Wednesday, July 20, 2011

The Essential Gluten-free Pantry

When I first started out with gluten-free baking, I did a lot of experimenting with different gluten-free flours to see what worked and what didn't.  Here is a quick guide to what you should buy to try out at the start, and what you should avoid.  To read more about what these flours contribute to your mix read this post.

Brown Rice Flour
White Rice Flour
Sorghum Flour
Teff flour
Potato Flour or Potato Starch
Tapioca Flour
Xanthan Gum

Here are a few things you can pass up on, and the reasons why:

Bean flours - Don't do it!  They taste and smell like beans.  If you need more disincentive, they are often difficult to digest and they spoil quickly.

Amaranth flour - Overrated!  It's very delicate, it goes bad quickly, and sorghum tastes better anyway.  Plus, it's expensive.

Quinoa flour - It has a distinctive flavor and a dry texture like corn flour.  I only use it in a few select recipes, including this pancake recipe.  While I like it, I don't consider it an essential.  I've bought one box of it that I never finished.

What are your essential flours?  Is there anything you wish you hadn't bought?


pilgrimscottage said...

Thanks!! for this info.

jacobithegreat said...

I agree! I use almost exactly the same flours, except teff. I always have tapioca starch on hand, but rarely use it. I prefer potato starch, especially when using it to thicken sauces.

Gina said...

Pilgrims - I'm glad you find this useful!

Jacob - I just started using Teff flour recently, and I love it. It has a really good flavor and it "behaves" well - the texture is good, and it doesn't dry everything out or make it gummy. I'm using more potato starch as well.

Had and Linds said...

I very much agree with avoiding the bean flours! They really messed up my early GF baking-- it took me a few months to get the courage to try again!

Chaya said...

I have a bag of teff, I have not opened and I am not sure what to do with it. I guess, I have to check out some recipes.

Potato starch is a mainstay for me as a thickener.

Mariposa said...

These are pretty the flours I use, with the addition of millet and garbanzo or gar-fava. I don't have a problem with digesting bean flours, and I have some recipes where the bean flavor works well, including pasta and bread. But a little goes a long way.

The InTolerant Chef said...

I made some cupcakes with bean flour.... what a shame I went to so much effort, but they sure looked pretty.

ailsa said...

many thanks for this was looking for what flours to get and was going for the chickpea as have a dummies book which use that to make a general mix, might think again after reading your posts

Michelle said...

Aside from my favorite gluten-free all-purpose blend which is essential, I use quite a bit of millet & almond flour. Love them both!