Gluten Free Baking Archive

Jules New Flour Blend

Posted July 28, 2014 By Sandy

I received an email from a reader asking about Jules new flour blend.

For those who were not aware, Jules Shepard started a new company and with the change, she also improved her flour blend.

Here is the message I received from my reader:

You wrote a email back awhile ago that said the following: “My new flour, which is the exact same blend as before, is non-GMO, is certified gluten-free and Kosher, and performs like an all purpose flour should. ”

I was not aware that you were using non-GMO ingredients previously! Can you tell us more about the non-GMO ingredients in your new flour blend?

Of course, I emailed Jules and asked about her new flour blend.  Here is her response:

In changing production facilities, I re-reviewed all my raw ingredients and Jules Shepardsuppliers and took the opportunity to make a tiny tweak to my flour that I think makes it even better! I also switched some ingredients to ensure non-GMO status ingredients. My new flour has an extended shelf life of 18 months and we also are packaging it into two bags instead of one large one, so folks can keep one sealed while they work with the other one, keeping the other bag fresher! Each individual ingredient is either non-GMO verified or certified by the manufacturer to be made without gmo ingredients. I hope that helps!

According to her website, this is the info I have on the new blend:

gfJules™ Gluten Free All Purpose Flour:

  • Also wheat-free, dairy-free, nut-free, soy-free
  • Works in nearly every recipe
  • Now non-GMO
  • Made with only premium modified tapioca starch, potato starch, corn starch, corn flour, white rice flour, and xanthan gum
  • Longer 18-month shelf life
  • Produced in facility certified free of the Top 8 allergens
  • 2 sealed inner pouches keep flour fresher longer
  • Guaranteed to make you happy (really happy)

Makes me happy!  How about you??

PS.  You might want to check out her website for some wonderful recipes!

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As a ‘lazy cook’, I look for quick easy ways to make my food.  It is no different with gluten free bread baking.

I get frustrated with all the recipes that call for x amount of this flour, y amount of another ….. I would much rather use a mix.  And honestly, I don’t really like to bake very much, so my husband does most of the break baking!

Recently, we found a new bread mix that we both love (although my husband is not totally gluten free, he does restrict the amount of gluten he eats).

Maninis Bread MixManinis Country Oat Bread Mix makes the tastiest and easiest bread I have baked so far.

If you are interested in the ingredients list, here is what is included in the mix:

Flour blend (organic millet, tapioca, certified GF oat, teff, organic sorghum, organic amaranth), corn starch, certified GF oat flakes, organic cane sugar, GF xanthan gum, Atlantic sea salt.

All ingredients are gluten free and no bioengineering has been used to produce this product.

The package makes 7 loaves, so last us a few weeks!

 

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Some of the tips I have learned over the years  about baking gluten free bread:

1. Fluff up flour ahead of time and spoon gently into measuring cups (or you will compress flours).
2. Always use a BLEND of gluten-free flours, each flour offers different flavor and baking properties.
2. Oil (and flour) the bread pans — or do what I do: Line with aluminum foil.
3. You may need to increase baking times compared to gluten breads.
4. Gluten free breads require more liquid — so the dough will be gooey and stickier than gluten bread.
5. One the other hand, breads that sink or are gooey often have too much liquid.
6. Over proofing results in bread rising too high, so might also sink or collapse during baking.
7. Mix all dry ingredients together BEFORE adding any liquid to the mix.
8. Successful Gluten Free baking requires attention to levels of protein, moisture, acid, fat, leavening, and binding!

For more info on gluten free bread baking, check out my mini website:

Gluten Free Bread Baking Tips

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Gluten Free Flour Mixes

Posted April 17, 2013 By Sandy

Substituting Gluten Free Flours in your favorite recipes is not as easy as it sounds.  Gluten is the element in breads and baked goods that produces the texture and ‘glue’ to your finished product.

If you do much Gluten Free Baking, you probably already know that you can’t just substitute any ‘ole Gluten Free flour for wheat flour in recipes!  A mix of flour is necessary to give your baked good the good tastes and mouth feel.

You can make your own flour mixes or you can do what I do and purchase a ready-made mix.

Personally, I use Pamela’s Amazing Bread Mix for making bread and muffins.  To me, it has the right consistence and tastes for me.  Following is a list of ingredients from the package:

 Sorghum Flour, Tapioca Flour, Sweet Rice Flour, Brown Rice Flour, Organic Natural Evaporated Cane Sugar, Chicory Root, White Rice Flour, Millet Flour, Honey and Molasses; Rice Bran, Sea Salt and Xanthan Gum

NOTE:  If you purchase the individual 19 oz. package, it will include a yeast packet.

Following is a list of Pamela’s Amazing Bread Flours in the different sizes available. We purchased the 25 pound bag and keep it in the freezer.


I also use Jule’s All-Purpose Flour whenever I bake cookies or bars.  I prefer the softer texture that Jule’s flour gives to the ‘dessert’ type foods.  Following is the list of ingredients:

Expandex™ Modified Tapioca Starch, potato starch, corn starch, corn flour, white rice flour and xanthan gum.

You can see the ingredients are much different with each flour mix.

Of course, there are many more Gluten Free Flour Mixes available.  Following are some of the more popular ones:


Learn more about Gluten Free Flours from my Squidoo Page: Gluten Free Break Baking Tips

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Gluten Free Baking: Gluten Replacers

Posted February 6, 2013 By Sandy

If you have ever tried baking with Gluten Free flours, you know that they just don’t act, feel or respond in the same way as wheat flour.

Gluten-Replacers in Gluten-Free Baking

Gluten has several properties in baking, such as:         Bread - Loaves 3

  • It binds ingredients together
  • It  provides structure to your end product
  • It as elasticity

Jeanne Sauvage, author of the Art of Gluten Free Baking, posted a wonderful article on understanding the gluten substitutes and how to use them.  Here is a few quotes from her article:

Xanthan gum is the product created from the fermentation of the bacteria Xanthomonas campestris in a sugar solution.  In my opinion, xanthan gum is the one that behaves most like gluten. … And for most baking recipes you only need to use about ¼ teaspoon of xanthan gum per cup of flour…

Guar gum is made from the guar bean plant.   It is pretty good at binding and structure-building. But it is much less elastic than xanthan gum…. When I use it, I use the same amount of guar gum that I use of xanthan gum per cup of flour–about 1/4 teaspoon….

…various combinations of psyllium, chia, and flax seeds seem to be the holy grail of gluten-replacers, although you do have to use a lot (several tablespoons in a recipe).

Personally, I have been a subscriber of Jeanne’s website for awhile now, and am very impressed by her knowledge on Gluten Free Baking.  She currently has a book out on the subject:

Gluten Free Baking for the HolidaysGluten Free Baking for the holidays

I have a copy of this book in my own cookbook library and love all the interesting cookies and treats …. that can be eaten all year ’round!  In the beginning of the book is a section called  ‘Gluten Free Baking Primer’ that has a wealth of information for newbies!

I highly recommend Jeanne’s book if you want to learn to bake Gluten Free!

NOTE:  Not all recipes are Vegan!!

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New Gluten Free Cookbook for the Holidays

Posted November 5, 2012 By Sandy

A new cookbook, Gluten Free Baking for the Holidays: 60 Recipes for Traditional Festive Treats by Jeanne Sauvage, author of the Art of Baking Blog, has just been released — just in time for holiday planning and baking!  According to the blog, Jeanne is on and off touring, promoting the book.  I believe she just got back from  Portland, Oregon.  (You can read her post here!)

I have been following Jeanne’s blog for awhile now and have thoroughly enjoyed her tips and recipes.  I was so excited to hear about her new cookbook and doubly excited when my copy arrived in the mail on Friday!

If you have never tried it, Gluten Free Baking is a completely different animal than baking with wheat-based flour.  But Jeanne shares some excellent tips and recipes that she has developed for herself and her family.  Jeanne also shared her personal Gluten Free All Purpose Flour Recipe:

 1¼ cup brown rice flour
1¼ cup white rice flour
1 cup sweet rice flour
1 cup tapioca flour
Scant 2 tsp. xanthan gum

Before I received Jeanne’s Gluten Free Baking for the Holidays Cookbook, I had no idea there were so many types of yummy holiday treats!  Here is a quick list of her Gluten Free Cookie recipes:

  • Speculaas
  • Lebkuchen
  • Pfeffernuesse
  • Springerle
  • Pepparkakor
  • Regulach
  • Benne Cookies
  • Fortune Cookies
  • Mexican Wedding Cookies
  • Spritz Cookies
  • Shortbread Cookies
  • Candy Can Cookies
  • Cutout Cookjies
  • Thumbprint Cookies
  • Gingerbreasd Cookies
  • Chocolate Chip Cookies
  • Chocolate Chip Meringues
  • Meringue Mushrooms
  • Chocolate-Cherry Biscotti
  • Lemon Bars
  • Gingerbread House

There is also separate sections of recipes for cakes, pies & tarts, breads & crackers, and deep-fried treats!

The cookbook is a wonderfully formatted hardcover book that includes 60 recipes for traditional festive treats!

Two things I did not like about the book (honestly, I could only find two!!):

1.  There was not nearly enough photos!  With such wonderfully sounding recipes, I was hoping to see what they looked like!

2.  The recipes are not vegan — although she gives several tips and substitution in the front of the book that would be very helpful for the beginner.

If you are looking for some great sounding Gluten Free recipes for the holidays or if you are just interested in finding some new ideas, I would highly recommend Jeanne’s Gluten-Free Baking for the Holidays!

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Using Substitutions in Your Recipes

Posted November 1, 2012 By Sandy

Once I became Gluten Free and Vegan, I wanted to convert all my favorite recipes to eliminate wheat, gluten, dairy and eggs.  At first, I did not realize how great a task that would become!

Substitutions are available, but often they don’t act the same or tastes the same.  I found that Jeanne from the Art of Gluten Free Baking had faced the same problem and created a post around the topic.

Here are some of the tips she includes in her post: 

First and foremost: substitutes are what they sound like–they are substituting for the preferred item.  So, most of the time they are not going to behave, taste, or feel EXACTLY like the preferred ingredients. …

… I would like to ask everyone who uses cookbooks and blogs and recipe sites to use some common sense when approaching ingredient substitutes.  Realize that a substitute is a step away from the preferred ingredient.  It is going to be, at the very least, slightly different from the preferred ingredient, and at the most, quite different from the preferred ingredient. …

Butter

…   My preferred butter substitute is Earth Balance Soy-Free Butter Spread …Some people use coconut oil in the place of butter.  I do not do this in my baking because it adds a very strong coconut flavor. ….

Eggs

…Eggs are one of the most difficult things to replace in baking.  Eggs provide structure to baked items in addition to binding.  Without eggs, your baked items are going to be flatter than they would be with eggs. …

… my next preferred egg substitute is ground flax seeds mixed with hot water.  For 1 extra-large egg, I recommend mixing 1 TBL of ground flax seeds with 3 TBL of hot (not boiling) water.  Whisk together and then let sit for 15-20 minutes in order to make a gel.  Then use this gel as you would the eggs–you can beat it with your mixer. …

Flours

…Brown rice flour: substitute sorghum flour
White rice flour: substitute millet flour
Sweet rice (also know as glutinous rice) flour: substitute potato flour (not starch)
Tapioca flour: substitute potato starch (not flour)

Sugars

…Maple sugar is a nice alternative to cane sugar.  It behaves the same as cane sugar, but will add a slight maple taste to baked items.

Palm sugar is another nice alternative to cane sugar.  It comes in many forms.  The granulated form can be used in baked goods.

Honey and agave are hard to use in the place of sugar in baked goods.

Xanthan Gum

I use xanthan gum as the “gluten-replacer” in my baking.  I truly feel it is the best product available for creating baked items that taste and feel like their wheat counterparts. …

READ FULL POST

Jeanne shares some excellent suggestions.  Here are my personal preferences:

Butter:  Earth Balance Spread or Coconut oil

EggsEner-G Egg Replacer (Flax gel is a good one, but I am allergic to flax *sigh*)

Flour:  Pamela’s Amazing Flour for breads and Jules Gluten Free Flour for cookies, cakes, etc.

Sugar: Coconut palm sugar for brown sugar, Xylitol for white sugar and Coconut nectar for syrup

Xanthan Gum

——————————–

Interested in more substitution tips:  Check One Green Planet.

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GMO and Jule’s Gluten Free Flour

Posted October 29, 2012 By Sandy

Last week, I posted a survey by fellow blogger, Priscilla Matuson, writer of A Gluten-Free Vegan Mom Who Knows.  My post on the subject and links to Priscilla’s are here.  According to Priscilla’s survey, Jules was one of the few Gluten Free flour companies that admitted to having GMO ingredients in their products.

Needless to say, as a lover of all cookbooks, products and posts by Jules Shepard, I was distressed to hear her response to Priscilla.  After all, her flour was one of the first Gluten Free flours I purchased and used for myself.  And I followed her blog and purchased her e-cookbooks (she has excellent recipes).  She was a great help to me.

To satisfy my own curiosity, I contacted Jules myself to see what she had to say about the GMO ingredients in her products.  Here is some of the things she shared with me:

5 out of the 6 ingredients in my flour are non-GMO and the supplier of the 6th one can’t verify, but certainly doesn’t say they have GMOs. We are working to find another supplier for that one ingredient because I personally want all my ingredients to be confirmed non-GMO. If a consumer goes to the store and buys flour or crackers or cookies or cereal … off the shelf, they almost never know if they contain GMOs. We will start seeing more labeling, but most ingredient suppliers haven’t ever been called upon to say whether their ingredients are GMO free or not, so they don’t know. Our food supply labeling is changing, and things will start to change for consumer products on the shelf, as well, but at this point, most GF products aren’t labeled non-GMO …

… It’s understandable that those who are not in the business of food manufacturing would not know how long it takes to find, confirm continued inventory, test and switch an ingredient. It’s unfortunate, but the change probably can’t happen until the first of the year — though that is still going to be much faster than many other companies who are just learning about the demand for GMOs. …

…we are doing our best to do all the right things. I feed my family with my products, too, and I would never do anything to jeopardize anyone’s health.

I appreciate Jules candid comments and I also appreciate Priscilla’s desire to bring forth awareness of the GMO issue!  But as a food producer myself, I know, like she says, it take time to change suppliers and recipes along with the time to have products tested and approved for sales to the public.  Unfortunately, manufacturer’s are currently NOT required to list GMO ingredients on their labeling.  This can greatly affect folks like Jules (and other small Gluten Free producers) who may not have any idea as to whether or not her ingredient supplies are non-GMO!

In my opinion, the issue is making sure GMO ingredients are made known  by having them included in the labeling.  We, as a health conscienous group, need to support organizations such as Non-GMO Project and the Right To Know Organization so we will all know what we are eating.

In the meantime, it will take time to make the change.  Let’s continue to support those companies who are doing their best to bring us good wholesome non-GMO Gluten Free foods!

 

NOTE:  Both Jules and Priscilla live in the path of the Frankenstorm (Hurricane Sandy).  Let’s remember them this week and hope that they are safe!

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My Pantry — Sugars and Baking Aids

Posted October 27, 2012 By Sandy
Sugars in My Pantry

If you have been following my blog for any length of time, you know that once I changed my diet, all the white sugar, brown sugar, corn syrup, imitation maple syrup, imitation sugars (Splenda in particular) we pulled out of the pantry and gave away.

On the advice of our naturopathic doctor, these are the sweeteners we now use:

  • Stevia — use in drinks or smoothies (be careful if you use Stevia as just a small drop can add lots of sweetener to your drink!)
  • Coconut Palm Sugar — good substitute for brown sugar
  • Xylitol — substitute for regular white sugar
  • Pure Maple Syrup — for Gluten Free pancakes and waffles (I also use it in my baked beans)
  • Coconut Nectar — my favorite on Gluten Free pancakes and waffles (Maple syrup is too sweet for me!!)
  • Honey — locally ‘grown’ is the best and I use this on bread and muffins or in tea when I want a little sweetness.

You will find after eliminating and watching your sugar intake (even using the ones above) your body will no long crave sweetening and lots of the sugar foods you use to love will taste too sweet to you!

Baking Aids in my Pantry

If you want to bake your own breads, quick breads or cookies, you need to learn about different leavening agents.  Once you remove gluten from your flours, extra care and ingredients are needed to help your baked products to have the correct texture.

Here is my list of leavening ingredients:

One you start baking Gluten Free, you will see these special leaving agents in recipes.

If you are interested in some in depth information on Gluten Free Baking, I can recommend a couple resources:

  1. Gluten Free Bread Baking Tips
  2. The Art of Gluten Free Baking Tips

Jeanne, author of The Art of Gluten Free Baking, teaches classes on Gluten Free Baking (mostly in the Seattle area).  She is also coming out with her first cookbook (that I will be reviewing soon).

She also has a wonderful recipe for making Gluten Free Shelf Rising Flour:

Self-Rising Flour, Gluten-Free

1 cup Jeanne’s Gluten-Free All Purpose Flour mix (or mix of your choice)
1 1/2 teaspoons of baking powder
1/4 teaspoon of salt

Do you have other sugars or baking aids in your pantry that are not listed here?  Please share them with us!

 

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My Pantry — Flours

Posted October 20, 2012 By Sandy

After finding out I was gluten free, out went all the flour which were all wheat based!  But I found there is a whole array of gluten free flours that are wonderful – and taste good too.

Following is a list of the most common gluten free flours:

Almond                                            
Amaranth
Arrowroot
Buckwheat
Cornmeal
Flaxseed
Millet
Oat
Quinoa
Rice
Sorghum
Soy
Tapioca
Teff

Beans & Nut flours

Most gluten free flours alone cannot mimic the properties of wheat flour.  Gluten Free Flours need to be mixed in different portions to have the right mouth feel, the right texture, and so they rise correctly. Personally, rather than stocking numerous different flours and mixing my own, I typically use a commercially-made gluten free flour mix.

I really like Pamela’s Products Amazing Wheat Free & Gluten-free Bread Mix.  We purchased a 25 lb. bag and I store it in a plastic pail in the freezer.  Pamela’s flour makes great bread!

When I make cookies and desserts, I prefer Jules Gluten Free All Purpose Flour.  Jules flour is not as heavy as the Pamela’s and tastes light in baked goods.

There are lots of other good gluten free flour mixes to chose — these are  just the ones I use.

For gravy or thickening sauces, I have glutinous rice flour on hand.  Add it to cool liquids and it thickens up nicely without add any flavor to your sauces.  I would think that any rice flour would work, but I just happen to use the glutinous rice flour.

I really like Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free Pancake Mix, when I make pancakes.  Before I was gluten free, I used Bisquick.  I have not tried their Gluten Free Bisquick, but have a box on hand and am anxious to see how it tastes!

Occasionally, I enjoy playing around with other flours.  My husband bought a bag of Mommas, Gluten Free Coconut Blend All Purpose Flour, but we really haven’t used it yet.

Since becoming gluten free, I don’t bake as much as I use to. Special occasions and holidays, I will bring out the flour.  Of course, when I bake bread, I use quite a bit of it.  I notice I feel better when I don’t over do the baked goods.  I like eating my grains whole …. so we will talk about grains in my pantry in another post!

If you are interested in learning more about flours and baking bread, check out my Squidoo lens:

 

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Benefits of Coconut Flour and Coconut Oil

Posted August 22, 2012 By Sandy

If you read my posts, you will know that I am a big lover of all things coconut.  There are SO MANY Benefits of Coconut Flour and Coconut Oil that I don’t think we could list them all.

Dr. Mercola has posted a wonderful article on Coconut Flour and Oil.  Here are a few excerpts:

“At Last — A Natural And Delicious Alternative To Wheat
And Grain That’s Packed with Dietary Fiber
And Is A Good Source of Protein Too!”

I believe Virgin coconut oil is one of the smartest oils you can eat. Rich in lauric acid, coconut oil contains NO trans fat, strengthens your immune system and boosts your metabolism!…

By substituting our new Coconut Flour in some of your baking recipes, you can literally recreate your favorite treats, turning them into delicious guilt-free health promoting foods….

Coconut flour is unlike any other consisting of 14% coconut oil and 58% dietary fiber! The remaining 28% consists of water, protein, and carbohydrate. If you haven’t tried coconut flour yet, here are some more excellent reasons to start:

  • Coconut Flour is ideal for baking. It has fewer digestible (net) carbs than other flours, and it even has fewer digestible carbs than some vegetables!
  • Coconut Flour is gluten-free and hypoallergenic. With as much protein as wheat flour, coconut flour has none of the specific protein in wheat called “gluten”. This is an advantage for a growing percentage of the population who have allergies to gluten or a wheat sensitivity.
  • Coconut Flour consists of the highest percentage of dietary fiber( 58%) found in any flour. Wheat bran has only is 27% fiber.
  • Coconut Flour can help you reach a healthy weight. Ideal for those who follow a low-carb eating plan, coconut flour works well as part of a weight loss program because it has high fiber, and foods with high fiber can help promote a feeling of fullness.

Whoever said “you can’t have your cake and eat it too” was definitely in the dark about the benefits of coconut flour! …

He does go on to talk about soy flour and explains that it NOT the healthy food we think it is …

The bad news is that large portions of commercially prepared gluten-free foods are made using soy flour. I cannot emphasize enough that soy is not the health food that you think it is. If you are still using soy, I urge you to consider how some studies are linking soy to serious health conditions including:

  • Increased risk of breast cancer in women, brain damage in both men and women, and abnormalities in infants
  • Contributions to thyroid especially in women
  • Weakening of your immune system
  • Severe, potentially fatal food allergies

READ FULL POST

I highly recommend reading the full article by Dr. Mercola.  He includes much more information, charts, and study results on the Benefits of Coconut!

And if you are interested in more Coconut Products, check out the links below:

 

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