Navigating Around a Gluten Free Kitchen

When I began this Gluten Free endeavor, I often felt overwhelmed and discouraged.  I was overwhelmed with all of the foods that we once ate that we had to cut out of our diet, and discouraged whenever my family did not like something that I made.  These last three years have been filled with not only lots of trial and error, but lots of positive thinking.  I tried not to think about how much work this was and started thinking about how much this would help my family stay healthy.

I make something, and sometimes it works, and sometimes it doesn’t.  My family makes sure to let me know when something is their favorite or when ‘it doesn’t taste quite right.’  I appreciate their feedback because it helps me to decide what to continue and what to stop buying or making.  When I decided to start making most of our foods, I knew that I had to start buying my own flours.  Gluten free baking calls for many different flours in many different combinations.  Many of you have seen gluten free flours in your very own grocery stores lately.  Flours made by Bob’s Red Mill, Pamela’s or even by Whole Foods 365 Brand.  When looking at recipes you might find that they call for ‘Gluten free flour’ or they might ask for a specific kind of flour or flours.  I have listed 10 of my favorite flours that are a staple in my house.  I store them in the freezer and their expiration dates are usually over a year after purchase.  When a recipe asks for Gluten free flour, I will sometimes use Bob’s Red Mill but oftentimes, I will use my own Gluten free flour blend, which I have included below.  Another ingredient that will become a staple in your Gluten free baking supplies is xanthan Gum.  Xanthan Gum should be added in two situations.  One, when it is called for in a recipe and two, when you are converting a non-gluten free recipe to a gluten free one.  Xanthan Gum is a food additive that is used as a binder and emulsifier. For people who cannot tolerate gluten found in wheat based products, xanthan Gum can be used as a gluten substitute.  There are substitutions for xanthan Gum as well, when using it to convert your favorite recipes, which I have listed below.  Finally, in the three years since I have been baking Gluten free products in Colorado, I have never had to adjust my recipes for altitude.  Happy Baking in 2012!  Please stay tuned in the upcoming articles for recipes that will use the flours listed below.  They are sure to be crowd pleasers in your house as they have been in mine.

10 Flours that are Safe for Gluten Free Baking

  1. Brown Rice Flour
  2. White Rice Flour
  3. Sweet White Rice Flour
  4. Sorghum Flour
  5. Tapioca Flour
  6. Buckwheat Flour
  7. Millet Flour
  8. Garbanzo Flour
  9. Almond Flour
  10. Potato Flour

Xanthan Gum Conversions

¼ tsp. for cookie recipes

½ tsp. for cakes

¾ tsp for muffins and quick breads

1 to 1 ½ tsp for breads

2 tsp for pizza crust

 

There are many more flours to choose from.  These 10 have become staples in my house!

Here is a homemade Gluten Free Flour Blend that I use when a recipe calls for GF Flour. It makes about 9 – 10 cups of flour.

 

Lisa’s GF All Purpose Baking Flour:

2 cups brown rice flour

2 cups white rice flour

1 cup potato starch

1 cup arrowroot starch

1 cup tapioca flour

1 ½ cups sweet rice flour

½ cup almond flour

*I add a few cups at a time in my big flour container and use a whisk to blend it together. This blend will last a couple months in MY house and can be stored in the refrigerator or freezer for up to 2 years!

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One Response to Navigating Around a Gluten Free Kitchen

  1. Shonda says:

    Thank you Lisa! This has made me feel more confident in my converting recipes. I really appreciate all the information!
    ~Shonda

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