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KarenFe

Nearly Normal Flour

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After research here, I am interested in trying BetterBatter flour as well as Jules' Nearly Normal flour. I'm troubled by the Expandex modified tapioca starch, which is an ingredient in the NN flour. We try to eat healthy and I'm a bit hesitant by the "modified" part of the tapioca starch. How do we know what chemicals they the Expandex company uses in the process of making this modified tapioca starch? I'm sure it all tastes just fine and make for delicious baked goods, but I am concerned about the health factor of any chemically processed food or ingredient. Thanks for your thoughts.

Karen

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Yeah, that modified word caught my attention too. The company seems to be very tight-lipped about the process they use to make it. I recall a thread about it some time ago.

Anyway, if you want to eat healthily, then you might want to consider baking with flours which aren't practically all starch. I don't use any starches in my baking. But of course, I never liked that white junk most people think of as bread either. I find that using bean flours as part of the blend helps the texture and rise nicely. Bean flours are high in both fiber and protein, while being low in carbs. They also help the bread get browned in the oven. Other flours like buckwheat, amaranth, and teff contribute to the nutritional value as well. Sorghum and millet work pretty good too, and are fairly comparable to brown rice flour. In fact, you can use sorghum flour in place of rice flour, which will eliminate the grittiness typical of rice flours.

Another product from Orgran is called Gluten Substitute. It uses a semi-synthetic cellulose. Once again, it's modified. Accept this time you can read about the process used to make it. It is similar to the stuff made into vegetable capsules for supplements. I do not know how it compares to the Expandex product in terms of baking performance. I've never used it.

I guess it comes down to what sort of bread you really want to make.

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I can't answer your questions on Jules or BetterBatter because I don't use either of those flour substitutes. Jules contains corn and I believe the Better Batter flour did as well when I checked into it a few years ago. Our house is gluten, corn, dairy and soy free, so many of the cup for cup subs don't work here. I use the Namaste Perfect Flour Blend. There are no "modifieds" in the ingredients: sweet brown rice flour, tapioca flour, arrowroot flour, sorghum flour and xanthan gum. A friend of mine has great success with a gluten-free brand called Tom Sawyer. I plan to buy it when my current case of Namaste runs out, just to compare. I have tasted stuff she makes with it and it has good flavor and texture. Tom Sawyer flour blend has rice and tapioca flours, xanthan gum and unflavored gelatin in it, so no "modifieds" in there either.

I recently saw a cookbook using almond flour that looked interesting to cut high carbs in gluten-free baking. I often sub small amounts of quinoa flour, hazelnut flour or light buckwheat flour in my pancakes, muffins and quick breads for a nutritional boost. But just the cup for cup blends are great for quick baking using "regular people" recipes.

Good luck with your search!

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