First, a story about gluten free flour.
[Be warned, there is no happy ending – yet. But there will be in Part 2, so stay tuned.]
And so it begins. No more gluten. You clean out your pantry, wipe down your shelves. Eradicate any evidence of gluten. Your baking shelf is bare. Forlorn looking. But not for long.
You’re hungry. For something sweet, baked, and familiar. You thumb through your recipes and realize everything is off limits. Everything has gluten. You do a little research and realize the one bag (of flour) lifestyle you took for granted is Over. There is no one way to bake GF because there is no ONE flour. There are dozens. You start to sweat. Then you come across Bob Red Mill’s All-purpose gluten free flour. Seems promising. You also buy a small package of a pricey fine white powder called Xanthan gum. Now you’re ready to bake.
But wait. You discover some rather unflattering online reviews of bean flours, like Bob’s. Hmm. Undeterred, you get back out there. You buy another blend, this time no bean.
Nothing is going to stop you from making some cookies. Or cake. Or bread. Okay, maybe not bread. Not yet.
You obsess over recipes, searching blogs and books for answers. A pattern emerges. Each recipe seems to call for a different brand of flour. So and So’s flour blend. There are a lot of So-and-So’s.
Then a recipe suggests making your own flour blend.
You start to sweat again. But you put on a brave face, shrugging off doubt, fear, not to mention the mounting expenses. You contemplate making your own flour blend, but that would mean investing in several more bags of flours. And what about the AP blends collecting in your pantry? What about the Xanthan gum?
The last straw is the bashing of that most expensive ingredient, the one several bloggers told you was impossible to bake without, but now it seems there is a controversy among gluten free bakers. The pro gums versus the anti gums. This is what now consumes you. Gums. And not the bubble blowing kind.
Things are getting dire. Partly out of desperation, and partly out of curiosity, you order phyllium husk, a non-gum ingredient to replace the gums. You’re willing to experiment. After dozens of orders from Amazon and countless trips to the organic (crazy expensive) market, you’re up for anything. Okay, it’s mostly desperation. Then it comes in the mail and the container says, in big bold unmistakable letters (the kind of letters you couldn’t read in the dark when you ordered it at three in the morning on your phone from Amazon):
Pause here to Freak Out.
To be continued…
Part 2 will be coming soon, with some much needed hope and advice, but tell me, please, what is YOUR story about GF baking? Is your pantry overstuffed with half-used flours and mixes? What has worked best for you? What has been a disaster? Do you gum or not gum? Have you tried the colon cleanser? (I haven’t – yet.)
If you’re feeling really desperate, visit The Good Stuff for a general list of what brands my family likes, but please do come back soon for an advice-filled post about GF flour.
It’s not all doom and gloom. I promise.