Tuesday, January 10, 2012

All-Purpose Gluten Free Flour, a GF Pasta review, and a Strawberry Cupcake Recipe Review



APGF Flour.

It's maddening. It's expensive. It's a little tricky, but the good news is, it's getting better all the time.


The deal with gf flour is that you can't use just one flour to replace wheat flour. From what I can figure, you need at least three types of flour to replace wheat flour and even then, you have to sort of juggle.

For instance, garbanzo bean flour is great, but I find it *incredibly* beany. In some recipes, that rocks. In some... not so much. Some rice flour blends are too delicate for breads. Some blends need the 'teeth' of teff. Some need the lift of tapioca.


All that said, I have 3 go-to flours that I tend to use:

Store-bought: I prefer Bob's Red Mill AP flour. I like the texture, I like the price (comparatively), and I like the taste. It is made with bean flours, so if you have a sensitivity or a distaste for beans, you might try Pamela's. Lots of people like it; I just don't think it tastes as good.

Quick-and-dirty (OMG, I'm out of the good stuff and Bobs and the stores are closed and I promised the yoga teacher I'd bring cupcakes): equal parts sorghum flours, tapioca flour, and brown rice flour.

The good stuff: This is for Gee, I'm trying something for a dinner party or Someone Not Gluten Free is Coming baking. 1 1/2 c. brown rice flour, 2/3 c. sorghum flour, 2/3 c. cornstarch, 1/4 c. potato starch, 1 heaping tablespoon tapioca flour, 1 t. xantham gum.  (makes 3ish cups)

Now, I use almond flour a *lot* -- I love the texture and flavor. I'm a huge fan of tapioca flour. I use buckwheat flour for crepes. I'm currently experimenting with coconut flour and how to lighten its texture. :D But those are for speciality recipes.

For a great GF 101 tutorial, I love Gluten Free Mommy's: http://glutenfreemommy.com/gluten-free-grains-101-the-best-flour-blend/


A quick pasta review -- Tinkyada Penne.


Made baked pasta tonight -- Tinkyada was absolutely stunning. Firm, it held up to both boiling and baking. I couldn't be happier. No one would know this was gf. We boiled the pasta for 5 minutes, added sauce and parmesan. Baked covered tightly for 45 minutes and then finished off uncovered for 10.



For my birthday yesterday we tried the strawberry cupcake recipe from Elena Amsterdam's Gluten-Free Cupcakes.

It wasn't bad. Coconut flour-based, they were a lot heavier than I'd expect and wet. Also, I think I'd cut the strawberries up a little finer. I think next time I'll whip the egg whites separately from the yolks and *really* macerate the strawberries and see if I don't like the results a little more.



Look for homemade ricotta on Thursday, and then we're trying gf cannolis on Saturday. Next week, look for homemade gorditas. :D

Happy week, y'all. Much love.


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