Friday, October 15, 2010

Gluten free Cooking and Baking

I had the most wonderful time this past week, going to Chicago for a Pet Industry show. We stayed with my friends Sister and Brother-In-Law. She is an amazing chef, and a foodie like me. She cooked all pescatarian meals for me, even though they eat game, she kept it to fish and veggies. It was all wonderful. WONDERFUL! The amazing thing to me, is that it was all gluten free. Gluten is the protein part of wheat, rye, barley, and other related grains. Some people cannot tolerate gluten when it comes in contact with the small intestine.You can still eat rice, oats, and many other bread like products. Since the trip, I have been doing nothing but read up on it. Besides just being a healthier way to live, my daughter has all of the symptoms of being gluten intollerant. I mean EVERY symptom. Everyone who knows me, knows that I like my bread and pasta. So the hesitation of cutting out flour was quite big. However, I was so happy when our local sprouts had a gluten free jamboree... 25% off all gluten free products, which I was also surprised to see was half the store! There are so many products out there. And I can still cook my regular recipes, just by tweaking the flour. Combining equal parts of chickpea flour, potato starch, tapioca starch, and brown rice flour, produces a flour that you can cook with and the end result... you can hardly tell it is gluten free. So please all you normal gluten people, you can use normal flour when I call for "Gluten Free Flour Mix", Or I challenge you to try to see if you like it. My noodles will be a little bit different, but close enough. Just go to any local restaurant (besides dennys) and ask for their gluten free menu. You will be shocked. I was. Even Sammy's Woodfired Pizza has it. Almost all Thai food and sushi is gluten free... So I am off to do this journey with my daughter. She needs support. You will probably see some changes to my blog. As I learn and develop new gluten free recipes. You don't have to be gluten intollerant to like the food, I promise.

 
There are four flour blends I will be using in future recipes:
 
High-Protein Flour Blend

This blend works best in baked goods that require elasticity, such as wraps and pie crusts.
1 1/4 cups bean flour (your choice: soy, chickpea, etc...)
1 cup potato starch
1 cup tapioca starch/flour
1 cup white or brown rice flour


All-Purpose Flour Blend

Use this blend for all your gluten-free baking.
1/2 cup rice flour
1/4 cup tapioca starch/flour
1/4 cup potato starch



Self-Rising Flour Blend


Use this blend for muffins, scones, cakes, cupcakes or any recipe that uses baking, powder for leavening.
1 1/4 cups white sorghum flour
1 1/4 cups white rice flour
1/2 cup tapioca starch/flour
2 teaspoons xanthan or guar gum
4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt


High-Fiber Flour Blend


This high-fiber blend works for breads, pancakes, snack bars and cookies that, contain chocolate, warm spices, raisins or other fruits. It is not suited to delicately flavored recipes, such as sugar cookies, crepes, cream puffs, birthday cakes or cupcakes.

1 cup brown rice flour
1/2 cup teff flour (preferably light)
1/2 cup millet flour or Montina® flour
2/3 cup tapioca starch/flour
1/3 cup cornstarch or potato starch

As adapted from "living without"
Using Xanthan or Guar Gum

Gum (xanthan or guar) is the key to successful gluten-free baking. It provides the binding needed to give the baked product proper elasticity, keeping it from crumbling.

•Add 1/2 teaspoon xanthan or guar gum per cup of flour blend to make cakes, cookies, bars, muffins and other quick breads.
•Add 1 teaspoon per cup of flour blend to make yeast bread, pizza dough or other baked items that call for yeast.