you have any ideas for gluten-free recipes?"
Anne and Sue,
I was exploring the Web site and was struck by the great
demo of how gluten is formed. My daughter has gluten
intolerance (also called celiac disease or celiac sprue),
which means any gluten particles she eats act as toxins
on the villi in her intestines.
The only treatment for this disease is eating foods
completely free of gluten, which is pretty difficult
in a society full of modified food starch and caramel
color (two big problems). We have learned to use flours
such as Asian rice flour, garfava bean flour, almond
flour, and sorghum flour. And we always use xanthan
gum in baked goods. My daughter was ecstatic the first
time we actually made halfway decent cookies! We havent
had as much success with bread, though.
Were always looking for more input and ideas.
Do you have any?
Janice and Bethany Bunker
(Getting the gluten-free word out....)
(To read Janice and Bethanys complete letter,
Flours" in the Food Talk section of the Food
Dear Janice and Bethany,
Youve drawn attention to an important issue. Those
who bake without gluten face the huge challenge of creating
structure without one of bakings greatest allies.
Not all recipes are easy to adapt to gluten-free versions.
Many end up as discouraging failures; others are dry and
Here are some tips weve found useful in altering
favorite baking recipes to gluten-free versions:
| 1. When substituting gluten-free flour for all-purpose
flour, we usually use 2 tablespoons less flour per cup.
So, if the recipe calls for 1 cup of all-purpose flour,
substitute 7/8 cup of gluten-free flour.
2. In addition to the flours you mention, others that
can be used in gluten-free baking include chestnut flour,
tapioca flour, buckwheat flour (which is from the rhubarb
family and is not wheat), potato starch, corn flour, and
3. Choose recipes that contain "moisture-retaining"
ingredients such as dried apricots, raisins, cranberries,
molasses, pumpkin, and chopped apples. Recipes for foods
such as pumpkin muffins, peanut butter cookies, and banana
bread are good choices.
4. If your baking seems dry, substitute honey for a small
portion of the sugar. Honey is more hygroscopisc (that
is, it takes up and retains water more readily) than sugar.
Instead of using 1 cup of sugar, substitute 2 tablespoons
of honey and use 7/8 cup of sugar.
5. Try cake recipes where the egg yolks and whites are
separated and the whites are beaten to a foam. In these
recipes, the beaten egg whites rather than the flour are
the primary structure builders. Some desserts, such as
meringues, or tortes based on ground nuts and beaten egg
whites, dont call for flour at all. Others, for
instance chiffon and angel food cakes, call for a small
amount of flour, and while the end result wont be
identical, gluten-free flours can be substituted.
Thanks for your letter, Janice and Bethany. Readers, we
welcome your ideas. Please add your suggestions to Janice
and Bethanys letter in "Food Talk"
in the Forum. Or if you would like to contribute
a gluten-free recipe, please add it to the Recipes