Basic Gluten-Free Ingredients
Using quality ingredients can make all the difference in the flavor and texture of the finished dish. A number of flours can be used in our recipes.
Containing the bran, brown-rice flour has more protein, fat, and nutrients than white-rice flour. Considered a whole grain, brown-rice flour is a little heavier than white-rice flour and has a slightly nutty flavor. The higher fat content makes it more perishable than white-rice flour, so it needs to be stored in the refrigerator to preserve freshness. Be sure to bring the flour to room temperature before combining it with other ingredients.
Ground from dried corn kernels, cornmeal adds great flavor and texture to muffins and breads. Cornmeal is commonly available in yellow and white varieties; yellow cornmeal has a stronger corn flavor.
Buckwheat is in the same botanical family as rhubarb and is not related to wheat. Buckwheat flour makes a good addition to pancake and waffle batters.
Without gluten to support the structure of the dough or batter, gluten-free baked goods can be dense and heavy. Gluten-free flours are also heavier than all-purpose wheat flour, compounding the problem and making baked goods even denser. To counteract this, starches are added to lighten the mixture and replicate the texture of wheat flour. They also serve as thickeners, help stabilize the structure of baked goods, and produce a lighter and smoother texture.
Tapioca flour, also called tapioca starch, is a light powdery starch made from the tuberous root of the cassava plant. Tapioca flour is a key ingredient in gluten-free flour blends because it helps to lighten the texture of baked items while adding a chewy texture and strengthening the structure.
(not potato flour)
A finely textured starch made from raw white potatoes, potato starch helps to lighten flours and gives gluten-free breads and other baked goods a more tender texture.
Potato flour, make from cooked potatoes, has a much heavier texture than potato starch. Do not substitute potato flour for potato starch in gluten-free recipes, as it will make baked goods very dense and heavy.
Made from the starchy endosperm of the corn kernel, cornstarch is used to lighten baked goods and thicken sauces. Adding cornstarch to gluten-free biscuits and scones helps gives them more tender texture.
Yeast is made up of a single-celled organism, Saccharomyces cerevisiae. When provided with food, moisture, oxygen, and a warm temperature, yeast begins to grow and ferment. The fermentation process produces carbon dioxide, which expands to make the bread rise. Except for brewer’s yeast, all yeast sold in the United States is gluten-free.