An easy way of remembering which flours contain gluten is to remember the word BROW – Barley, Rye, Oats and Wheat – these all contain gluten. There are others but they are not commonly available. Here are tips and helpful notes for successfully baking with gluten-free flours
1. Buy or make a gluten-free flour mix
If you just need to coat something in flour before you cook it, you can get away with single-grain gluten-free flour.
For thickening sauces and gravies, use cornstarch or potato starch.
For baking, gluten-free flours work better when used in combination.
Start with a gluten-free flour mix that can be substituted one-for-one for wheat flour in recipes or you can buy the individual flours and make your own mix.
2. Bake breads and rolls in containers with walls.
Without gluten, bread loafs and rolls don’t hold their shape. Bake bread in loaf pans and use muffin pans for rolls.
3. Add gums to your gluten-free flour.
The elastic effect created by gluten can be simulated to a certain extent by adding gums, for instance, guar gum or xanthan gum. These gums are only added to recipes in small amounts (such as 1/2 teaspoon per cup of flour) (already included in our Gluten Free Self Raising Flour.)
5. Try some old favorites.
Take the time to experiment with your favorite old recipes in order to make them gluten free.
6. Store gluten-free flour in the refrigerator or freezer.
This advice is particularly important if you buy your flours in bulk. If you store your flours in the freezer, let them come to room temperature before you use them.
7. Gluten Free mixtures are usually softer than regular mixtures.
Do not add additional flour after mixing the liquid and dry ingredients as gluten free mixtures – especially breads – are softer than regular wheat flour mixtures.
8. Add additional moisture and fibre
Due to the lack of gluten, gluten free baking tends to dry out more quickly. Limit this by adding (where possible) fruits such as banana. Most gluten free flours are very refined; add fibre through the addition of seeds, fruits, vegetables and nuts.
Baking Gluten Free Breads using a Bread Machine
Most gluten free bread pre-mixes can be baked in a bread machine to make it even more convenient. All bread machines are different; therefore we suggest that you read the manual carefully to determine which cycle will be most suitable when baking gluten free bread.
Gluten Free breads often need a little extra baking time after been baked in the bread machine to give you a crispier crust, simply take the bread out of the machine pan and put it into a pre-heated regular oven for an extra few minutes.
- When baking bread where baking powder is the raising agent, select the quick bread cycle as the bread does not need to stand to rise.
- When baking bread using yeast, select a cycle that allows for only one rising time as gluten free our gluten free breads are mixed, put in the pan and only needs to rise once before baking.
- We highly recommend the use of aluminium-free baking powder as most other baking powders contain aluminium compounds. With so much in the scientific literature linking aluminium to Alzheimer’s Disease, we feel that this is an essential substitution.
- Do not leave any mixture to stand once the liquid has been added. Unless otherwise stated on the recipe, make sure the oven is pre-heated and place the pan in the oven immediately after mixing.
- Do not over beat any mixture. If the recipe calls for the addition of components such as apple cider or lemon juice, add these last and blend in.
- Line all baking tins with greased wax wrap.
- You will find that bread bakes best in a small loaf tin.
- If you add jam and cream as a filling for swiss roll, it will become soggy after a few days. Rather add these to each slice just before serving.