Gluten-free cooking has become important for people with digestive issues and for those looking to lose weight or to adopt healthier eating habits. Buying gluten-free alternatives can get expensive and even difficult to find in areas where the food selection doesn't offer many options. You can create your own gluten-free baked goods from rice or potato flour and a few extra tips needed to adapt traditional baking methods to gluten-free cooking.
Things You'll Need
- Rice flour
- Potato flour
- Xanthum (a.k.a. xanthan) gum
- Guar gum
Select your flour of choice. Rice flour comes in white, brown and sweet. Potato flour has only one variety. Both have a neutral flavor that adapts well to any recipe. You can also blend these flours to have the fine powder of the potato flour and coarse, sandy texture of the rice flour. Sweet rice flour is often used in baking desserts.
Sift your chosen flour. The flour is so fine that it will tend to clump in the package. Sifting creates a better texture while preparing your dish and for the final product.
Pick a gluten replacement. These are the ingredients used to mimic the properties of gluten in the recipe. They include xanthum gum, guar gum and eggs. Use xanthum or guar gum when baking quick breads (such as pancakes, biscuits, cakes and cookies) and slow-rising bread made from yeast. Use eggs to mimic gluten in making homemade pastas, pie crusts and some flaky pastries. Choose your gluten replacement according to the baked goods you plan to make.
Review your recipe and add in the substitutions for the rice or potato flours. In quick breads, you need 1/2 teaspoon of the gums (xanthum or guar) for every cup of flour required in the recipe. For yeast breads, you need 3/4 teaspoon of the gum per cup of rice or potato flour used. Add one egg to the pie crust recipe for every crust you plan to make. Add an extra egg for every cup of rice or potato flour used in the pasta recipe.
Mix the only until the ingredients are well blended. You're not developing gluten in the dough, so kneading is not necessary. Over beating the eggs and over-mixing can ruin the texture of the finished baked good.
Tips & Warnings
- Bake using a dark or dull-finished baking dish. Rice and potato flours do not brown as quickly and as evenly as wheat flour. A dark or dulled pan is notorious for causing premature browning in wheat breads -- a trait that is perfect for dishes based on rice and potato flour.
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