Gluten-free Cooking And Baking
If you are looking to find substitutes to eliminate gluten and wheat products from your diet, here are some recommendations for you:
Substitutes For Gluten
Gluten is present in wheat and wheat products. It prevents biscuits, pies and cakes from falling apart. It also provides a good texture as it entraps pockets of air. For making gluten free cakes as well as biscuits, you need to add gluten substitutes to the gluten-free flour. One teaspoon of the substitute will have to be added to each 125 grams of the flour.
Three gluten substitutes are:
Xanthum Gum: It works well in yeast breads and is available at health shops.
Guar Gum: It is also a great gluten substitute. It can also be purchased in health shops.
Pre-gel Starch: This helps to prevent baked goods from becoming very crumbly. This is also sold in health food stores.
Gluten-free Baking Powder
You can make gluten-free baking powder by mixing bicarbonate of soda and cream of tartar in the ratio 1:2 (1 teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda is mixed with 2 teaspoons of cream of tartar).
Gluten Free Flours
These flours are available in large supermarkets, health shops and online.
White Rice Flour: It is made using polished white rice. It has a bland flavor and is, therefore, perfect for baking. It does not impart any flavors. It works well when you mix it with other flours.
Brown Rice Flour: Unpolished brown rice is used to make this flour. As it contains bran, its food value is higher. You can use it for making breads, biscuits and muffins.
Soy Flour: The protein and fat content in this nutty tasting flour are high. This flour is best used along with other flours. You can use it for baking brownies and making other baked items with fruit and nuts.
Tapioca Flour: This light, white and very smooth flour is made using the cassava root. Tapioca flour imparts a chewy taste to baked items. You can use this flour to make French bread or white bread. You can easily mix it with soy flour and cornflour.
Gluten Free Starches
Cornflour: This is often used to make sauces thick. However, it can be mixed with other flours and used for baking. Most supermarkets sell this flour.
Potato Starch Flour: This gluten-free thickening agent is ideal for cream-based sauces and soups. Mix a little bit of the flour with water and then substitute it for other flours. However, you need only half the amount. It is available in health food stores.
Gluten Free Flour Mix
Most big supermarkets sell one or two brands of gluten-free flour mixes. These are self raising flour and plain flour. Generally, they contain a mixture of flours such as soy and rice and starches such as potato or tapioca starch.
Homemade Gluten-free Flour Mix
Here are a couple of gluten-free flour mixes that you can make at home:
Soy flour: 4 tablespoons
Tapioca flour: 4 tablespoons
Brown rice flour: 8 tablespoons
White rice flour: 960 grams
Potato starch: 280 grams
Tapioca flour: 140 grams
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