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Getting along without gluten


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POSTED: Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Tips from Francesca Bishop, Down to Earth chef

» Some gluten-free flours have an unusual taste (especially the bean flours), so it helps to bake them with dominant flavors such as chocolate or cinnamon, or vibrant ones like orange or lemon.

» When baking gluten-free, the trick is to bind the flours, which is the function of gluten. Bob's Red Mill xanthan gum is an excellent substitute. For every cup of flour, add the appropriate amount of xanthan gum:

» 1/4 teaspoon for cookies

» 1/2 teaspoon for cakes

» 3/4 teaspoon for muffins or quick breads

» 1 to 1-1/2 teaspoons for breads

» 2 teaspoons for pizza crusts

Make your own flour mixes

Making your own gluten-free flour mixes can be time-consuming, so here's a way to organize: Take out however many zip-top bags you need for the various mixes you're making, and label them appropriately (i.e., “;cake,”; “;cookie,”; “;pizza dough,”; etc.). Then, do an assembly line of measuring. Measure one type of flour into each bag before going on to the next. Seal the bags and freeze. When you want to bake, simply pull the appropriate bag from the freezer.

Quick-bread mix

1 cup Bob's Red Mill amaranth flour
1/2 cup Bob's Red Mill potato starch
1/4 cup Bob's Red Mill almond meal/flour
1/4 cup Bob's Red Mill coconut flour

For every cup of this flour mix, add 3/4 teaspoon of Bob's Red Mill xanthan gum.

Note: These flours tend to absorb more liquid than gluten-based flours. Add more liquid as needed.

Cookie flour mix

1/2 cup Bob's Red Mill almond meal/flour
1/2 cup Bob's Red Mill amaranth flour
1/2 cup Bob's Red Mill coconut flour
3/4 cup Bob's Red Mill potato starch

For every cup of this flour mix, add 1/2 teaspoon of Bob's Red Mill xanthan gum.

Note: Substitute gluten flours cup for cup with this mix.