In the last year, I have tried a good deal of gluten-free products. I wanted to eat “normal” which meant anything I wanted without restriction. I bought all kinds of boxed and prepared gluten-free cookies, pasta, cereal, and bread. Some were okay, some weren’t and they were so expensive especially bread. (for more on my gluten-free story go here)
So I started looking for gluten-free recipes. I set out on a mission to cook food that was healthy but still tasted good. I have tried many recipes, some were good and some were epic fails. The more I worked with gluten-free flours the more I realized how any recipe can be turned gluten-free by using the right combination of flour or some already prepared flours. I will explain that later. I would like to show you how to make any recipe gluten-free.
What I want you to realize is not to get overwhelmed have fun with this it is a learning experience you can be proud of and will help you with life.
To know how to substitute you need to know what kind of Gluten-free flour is for the type of food you want to make. I used bread as an example because being gluten-free the biggest thing I missed was my bread.
The thing you need to realize about gluten-free flours is they don’t rise very well.
That being said they need to have starch added with them and usually, they are a combination of flours. Here are three of the basic flour for anything.
- Coconut flour – For sweet foods such as cakes pies and cookies. Must always add egg and the ratio is 1:4 so you would use one cup coconut flour to 4 cups regular flour. It soaks up all the liquid so this needs to be added with another flour, and don’t forget to add the starch.
- Almond flour – Almond flour is for almost everything it is a good flour to use with coconut flour. It has a slightly grainy texture and gives the bread a chew. You will need a starch, but the ratio is 1:1 it needs another flour mixed with it to cut down on the grainy texture.
- Cassava Flour – This flour works well mixed with almond flour. It is for biscuits and Tortillas. It has a 3:4 ratio and does need a starch.
The starches that are best to use are arrowroot powder and tapioca starch, there is corn starch but it is corn is known to cause inflammation so I avoid it. There is also potato starch as well. I prefer arrowroot and tapioca.
Okay if this is overwhelming and you just don’t have the time or the patience to try to find one that works. You can use some that are already prepared. You can find them in your grocery store. One I use a lot is Bob Mills it makes good bread, biscuits and other baked goods. Please again read labels not all of Bob Mill’s flours are gluten-free.
What other Substitutions – A Look at Thickeners
When choosing the starch know that tapioca does not do well in acid food with lemon or vinegar and arrowroot doesn’t do well at high heat. Tapioca is good for gravy and sauces that need higher heat but arrowroot is great in other dishes. The way to thicken the dishes or make a gravy using starches is to mix the starch with either warm water or broth that is warm, not hot. Slowly stir this slurry into your dish adding a little at a time. This is good for stews, and anything you need to be a little thicker than it is.
The Original Recipe
Okay so now we have a good working knowledge of the basics of flour and starches let’s get to the swapping of recipes. I found this recipe over at The House and Homestead. Anna showed a wonderful bread recipe but I need a gluten-free version here is her recipe.
- 3 cups flour
- 1/2 tsp yeast
- 1tsp salt
- 11/2 cup flour
- Combine ingredients in a large bowl
- Add water and mix with a spoon until ingredients are combined ( even if it looks a bit raggedy that’s okay)
- Cover with a kitchen towel and let sit at room temperature for 8 to 24 hours. ( I usually let mine rise for the full 24 hours if I plan enough ahead of time)
- After the dough has risen (you will see it has expanded and notice bubbles have formed)
- Dump onto a well-floured surface Let rest for 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 450 degrees
- Put the dough ball in deep baking dish cover with lid or aluminum foil stick in the oven to cook for 30 minutes
- After 30 minutes take lid (foil) off and bake for additional 10 to 15 minutes
- Let cool for 10 minutes and serve. Serve fresh from the oven with butter or a side of oil and vinegar for dipping.
Now to change this You would look at ingredients and cooking time temperature gluten-free bread has a tendency to take less time and tends to burn easily. You also have to line everything with parchment paper, gluten-free bread, cakes and such stick to the pan even if it is greased, the pan will have to be lined. We will adjust the time and temperature accordingly. Look below for the final recipe.
I am going to use Bob Mill’s biscuit mix I think it will do the best in this recipe. I also happen to have some from making my Naan recipe the other day. Here is what I would do.
Gluten-free Artisan Bread
I am going to use Bob Mills 1 to 1 gluten-free flour I think it will do the best in this recipe. Here is what I would do.
- 3 Cups Bob mill 1 to 1 gluten-free flour
- ½ tsp Yeast (gluten-free)
- 1 tsp Salt (Himalayan Pink is the best)
- ½ Cup Water (purified or distilled is best)
- 1 Large Egg (from free range chickens is the best)
Combine ingredients in a large bowl. Add water and mix with a spoon until ingredients are combined ( even if it looks a bit raggedy that's okay)
Cover with a kitchen towel and let sit at room temperature for 8 to 24 hours. ( I usually let mine rise for the full 24 hours if I plan enough ahead of time)
After the dough has risen (you will see it has expanded and notice bubbles have formed)
Dump onto well-floured surface Let rest for 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 350°
Line a baking dish with parchment paper. Put the dough ball in deep baking dish cover with lid or aluminum foil stick in the oven to cook for 30 minutes After 30 minutes take lid (foil) off and bake for an additional 35 minutes
Let cool for 10 minutes and serve. Serve fresh from the oven with butter or a side of oil and vinegar for dipping.
- Notice all ovens are different so keep an eye on it the last 10 minutes.
Okay, there is just one example of how you can make any recipe into gluten-free. It is now your turn. Go try it, find a recipe you love but can’t have because of a food allergy and play around change and substitute. You never know what wonderful creations you may come up with. It is just up to you!! Enjoy!
What are some of your favorite flours and recipes? I would love to see your comments.
For wisdom is better than rubies, and all the things that may be desired are not to be compared to it.