I try to avoid gluten as much as I can because I feel better if I don’t eat it, that’s why most of the recipes you can find at Simple Vegan Blog are gluten-free. We have a special category indeed.
In this guide I want to show you what kinds of flours you can use if you want to avoid gluten and how to make your own gluten-free flour blend to use instead wheat flour (or other kinds of gluten flours) or even instead others gluten-free flour blends, including store-bought.
According to Wikipedia, gluten is a protein composite found in wheat and related grains (including rye and barley). It gives elasticity to the dough, helping it rise and keep its shape and often gives the final product a chewy texture. It’s composed of two different proteins (gliadin and glutenin), which is conjoined with starch in the endosperm of various grass-related grains. The prolamin and glutelin from wheat (gliadin and glutenin) constitute about 80% of the protein contained in wheat fruit.
The consumption of oats is still being debated for the celiac population. Some authorities feel it’s not safe until more studies are done. Others feel it’s beneficial to include it in the celiac diet once the digestive system of the patient has stabilized. You should follow your doctor’s instructions.
Wheat flour is not all gluten protein. It’s part protein and part starches. That’s why you need to mix whole-grain flours (they use to be high in protein) with starches (they help make the flour mix hold together).
Here are the gluten-free flours you can find:
Whole grain flours:
- Corn flour
- Brown rice flour
- Buckwheat flour
- Millet flour
- Quinoa flour
- Teff flour
- Sorghum flour
- Sweet potato flour
- Mesquite flour
- Oat flour
- Potato flour
- Potato starch
- Tapioca flour
- White rice flour
- Sweet rice flour
- Arrowroot flour
- Almond flour
- Hazelnut flour
- Chestnut flour
- Coconut flour
- Garbanzo bean flour
- Fava bean flour
- Kinako (roasted soy bean) flour
Some people make their own gluten-free flour blend based on a 40/60 ratio (40% whole grains and 60% white flour/starches). Other people prefer other ratios like 60/40 or 50/50. I’ve tried some ratios and they’ve worked for me, but the 60/40 ratio is my favorite.
If you add nut or bean flours to the gluten-free flour blend, add them as whole grains. Bean flours have a strong taste, so many people prefer to use other kind of flour. I’ve only used garbanzo bean flour and I like it. Nut flours are full of good fats, so they will throw off the ratio of your baked goods, so be careful.
Store-bought gluten-free flour blends are expensive (at least here in Spain), some use unhealthy ingredients and others aren’t vegan, so I always make my own blend. For example, to make my ultimate vegan gluten-free brownie I use brown rice flour (60%) and white rice flour + potato starch (40%), which is the best gluten-free flour blend I’ve ever tried.
Combining these flours you can make your own gluten-free flour blend. In general, you can use it in place of all purpose or whole wheat flour in a 1:1 ratio or to replace some gluten-free flour you can’t find. Anyway, if the dough is too liquid, add more flour and if it’s too thick, add more liquid.
If you have any doubt, please leave a comment or send me an email at email@example.com. Happy gluten-free baking!