by THOMAS on April 2, 2015 • 11:20 am
So you found out that you are gluten intolerant or sensitive eh? Well, welcome to the club and it appears to be getting bigger all the time. You might at first be thinking that this is the end of the world. “What more do I have to give up to be healthy”! “How am I ever going to live without bread?!” Believe me I understand the frustration but it really isn’t that bad. I started giving up gluten about 10 years ago and back then it was much more difficult than it is now. Alternatives to gluten were few and far between and the taste… well to use the word “bland” would be an understatement. But things have come a long way since the days when it was largely rice , garbanzo, and fava bean flours. Today we have non-gluten flours that behave very closely to their gluten counterparts. Not only can you bake quick breads and cookies but a host of pastries, breads, and pie crust that the average Joe could not tell the difference. Did you know that there are actually more non-gluten flours than there are gluten ones? There is white rice and brown rice flours, buckwheat, oat flour, garbanzo, fava, sorghum, tapioca, corn, coconut, and a host of other nut flours. That’s right and the combinations of flours has added a whole new dimension to the fine art of gluten-free baking. Today you can virtually substitute any gluten recipe with non-gluten items. I know this to be true as that is how I started out in my gluten free journey. Sometimes it is necessary to adjust the ingredients slightly and in most cases it will be the liquid and this is especially true with cakes, muffins, and other quick breads. My ultimate success story was the day I finally was able to make a respectable gluten free pie crust and that is after trying and failing numerous times and throwing away I don’t know how many failures. Just ask my wife and she will tell you. So when it comes to bread there are more and more gluten free breads coming to markets than ever before but so far I have tasted none that I would call exceptional. That is why I recommend home baking because it really is a no-brainer. I use a combination of Pamela’s and Gluten free flour mixes. Pamela’s is too heavy by itself, whereas Gluten Free Mama is lighter and has an almond blend. You will need a counter top mixer such as the Kitchen Aide or equivalent and a wire whisk attachment. You simply measure out the ingredients, eggs, oil, yeast, and warm water, and place them in the mixing bowl with the flours and turn the mixer on medium high for 3-4 minutes and that is all. Place the dough in loaf pans and let it rise as there is no kneading. After rising about an hour you place it in the oven and bake. It is that simple! I have a gluten free recipe book in the works right now and will probably release it in a few months. So give it a try and you will be surprised at what you can do. Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions or comments.