Those Gluten-free Flours

   Bob’s Red Mill produces a wide variety of gluten-free flours. My local HEB grocery in Georgetown stocks quite a few of them but occasionally I drive to Round Rock or Austin to pick up the others. This list consists solely what I have on hand. It was a surprise to realize what variety was there after pulling bags out of the back shelf corners, the door shelves, and bins. This made me realize that there is no organization system in there. And that’s not going to happen anytime soon ;-)

Gluten free flour list in no particular order:
Almond
Coconut
Hazelnut
Tapioca
White rice
Brown rice
Sorghum
Potato
Amaranth
Teff
Quinoa
Garbanzo

   Amy at Simply Sugar and Gluten-Free  coincidentally happens to be writing about what she has found regarding the various qualities of gluten-free flours and how to use them. So I’m just going to mention the ones that work the best for me and the ones that don’t cooperate so well.
   Coconut is my absolute favorite flour. It has an elusive fragrance that adds to the yummy quality of sweet baked goods. Even if the recipe is based on other flours I sneak in a tablespoon of coconut flour much like you would use vanilla to intensify other flavors as in my Pumpkin-Spice-Raisin Cookies .
   Garbanzo bean flour is another favorite. I started using it with recipes from Erin McKenna’s recipe book, BabyCakes , most especially my version of Cinnamon Toasties.  Erin demonstrated this recipe on Martha Stewart which is where I discovered it. WARNING: You do need to be aware that most of her recipes call for a flour blend that includes fava bean flour. That is a concern for a small segment of the population who can have a serious anemia reaction known as favism. Read about favism here. A friend had that reaction and needed a transfusion to save his life. The source of the fava bean ingestion was never discovered. As a result there will never be any fava bean products in my kitchen.
   Tapioca flour is used a lot in blends to help provide a nicer crust especially if you are working with a recipe with naturally low sugar content or substituting for sugar with non-nutritive sweeteners.
   Potato flour provides a significant amount of iron whereas potato starch does not. The flour is somewhat heavier than the starch but when balanced in a blend it works just fine.
   Sorghum flour has an aroma when baking that almost makes me believe that there is wheat flour in the recipe. It is especially good in breads.
   My favorite sweet baking blend is found in my recipe for Date Cake – Revisited, my gluten free adaptation of Ricki’s Mrs. K’s Date Cake found on her Diet, Dessert, & Dogs blog. And as I noted in that post – first attempts do not always produce wonderful results. My blend works in many other recipes found in Ricki’s book, Sweet Freedom. I have been baking from that book for months now.
   Amaranth and quinoa pack some powerful nutrition having a complete amino acid profile which translates to high quality protein. And while you want to use them for that reason the strong flavors make it difficult to find a suitable recipe match. So far they have not worked for me in breads or sweets. My one real success is amaranth in my savory Lentil Patties. It might be that quinoa would work there also. If you have a recipe that is happy with quinoa flour I would love to try it!
   Hazelnut is a recent purchase but so far I have not tried the recipe for which it is intended. That would be another of Ricki’s fabulous recipes, Hazelnut Melting Moments.
   Teff flour is another recent acquisition and I intend to use it in bread recipes. If you happen to be in a baking mood . . . Stephanie at A Year of Slow Cooking has a book out called Make It Fast, Cook It Slow and it has directions on how to bake bread in a crockpot. Intriguing!
   It’s no wonder my friend Lynn once commented that you need a separate freezer just to store your gluten free flour!

Mom

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4 Comments »

  1. Micco said

    Very helpful post.

    The two gluten-free cupcake recipes in Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World utilize quinoa flour, and they’re both AWESOME. I’ve seen the recipes posted on several websites, so google search it.

    If you’re looking for more uses for teff, the Whole Life Nutrition Kitchen has some really good recipes, too. (http://www.nourishingmeals.com)

    • Mom said

      Micco – thanks for the quinoa information – those teff pancakes at Whole Life Nutrition will be on the table for brunch! Love cupcakes and I found a few recipes from a search just like you said. You also caused me to remember that I have recipes in The Gluten-Free Vegan recipe book – and a couple of the cupcakes have quinoa.

  2. Ricki said

    Wow, scary about that fava bean flour! I’ve never heard of favism–thanks for the info. And thanks, too, for the links–so glad you enjoy the book! Your adaptations are all amazing, too. :) (And yes, I am very glad I have that chest freezer!) ;)

  3. Mom said

    Ricki – Favism is scary – fava beans are a staple in parts of the world and yet can be deadly to a few unknowing individuals. I’ve been loving your recipes ever since I found Diet, Dessert, and Dogs. We are on a very similar wavelength as far as taste and nutrition. Keep those recipes coming.

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