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Psyllium Husk in Gluten Free Baking

by Karen on October 25th, 2012

Pizza Crust made with Psyllium Husk

Update: 12-3-12  After using psyllium husk for a month or so I have decided against using it altogether, it doesn’t agree with me. 
But for some people it might be helpful, read on………..
I have been curious about the notion that psyllium husk is beneficial in gluten free baking and if it can replace guar gum or xanthan gum as a binding agent.  It sounded like a miracle cure for those bothered by the gums so I initially made my pizza crust without any gum and added a few tablespoons of whole psyllium husk. 
The dough was not behaving right without the gum.
I freaked out when I saw the pizza dough in the mixer because it looked more like pancake batter and I knew I would never be able to use thin batter for pizza crust so I added in my usual amount of guar gum afterall.
It was amazing to see the batter magically turn to pizza dough almost immediately!

Psyllium Husk adds rise to some gluten free baked goods

The benefit I could see right away (and you can too in the picture above) is the additional lift the psyllium husk gives the crust. 
Later on I made some Hazelnut Zucchini Bread and some cookies—- also adding in the psyllium husk (but retaining the guar gum). 
While the pizza crust rose higher by adding in the psyllium husk it had no effect on the sweet bread or the cookies. 
Side Note:    I ate a lot of the cookies and ended up with terrible GAS!  I googled psyllium husk and it is known to cause gas in many people so you have to gauge its’ use for your own lifestyle!
  1. I have started seeing psyllium in baked GF foods, but like you, it gives me bad side effects. Not sure high rise is worth the trade off based on past experience!

  2. Have you considered the flax seed/chia seed instead if what you’re looking for is a non gum based binder? It’s just the amount of gum you’re looking to substitute but in an equal parts chia seed and ground flax seed ground up with twice as much boiling/really hot water and mixed till it forms a slurry. It gives a lot better texture. I’ve had a lot of success with it, especially for breads and pizza.

    I was looking for more info on the psyllium husk and stumbled upon here but I will now go have a look around.

  3. Karen permalink

    I have used the flax seed slurry as an egg replacement.
    We have great success with guar gum as a binding agent, especially with the volume of baked goods we are producing.
    Thank you.

  4. Milton permalink

    I am a new GF bread baker. What form of psyllium works best in breads, and where is it available?

  5. Karen permalink

    I have used whole psyllium husks and found it at Super Supplements. Most health food stores or natural food markets should also carry it.

  6. Earl permalink

    Any report on psyllium husks says START SLOWLY. That is true for any fiber rich product. Otherwise the body is likely to react unfavorably to a huge change in fiber.

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