Living gluten-free doesn’t mean the end of great-tasting, satisfying foods. All it takes is patience, a good, tried-and-true recipe and quality gluten-free ingredients. Say ‘good bye’ to gluten – not cakes, pies, biscuits and cookies!
There are a lot of gluten-free flour blends on the market, and new ones hitting the shelves regularly. I like King Arthur Gluten Free All Purpose flour for breads, pie crusts, biscuits, pancakes, waffles, cookies, muffins – everything. It works cup-for-cup in recipes, but I recommend using the “dip-level-pour method” of measuring*. It’s a heavy flour, and compacts easily, but the results are consistent. Some gluten-free flour blends rely heavily on rice flour, and baked goods have a grainy, kinda gritty, texture. Flour blends made from a variety of beans leave an earthy, muddy aftertaste – not a good thing for desserts!
Don’t forget to add xanthum gum** when using gluten-free flour blends. I steer clear of the flour blends that already contain xanthum gum, because I prefer to add my own. I use Bob’s Red Mill Xanthum Gum, and recommend following the directions on the package.
I keep a box of King Arthur Gluten Free Baking Mix in my pantry for quick pancakes, waffles and biscuits. On King Arthur’s website, they have over 200 recipes using their Gluten Free Baking Mix.
In my experience, if a gluten-free baking product (flour, baking mix, etc.) has recipes included – follow them to the letter. Their test kitchens have worked out all the details, so why reinvent the wheel?
*The dip-level-pour method of measuring flour is to minimize the flour’s compacting and thus giving a more accurate, consistent measurement. How it works? It’s easy. Set your measuring cup on the counter, and “dip” your spoon into the flour, then into the cup. Repeat until it’s just over full. Use the back of a knife to “level” off the flour. “Pour” the flour into the mixing bowl.
**Xanthum Gum is a common food additive used as a thickener, stabilizer and emulsifier. It’s derived from fermented sugars and bacteria (yummy, no???), and is one of the top 30 ingredients in processed foods. Some praise it for its binding abilities in their baking; some loathe it for its binding abilities in their bowels. Love it or loathe it, xanthum gum is hard to avoid when living gluten-free.