how to choose gluten-free flours

After many requests, I am finally sharing which gluten-free flours I generally choose and why.  Since gluten-free baking is so new in the scheme of baking history, it’s still a world of exploration.

There are few schools that teach it, few chefs that master it, and I think we can all benefit from divulging our little tricks and tips to help each other get the best results without having to laden our desserts with too much starch or unnecessary sugars to replace what we miss in gluten.

So, enjoy this video!  And to recap, here are my categories for flours:

gluten-free-flours

NEUTRAL, FILLING, and BINDING

A NEUTRAL flour for me is something that resembles the taste and texture of wheat flour, of course missing the critical binding element that is the gluten.  These flours should be used in the largest percentage, as they are generally the least crumbly, and are primarily neutral or appealing in taste.

A FILLING flour is something with a little more texture, perhaps fiber, and density.  Most of these flours are not ideal for baking on their own, because they will tend to make the dessert fall apart.  However, they make an excellent complement for the “NEUTRAL” flours, as they add that certain depth that we can miss when working with just, say, rice flour alone.

A BINDING flour is just what it sounds like — something that aids the flour to stay together.  The large majority of the time we need to add one of these in either a relatively large or small quantity to get our baked goods to stay together, especially if the dessert is vegan or little egg or egg replacer is used.  These BINDING flours range from starch to baking powder, and I explain a bit their uses in the video.

Here are the flours that fall into each list:

NEUTRAL: rice, buckwheat, teff

FILLING: millet, coconut, almond, corn, quinoa, sorghum

BINDING: potato starch, corn starch, agar agar, baking powder, tapioca, arrowroot

I hope this helps you improvise a little bit with your gluten-free baking!  I am not a fan of all-purpose flour mixes, as not all desserts are equal.  So, use the guidelines I explain the video, and please share with me the results!

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