Monday, July 2, 2012

Pet Peeves: How do you Bake Without Flour?

The question I get asked most often when I tell people I bake without wheat, milk, butter, or eggs, is not, “Really, you bake without eggs?” or “What do you use instead of butter?” No, the question I get asked most often is, “How do you bake without flour?”

I’ve stopped rolling my eyes. The truth is, there was a time where I might have asked the same thing. After being asked the same question over and over, I have come to accept that a large portion of us believe all flour is wheat. In fact, my entirely unscientific personal polling would lead me to believe that at least half of us believe that.

Here are the facts:

Wheat is flour. Not all flour is wheat.

Despite the fact that 90% or more of the flour we find on the grocery store shelves is indeed wheat, there are dozens of non-wheat flours.

There are many more gluten-free flours than gluten-containing flours. I once had a conversation with a waiter who kept insisting that rice contained gluten. Nope. Gluten-containing grains are wheat, rye, and barley. That’s it.

Wheat includes spelt, kamut, wheat germ, and all other forms of the wheat grain.

Flour can be made from grains, beans, nuts, and even seeds. Here are just a few of my favorites:

Top row (left to right): brown rice, millet, oat
Bottom row (left to right): sorghum, buckwheat, garbanzo bean (chickpea)

Always use gluten-free oat flour. Those with corn allergies may need to avoid millet.

What are your favorite gluten-free flours?


kiwigal said...

My favourite with being gluten free is the Orgran and the rice. I find though that rice often will not bind as much. So glad to find your content, thanks.

Kathryn @ Mamacado said...

I love your response..."Wheat is flour. Not all flour is wheat". I'm going to use this next time someone asks me that question!

I use gluten-free recipes for my 2 year old that only require oat flour, and I love that I don't have to buy so many different kinds of flours. However, I'm still trying out my gluten-free baking skills!

Very informational post. Thanks.

Colette said...

Kiwigal, rice alone can be very grainy.

Kathyrn, I used oat flour alone for a while, but found that when I mix it with other gluten-free flours (incl off-the-shelf blends) that is was even better! Experiment!

AllergyMentor said...

Right now my favorite flour is sorghum. I usually use a blend of sorghum, millet, and tapioca starch and get great results. Loved your cookbook, thanks so much for sharing. I did a quick and dirty review on my blog for you!

Be well,

Colette said...

Tanya, I love the idea of sorghum, millet and tapioca for a rice-free flour blend!

Jean | Delightful Repast said...

Colette, though I don't have a problem with wheat/gluten, I have a number of friends who do. So I do a lot of gluten-free baking. My favorite GF flours are sorghum and brown rice. I blend one or the other with a few other flours/starches, and they work beautifully.

Colette said...

Jean, I like brown rice and sorghum too! I think both work well as a gluten-free flour base.

h said...

Hi Colette, I'm so glad you submitted this post to the blog carnival! It is a pet peeve of mine too. :) - Homa

Colette said...

Homa, so glad you are hosting the blog carnival!