February 5, 2013
baked goods, Freezing, Frugal cooking, Tips, Uncategorized
all-purpose flour, baking, flour mix, gluten-free
Did you know that flour can go bad? Whole grain flours are especially at risk, as they contain more natural oils and fats that can become rancid. And any flour is at risk of getting small bugs in it, as it is impossible to completely remove the insect eggs from the flour. Ew. You already know that it’s cheaper to buy flour in bulk, and if you’re making your own gluten-free flour mix, you’ll end up with several pounds each of a bunch of different flours. (I counted one time and discovered that I had eleven different kinds of flour in my house at one time. I may have an obsession with collecting gluten-free flours.) That’s a lot of flour to use up, and the likelihood of it going bad in my house is pretty high. It’s no savings to buy in bulk if you have to throw half of it away due to an invasion of pantry moths.
The quick tip for this Tuesday is to freeze your flours. Yes, our favorite kitchen tool here at Food Allergies on Ice is the solution once again! Keeping the flour very cold helps to keep the oils from becoming rancid, and keeps those tiny insect eggs from hatching. It’s also a dry, airtight space which helps the flour stay dry (obviously important!) and prevents bug invasions. (You know, in case the kids leave the back door open and a bunch of flies come in. Again.) Of course, you can use this trick to preserve gluten-containing flours as well.
One caveat to the freezer trick, though: make sure your flours come up to room temperature before baking with them or your recipes may not turn out as well. Here’s what I do: my bulk flours are in a box in the freezer. I pull out the box and mix up 2 kg of my All-Purpose GF flour mix at a time. That’s enough for a week or two of baking and it stays in an airtight container on my kitchen counter. The box of bulk flours is returned to the freezer for safe keeping until the next time.
Pretty simple, but this simple trick will help you save money and make tastier food. I call that a win!
February 14, 2012
baked goods, Frugal cooking, Tips
adapting recipes, baking, gluten-free flour, Tuesday Tip
When I begin adapting a standard recipe for bread, muffins, pancakes or cookies to a gluten-free recipe, I use the following formula to replace the all-purpose flour:
– 1 part high protein flour, such as almond, coconut, bean (any kind), corn, quinoa or amaranth flours
– 1 part high starch flour, such as tapioca starch, arrowroot starch, potato starch, sweet white (or “glutinous”) rice flour or cornstarch
– 1 part “other” flour, such as brown rice flour, sorghum, millet, potato or buckwheat flours
Then add ¾ teaspoon of xanthan gum or guar gum per cup of gluten-free flour mix and an extra egg (see the Cheat! page for egg replacement options). This won’t be a perfect recipe, of course, but it will generally yield a product that holds together reasonably well.
After you make the recipe once, you can start to tweak it to your personal preference. For example, if the bread or other baked good is too heavy, increase the starch. Too gritty? Reduce or eliminate the rice flour.
Do you need help adapting a recipe for gluten-free baking? Feel free to email us, and we’ll do our best to troubleshoot the recipe for you!
November 5, 2011
baked goods, Fab or Fail
baked goods, baking, cracker, foccacia, food, food allergies, pizza, sandwich
I stumbled on a way to make (mostly) allergen-free sandwich bread!
I started with this recipe: http://www.grouprecipes.com/101267/gluten-free-yeast-free-pizza-crust.html.
I’ve been making it for a while with a rice flour/potato starch/tapioca starch mix at 3:2:1 ratio, and while it needed a bit more flour (or less water) it made an awesome yeast-free pizza crust/foccacia bread. I changed my flour mix to 1:1:1 bean flour/potato starch/tapioca starch, and the mix was even more soupy, so much so that when I baked it, the edges were thin and crispy like a cracker.
The next time I made it, I actually tried to make it thin enough to be a cracker. Instead of my round stoneware pan I used my rectangle stoneware bar pan (it has an edge), and I poured the batter so it filled the whole pan. It raised nicely – just to the thickness of a slice of bread. So I cut my rectangle into bread-slice-size squares, and voila! Sandwich bread that is wheat-free, egg-free, yeast-free, corn-free, and dairy-free!
It’s thin enough to put fillings in and still get my mouth around both pieces of bread, thick enough so that it’s not crunchy, and firm enough not to fall apart while I eat it. I don’t think I’d ever have thought of baking sandwich bread sideways, but there you go! I’ll have to try for crackers another day. Right now I’m enjoying my sandwich way too much!