gluten free diet
mary

By Mary Frances Pickett

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Baking with Tapioca Flour

April 23, 2010

When you think tapioca flour gluten free likely springs to mind. It is one of the more common flours used in gluten free baking and can be found in a wide variety of gluten free recipes and pre-made foods. In this article we’ll give some details on what tapioca flour is, where to find good recipes and where to shop for it.

What is Tapioca Flour?
Tapioca comes from the cassava root. The root is harvested, dried and then ground to create tapioca flour. It is used most often in gluten free baking. It also works well as a thickener in pies, sauces, puddings and gravies. It has a light texture and will need to be combined with other flours to be a suitable replacement for wheat flour. Generally tapioca is combined with white or brown rice flour, xanthan gum and potato starch to create an alternative baking flour.

Tapioca Flour Recipes
Once you create a tapioca-blend you can use the tapioca flour substitute in any recipe calling for wheat flour. Just like any recipe where you substitute ingredients, you may need to try it a few times, adjusting things here and there. Typical adjustments usually involve moisture content and leavening to get the desired rise particularly with bread.

If you search online you can find a good selection of tapioca flour recipes, many of them include a ratio of potato starch, rice flour and xanthan gum to add to get the correct blend. Basic gluten free baking cookbooks are also a valuable resource. Spend some time browsing the aisles of your local book store (used bookstores are a great place to find deals on cookbooks) or virtually browse the aisles on Amazon. You can also go to free recipe websites and see what recipes get high ratings from other users. The key is to find a few recipes that look interesting and give them a try!

Shopping for Tapioca Flour
While most grocery stores carry a selection of gluten free foods these days, not all of them have a wide variety of flours. Still, it’s worth a trip to the local store to see if it is something they carry. If not, check with a local health food store. You can always find tapioca flour, along with other gluten free flours, online. Bob’s Red Mill and Authentic Foods are two companies that produce and sell their flour online.

If you’re interested in doing any amount of gluten free baking, it’s a good idea to give tapioca flour a try. It’s a versatile flour that, when blended with other flours, can create a great wheat flour substitute.

 

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