Converting Recipes to Gluten Free
One of the questions I get most is “How do I convert my grandma’s (fill-in-the-blank) recipe to gluten-free?” The second most popular question: “How do I convert a gluten-free recipe calling for (fill-in-the-blank) number of different GF flours so that I can use just one all purpose gluten-free flour?”
While the questions seem quite different, their answers are really the same.
The world of gluten-free baking can seem quite mysterious and certainly frustrating. It’s the reason that I didn’t bake at all for a year after my diagnosis with celiac disease. Everything was too hard, to cumbersome and too terrible-tasting to share.
When I finally created (albeit after two years of work!) an All Purpose gluten-free flour that I could use just like I had my all purpose wheat flour before, I was back baking delicious foods again, for everyone! I was so excited to share delicious treats with friends and family — and to lick the bowl — that I ultimately started sharing my Jules Gluten Free™ All Purpose Flour with tens of thousands of others living gluten-free because it was too good to keep just for myself!
When you want to convert a favorite family recipe, or a gluten-free recipe calling for several different kinds of flour, all you need to do is to use a really good and truly all purpose gluten-free flour. Simply total up the amount of flour called for in the recipe and use that amount of the all purpose gluten-free flour instead.
If the recipe calls for xanthan gum or guar gum (binding agents used to replace the sticky qualities of gluten), the all purpose GF flour should already include the gum, so don’t rush out and buy or add more. (Using too much of these gums in your baking will make your baked goods rubbery – more on this in a later Blog Hop post!) However, if the all purpose flour for some reason does not already include gums, you will need to add that ingredient on your own.
Stay away from flours that have a funky aftertaste (bean flours) or are gritty (contain lots of rice flour), and make sure that the flour blend has enough starches in it (corn starch, potato starch, tapioca starch, arrowroot powder …) to keep the end product light (the opposite of those “bricks” we all know, posing as gluten-free bread!).
I offer several allergy-friendly variations on a homemade all purpose GF flour blend in my book, Free for All Cooking.
Recipes for all purpose flours are easy to find, and there are several pre-mixed blends available as well. If you try one that doesn’t work for you, try another — they are all created differently! Don’t get discouraged or feel too overwhelmed to bake now that you’ve gone gluten free. It can be quite easy and delicious when you have the right ingredients to take the guess-work out of it for you!
So, dust off that recipe box and find your apron! Your family favorites are back on the menu!