I’ve been doing a little experimenting with gluten free baking. There have been a few reasons for this. One was just a pure interest in it. Another was reading the book Wheat Belly: Lose the Wheat, Lose the Weight, and Find Your Path Back to Health . I found it interesting, but not quite sure I agreed with everything he had to say on the subject but it was much “food for thought”. My daughter Hannah has been working hard to improve her family’s health and wanted to go gluten free due to a few issues she thought might be helped by this. So I jumped at the chance to help her out. :)
I did a lot research. I found a lot of confusing recipes. Lots of strange ingredients, lots of new recipes to try out. I had failures, that were expensive! I talked with a friend of mine who is doing gluten free baking due to a few issues with her children. She wanted to see if this would help. She gave me a lot of tips on what she was doing and how it was going. So with her help I was able to narrow down the easiest gluten free flour mix to make with the fewest ingredients. With this mix I’ve been able to make just about any wheat based baked goods (not done a whole lot of yeast baking yet) with regular recipes. The ingredients you need can be purchased from a health food store or online.
Before I share the mix recipe let me say that gluten adds so much to baked goods! So in order to duplicate this you have to have something in your recipe that mimics gluten in order to get similar results. That ingredient is xanthan gum. Here is an explanation of xanthan gum from Wikipedia:
“Xanthan gum (/zæn'θən/) is a polysaccharide secreted by the bacterium Xanthomonas campestris, used as a food additive and rheology modifier, commonly used as a food thickening agent (in salad dressings, for example) and a stabilizer (in cosmetic products, for example, to prevent ingredients from separating). It is produced by the fermentation of glucose, sucrose, or lactose. After a fermentation period, the polysaccharide is precipitated from a growth medium with isopropyl alcohol, dried, and ground into a fine powder. Later, it is added to a liquid medium to form the gum.”
The whole article can be found here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Xanthan_gum
So here is my gluten free flour mix recipe:
Gluten Free Flour Mix
2 parts brown rice flour.. ground finely. You can grind this yourself or buy it.
1 part tapioca flour
You can use this mix cup for cup in wheat recipes (at least this has been my experience so far)
In order to make up for the lack of gluten you need to add the xanthan gum to each individual recipe. Here is how I determine how much…
Quick Breads, muffins, pancakes, waffles: add 1t xanthan gum per cup of flour the recipe calls for
Cookies: ½ t per cup of flour the recipe calls for
Now for the waffles…. Begin by mixing up your gluten free flour mix…
Here is the recipe
Gluten Free Waffles
2 cups gluten free flour mix
2t xanthan gum
2 cups milk
½ cup olive oil
4 t baking powder
¼ t salt
½ t vanilla
Combine all ingredients in a blender. Make sure the blender mixes the ingredients well. There should be a vortex in the center.. if the batter is too thick, add a little more milk.
Pour into a preheated waffle iron and bake according to your waffle iron instructions…
I have to say that no one in my family (other than my son who helped me make them) knew they were gluten free. They loved them and never had a clue. I find this to the case with everything I’ve made so far.
I have more gluten free recipes to share soon!!