Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Gluten Free Flours

I have in my pantry several gluten free flours. Unlike wheat flour, which is generally used as a single ingredient, gluten free flours are combined; you make specific mixes of flours to meet specific baking needs.

Cookbook author Bette Hagman includes several flour mixes in her book, "The Gluten0Free Gourmet Bakes Bread". For example, her Gluten-Free Flour Mix is a combination of rice flour, potato starch and tapioca flour. The mix is just right for her scones recipe.

So, for the gluten free foods, I store brown rice flour and white rice flour, potato starch and potato flour, tapioca flour, soy flour, corn flour, buckwheat flour (which does not contain wheat or gluten), and garbanzo bean flour.

I also have cornstarch. Quite a bit of it. Cornstarch, commonly used as a thickener, gives gluten free flours a bit more texture, a bit more adhesion.

Brown rice flour is slightly courser than white rice flour, and does well in bread mixes. Potato flour is very fine and adds a savor, potato taste to breads. It also blends well with tapioca flour, which brings a bit of chewy texture to cakes and cookies.

Soy flour is high in protein and corn flour adds texture to muffins and breakfast rolls. Both buckwheat flour and garbanzo bean flour are high in protein and work well in breads.

This quick overview of gluten free flours will take us to our next blog, where we'll look at Bette Hagman's scones recipe and her Gluten Free Flour Mix. After that, we'll experiment with a recipe using a premix for cornbread and buckwheat flour to make a breakfast bread.

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