Baking without wheat and gluten poses some challenges, but fortunately there are a number of gluten-free flours and other substitutes that can be used instead of wheat flour. I regularly use these:
Gluten-free flour blends by Doves Farm
Some people like to make their own gluten-free flour blends, but I prefer using ready-made ones. This takes away the hassle of having to buy lots of different kinds of flour and then doing the mixing yourself.
There are several brands of gluten-free flour mixes in the market, but I use the Doves Farm ones because they are so widely available in the UK. You can buy them in most supermarkets and health food shops, and you can also order them online, for example, on the Doves Farm website.
The plain white flour blend is made from rice, potato, tapioca, maize and buckwheat flours, so it’s not suitable for people who can’t eat corn. However, the white bread flour variety does not contain any corn, but is a blend of rice, potato and tapioca flours with some added xantham gum.
Polenta, also known as cornmeal or maize meal, is a yellow flour ground from corn. It has three consistencies depending on how it has been ground: coarse, medium and fine. I tend to use the fine polenta as it’s more flour-like.
Large supermarkets tend to stock it either in their Italian grocery section or in the ‘whole foods’ or ‘free-from’ aisles. You may also find it in some ethnic shops, such as those specialising in Indian or Italian food.
Corn flour is the white and fine starch of the corn. I often use it to thicken liquid. You can find it on the baking aisle in most supermarkets.
Ground almonds are a very good wheat flour substitute as they taste much nicer than many gluten-free flours. They also make cakes deliciously succulent and soft. Supermarkets sell ground almonds on the baking aisle. If you prefer, you can also buy whole almonds, remove their skins and grind them yourself.
Copyright © Tarja Moles 2012. All rights reserved. Photo © Ann Schorr | Dreamstime.com
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Tarja Moles is the author of No Naughties: Sweet Treats without Sugar, Wheat, Gluten and Yeast. Visit http://www.nonaughties.com for free recipes and information on special diets and living with multiple dietary restrictions.