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Flours Vs Starches

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OK, after two years or eating gluten free, I'm finally venturing into the world of home made gluten free bread.

I've amassed a nice selection of recipes I want to try, but am finding that some call for tapioca or potato starch, and some call for flour. Does anybody know if there is a difference? Or is it really the same thing?

What about rice flour? Is glutenous rice flour the same as sweet rice flour? I've seen recipes using both.

Any experienced bakers here?

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OK, after two years or eating gluten free, I'm finally venturing into the world of home made gluten free bread.

I've amassed a nice selection of recipes I want to try, but am finding that some call for tapioca or potato starch, and some call for flour. Does anybody know if there is a difference? Or is it really the same thing?

What about rice flour? Is glutenous rice flour the same as sweet rice flour? I've seen recipes using both.

Any experienced bakers here?

You might want to check out this thread where RiceGuy explains the attributes of different flours:

http://www.celiac.co...en-free-flours/

I'm still trying to figure out all these things, too, so you're not alone. Usually recipes call for a mixture of flours and starches. Wish I was a food scientist to understand it.

And yes, glutinous rice flour and sweet rice flours are one and the same. Best place to buy them is an Asian store and they're dirt cheap there.

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Tapioca starch and flour are confusingly the same thing. However, potato starch and potato flour are completely different and are NOT interchangeable in recipes. Arrowroot and cornstarch are common in gluten-free recipes, too.

I've now been gluten-free for a month but have been experimenting nearly daily with flours, starches, grains and so on. It really is enjoyable and you learn so much from experience! I've done all scratch cooking and baking all my life so see no reason for that to change now that I have celiac disease. :P

A few helpful websites:

http://www.the-gluten-free-chef.com/gluten-free-flour.html

http://www.csaceliacs.org/gluten_grains.php (this one is the most comprehensive list)

http://www.livingwithout.com/resources/substitutions.html

http://daringtothrive.blogspot.com/2008/11/using-gluten-free-flours-to-adjust.html

FYI to add fibre to your bread add 1 or 2 T of flaxmeal. It does not change the structure of bread.

Edited by love2travel

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Yes, glutinous and sweet rice flour are the same thing.

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Thank you, Sylvia and Mushroom for the info on the glutenous/sweet rice flour. I've found both (and, yes, at my fav Asian food store) but the one labeled "sweet rice flour" was almost twice the price.

I am extremely lucky to have a large grocery store witin walking distance from my house with a generous Asian food aisle, as well as a huge Asian food store just a few miles away, and most of my "flour" purchases, as well as some other gluten free items come from there.

And thank you, love2travel, for the links. It's nice to have someone here who wasn't afraid to experiment.

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