it.  The best flour I've found so far is to take certified gluten-free rolled oats and grind them up in the food processor into a fine flour.  They taste pretty good and have more binding ability than other flours, meaning that you can use less of the gluten substitute (xanthan gum, etc.). 

Good luck!

clazar123's picture

I started working with GF baking when a work friend was diagnosed celiac and there is a LOT of info out there. Start with the search box or just look through this forum or even take a look at anything I posted as a start. Mankind has been making deliciousness with all kinds of grains before wheat came on the scene-we've just lost some of the knowledge.

I will get back to you-I was just out the door and don't have time for a proper response. Off the top of my head:

Gluten Free doctor......gluten free girl    gluten free on a shoestring.... these are the names of some website-google them and I will be back later.

Have fun! Same traditions...Different ingredients...All delicious!

clazar123's picture

Here are some of the best websites that explains how to work with GF flours and how to make blends yourself so you have something on hand. Different flours and starches make things dry, moist, thick, delicate, chewy, nutty-tasting,  bitter, sweet, etc, etc. Different blends have different characteristics-just like the different wheat flours do. It helps to have a mix of higher protein flours (to provide a little chewiness) and starches to provide the gel that traps gases). You also need a binder like xanthan gum or psyllium husks. This helps to "glue" the gel particles and protein particles together to help trap gases until it is baked so the product is airy and soft.

In general, already-made flours can work well but pay attention to the ingredients. Bean flours can, in general, taste beany and give a little bit of a rubbery texture on the day after something is baked. Adding enrichment in the form of eggs,milk,fats can dramatically improve flavor and texture and keeping quality. The flours and technique of gluten free baking does not lend itself well to flavors unless you work on developing it as the flours and starches are rather bland. The addition of milk, buttermilk,sweeteners (sugar or honey) and butter help a lot.

There are many people on this forum that work with a natural yeast that they grow in fruit water. So if commercial yeast is a no-no due to the cereal it is grown on, then this may be an alternative. A bit of a learning curve-the same as getting used to working with sourdough (made with flour). "Sourdough" yeast can also be grown on the alternative flours such as rice, sorghum and quinoa. Simple explanation- just stir some flour with water and let it ferment. More to it than that but read up on it. Yeasted breads can be nicely made from naturally occurring yeasts in the environment. We are covered in them as part of our natural and healthy microbial environment.

But you need to eat NOW so my recommendation is to start with chemically leavened breads and work on the other type. Irish Soda bread comes in countless variations and lends itself well to non-wheat flours. It can be sweet,salty,cheesy, garlicky, full of herbs, stuffed with ham,etc,etc. Another alternative are Indian flat breads such as roti,idly, naan (made with baking powder rather than yeast). All can be made with alternative-to-wheat flours.

So here are some websites and use the search box on this site. Wheat bakers,rye bakers and GF bakers have a LOT to offer in the skillset. There are similar problems and solutions encountered.