• Moy's Gluten Free Kitchen

Updated: Nov 13

There are gluten free 1 to 1 flour blends, all purpose flour blends, bread flour blends, specialty flour blends like those for cakes or brownies. Then there is rice flour, almond flour, buckwheat flour and so on. How do you figure out which one to choose and why are there so many variations?

The problem with gluten free baking and cooking

Let’s start with what is gluten and what it does. Gluten is a protein found in grains like wheat, barley, spelt and rye. It allows dough, like bread, to expand (rise) and trap gas produced by leavening agents (e.g. yeast or baking powder). This dual function improves texture, helps the baked good to retain moisture and gives bread dough for example the characteristic domed shape.


Without gluten, other grain flours like rice cannot trap gas as efficiently because there is no structural support, no gluten “network”. That is one of the reasons why many gluten free loaves are flat and dense. The gluten “net” is also binding, sticky, able to hold the flour together. Gluten free grains lack this stickiness which means that many baked goods can also be crumbly.


There is more...Wheat flour has it all, protein, moisture, starch and fat. Same with many of the other types of flour that contain gluten. Individual gluten free grains do not have enough of these components to successfully replace wheat flour.


Without help, gluten free flour is also deficient in a purely aesthetic way. Regular flour dough browns as it cooks giving the finished product a lovely glow. GF goods are often lacking in that department. Baked goods with gluten also have a better texture and a superior taste. Finally GF goods tend to stale faster.


So, in addition to putting together a flour blend that has a similar nutritional profile to wheat flour, the gluten free baker must find a way to improve the texture, taste, longevity and the look of the of their baked goods.

The solution to this multi-complex problem is the answer to the why, why we need so many gluten free grains and different types of blends. In short we are putting together individual components (grains, starches, binders etc.) that together will mimic the properties of regular flour.


Look at the Nutrition Facts Comparison Table below (this is not about which one is healthier or has less carbs or anything like that, this is not a complete analysis for those issues). In the comparison you can see the differences with wheat and other grains. The numbers do not vary wildly from one grain to the next but if you decided to pick one grain to replace wheat you would quickly see or feel the effect of those differing values. Also it is important to note that none of the other grains contain the gluten protein which is not accounted for here as a separate value (gluten is estimated to be as much as 80% of the protein found in wheat). Therefore, a blend of several gf flours and starches is the accepted way to create a more diverse profile, one that is more similar to wheat flour.

Nutrition Facts Comparison Table

(https://www.eatthismuch.com/food/browse)

Another huge factor lending success to gluten free flour blends and recipes is the addition of non gluten proteins. Their addition can reduce amino acid deficits, making the bread healthier. But these proteins also help with structure, color and texture producing a far more acceptable end product with a longer ‘shelf life”.


One more thing. There are also different types of regular wheat flour blends, e.g. bread flour, cake flour or pastry flour. Bread flour is engineered to have more protein than cake flour because it needs a stronger support structure. Gluten free flour blends adopt the same principle, bread flour blends need more protein, cake flour blends do not.

Gluten Free Bread Flour Blend Examples

All things considered the basic formula for a good gluten free bread flour blend looks something like this:

Gluten Free Flour Blend = Primary flour + Secondary flour + Starch


The logical question now would be, how do I choose what to use, which flour, binder, starch or protein? Well, I will be sharing more on this in another post. In the meantime take a look at 2 of my flour blends I use to make bread (table below). In these examples the primary flour is whichever one I use the most:


Gluten Free Bread Flour Blends Comparison Table

Either of these blends make really good gluten free bread. The success of the blend though is greatly influenced by what flour is in the primary position. Primary flours that I have found relatively easy to use include, buckwheat, brown rice, oat and sorghum (sometimes called sweet white sorghum flour). Many of these also work well as the secondary flour as demonstrated in the example above.


My preference for secondary flours would be corn flour, white rice flour, almond flour, cassava flour, quinoa flour, millet flour, coconut flour, nut and bean flours.


Until you have a good grasp on how each type of flour behaves, I would not suggest using almond flour, quinoa flour, millet flour, coconut flour or any nut and bean flours.


Once we have the flour blend we now add the other components that make up the recipe. We will continue to use bread in this example.

Gluten Free Bread Recipe = Gluten Free Flour Blend + Binder + Fat + Protein + Liquid


Xanthan gum, Guar Gum and Psyllium husk powder are all examples of binders. These help to improve the elasticity of gluten free dough, allowing it to form a basic “fiber” network. Typically you need very little in a recipe. Butter, oil, milk (dairy and non dairy), powdered protein isolates, eggs are often used interchangeably for the fat, protein and liquid components of the recipe.


Take a look at my full gluten free bread recipe printed below. In that recipe xanthan gum does the binding, the oil is the main source of the fat, the non gluten protein is contributed mainly by the flour or milk if used and liquid is the water or milk. It’s a simple enough recipe, you could replace the cassava flour with oat flour and the recipe will still work. Resting the dough without leavening agents is a simple way to improve the quality of the finished product. Once you incorporate the yeast there is no need to let the dough rise twice as is the case with wheat flour (in fact try not to do that, the non gluten protein structure can weaken).


Of course, this explanation is not exhaustive. At the very least, I hope you understand why gluten free recipes require so many components. In my next post of this series, I will share more on how to build a good gluten free flour blend for bread, cakes or other uses.


Feel free to try out the recipe below, make substitutions and observe the results, that is the best way to learn. I have made numerous "mistakes" to get where I am now and I still make them...

(this post was shared on Nov 12th, 2020)


Gluten Free and Vegan Bread Recipe

Tasty Gluten Free Vegan Bread

Ingredients

1½ cups buckwheat flour

¾ cup cassava flour

¼ cup tapioca starch

1¼ tsp xanthan gum

2 tsp brown sugar

½ tbsp baking powder

2½ tsp instant yeast

½ tsp salt

¼ cup vegetable oil (I use coconut)

1¼ - 1½ cup warm water (105-115°F)* ½ tbsp vinegar

*You can use milk e.g. coconut milk instead of water

Making the Bread

In a bowl, mix all of the dry ingredients, use only 1/2 tsp of the yeast and none of the baking powder. Set aside Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and add the wet ingredients (except the vinegar), kneading or mixing until thoroughly combined. The dough should be slightly sticky or shaggy but holding together and fairly easy to work with


Cover the bowl with cling wrap or other and set aside in a cool place to rest for about an hour. Resting the dough improves the texture of the finished loaf At the end of the rest period add the rest of the yeast (2 tsp), the baking powder and mix or knead well. Add the vinegar and mix or knead again. The dough should be slightly sticky or shaggy but holding together (like a thick brownie batter, scoopable not pourable). Add more water a little at a time if needed


Scoop the dough into a baking tin (approx 8 1/2"l x 4 1/2"w internal measurements). You can smooth the top of the dough with the back of a spoon. Wet the spoon, it will be easier to work with Allow the dough to rise just over the rim of the tin and no more (the bread can collapse if it rises too much) Once the dough is in the tin, preheat oven to 350°F. When it is ready place the dough in the oven and bake for 50 minutes After 50 minutes the top and bottom crust of the loaf should be firm. In particular if the bottom feels soft (the crust will be set but the sides of the bread will feel soft) place the bread back in the oven (as is, not in the tin and top side down). Bake for an additional 15 mins. You could lower the heat to 275 if your loaf is already brown and bake for 15 – 25 mins Cut the bread when it's completely cool. Store in the fridge for a few days or in the freezer for an extended period of time

  • Moy's Gluten Free Kitchen

In Trinidad and Tobago, Kachourie is a fried patty made with ground split peas and channa (chickpeas). It is served with various chutneys and pepper sauce for those who like spicy. The taste and texture reminds me of falafel which also uses ground channa (chickpeas), however Kachourie has it’s origins in India.


My recipe below makes use of my pholourie mix and pre-cooked channa so it is ready in quick time.


This is a great snack or appetizer to share with a group of friends or family


Gluten Free Kachourie

Ingredients

1 cup MGFK pholourie mix

1 cup minced channa (chickpeas)

pinch of salt (to taste)

1 tsp baking powder

¼ cup cornflour (optional)

handful of seasoning garlic, onion, pimientos and chadon beni (culantro)

¼ cup water (add more by tablespoon)

oil for frying

Notes


The pholourie mix already has split peas, turmeric, baking powder and salt. As you add the channa (chick peas) to the mix, you may need a little more salt and baking powder

This recipe uses canned channa but you can use dry channa. Soak the channa overnight to soften and grind when ready

I ground my channa in a mini chopper so that the “meal” would be somewhat chunky

The cornflour (cornmeal not corn starch) adds a nice texture and helps the kachourie to brown nicely. It is optional

While you are frying you can always adjust the seasonings, salt and baking powder if necessary


Directions

To the pholourie mix add the minced channa, salt, baking powder, cornflour and seasoning. Mix well to combine

Add the water, stirring to form a thick batter. The batter will be sticky but you should be able to pick it up and shape it (usually wet hands help). Add more water by tablespoon if needed

Set the batter aside to rest for 15-30 mins. You can skip this if you wish

Before the end of the rest period, heat up a skillet with enough oil for deep frying. The oil must be at a steady medium heat before frying. If you begin to fry and the oil does not bubble it is not hot enough

Once the oil is ready scoop out some of the batter and shape to form a circular patty, 2"-3" in size or whatever you prefer. Working with wet hands or on a lightly floured surface helps. If a consistent shape is not important to you, simply scoop and drop the batter into the oil. In either case less than 1/2” thickness is ideal so the patty can cook all the way through. Fry on each side until medium to dark golden brown. The kachourie will “float” when it’s cooked. Remove from the oil and drain on paper towels


Serve at once with your preferred chutney

  • Moy's Gluten Free Kitchen

We do not have to give up or favorite treats just because we are on a gluten free diet. These copycat Kit Kats bars are simple to make and stores really well. You get to control the ingredients, which is always a plus!


This is another recipe that is way simpler than it looks. Go brave, give it a try!


Yummy Gluten Free Vegan Kit Kat Bars

Ingredients


Biscuit

¾ cup Moy's Cake and Muffin Mix*

¼ cup almond flour

½ tsp baking powder

¼ cup white sugar

pinch of salt

3 tbsp water (more if needed)

¼ tsp vanilla extract

2 tbsp vegetable oil

tapioca starch for rolling out the dough


Chocolate Dip

6 ounce baking chocolate**

3 tbsp vegetable oil


*A 1 to 1 or all purpose blend should work. If your blend does not have xanthan gum add ¼ tsp to the recipe

**I used a dairy free 65% dark chocolate. Milk chocolate is an option


Directions

Preheat your oven to 350F


Mix all of the dry ingredients together. Add the water, vanilla extract and oil

Knead or mix to form a smooth dough that is lightly sticky and holding together. Add more water by teaspoon if the dough is too dry


Prepare a floured surface to roll out the dough. I find it easier to work directly on parchment paper which I will transfer to the baking tray without handling the dough further


Separate the dough into two pieces, wrap and set one piece aside. Working with your first piece, roll out the dough to about 1/4” thickness (or to preference). Try to maintain a rectangular shape. If you need to, place another piece of parchment paper on top of the dough to make it easier to roll out. Trim the edges of the dough before continuing


Score the dough to the length and width you want the Kit Kat bars to be. I have a silicone mold to assemble the bars so I score according to that size. Even if you do not have a mold, score the dough. Put the parchment paper on a baking tray. Repeat these steps with the second piece of dough. You can also do one batch at a time, while the first batch bakes you can prepare the second


Place the tray(s) in the oven and bake for 8- 10 minutes, the longer it's baked the crunchier the cookie. The cookie will firm up a bit as it cools


As soon as they are done, separate the cookies at the score marks, allow them to cool


Place the chocolate in a microwave safe bowl. Melt the chocolate in burst of 30 seconds stirring each time. The chocolate can also be melted double boiler style, over a water bath on the stovetop. Once the chocolate has melted add the oil, stir until completely blended. Set side to cool


If you have a mold, spoon some of the chocolate into the cavity, place a cookie on top then spoon on more chocolate, repeat for a second layer. I used 2 layers of cookie, you are free to add more. Place in the refrigerator or freezer to set (takes only a few minutes). Serve at once or wrap tightly and store in the refrigerator


If you do not have a mold you can still free form your Kit Kats. Spread the base chocolate layer as evenly as possible in whatever tray or dish you are using to assemble the Kit Kats (if the chocolate is too runny chill for a few minutes). Place all of the pieces for the first layer of cookies on top with a little space in between each. Pour the chocolate over this layer. Add the second layer of cookies and cover with the final layer of chocolate. Allow it to set in the refrigerator or freezer before separating the pieces (takes only a few minutes to set). Of course you can use whatever method that works for you to assemble the Kit Kats. Serve at once or wrap tightly and store in the refrigerator

Moy's Gluten Free Kitchen

St. Helena Village, Piarco

moysglutenfreekitchen@gmail.com

(868) 735 6236

© 2019 by Moy's Gluten Free Kitchen. Proudly created with Wix.com

This site was designed with the
.com
website builder. Create your website today.
Start Now