cooking gluten free

Does anyone have any tips of when to use any of the Gluten free flours out there. There are so many to choose from. I have several in my pantry including: Coconut, potato, soy, quinoa, tapioca, rice, etc. Not sure what to use as a substitute and when for regular flour. Any tips are appreciated.

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Reiney
Reiney October 10, 2012

This answer really depends on what you're making, and inevitably will involve a cocktail of different flours in various ratios. Is there a specific recipe you're looking to replace it in?

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Sarah Langridge
Sarah Langridge October 10, 2012

There isn't a particular recipe I have in mind right now. I just wondered if there were any standard answers, like only use Soy flour for savory dishes for instance. Never use coconut flour straight etc.

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Carol Blymire
Carol Blymire October 11, 2012

Sarah: You can't do a one-for-one swap to fill in for wheat flour. When there's no gluten, you have to add a gum or other starch to make up for it.

If you want a really easy solution (albeit maybe on the pricey side), Thomas Keller's Cup4Cup is really fantastic. It's a blend of flours and starches and a gum and milk powder. It's the only thing I've been able to successfully substitute for wheat flour and not have to experiment. It's good stuff. Sold online and at Williams-Sonoma.

Sam1148
Sam1148 October 10, 2012

This suggestion isn't for bread, flours..etc.

But one time a friend consulted me for suggestion for 'heart healthy" party with a buffet. For a local Doctor.

He did two stews--a lamb tagine, and a veggie tagine.

The star----and what got him the gig. was a cauliflower couscous. No wheat, low cal, and veggie based. Trim the florets, and process very lightly to 'couscous' texture. Then sautee with a touch of water, olive oil, cumin, and stock..very light on the moisture (use veggie stock or mushroom stock if compleat vegan). DO NOT make it mush..just take the edge off and it should still have texture.
That was used for as a base for tagines of meat, and another tagine with veggies.

It holds up very well..no gluten, and extra points for using cauliflower.

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Sarah Langridge
Sarah Langridge October 11, 2012

Nice idea!, thanks for the tip.

SeaJambon
SeaJambon October 10, 2012

The real answer is that it takes a blend of "alternative" flours to get a wheat flour replacement. And, if the replacement is baking, you'll also need to add either xanthan gum or guar gum; most savory applications (like thickening sauces) are fine without the gum.

There are recommended blends available on the internet or in books. I'd recommend staying away from any that include a bean flour (garbanzo; fava; ...) because it can result in a "beany" flavor in some applications (do you really want angel food cake with a beany undertone? -- yuck!).

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Sam1148
Sam1148 October 11, 2012

@seajambon. Beany Undertone would make a great Indie band name.

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pierino
pierino October 11, 2012

Hey, The Undertones were one of my favorite bands of the '80's.

SeaJambon
SeaJambon October 11, 2012

Sam and Pierino - You two crack me up!

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