As holiday baking projects take over my kitchen, I find myself thinking of friends and family with gluten intolerance who might not be looking at this time of year so favorably. I caught up with Geri Peacock of the gluten-free Cherbourg Bakery in Columbus, Ohio to ask for some expert advice. Here's her recommendation for a flour substitute that's simple to make and even easier to use.
According to Geri, gluten-free baking doesn't necessarily need to involve a lot of flour mixes, xantham gum, guar gum, or any other complicated substitutes for gluten. This just gets expensive and confusing very quickly. In her bakery, they've come to rely on one basic flour substitute.
• Basic Gluten-Free Flour Substitute: 1 pound white rice flour + 1/2 cup tapioca flour, whisked together.
Geri says this works best in recipes that call for two cups of flour or less, which includes most cookies, bars, and other smaller baked treats. You can substitute this rice flour mix one-for-one with all-purpose wheat flour in these recipes.
Beyond this, it's just important to make sure all the other ingredients in the recipe were processed in a gluten-free facility and are certified gluten-free. Wipe down your counters with soapy water before baking to get rid of any lingering gluten and then use stainless steel equipment, since wood can absorb gluten over time. Easy peasy.
This makes gluten-free baking feel so simple and straight-forward to me. In our interview, Geri emphasized that gluten-free baking isn't really that different than any other kind of baking. Just keep things simple, use good-quality ingredients, and have fun trying new things. This, I think I can manage!
What other advice do you have when baking gluten-free treats?