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To replicate the structure, elasticity, texture and flavour that gluten provides when using gluten free ingredients, a blend of ingredients needs to be utilised: different flours, starches and other components like gums or gluten free baking powder, all in a perfect ratio. Sounds confusing and complicated, but it is actually not.
The ratio for success is roughly 40% grains and 60% starches, with the addition of other ingredients, like gums and leavening agents. What's the reason for this ratio? Starches will help making cake mixtures and doughs less dense, and gums will provide an elastic effect. Then, each flour will provide the right amount of protein, and by mixing flours, it helps prevent any one texture or flavour from being overpowering.
There are several options for ready-made gluten free flours in every supermarket. But even with a seemingly infinite number of gluten free flours to choose from, we would like to encourage you to create your own flour blend! try and decide which flours and flavours you like the most, and which are the most reliable to work with.
We have selected two different but very easy, four-ingredient gluten free flour blends with neutral flavour and texture to use in place of plain flour. Both blends work wonders in cakes, muffins, soda breads, waffles, crepes, biscuits and cookies, and more.
Sorghum flour: Sorghum flour is a great base flour with a neutral flavour. It can be found in some health food shops and online. In India it is known as Jowar flour; you might be able to find it in Asian shops, as well.
Potato starch: Not the same as potato flour, though sometimes erroneously labelled as potato flour. Make sure what you buy is a refined, white powder, as true potato flour is made from the entire potato, including the skin, and is less refined.
200g sorghum flour
300g white rice flour
200g millet flour
300g potato starch
Combine flours in a large lidded container. Seal, then shake until well mixed and an even colour.
See the full recipe
400g sorghum flour
480g superfine brown rice flour
240g potato starch
Freshness is key: Always make sure your ingredients are fresh! This plays a key role in your gluten free baking success.
Storage matters: Store in a dark, dry place or in the fridge for several months, or even longer in the freezer (up to 6 to 8 months). Moisture control is more important than temperature to keep the flour fresh; an airtight container is a must.
Binding agents, such as xantham gum and guar gum, help give gluten free baked goods structure. Not all recipes call for extra binding agents, however. Typically it is best to customise the amount of gum needed for each specific recipe, rather than adding gum to your pre-made gluten free flour.
Roughly, we can say that:
For every 140g of gluten free flour, add 1/2 to 1 teaspoon of gum
To make your own gluten free self-raising flour, you can add 1 1/2 teaspoons of gluten free baking powder and 1/4 teaspoon of salt for every 140g of gluten free flour. You can pre-mix a large quantity and store in the cupboard in an airtight container.
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