My first taste of gluten free cookies and bread made from gava bean flour did little to encourage my need to care for my insides, and the guts of my children. The moment I took that first bite, I thought I would never enjoy my food again. If I had not felt so miserable with my last attempt to eat a ‘normal’ diet, I would have caved in right at that very moment.
What I found upon further discovery, is that there were many different gluten free flour combinations that did not include fava beans. Here are 6 different gluten free flours out of many, that allow the baker to choose the best ingredients for making bread, muffins, cookies or even pizza crusts. The more adept a cook becomes at mixing and matching these flours for their family’s unique dietary needs, the more everyone will enjoy the new idea of eating gluten free.
1) Rice: Brown or white rice flour can have a sticky component to it, so is frequently used in gluten free products. Rice flour can be used by itself, or mixed with other flours such as amaranth or sorghum.
2) Tapioca: This is a sticky flour substance to use with a lighter flour that does not hold together very well. It does not really have a flavor, very little nutrition, or calories, but it can be mixed with most any type of gluten free flour, such as rice, soy, coconut, or teff, to produce a sticker and chewier dough.
3) Soy: Soy flour is ground from the soy bean. This flour is not for people who have soy allergies, but has the definitive soy flavor, and needs a binder, such as tapioca, or coconut.
4) Coconut: Coconut flour is a suprisingly fine when ground properly. Some claim that it acts like a wheat flour, but I do not find it to be that way, as it crumbles. Coconut bakes well when mixed with other flours, as long as it is about ½ to 1/3 of the other flours used in a recipe.
5)Teff: This is an African flour, which is ground from the finest grain in the world. The result is a very soft, melt-in-your mouth texture. It, too, needs a binder, but less so than the other flours. It has a texture similar to wheat, and absorbs water like wheat flour. However, some people do not like its strong flavor so they will not use it. It mixes well with coconut flour, and tapioca.
6) Sorghum: Sorghum flour is made from the grains of a plant grown worldwide, and results in a very soft, nice tasting bread. It requires a binder like tapioca to strengthen it, as it tends to fall apart when baked alone.
Mixed together, these gluten free flours can make homemade goods such as bread, cookies, pizza or cakes that taste much better than the fava bean flour variety. Although the texture and taste will not be the same as wheat flour, using several different combinations can reproduce a similar product, while still maintaining good flavor.