Thursday, September 23, 2010

Flours in my pantry

So, since I was diagnosed and spent the first bit of my GF years in the States, I of course took on the standard GF flour blend (rice/tapioca/potato).  But since living in Europe and trying for many years to produce nice baked goods, but always coming up with mediocre (and those you can buy, even worse), I started experimenting. I now find that I can substitute ANY recipe with a mixture of my flours and it turns out just as nice!  It  may take a couple tries and changing a few other ingredient amounts, but in the end, it always works.  I discovered this when I was trying to make Nan bread (the one thing I still have not perfected, close, but not as good as the real thing) and experimented with Teff.  I now use that as one of my main flours.  

One MAJOR thing that is an absolute must with GF flours is to measure by weight.  If you need to convert to grams, use an online converter (link at very bottom for the best one that I have found-even has butter conversion).  1 cup of Wheat flour does not equal a cup of GF flour.  And 1 cup of Teff does not equal one cup of Corn Starch.  You have to find the density of the flour and convert to grams.  Not all flours are listed, you have to do a little searching, but you can find them all.  If you can't just choose the flour with the closest texture to convert. The link I have below does this for you.  This is my biggest and most valuable lesson that I have learned.

As for the Lactose Free part.  I simply substitute lactose free milk (in Germany I use only the fresh MinusL brand, not the HMilk (ie long life shelf milk) and I also use the MinusL butter.  Things just dont work out nor taste as nice with margarine.  MinusL ( also do quark and yogurt as well as cheese and several other things, so you can nearly always make things lactose free without losing any flavor at all.

I am actually Milk Intolerant.  I do not on a normal basis even drink/use the MinusL (I do this as my partner is lactose intolerant).  I switched to Soy milk (only the one that is only soy/water, not the sweetened stuff) but just do not like it and do not like the outcome of baked goods with it.  You can bake with it (but it  MUST be the soy that is 100% only soy/water - hard to find) but I prefer not to.  My intolerance is not so bad yet that I can not handle a tiny amount in baked goods when using the Lactose Free, so this is what I do. 

My partner now eats 100% GF when at home now and to be honest, I don't think he even can tell the difference anymore.  This is how good you can cook GF - DO NOT let anyone tell you you have to put up with the heavy, doughy, expensive pre-packaged breads/cakes/sweets they sell on line or in health food shops.  YOU CAN do this on your own and make wonderful light/airy/inexpensive wonderful baked goods.  It only takes a bit of practice.

Happy Gluten Free Baking!!

Here are the flours I have in my pantry that I use quite often:
Teff (from Teff Grass)
Almond (nut flour)
Corn Starch
Buckwheat (not wheat at all)
Quinoa (actually a seed)
Graham (aka chickpea/Garbanzo bean)
And here are the others that are their, but hardly ever used:
Sweet Rice (only used for pie crust - pie crust to die for that is ;)
Potato starch
Potato flour (only used to make German Knodel)

Things I can not find in Germany:
Brown Rice Flour (I use Teff instead)
Almond Flour (I have a friend bring this to me when she comes over) 
Xanthan Gum (you can get this, but in teeny tiny packets.  I have someone bring me over the large container of it.  But to be honest, I rarely add it unless I am making bread. 



  1. I can bring some Almond Flour down with me if you like! Great post, GF and lactose-free has always intrigued me!

  2. Great post Bab's very informative :)