Preparing Ahead Before You Make GFCF Recipes
Baking and cooking gluten free/casein free recipes from scratch is a bit different than preparing typical meals and desserts from wheat flour and butter. When you use wheat flour, you buy a five-pound bag of flour, which is available everywhere. When your recipe calls for one cup, you pour or scoop one cup and you are done. When using GFCF recipes, the flours are very different and require a multitude of flours with various measurements. For butter, you can use margarine or oil or shortening to substitute, depending on the recipe.
It is best to keep many flours in your freezer (for longer life) for your future recipes, and preparing special mixes ahead of time for easier use. Keep them in a tightly closed plastic bag or container, marked with the name of the mix on it.
Many health food stores, including Whole Foods Market, sell pre-measured mixes, but it is much cheaper to buy individual flour types and mix the flours yourself. Some brands of ready-mixed mixes and some individual flour type brands are: Bob’s Red Mill, Authentic Foods, Bette Hagman, King Arthur, Ener-G, and Arrowhead Mills.
Some people also like to keep these flours handy, too: millet, coconut, almond, buckwheat (This IS GF), teff, arrowroot, sweet rice and others.
Also keep xanthum gum at hand. This is a substance from a plant that adds elasticity to gluten free flours, to give the food a consistency much like that of wheat flour.
Some of the best cookbooks listing combinations of GF mixes are the Gluten Free Gourmet’s books (Bette Hagman). There are other combinations listed on other web sites, as well, that you might want to try and experiment with to create your GFCF foods. www.csaceliacs.info is one.
You will want to keep various mixes in your freezer so that you can grab the appropriate bag or container of mixed flours when you are ready to cook or bake and need a specific combination.
- When making breads and some cookies, cakes and pastries you want to use a special mix that Bette Hagman calls the Featherlight Mix, which is comprised of rice flour, tapioca starch, cornstarch and potato flour.
- For Bette’s Gluten Free Mix, you will use rice flour, potato starch and tapioca starch to make cakes, cookies, pies, waffles, pancakes and some breads.
- For some heartier breads and muffins, you will want to use her Light Bean Flour Mix which includes garfava bean flour, tapioca starch and cornstarch.
- Some pancakes, waffles, cookies and cakes require the Four Flour Bean Mix, including garfava bean flour, sorghum flour, tapioca starch and cornstarch.
- Lastly, for some breads use the Bread Flour Mix using white rice flour, brown rice flour, potato starch and tapioca starch.
Each of these mixes uses an exact measurement that Bette Hagman perfected by spending countless hours in her kitchen creating amazing recipes. You can find the precise measurements in most of her cookbooks, or, in my book on pages 65 and 66 and some are listed here: www.csaceliacs.info
There are many wonderful GFCF recipes to try from breaded chicken to delicious cakes and cookies, crusty breads, potpies, crepes, pancakes and so much more using the right combination of flours. Enjoy!
Barrie Silberberg is the author of The Autism & ADHD Diet: A Step-by-Step Guide To Hope and Healing by Living Gluten Free and Casein Free (GFCF) And Others Interventions. Her web site is: www.puttingyourkidsfirst.com
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This post originally appeared on our January/February 2013 Magazine