Cooking for a Gluten-Free Diet
Experimentation is a must for gluten-intolerant people. The flavor and texture of baked goods is vastly different from wheat-based products.
Combining flours may be more acceptable than using one single flour. Rice, potato flour, potato starch, soybean, corn, arrowroot and tapioca are all allowable. A popular combination is two parts white rice flour, two thirds part potato starch flour and one-third part tapioca flour. (Don't try to make your own tapioca flour from tapioca.)
* Rice flour is probably the most commonly used flour. White rice flour is bland and is an excellent thickener. Brown rice flour and rice bran are good for quick breads.
* Soy flour has a strong flavor, but is nutritious and excellent if blended with other flours. In small amounts, such as in thickening, it can be used straight across for wheat flour.
* Corn meal, corn flour and cornstarch are all excellent substitutes for wheat flour in quick breads and for thickening.
* Tapioca flour is good for thickening: Substitute 2 teaspoons of quick-cooking tapioca for 1 tablespoon of wheat flour.
* Potato flour has a strong potato taste, but is good blended with other flours.
* Potato starch flour has a bland taste and is good for thickening and baking.
* Arrowroot can be used for puddings, but it does have a chalky flavor. When used for thickening, only use half as much as wheat flour.
* Xanthan gums can be purchased in specialty stores and used in baking as binders.
* When baking, increase the amount of leavening; bake longer at a lower temperature and in smaller batches.
Posted on: November 24th, 2004