Laura Cooper shares her tips on how to bake with gluten-free flour. In addition, links to our favorite store-bought brands and recipes are provided so that you can make your own homemade gluten-free flour blend.
Who is Laura?
Laura Cooper is the owner of Rustic Scoop™ which develops and manufactures gluten-free, allergy-friendly baking mixes.
Her family lives with multiple food intolerances, allergies and celiac disease. Laura has spent the last fifteen years cooking, baking and creating “free-from” recipes. She is the writer behind the blog, Umpalarain.
Our daughter’s celiac diagnosis was a shock
Laura’s youngest daughter has seen a GI specialist, since infancy, because she was diagnosed for food allergies with GI symptoms. However, when Laura’s daughter was 4, new symptoms developed which felt very different than anything she experienced in the past.
For instance, her little girl was exhausted and felt sick all the time, vomited daily and had trouble swallowing. So, extensive blood work was done, but with no clear results.
After that, the path was windy as they looked for answers. An endoscopy test through a biopsy was administered to see if she had EOE, however, the results showed that she had celiac disease.
Initially the news was shocking, on the other hand, it was a relief for her family. They finally had answers!
Laura’s extensive knowledge of gluten-free cooking and baking meant that they could begin to help their daughter thrive on a gluten-free diet.
5 Questions for Laura about how to bake with gluten-free flour
What is the biggest misconception people have about gluten-free baking?
The biggest misconception is that you can swap an all purpose gluten-free flour blend for a 1:1 gluten filled flour and come out with the same results. This expectation sets people up for failure and disappointment.
What are you top three beginner tips to bake with gluten-free flour?
- Use the company’s recipe(s) found on their packaging or website. Recipes from brands have been rigorously tested to give you successful outcomes.
- Purchase a high-quality flour blend. If you think gluten-free baked goods have a strange flavor or gritty texture, you’re not using the best flours. High quality gluten-free flours are expensive, consequently, you will taste the difference. Buy in bulk if you can to save money.
- Don’t use alternatives and stick to the recipe. If you choose to make changes to a recipe, be aware that your baked goods will not come out the same. Further, if you need to make a change, ask the recipe creator for their expert advice.
Why do you need to use a binding agent for gluten-free baking? Can you explain the most common ones?
Binders are the glue that prevent your baked goods from falling apart and help create structure. Recipes that have a more tender consistency, for example, such as crepes, don’t require a binder but usually, you need at least one binding agent to hold things together.
Xanthan and Guar Gum work well in most baked goods except for bread.
- Xanthan Gum – found in commercial mixes and baked goods.
- Guar Gum – made from guar bean which can be replaced 1:1 with xanthan gum.
- Psyllium Husk – ideal for bread. Most importantly, it provides the “chew” found in gluten-filled bread.
Do you prefer store-bought or home-made gluten-free flour?
In all honesty, I haven’t purchased a gluten-free flour blend in over a decade! We make our own and now are excited to share them with you through Rustic Scoop.
Our favorite flours include but are not limited to; brown rice, super fine white rice, tapioca, oat, arrowroot starch, sorghum and teff.
What is the best way to store gluten-free flour for maximum freshness?
Flours are best stored at a temperature between 30-70°F. If you live in a humid area, moisture can be a problem, so be sure to keep your flour in a place that is dry like a cupboard or pantry.
Our Gluten-Free Flour Picks
From our Zestfull community!
gluten-free, top 8 allergen-free (except coconut palm sugar), vegan, non-GMO and refined sugar-free.
For pie crust and recipes that use yeast, I like Cup 4 Cup. For everything else, I prefer King Arthur’s Measure for Measure blend. I especially like that it is fortified with B vitamins, unlike other GF flour blends.-Margaret Clegg, Gluten Free Food Blogger – MiGlutenfreeGal
gluten-free, kosher, top 8 allergen-free and non-GMO
Hmm, I don’t usually use store-bought blends, however, I do use Schär for making my favorite cookies.-Kate Wirth, Creator of Celiac Doesn’t Suck
Additional Gluten-Free Baking Resources:
- The Allergy Chef– specializes in gluten-free and free-from diets
- Professional Allergy Baker– high end baked goods free from the top 14 allergens.
Feeling ambitious and want to make your own gluten-free flour blend?
- The Best Homemade Gluten-Free Flour Mix– Allergy Awesomeness
- Homemade Gluten-Free Flour Blend– Gluten-Free Palate
- Sarah’s Gluten-Free Flour Blend– Sarah Bakes Gluten-Free
Now that you know how to bake with gluten-free flour, cook some gluten-free pasta!
Laura’s favorite baking tools
- Scale: to measure ingredients correctly which will lead to consistent results.
- Mixer: preferably a stand mixer because it is much sturdier and easier to control.
- Cookie Scoops: best for measuring dough or batter to ensure even sizes and evenly baked goods.
- Oven thermometer: gives you an understanding of how much to compensate if your oven temperature isn’t correct which most often it isn’t!
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Shahla is a mom of two girls who live with multiple food allergies, asthma and eczema. Shahla is trained as a Holistic Chef who wants to share the comfort that cooking has brought her family. She believes that everyone, regardless of dietary requirements, deserves a plate full of color and flavor.