Although Celiac disease does not result in fatalities…not like a peanut allergy…it has a devastating effect on an individual’s health. It is for this reason that many, many chefs, books, blogs, recipes, etc…are devoted to gluten free diets. After all, who wants to live with a permanent belly ache?
When the body doesn’t tolerate gluten, but it is still continually consumed, the gluten destroys the lining of the intestines so that the body can’t attain the nutrients and vitamins that are essential to good health.
These are two of the online places to visit for ALL things about gluten-free… all things except for baking, that is.
Which is why I’m here!! I will tell you all there is to know about baking without gluten!! …well, not everything; however, I will share with you some GF recipes that are a big hit with my customers…
First of all, we need to start with a flour blend so…here it is:
ALL-PURPOSE GLUTE-FREE FLOUR BLEND
millet flour 400g
sweet rice flour 300g
potato starch 300g
Combine the three flours in a cambro, shake it up (make sure you put the lid on!) and…ta da!!!! You have your gluten-free flour-blend. This all-purpose blend can be substituted into any recipe that calls for an all-purpose blend.
[the cost for this flour blend would be $177.40 for a 20-kg bag!)
Grain-free flour blend
almond flour 350 g
buckwheat flour 250 g
arrowroot flour 150 g
potato starch 150 g
flaxseed meal 100 g
Combine the five flours in an air-tight container. Store in the refrigerator
(the almond flour may go rancid; cooler storage is a bright idea)
NOTE: I use Bob’s Red Mill gluten free flours for convenience but buying in bulk is less expensive.
And NOW….the fun begins!
Walnut Banana Bread
Dry blend the following ingredients:
Grain-free flour-blend 210
Baking soda 6
In separate bowl combine and whisk vigorously:
Pure maple syrup 150
coconut oil 80
- Combine the two mixtures (do not over-mix)
- Deposit into a 1 pound loaf pan or 3 mini loaf pans.
- Bake at 375F (190C);
- Bake until loaf is springy to the touch, the edges pull from the pan, and the top is browned; 45 to 60 minutes.
(Shauna Ahern “Walnut Banana Bread” www.glutenfreegirl.com )
- 298g sugar; Baker’s Special Sugar or superfine sugar, if you have it
- 113g butter
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon gluten-free vanilla extract
- 64g Dutch-process cocoa or baking cocoa; we prefer the flavor of Dutch-process (“European-style”)
- 3 large eggs
- 113g King Arthur Gluten-Free Multi-Purpose Flour or 3 3/8 ounces brown rice flour blend*
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 170g chocolate chips, optional
- 113g chopped nuts, optional
- *See recipe for this blend below.
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease an 8″ square pan or 9″ round pan; either should be at least 2″ deep.
- Place the sugar, butter, and salt in a microwave-safe bowl or saucepan. Heat over medium heat, stirring with a heatproof spatula until the butter melts and the mixture lightens in color. This step helps melt the sugar, which will give the brownies a shiny crust.
- If you’ve heated the sugar and butter in a saucepan, transfer the mixture to a bowl; otherwise, just leave the hot ingredients right in their microwave-safe bowl. Blend in the vanilla and cocoa, then add the eggs and mix until shiny.
- Blend in the flour or flour blend and the baking powder. Stir in the chips and/or nuts, if you’re using them.
- Pour the batter into the prepared pan, spreading it to the edges.
- Bake the brownies for 33 to 38 minutes, until the top is set; and a cake tester or toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean or nearly so, with perhaps a few wet crumbs, or a tiny touch of chocolate at the tip of the tester.
- Remove from the oven and cool for about 15 minutes before cutting. Once the brownies are cool, cover tightly with plastic.
- Yield: 16 brownies.
- *Make your own blend
Many of our gluten-free recipes use our King Arthur Gluten-Free Multi-Purpose Flour, which includes ingredients that reduce the grittiness sometimes found in gluten-free baked goods. Our flour also increases the shelf life of your treats, keeping them fresh longer.The following make-at-home blend, featuring stabilized brown rice flour, works pretty well when substituted; and it tastes better than a blend using regular brown rice flour.Whisk together 6 cups (28 1/2 ounces) King Arthur stabilized brown rice flour; 2 cups (10 3/4 ounces) potato starch; and 1 cup (4 ounces) tapioca flour or tapioca starch. Store airtight at room temperature. Note: You can substitute white rice flour for the brown rice flour if you like; it’ll make your baked goods grittier (unless you manage to find a finely ground version).
(“the bakers” Almond Flour Brownies www.kingarthurflour.com )
Now for the beloved loaf of…<drum roll>…BREAD! REALLY?! without gluten? I’ve just spent a whole year studying about GLUTEN!
It is possible though. A “dough” made with gluten free flours is more like a batter so it is treated like a quick bread. It does need to be proofed though because there is yeast in the batter.
Richard Coppedge, a renowned professional Pastry Chef, the author of “Gluten-free Baking” and instructor at the Culinary Institute of America. He has devoted his web page to Gluten Free….
Although I haven’t tried those particular recipes yet, I have tried other recipes of his…with success! So, I challenge you to make GLUTEN FREE BREAD (that’s bread without gluten, you know?) …and tell me about it, ok?