Gluten-Free Flour Blend

Have hope, gluten-free eaters! Gluten-free foods CAN be delicious. I have proof. I will be honest, I have tried many a gluten-free recipe only to be very disheartened with the final result. Waffles that taste like cardboard and feel as heavy as a brick? Check. Pizza dough that looks like it belongs in a horror movie? Yep. Flat cookies? Gummy cake? No more. I think I have found the secret to gluten-free baked goods that you would actually love to eat-a reliable gluten-free flour blend from a very reliable source. America’s Test Kitchen. I have 3 of their cookbooks, and can say that I don’t think I have ever made a recipe from them that hasn’t been great. Even if it was a dish that I didn’t think was delicious enough to make again, the directions for perfect execution were always spot on. I have recently discovered How Can It Be Gluten Free from America’s Test Kitchen. I allowed myself to hope when I received this book because I knew ATK tests and retests their recipes until they are perfect. The clincher for me? Delicious, darkly golden Belgian waffles with a crispy exterior and perfectly light interior. I freely admit I am a waffle snob and I would put these GF waffles up against any other waffle. I have also made baked items like banana bread and raspberry bars (coming tomorrow!) that were delicious. David raved about the raspberry bars for days. I’m not going to go into detail about gluten-free lifestyles, but for me, going the past month or more without wheat has changed my life for the better in many ways I wasn’t even expecting. If you follow a GF diet or would just like to try a recipe now and then, I highly recommend this cookbook. I will be making many recipes from it, so keep checking back. (For my non GF readers, don’t fret, I will still be posting regular desserts as well.)

You might wonder why there is no xanthan gum in this flour recipe. ATK decided early on in their testing process to omit gums from the blend as even 1/8 teaspoon would make a difference in a recipe. It is better to customize the amount of gum to suit the needs of individual recipes. For instance, you would use a different amount for cookies than you would for bread.

Tips: Be sure to use potato starch, not potato flour. However, tapioca starch is also sold as tapioca flour and they are interchangeable. Bob’s Red Mill is strongly recommended to use for the rice flours, as they have a finer grind than other brands. If you consume dairy, make sure to use the nonfat milk powder, it really helps baked goods brown. If you want a dairy free option you can use soy milk powder. If at all possible weigh the ingredients, it is more accurate than using measuring cups. I like digital scales by Salter, and this is the one I’m using these days. Follow this recipe exactly without substitutions-it’s the only way to guarantee the results I achieved.

If you know of some great Gluten-Free cookbooks to recommend, leave a comment for me!

from: The How Can It Be Gluten Free Cookbook
makes: 42 ounces (about 9 1/3 cups)

24 ounces (4 1/2 cups plus 1/3 cup) white rice flour
7 1/2 ounces (1 2/3 cups) brown rice flour
7 ounces (1 1/3 cup) potato starch
3 ounces (3/4 cup) tapioca starch
3/4 ounce (3 tablespoons) nonfat milk powder

Whisk all ingredients together in a large bowl until well combined. Transfer to an air tight container and refrigerate for up to 3 months.

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