Flours

Gluten is a protein found in wheat flour, it is what gives structure to baked goods.  It traps air during baking giving breads, muffins and cakes their soft and spongy texture.  To replace gluten you’ll need to use other thickeners like xanthan gum or guar gum in your baking.

Depending on what you’re making, for each cup of gluten-free flour mix use the following list to determin the amount of gluten substitute you will need:

    • Cookies:  1/4 tsp
    • Cakes:  1/2 tsp
    • Muffins & Quick Breads:  3/4 tsp
    • Breads:  1 to 1.5 tsp
    • Pizza Crust:  2 tsp

 

Types of Gluten Substitutes

Xanthan Gum
This comes from the dried cell coat of a microorganism called Zanthomonas Campestris, formulated in a laboratory setting.  It may also be derived from corn sugar or wheat.  Be sure you’re buying xanthan gum NOT derived of wheat.  This works well as a gluten substitution in yeast breads along with other baked goods.  You can purchase it in health food stores and some supermarkets.
Guar Gum
This powder comes from the seed of the plan Cyamopsis Tetragonolobus.  It is an excellent gluten substitute and it is available in health food stores and some supermarkets.
Pre-Gel Starch
This gluten substitute helps keep baked good from being too crumbly.  This too can be purchased in health food stores and some supermarkets.

 

Types of Gluten-Free Flours

Potato Starch
This is a gluten-free thickening agent that is perfect for cream-based soups and sauces.  Mix it with a little water first, then substitute potato starch flour for flour in your recipe, but use half the amount called for.
Tapioca Flour
This is a light white, very smooth flour that comes from the cassava root.  It gives baked goods a nice chewy texture.  Try it in white bread or French bread recipes.  It is also easily combined with cornstarch and soy flour.
Soy Flour
This nutty-tasting flour has a high protien and fat content.  It’s best when used in combination with other flours for baking brownies, tarts or anything with nuts or fruit, which will mask the “beany” flavour.
Cornstarch
A refined starch that comes from corn, it’s mostly used as a thickening agent for puddings and sauces.  It is also used in combination with other flours for baking.
Corn Flour
This flour is milled from corn and can be blended with cornmeal to make cornbread or muffins.  It is excellent for waffles or pancakes.
Cornmeal
Cornmeal can be ground from either yellow or white corn.  This is often combined with flours for baking.  It imparts a strong corn flavour that is delicious in pancakes, waffles, muffins and breads.
White Rice Flour
This is an excellent basic flour for gluten-free baking.  It is milled from polished white rice.  Because it has such a bland flavour it is perfect for baking as it doesn’t impart any flavours.  It works well with other flours.  Look for types called fine-textured white rice flour.
Brown Rice Flour
Made from unpolished brown rice.  It retains the nutritional value of the brown rice bran.  Use it in breads, muffins and cookies.
Chickpea Flour (aka,Gram Flour)
This aromatic flour is made from finely ground chickpeas.  It is used frequently in Indian cooking.  It can be used in sauces, pancakes and breads.
Kamut and Spelt Flours
These are ancient forms of wheat, and therefore NOT gluten-free.  They can however sometimes be tolerated by people with gluten sensitivities.

 

Home-Made Flour Mixes

These gluten-free flour mixtures can be substituted for wheat flour, cup-for-cup:
  • Gluten-Free Flour Mix 1
    • 1/4 cup Soy Flour
    • 1/4 cup Tapioca Flour
    • 1/2 cup Brown Rice Flour
  • Gluten-Free Flour Mix 2
    • 6 cups White Rice Flour
    • 2 cups Potato Starch
    • 1 cup Tapioca Flour
  • Gluten-Free Flour Mix 3
    • 1/2 soya flour
    • 1/2 maize cornflour (cornstarch)
  • Gluten-Free Flour Mix 4
    • 1/2 soya flour
    • 1/2 potato flour
  • Gluten-Free Flour Mix 5
    • 1/2 soya flour
    • 1/2 rice flour
  • Gluten-Free Flour Mix 6
    • 1/2 soya flour
    • 1/4 potato flour
    • 1/4 rice flour
All of these mixes can be doubled or tripled and saved in an air tight container for later use.  Of course, for those of us who don’t have the time or don’t feel as inclined to mix flours, there’s nothing wrong at all with purchasing baking mixes.

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