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    Gluten-Free Flour Alternatives by Karen Robertson

    Gluten-Free Flours

    Celiac.com 01/11/2005 - Gluten-free flours are generally used in combination with one another. There is not one stand alone gluten-free flour that you can use successfully in baked goods. Be sure to know the procedures your flour manufacturers use, cross contamination at the factory can cause diet compliance issues for the gluten intolerant.

    Arrowroot Flour can be used cup for cup in place of cornstarch if you are allergic to corn.

    Bean Flour is a light flour made from garbanzo and broad beans. To cut the bitter taste of beans, replace white sugar with brown or maple sugar in the recipe(or replace some of the bean flour with sorghum).

    Brown Rice Flour is milled from unpolished brown rice and has a higher nutrient value than white rice flour. Since this flour contains bran it has a shorter shelf life and should be refrigerated. As with white rice flour, it is best to combine brown rice flour with several other flours to avoid the grainy texture. Ener-G Foods and Bobs Red Mill produce a finer, lighter brown rice flour that works well with dense cakes such as pound cake.

    Cornstarch is similar in usage to sweet rice flour for thickening sauces. Best when used in combination with other flours.

    Guar Gum, a binding agent, can be used in place of xanthan gum for corn sensitive individuals. Use half as much guar gum to replace xanthan gum. Guar gum contains fiber and can irritate very sensitive intestines.

    Nut Flours are high in protein and, used in small portions, enhances the taste of homemade pasta, puddings, pizza crust, bread, and cookies. Finely ground nut meal added to a recipe also increases the protein content and allows for a better rise. Ground almond meal can replace dry milk powder in most recipes as a dairy-free alternative.

    Potato Flour has a strong potato taste and is rarely used in gluten-free cooking.

    Potato Starch Flour is used in combination with other flours, rarely used by itself.

    Sorghum Flour a relatively new flour that cuts the bitterness of bean flour and is excellent in bean flour mixes.

    Soy Flour is high in protein and fat with a nutty flavor. Best when used in small quantities in combination with other flours. Soy flour has a short shelf life.

    Sweet Rice Flour is made from glutinous rice (it does not contain the gluten fraction that is prohibited to the gluten intolerant). Often used as a thickening agent. Sweet rice flour is becoming more common in gluten-free baking for tender pies and cakes. It has the ability to smooth the gritty taste (that is common in gluten-free baked goods) when combined with other flours, see Multi Blend recipe.

    Tapicoa Starch Flour is a light, velvety flour from the cassava root. It lightens gluten-free baked goods and gives them a texture more like that of wheat flour baked goods. It is especially good in pizza crusts where it is used in equal parts with either white rice flour or brown rice flour.

    White Rice Flour is milled from polished white rice, best to combine with several other flours to avoid the grainy texture rice flour alone imparts. Try to buy the finest texture of white rice flour possible.

    Xanthan Gum is our substitute for gluten, it holds things together. See usage information on Multi Blend recipe page. Xanthan gum is derived from bacteria in corn sugar, the corn sensitive person should use guar gum (using half as much guar gum to replace xanthan gum).

    Alternative Flours

    The national patient support groups agree that the following flours are fine for the gluten intolerant providing you can find a pure source (grown in dedicated fields and processed on dedicated equipment). These flours greatly improve the taste of gluten-free baked goods. To incorporate into your favorite recipe, replace up to 50% of the flour in a recipe with an alternative flour and use the Multi Blend mix for the balance. Pizza crust and bread proportions dont follow this rule.

    Amaranth a whole grain from the time of the Aztecs- it is high in protein and contains more calcium, fiber, magnesium, Vitamin A and Vitamin C than most grains. Amaranth has a flavor similar to graham crackers without the sweetness.

    Buckwheat is the seed of a plant related to rhubarb, it is high in fiber, protein, magnesium and B vitamins. Dark buckwheat flour turns baked goods purple, I only use light buckwheat flour.

    Millet a small, round grain that is a major food source in Asia, North Africa and India.
    I havent used millet and dont know much about the grain.

    Quinoa (keen-wah) A staple food of the Incas. Quinoa is a complete protein with all 8 amino acids, quinoa contains a fair amount of calcium and iron.

    Teff an ancient grain from Ethiopia, now grown in Idaho. Teff is always a whole grain flour since it is difficult to sift or separate. High in protein, B vitamins, calcium, and iron.


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    Very well-written and helpful. I'd love to purchase Karen's book; I've borrowed it from a library but would love to have my own copy. Thank-you for this article.

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    If you are using a gluten free flour such as sweet rice flour, how does this affect diabetes? Does this increase the sugar consumption?

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    After many years of ??? I now know what the problem is thanks to a good Polish doctor. Great informative web site on Celiac. Thanks, Marzena

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  • About Me

    In 1994 I was diagnosed with celiac disease, which led me to create Celiac.com in 1995. I created this site for a single purpose: To help as many people as possible with celiac disease get diagnosed so they can begin to live happy, healthy gluten-free lives. Celiac.com was the first site on the Internet dedicated solely to celiac disease. In 1998 I founded The Gluten-Free Mall, Your Special Diet Superstore!, and I am the co-author of the book Cereal Killers, and founder and publisher of Journal of Gluten Sensitivity.

  • Related Articles

    Hallie Davis
    Celiac.com 10/16/2008 - Having gone gluten-free I, like many of you,have been struggling with gluten-free baking challenges. I began withpancakes. My first pancakes, made with a popular mix, were not thelight, fluffy things that I remembered. My son compared them to hockeypucks. They got eaten, but were not a favorite. The next time I tried apopular author's gluten-free pancake recipe. These were a hit, and didnot have the sourness of the popular mix (which were bean-based)! Theauthor's recipe was also based on sorghum flour, so I have becomeconvinced that sorghum holds the greatest potential for gluten-freebaking. I also tried the author's recipe for bread, which is based onher same sorghum flour mix as her pancakes. The bread, however, was adisaster, and it collapsed as soon as it was taken from the pan. Ithink possibly that the problem was that by the time you take hersorghum flour mix, and add the additional potato starch called for inmaking the bread mix, you end up with a mix that is overwhelminglystarch rather than flour. There is actually very little sorghum flourin it by that point. I repeated these problems when trying to use yetanother popular sorghum-based gluten-free bread mix.
    Meanwhile,in my search for a good sorghum bread recipe I kept coming across ablurb by the Agricultural Research Service to the effect that they haddiscovered that sour dough fermentation improved the quality of sorghumbread. Well, I have never been fond of the sourness of sourdough bread,but I was interested to know that the ARS was trying to find goodrecipes for sorghum bread. Apparently they are convinced, as I am, thatit holds the highest promise for good gluten-free bread.
    Well,heck, the Agricultural Research Service was my old stomping ground! Fora couple summers during college I worked at the ARS in Beltsville,Maryland, and at least one of them was spent in the Human NuitritionResearch Division. I worked as a biochemical technician. While I wasworking with test tubes and distillation apparatus, the wonderfularomas from the nearby test kitchens would waft by me and I would envythe taste testers. I decided to contact those sorghum researchers whohave been involved in the search for a good gluten-free bread recipe. Iemailed them requesting to know if they had developed any goodnon-sourdough recipes, and I received the following replies (the replyfrom Tilman Schober was particularly valuable):



    Dear Hallie Davis,
    Thereare a couple of things which could help you to get the desiredgluten-free sorghum bread. Sourdough is not imperative, it justadditionally helps to stabilize the bread structure. But we know thatmany people object to the flavor. So, besides sourdough, the followingthings may help:
    1) Add the hydrocolloid HPMC (hydroxypropyl methylcellulose).It tremendously helps to get a good crumb. It is a food additive, andsome people object to it because they regard it as not natural.However, it is available in a food grade version designed for humanconsumption, and we simply know nothing that works better. Xanthan gum,probably the second best hydrocolloid, is much inferior in gluten-freebread making. There are various slightly different versions of HPMCcommercially available. As US government employees, we cannot endorse aspecific product. However, I would like to let you know that we hadgood success with Methocel K4M, food grade, which is available fromretailers like Ener-G Foods. The larger your bread pan the more likely the bread willcollapse. Try to use small pans, and just bake more loaves. This alsohelps to keep them fresh (just freeze the loaves which you do not eatfresh immediately after cooling). A good pan size might be e.g. 6inches by 2-3 inches and 2-3 inches high. Mix sorghum flour with starch. A recipe that has worked for usis described in the attached article (wHPMC, p. 5138). It is as follows: 105g water, 70 g sorghum flour, 30 g potato starch, 1.75 g salt, 1 gsugar, 2 g dry yeast, and 2 g HPMC. Highest accuracy in weighing theseingredients is not required, but I would prepare a larger amount ofdough (e.g. all ingredients multiplied by 10), so that it is easier toweigh. Mix all dry ingredients first in a large bowl (make sure thatthe HPMC is well mixed with the rest, it tends to form lumps withwater). Then add the water, mix (electric mixer) until a smooth batterresults, and pour (or spoon) the batter in the greased bread pans. Letthe dough rise for about 30-45 min (depends on temperature, observe howit increases in volume) and bake at 355 oF for about 30 min (depends onpan size, you will need to find out for your pan size and oven type).
    Another source for sorghum recipes you can find here:
    http://www.twinvalleymills.com/
    They sell a celiac disease with recipes (it is copyrighted, so I cannot send it to you).
    If you have success, we would love to hear about it. If you need further assistance, please let us know.
    Kind regards
    Tilman


    Tilmanthen wrote again, enclosing a copy of the referenced article, andasking that I cite it. The article was published in the "Journal ofAgricultural and Food Chemistry", 2007, 55, 5137-5146, and is entitled,"Gluten-Free Sorghum Bread Improved by Sourdough Fermentation:Biochemical, Rheological, and Microstructural Background." The Authorswere Tilman J. Schober, Scott R. Bean, and Daniel L. Boyle. They areworking in the Manhattan, Kansas Grain Marketing and ProductionResearch Center of the Agricultural Research Center. The otherperson who responded to my inquiry was Scott R. Bean. He sent me anearlier but related article, entitled, "Use of Sorghum Flour in BakeryProducts." This article was published in the "AIB InternationalTechnical Bulletin" in Volume XXVIII, issue 3, May/June 2006. Theauthors here were:

    T.J. Schober and S.R. Bean, USDA-ARS, GMPRC, Manhattan, KS 66502 E.K. Arendt, University College Cork, Cork, Ireland C. Fenster, Savory Palate Inc., Centennial, CO 80122
    This article had the formulas for two sorghum flour blends:Sorghum-Corn Flour Blend and Sorghum-Bean Flour Blend. Furtherreferences for the mixes and also a brownie recipe is given as:
    Fenster, C. 2004. Wheat-Free Recipes & Menus: Delicious, Healthful Eating for People with Food Sensitivities. New York: Avery (Penguin Group).
    Arecipe for Sorghum Waffles was also given with a citation, "Recipe byAmy Perry and Meredith Wiking, used with permission fromwww.twinvalleymills.com." So, the ARS, like me, is using recipesby popular authors and Twin Valley Mills as a starting point, and areexperimenting from there.I don't know about you, but I, forone, intend to get the Methocel K4M, food grade, and try using itinstead of guar gum or xanthan gum! I also plan to try the 70-30sorghum mix described today by Dr. Schober. I am TIRED of gummy bread,and collapses!


    Jules Shepard
    This recipe calls for my Nearly Normal All Purpose Flour™.  You can find the recipe for this flour in mycookbook, Nearly Normal Cooking for Gluten-Free Eating or in various media links on my website, or you can also this truly all purpose flourready-made at my site. It produces amazing results in all your gluten-free baking.

    Sweet Potato Bundt Cake

    The leaves are nearly gone, but sweet potatoes and pumpkins are still calling to me from my kitchen!  I decided to experiment with sweet potato cake – something I haven’t tried yet (I love challenges!). This one is light, mild and oh so yummy! I offer two possible glazes, but it’s nice on its own too. Enjoy!

    Ingredients:
    2 ¼ cup Nearly Normal All Purpose Flour™
    1 tablespoon gluten-free baking powder
    ½ teaspoon guar gum (optional)
    1 cup granulated sugar
    ¼ cup brown sugar
    1 package gluten-free vanilla instant pudding dry mix (3.4 oz)
    Dash of salt
    1 teaspoon cinnamon
    ½ teaspoon nutmeg
    1 teaspoon cardamom (or 2 ½ teaspoons pumpkin pie spice in lieu of the 3 separate spices)
    2 teaspoons gluten-free vanilla extract
    ¼ cup vanilla yogurt (soy or dairy)
    4 eggs or egg replacer equivalent
    ½ softened butter or Earth Balance Buttery Sticks (vegan alternative)
    2 tablespoons ground flax seeds or flax seed meal
    ¼ cup boiling water
    1 large cooked, peeled and mashed sweet potato (approx. 1 cup)
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    Preheat oven to 325 F static or convection setting.

    Boil ¼ cup of water and add flax seed meal. Stir and set aside. Cook, peel and mash the sweet potato and set aside.

    In a large mixing bowl, stir the eggs or egg replacer until well mixed. To the eggs, add all dry ingredients, yogurt, vanilla and softened butter or Buttery Sticks. Mix well then stir in the slightly cooled flax seed meal and the mashed sweet potato last.

    Butter or oil a bundt pan and dust with Nearly Normal All Purpose Flour™ or corn starch. Pour the well-mixed batter into the pan and smooth out the top with a rubber spatula. Bake in preheated static oven for approximately 50 minutes or convection oven for approximately 35 minutes. The cake is done when a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean. Let the cake sit in the pan until slightly cooled, then invert onto a serving plate.

    Glazes:

    Lemon Glaze:
    1 cup sifted powdered sugar
    1 teaspoon finely shredded lemon peel
    3 teaspoons milk
    1 teaspoon lemon juice
    Mix all the ingredients together until smooth. Drizzle over top of the cake.

    Honey-Orange Glaze:
    ½ cup honey
    1 teaspoon finely shredded orange peel
    ½ cup orange juice (with or without pulp)
    Combine ingredients in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Stir until boiling and remove from heat. Let sit until slightly cooled, then drizzle over the cake.

    The finished Sweet Potato Bundt Cake (Gluten-Free)



    Jefferson Adams
    Your Guide to a Fabulous Gluten-free Thanksgiving Holiday!
    Celiac.com 11/11/2011 - Once again, Thanksgiving looms, as does the specter of pulling off a smooth, tasty, gluten-free dinner on the big day.
    To help make that goal an easy reality, celiac.com once again offers up a heaping of gluten-free information and recipes to help make your gluten-free Thanksgiving celebrations a smashing success!
    For those cooking a gluten-free turkey dinner at home, these helpful tips will make your work easier:

    First,be certain to start with a 100% gluten-free turkey for your gluten-freeholiday dinner. Gluten? In my turkey? Yes! Many brands use gluten whenprocessing their turkeys. Don't assume your turkey is gluten-free. Besure to check the ingredients list. Celiac.com offers a fairlycomprehensive list of safe gluten-free foods and ingredients, along with gluten-free shopping guides to make gluten-free shopping easier. Next,be certain to serve only gluten-free stuffing! Accept no substitute.Don't risk putting gluten-based stuffing in your turkey. Instead,astonish and satisfy all of your guests by preparing celiac.com'sdelicious Best Gluten-free Holiday Stuffing Recipe. Lastly,prepare a simple, delicious gluten-free gravy using Celiac.com'sThanksgiving Holiday Gluten-Free Turkey Gravy recipe, or your favoritegluten-free gravy mix. Thicken homemade gravy with either corn starch orarrowroot flour. Be careful:  Many bouillon cubes contain wheat or gluten, so make sure to use only gluten-free bouillon cubes. Make easy, tasty gluten-free side dishes using Celiac.com's extensive listing of gluten-free recipes.Order gluten-free baking ingredients and other hard-to-find items like prepared gluten-free pies ahead of time for convenience—this will allow you to spend more time with friends and family rather than spending all of your time in the kitchen!
    Many excellent prepared gluten-free products can now be ordered and delivered directly to your door from places like the Gluten-Free Mall, and your purchases there actually directly support Celiac.com.
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    Spiced Pumpkin Soup makes a delightful holiday treat for yourself, your family, or your guests.
    Gluten-free Stuffing is a holiday staple that keeps them coming back for more.
    Gluten-free Gravy is the perfect topping to your delicious stuffing. If you don't want to prepare your own, be sure to use a gluten-free gravy mix.
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    ½ cup walnuts
    3 tablespoons light brown sugar
    ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
    4 tablespoons melted butter
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    1 ¼ cup canned pumpkin
    ½ cup sweetened condensed milk
    1 teaspoon each ground ginger, cloves, and cinnamon
    ½ teaspoon salt
    ½ cup sugar
    ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
    2 eggs, lightly beaten
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    For the crust, combine cookies, walnuts, brown sugar, and nutmeg in a food processor and grind to a powder. Slowly add melted butter and pulse until mixture forms clumps. Spread evenly over the pie dish press down until tightly packed. Set aside.
    In the bowl of a mixer, combine pumpkin and condensed milk. Add sugar and salt and beat until well-combined. Add eggs, then vanilla and spices.
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    Jefferson Adams
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    If you are planning a gluten-free turkey dinner at home, these helpful tips will make your work easier:
    First, always make sure you buy a 100% gluten-free turkey for your holiday dinner. Don't assume your turkey is gluten-free. Numerous brands use gluten when processing their turkeys, so be sure to read the label, and to make sure there is no hidden gluten in any of the ingredients. Check our extensive list of safe gluten-free foods and ingredients, along with gluten-free shopping guides to make gluten-free shopping easier. Brining is a great way to prepare your gluten-free turkey that will leave your guests quizzing you about your secrets to such a moist, savory bird. For those of you who plan a smaller Thanksgiving, consider this recipe for stuffed Cornish Game Hens. Remember, you can also brine the game hens for a extra-moist, flavorful birds. Next, make sure to prepare a gluten-free stuffing! Don't risk cross-contamination by putting gluten-based bread or stuffing ingredients in your turkey. Gluten-free stuffing is a holiday staple that keeps them coming back for more. Be sure to check out Celiac.com's recipe for our tried and true gluten-free holiday stuffing that will keep your guests happily coming back for seconds. You can find some alternative stuffing recipes on celiac.com's forum. Be sure to prepare gluten-free gravy. If you don't want to prepare your own, be sure to use a gluten-free gravy mix. Thicken homemade gravy with either corn starch, tapioca or arrowroot flour. Be careful: Bouillon cubes often contain wheat or gluten, so make sure to use only gluten-free bouillon cubes. Lastly, ordering gluten-free baking ingredients and other hard-to-find items, like prepared gluten-free pies, ahead of time will help you to spend less time cooking and more time with friends and family. Many excellent prepared gluten-free products can be ordered online and delivered directly to your door from places like the Gluten-Free Mall. Your purchases there will directly support the celiac awareness and support mission of Celiac.com. Here's a recipe for a delicious variation on traditional mashed potatoes:
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    Ingredients:
    5 large russet potatoes (about 4½ pounds), peeled and cut into chunks
    1 head of garlic (8-10 cloves), roasted
    1 cup fresh cream, warmed
    ¾ cup (1½ sticks) butter, room temperature
    1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh thyme
    1 tablespoon finely chopped chives
    Salt and freshly ground black pepper
    Directions:
    Use a knife to cut off 1/4 to a 1/2 inch of the top of cloves, exposing the individual cloves of garlic. Drizzle lightly with olive oil, and wrap in foil. Place in oven at 400 degrees F, and roast for about 30 minutes, until cloves are soft.
    While garlic is roasting, wash and peel potatoes and cut into 6 chunks each.
    Add 1 teaspoon of salt to a large pot of water, add potatoes and boil until the potatoes are soft (about 25-30 minutes).
    When garlic is soft, remove from oven and allow to cool slightly. Once cool, place garlic on a plate and use a wooden spoon to squeeze roasted garlic out of the clove.
    When potatoes are done, strain them into a colander and let stand for 5 minutes to allow them to steam dry over the pot they were cooked in.
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    Whether you plan on dining at home, dining out, or dining at a friend or relative's house, check these web sites for helpful gluten-free tips and information:
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