Successful Gluten-Free Baking | Denise's Perfect Gluten-Free Flour Blend
Several years ago, in the early years of my illness, my doctor suggested I try a gluten free diet to see if my digestive symptoms could be better controlled. While I didn't see a ton of improvement, I stayed gluten free for three years. I tried ALL KINDS of prepackaged and homemade gluten free flour blends. NONE of them ever worked for me. They were either too dry, too gritty, too nasty tasting, not enough flavor or just plain gross.
While I found a few blends that were better than others, most of them just didn't give me the results I would see others get in their recipes. Last summer, I decided to start reintroducing gluten back into my diet. I was still having digestive issues, so I wasn't convinced that gluten was my problem. Turns out I was right, it wasn't. YAY!!! I still remember the first piece of "real bread" I ate after I baked a loaf of bread from gluten-containing flour. Oh, it was SOOO GOOD!
I was delighted to find that I could enjoy my favorite gluten foods again. In August of this year, three months after I quit smoking cigarettes, I decided participate in a 30 day clean eating challenge. One of the requirements of the program was to give up gluten for 30 days. After being gluten-free for three years, I knew this wasn't going to be a big deal for me. During the challenge, I discovered that I still had a lot of gluten-free flours that I had used to make various concoctions of gluten free flour blends that I needed to use up. So, I took the given opportunity to get creative in my kitchen, revisit my gluten-free cooking skills and learn to master some things that I hadn't manged to do before.
Once again I found my self in the kitchen experimenting with flour blends. It is REALLY IMPORTANT to have a good flour blend that is mix up in the right proportions if you want your baked goods to turn out right. It doesn't matter how well you measure your flour or how much liquid you add or leave out of a recipe, if your flour blend isn't in the right proportions to begin with, your recipes are doomed from the get to.
If you are struggling to come up with a good flour blend and good gluten-free baking recipes, never fear! Because of my trials and errors in the world of gluten-free baking, I have make all the mistakes so you don't have to. Now, you can just enjoy good food! So, let's get started with the first step to successful gluten-free baking, the flour.
Before we get into the recipe for the flour, let's talk about the important things, measurements and ingredients. First and foremost, you need a DIGITAL SCALE. I can not stress this enough! I started out using a manual analog scale and I was constantly guessing or approximating a measurement. When a recipe calls for 250 grams of flour, that is what it means. Not 248 grams or 253 grams. I know that doesn't sound like a big deal, but it is. With gluten-free flour, even just a little bit over or under the correct measurements can make a difference in your final out come. It is also very important to weigh all your individual flours that you are using to make your gluten-free flour, not just the final blend.
Not all gluten-free flour blends or individual flours are created equal. You will may get different results from different flours or flour blends. I use Bob's Redmill flours for my flour blend, but you may not like that brand, so you may need to experiment a little and find what you like.
First, put your small bowl on the scale and make sure to zero it out so that the starting weight is zero on the scale. Now you are ready to start measuring your individual flours. After measuring each individual flour, pour it into your large mixing bowl and put the small bowl back on the scale. Make sure the scale still says zero.
Weigh out 480 grams of brown rice flour, pour into large mixing bowl. Weigh out 192 grams of potato starch (flour), pour into large mixing bowl. Weigh out 96 grams of Tapioca starch (flour), pour into large mixing bowl. To the large bowl of flours, add 2 teaspoons of xanthan gum. Using a wire whisk combine all the flours and the xanthan gum THOROUGHLY. This is important to make sure you get this well blended.
That's it! You have made perfect gluten free flour! If you don't know how to use it yet, don't worry. I've got some recipes on the website already and more coming up. Store the flour in an airtight container. I make a lot of this at once and store it in a large glass gallon jug. If you want to make a large batch just repeat the recipe and fill up your storage container after each batch until you have made enough to fill it.
Denise's Perfect Gluten-Free Flour Blend
480 grams brown rice flour
192 grams potato starch
96 grams tapioca starch
2 tsp. xanthan gum
Measure all ingredients individually using a digital scale. Place all ingredients into a large bowl. Using a wire whisk combine all the flours and the xanthan gum THOROUGHLY. This is important to make sure you get this well blended. Store at room temperature in an air-tight container.
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This post is linked up at: Coffee With Us 3, Sugar and Spice, Rattlebridge Farm, How Sweet The Sound, Chic On A Shoestring, Olives & Okra, Pieced Pas Times, The Country Cook,