gluten free diet
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By Mary Frances Pickett

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Gluten Free Flour Guide

In our never ending quest for the perfect Gluten Free Flour Mix and even the perfect Gluten Free Flour Recipe, we have yet another chapter. We present our Gluten Free Flour Guide:

Some Frequently Asked Questions:

Question 1. Can I use the all purpose flour mix for everything? (cakes, pie crust, etc…?)

I don’t use it for cakes, and I still haven’t tried to make a gluten free pie crust. However, the mix has worked well in the few batches of cookies that I’ve made. I generally stick to savory baking, and for that it works wonderfully.

Question 2. Do I have to store the flour mix in the refrigerator once I make up a large batch?

It all depends on how much you make and how quickly you will use it. I usually go through a batch within two weeks and I keep my flour in a canister on the counter  without any problems. These flours do contain oils that can become rancid, so refrigerator or freezer storage will extend the shelf lif.

Question 3. I’ve read that when using non-wheat flour mixtures you have to increase the leavening agents. Is this correct with your flour mixture?

I usually use the given amounts of leavening agents when I’m converting recipes. If it doesn’t rise enough, then I increase on the next try. I figure that swapping the flours around is enough of an experiment for the first batch.

Question 4. The recipe that I want to convert calls for self-rising flour. Are you flour mixes self-rising?

Self-rising flour is simply flour that has already been mixed with baking powder and salt. You can make your own self-rising flour mix by adding 1.5 tsp of baking powder and 0.5 tsp. salt to 1 c. flour mix.

Question 5. Can I substitute corn flour of corn meal for the masa harina? What is masa harina:

Here’s an excerpt from Wikipedia: To make masa harina, field corn (or maize) is dried and then treated in a solution of lime or ash and water, also called slaked lime. This loosens the hulls from the kernels and softens the corn. In addition, the lime reacts with the corn so that the nutrient niacin can be assimilated by the digestive tract. The soaked maize is then washed, and the wet corn is ground into a dough, called masa. It is this fresh masa, when dried and powdered, that becomes masa harina. (Add water once again to make dough for tortillas or tamales.)

Fresh masa is available in Mexican markets, refrigerated and sold by the kilo. But masa harina is a fine substitute. Availability and your personal taste determine whether you start with fresh or dried masa.

Do not substitute corn meal or regular corn flour, however; they’re produced from different types of corn and are processed differently. They will not produce the same results. Regular wheat flour also cannot be substituted.

Question 6. I can’t find masa harina or corn flour that states that it is gluten free. Am I missing something? Bob’s Red Mill doesn’t offer either of these products as “gluten free”.

I use the Maseca brand. It’s with the Hispanic foods in almost all of the grocery stores in our area. If you can’t find masa harina, try almond flour as a substitute.

Question 7. I made “x” changes to your flour mix recipe and tried to make your “y” recipe and it was a complete flop. What went wrong?

I’m not sure. I’ve never made the recipe with that combination of flours either =)

Question 8. Why do your flour mixes not contain xanthan gum?

Baked goods that are meant to be soft and tender use less xanthan gum than pizza crusts and bread. Pancakes don’t need xanthan gum at all.  If I added the xanthan gum (or guar gum) to the flour mix, I wouldn’t be able to use my mix for so many different recipes.

My Gluten Free Flour Mix Nutritional Value

I get a lot of questions from readers who are concerned about the nutritional value and glycemic load of gluten mixes. And checkout our Gluten Free Flour Recipe.  If there is one item of nutritional data that most Americans know, its that you should eat whole grain bread. Eating whole grain bread may seem to be nearly impossible on a gluten free diet since most gluten free flour mixes and gluten free bread mixes rely heavily on cornstarch, tapioca starch, and potato starch.  These starch flours contain little if any nutritional value.

Many of you know that I created my own gluten free flour mix years ago because I wanted to make sure that my family was getting as much fiber and protein from the bread that I baked. But how does my flour mp mix stack up s against the wheat flours that you were accustomed to using?  Today I found out.

You can analyze the nutritional content of recipes at nutritiondata.com. I used their analysis tool on my own Gluten Free All Purpose flour mix recipe (I’ve been having trouble finding gluten free soy flour recently, so I used the garfava flour version), and was very pleased with the results.  Here is how the recipe stacks up against King Arthur Plain Flour and King Arthur White Wheat flour.  (Bold emphasis is mine)

Mary’s GF All-Purpose Flour Mix King Arthur Sir Galahad Flour King Arthur White Wheat Flour
Unit Size: 102 g 100 g 100 g
Calories 376 350 320
Total Fat g. 2.5 1.18 1.62
Total Carbohydrates g. 79.2 72.73 61.4
Dietary Fiber g. 7.2 2.38 10.49
Sugars g. 2.5 0.92 2.7
Total Protein 8.0 11.8 13.0
Vitamin A 0.3 0 0
Vitamin C 0.8 0 0
Calcium 46.2 9.15 19.0
Iron 2.9 4.41 3.3
Thiamin (B1) 0.3 0.64 0
Niacin (B3) 3.4 5.29 0
Riboflavin (B2) 0.1 0.49 0
Potassium 143 107 411
Folic Acid 28.5 0.15 0

 

Some of my Recipes:

 

 

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