A natural carbohydrate, xanthan gum comes from the Xanthomonas campestris microorganism. The gum acts as a natural thickener. Use xanthan gum in place of gelatin for desserts, like pudding, panna cotta or marshmallows. Or, use a small amount of the gum when baking gluten-free to achieve a soft, chewy texture. Due to its thickening tendencies, xanthan gum is tricky to dissolve in liquid. As directed by your recipe, either incorporate the gum directly into the liquid or work it into the liquid with your other dry ingredients.
Things You'll Need
Measure out the amount of xanthan gum needed for the recipe. Most recipes call for no more than 1 tsp. to 2 tsp. If you don’t know how much you need per recipe, manufacturer Bob’s Red Mill suggests using, per 1 cup of flour, 1/4 tsp. for cookies, 1/2 tsp. for cakes and 3/4 tsp. for muffins.
Add xanthan gum directly to the liquid or oil component of your recipe so it can dissolve.
Pulse the xanthan gum with the oil or liquid in a blender or food processor to fully dissolve the gum. It does not dissolve well on its own.
Combine the xanthan gum with the flour, sugar and other dry ingredients in your recipe. Stir together with a whisk to distribute the gum thoroughly. As directed by your recipe, add the dry ingredients to the liquid and stir thoroughly with a whisk to dissolve the gum.
References and Resources"The Economist: More Intelligent Life"; Molecular Gastronomy at Home; Molly Young
Nuts Online: Xanthan Gum
Bob's Red Mill: Xanthan Gum
Bob's Red Mill: Xantham Gum Use