If you’re one of the millions of Americans suffering from gluten intolerance, wheat allergies or one of the more serious conditions like celiac disease, learning to cook without gluten is likely to be high on your priority list. In this article we’ll give you the basics of baking without gluten. We’ll cover gluten free baking flour, ingredients you may not realize contain gluten and also discuss gluten free baking mixes as a quick and easy alternative. By the end of this article you’ll have a good understanding of how easy it can be to bake gluten free.
Gluten Free Baking Flours
When you first begin to bake without gluten it’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with the types of flours available. Essentially you want to avoid any kind of flour that contains wheat, barley or rye. So, just what is gluten free flour made out of? Most gluten free all-purpose flours are a combination of different flours. Usually they contain some combination of tapioca flour, potato starch, sorghum flour, garbanzo flour, fava flour and rice flour. You can also try experimenting with any of these flours on their own.
Ingredients to Watch For
Some ingredients, such as baking powder can contain gluten. Here’s a quick recipe for homemade gluten-free baking powder. Take one part cornstarch, one part baking soda and two parts cream of tartar and blend well. You can store it after mixing as long as it stays dry.
Gluten Free Baking Mix
If you’re pressed for time or don’t want the hassle of finding all the component parts like gluten free baking powder, xantham gum and so forth, a good gluten free mix can be extremely helpful. You can use pre-made gluten free baking mixes for almost anything. Bread, cookies, pancakes, pizza dough, gluten free cakes – all relatively quick and easy with a mix. You can even use them to thicken sauces in a pinch. While mixes can be slightly more expensive than purchasing all the individual ingredients, the convenience of having everything premeasured is really worth it. There are several brands of mixes available – Bob’s Red Mill, Arrowhead and Pamela’s all have good all-purpose mixes just to name a few. You can also find bread mixes if you have a gluten free bread machine – just imagine filling your kitchen with the aroma of freshly baked bread!
Where to Find Gluten Free Baking Products
Most grocery stores have a health food section and that is your best bet for local gluten-free shopping. If your local store doesn’t have a good selection, give a health food specialty food store a try. Of course you can always find what you’re looking for online! Remember, gluten free doesn’t mean that you can’t enjoy all your favorites. So what are you waiting for, pick up some gluten free baking flour or mix and plan on pancakes this weekend!