About Gluten-free Flours/Starches

The following is an introduction to gluten-free flours. Each cook gradually learns their own favorite flours, starches, and blends through experimentation.

  • When baking, it is necessary to combine several flours and starches to make it as close to wheat flour as possible. Some of the commercial blends are labeled "cup for cup" which means you can use the same amount of the GF flour blend as a recipe calls for wheat flour. Williams Sonoma actually sells a flour blend called Cup4Cup, which is supposed to be excellent, but very pricey.

  • Those flours with a high oil content should be stored in the refrigerator or freezer, as they go rancid fairly quickly. This would occur even faster in warm climates. Heavy-duty freezer bags work well for storage. High oil content flours include brown rice, amaranth, millet, and any nut or bean flours.

  • Try to buy flours that are labeled gluten-free when possible, such as some produced by dedicated gluten-free manufacturers. There is a good chance of cross-contamination during the normal harvesting, storage and milling process of grains.

  • Be as precise as possible when measuring GF flours for recipes. Use a whisk or sifter before measuring, and then carefully level off in the correct size of measuring cup. Never pack down the flour.

  • Some flour blends come with gum in them (xanthan or guar). These are considered important for the texture of a gf baked product. If a gum is not included in a commercially made flour blend, you may want to add it to the flour blend for baked items.

  • Flour blends that contain bean flour often have a stronger taste, and are better used in heartier baked goods, rather than sweet cookies and cakes.

More information

Coconut flour information: www.thenourishinggourmet.com/2009/06/discussing-coconut-flour
Almond flour information: www.elanaspantry.com/almond-flour.Tips for Baking with Gluten-Free Flour on About.com:Celiac Disease
Baking Hints on glutenfreeflour.com
Baking + Cooking Substitutions for Gluten-Free and More on glutenfreegoddess.blogspot.com
Cooking and Baking Gluten-Free: Tips from Karina on glutenfreegoddess.blogspot.com
Gluten Free Grains 101: The Best Flour Blend on glutenfreemommy.com
Nutritional Content of Alternative Gluten-Free Grains on celiac.com


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