• allergymama

    posted on January 28, 2010 at 8:17 pm

    Sorghum is my favorite gf flour by far. I use a tone of it! I’m thinking it would fall into the medium weight category here. What would you say?

    [Reply]

    Amy Reply:

    @allergymama, I don’t know how I left sorghum out…it must have been when I was editing because it was on the list. Thanks for catching that!! I use it all of the time too. It’s a neutral flavor and seems to go well with everything.

    [Reply]

  • Kisha

    posted on January 28, 2010 at 8:10 pm

    I like most GF flours, but I’m wandering what the best mixture would be to make a sandwich bread that isn’t heavy?

    [Reply]

    Amy Reply:

    @Kisha, I have a fantastic sandwich bread recipe if you can hold on a week or two until I get it posted. It’s delish! I’ve been working on reducing the starch in it and it’s pretty darn good.

    [Reply]

  • Maggie Savage

    posted on January 28, 2010 at 8:13 pm

    Thanks Amy. This series will be so valuable for so many. I was wondering if you know of a database or tool that will tell me the nutritional content for my recipes. My mom needs to get her cholesterol down and I’d love to help her. Thanks!!

    [Reply]

    Amy Reply:

    @Maggie Savage, I just learned at Culinary School that you can go to MyPyramid.org and they should have a tool there that will let you enter foods and find the nutritional info of recipes. I also got a program that will do that with my Nutrition and Meal Planning book.

    It’s called Nutrition for Foodservice & Culinary Professionals by Drummond & Brefere.

    [Reply]

    Chris Reply:

    @Amy, I don’t find a website for MyPyramid.org, but there is one for MyPyramid.gov, is that what you meant? However, I went to MyPyramid.gov, and their database did not have either sorghum or millet. I did, however, find nutritiondata.self.com, which had sorghum, millet, teff, rice flours, and quinoa. It has nutritional content, protein analyzation, and glycemic index. I think it would be interesting to put together a table comparing the different flours’ nutritional properties and protein makeup.

    Also, the website food.com will let you enter and save recipes and gives you a nutrional analysis of the whole recipe.

    Keep up the good work! I am 9 months into the gluten free thing but still feeling like a novice.

    [Reply]

  • Amy

    posted on January 28, 2010 at 8:15 pm

    Thanks so much for beginning this series. This is all new for me so its very helpful to have a clearer explanation of different flours.

    [Reply]

  • Chelsey

    posted on January 28, 2010 at 8:51 pm

    I’m a big fan of almond flour. It has a neutral taste and is rich in fiber calcium and good fats. I make muffins with almond flour for my day home kids and they love it (I have one really picky eater who can’t tell!). People always ask for seconds when I bake these muffins. It’s too bad it doesn’t work for breads.

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  • Kestlyn

    posted on January 28, 2010 at 9:22 pm

    I’m a newbie to GF, so I am very thankful that you’re writing this series! I can’t wait until you post your bread recipe. I made a loaf with sorghum, brown rice, and tapioca flours that tasted great…but it was about 1 1/2″ high and VERY dense. Could you possibly consider giving alternatives in your recipes as you write this series (for those of us with different levels of experience with GF)? ie. Perhaps a lighter bread recipe for the newbies (and kiddos new to GF) along with a healthier heavy weight bread recipe for those who have moved past wheat withdrawal.

    [Reply]

    Kristine G Reply:

    @Kestlyn,

    I know this is an old post but just wondering if you’ve figured out how to get your bread to rise? Last week I made the same loaf as you (before reading your post) using millet instead of sorghum. I let it “rise” all day and the baked it. It tasted like sourdough bread and was delicious however it only rose about 2 inches like yours. It was more like a deep dish pizza crust :)

    [Reply]

  • Kelly Michelle

    posted on January 28, 2010 at 11:55 pm

    Thanks for sharing. For those of us new to gluten free I think it may be very helpful if you could include some comparisons to things like all purpose flour, whole wheat flour, and whole wheat pastry flour if at all possible to add perspective if never having used these ones before.

    [Reply]

  • Jenn

    posted on January 29, 2010 at 1:16 am

    Great post Amy – I think one HUGE hinderance for many GF folk is figuring out why and how to use all of the different GF ingredients. It can be extremely intimidating when faced with choices of 20 or more ingredients to choose from, and having no idea why some people chose one set of ingredients over another.

    You have an interesting way of breaking apart the flours – While white rice flour may be less dense and fit in with the starches based on density alone, I’m not sure that I would categorize it with them for cooking/baking – in my experience working with the starches (potato, amaranth, cornstarch, tapioca) introduces a completely different type of chemistry to a product than rice flour.

    One example to show this – when making a sauce, adding a flour like white rice flour will thicken your sauce and it will become opaque (think gravy) – but if you add tapioca flour instead, your sauce will not become opaque as it thickens but remain translucent and develop a bit of a sheen (this is why lots of pie fillings call for tapioca).

    Consequently, each starch has different heat tolerance, dissolution and acid/base characteristics that make one better than another for different uses. They are chemically structured very differently from flours.

    Likewise, flours also differ from each other in their chemical properties which will affect their baking/cooking. Unfortunately I am not a starch or food chemist so I have no way of choosing ahead of time which properties are needed for which products – I think someone really needs to write a book on gluten free chemistry, because there is a LOT of information that could be useful to everyone.

    Until then, I choose a starch:flour ratio that I think will best serve whatever it is that I am making, and then pick the starch I want to use, and then for the flour part just throw a bunch of different ones together based on umm…a “gut” feeling of what I think will work. Ha that is hardly scientific at all!

    By FAR my favorite flours are millet and sorghum. I like grinding my own almond flour too. I use rice less and less because I feel that it has a hard time interacting with other parts of dough/batter and can develop a bit of a grainy texture. Quinoa can have a bit of this issue too, but I think it works better when mixed with other GF flours. I tend to use bean flours only in small amounts because of their very strong flavor.

    Wow that was a long comment, sorry for the novel!

    [Reply]

    Denise Reply:

    @Jenn,

    What (machine?) do you use to make almond flour? I have a grain mill, but the manual warns against nuts (too oily). Also was wondering if I can make my own quinoa flour with the mill.

    Great series, Amy! Looking forward to the next installment. :)

    [Reply]

    Kestlyn Reply:

    @Denise, I know you weren’t asking me, but I use the almond meal that is left over from making almond milk. I soak almonds overnight, rinse, and then put them in the blender. Fill with filtered water to the top and blend until smooth. Strain through muslin and you’re left with almond milk and almond meal/flour. Just dry and it’s ready to go.

    [Reply]

  • Jeanine

    posted on January 29, 2010 at 5:40 am

    What a great post, I can’t wait to see the rest of the series! When I went GF, this was the hardest part. I like using ground flaxseed, oat flour and sorghum now, in addition to some of the light flours.

    [Reply]

  • Alta (Tasty Eats At Home)

    posted on January 29, 2010 at 7:36 am

    I love that you’re doing this series. I love quinoa flour, but you’re right, it does have a distinct taste. I also like sorghum and coconut flour a lot. I think for a lot of people that are still missing wheat and looking for wheat replacements, those on that first list will be easiest for them to connect with. For those of us who appreciate heartier, more rustic baked goods and have moved past the wheat withdrawal, those on the second two lists work well. Great job!

    [Reply]

  • Sandy

    posted on January 29, 2010 at 8:25 am

    What a great topic! Can’t wait for more!

    [Reply]

  • Shawna

    posted on January 29, 2010 at 10:06 am

    I feel like I’m going to culinary school myself! What a treat! Thanks for the info!

    [Reply]

  • Tara Mcginnis

    posted on January 29, 2010 at 10:10 am

    I have gotten as many GF flours as I can, including nut flours and mix a little bit of each into a large container, then I pull from that when I’m baking. Not sure if it makes it any better or not but it makes up for my ignorance of what flour to choose.

    [Reply]

  • Aubree Cherie

    posted on January 29, 2010 at 10:19 am

    Hi Amy, Thanks so much for deciding to ‘just to it’ with this series. Its something I know I’ve struggled with and am excited to read what your thoughts are and especially what your favorites are.

    ~Aubree Cherie

    [Reply]

  • Sandy Gillett

    posted on January 29, 2010 at 10:58 am

    Thanks for doing this series Amy. I can’t wait for the sandwich bread recipe. I lost count on the number of recipes (loaves) I’ve made and then dumped in the trash.

    [Reply]

  • Jenn AKA The Leftover Queen

    posted on January 29, 2010 at 1:34 pm

    I am looking forward to the rest of this series. Even though I don’t think I need to eat gluten free – I do feel the need to lighten my load in terms of grain based flours – so using quinoa, or buckwheat and various bean flours are of interest to me. But gluten free flours tend to be expensive, and to I don’t want to spend money on something I might not like, or might not have the right texture or flavor for a recipe – and it is so hard to know without experimenting with them – UNLESS Amy is writing about it on her blog! Thanks Amy!

    [Reply]

  • jamie

    posted on January 29, 2010 at 2:27 pm

    i too say thank you for the postings! i am fairly new to gf, so i appreciate all the help :) i have to say bette hageman has a table in her cookbook (i think the one about breads, but my brain is shorting out) that shows the protien, carb, and other values of the different gf flours and compares them to wheat flour. that has been helpful to me. and so far my favorite gf flour mix is fava bean, sorgham, tapioca starch, and coconut flour. i mix it up in 3 cup batches and store it in tupperware in my fridge. but i am always experimenting and tinkering with recipes, so this will be great.

    [Reply]

  • Karen@Cook4Seasons

    posted on January 29, 2010 at 3:34 pm

    Excellent! The more info. the better. I totally agree that the chemistry with gluten free baking is the hardest part. I’m still trying to figure out the starches and thanks to Denise have a better understanding.
    I use coconut flour occasionally – but it requires so many eggs that I go broke just making a small batch of muffins (since my eggs cost $6/dozen;-) And I’m not always crazy about the texture. I also use almond flours (both blanched and regular) with mostly good results. I love sorghum and also find that quinoa and garbanzo have intense flavors.
    I look forward to each upcoming post esp. one that includes a successful sandwich bread. Mine always crumble!

    [Reply]

  • Vee S.

    posted on January 29, 2010 at 6:55 pm

    Amy,
    Do you possibly have a gluten-free, casein-free, and yeast-free sandwich (aka light not dense) bread recipe that uses sourdough starter as the leaven? That would be perfect for me and all my allergy problems. I have a “wild” starter I created from potato water I could use. It is great added to pancake batter.

    [Reply]

    Amy Reply:

    @Vee S., I have never made sourdough bread. I’d love to someday, though. :)

    [Reply]

  • Vee S.

    posted on January 29, 2010 at 6:58 pm

    Oh yeah, forgot to add I’m allergic to oats, too! So gluten-free oats are out.

    [Reply]

  • Lisa

    posted on January 29, 2010 at 7:49 pm

    Fantastic Idea.
    I love it.

    [Reply]

  • HeatherC

    posted on January 30, 2010 at 12:42 am

    maybe a total novice question but can 1 similar in density flour be substitited for another in a consistent ratio (ie 1 c sorghum for 1 c quinoa)? Obviously taste will be different but will recipe still hold together?

    [Reply]

    Amy Reply:

    @HeatherC, Generally that should work. I always stop and look at the batter, evaluate the consistency, and make adjustments if needed. Sometimes an extra tablespoon of liquid or two is just what it needs.

    [Reply]

  • Mona

    posted on January 30, 2010 at 7:58 am

    Thank you so much for doing this job, your website is really helpful!

    Having lived glutenfree most of my life, it’s hard to now also be limited to low GI flour. Experimenting with almond-and coconutflour, is not easy. Problably sounds strange to you, but here in Norway I have ONE brand to choose from :-) . Looking forward to the next part of this series, mixing flours and recipes.

    I love quinoaflour! Making my quinoa and yougurt bread, moist and tastes great, hardly any yeast and it doesn’t crumble.

    [Reply]

  • karen

    posted on January 30, 2010 at 11:18 am

    I really wish there had been something like this when I started out. I wasted so much money on flours! This is a great idea. I use corn flour for breading fish and seafood. I would like to find one I really like for things like fried chicken.

    [Reply]

  • Lauren

    posted on January 30, 2010 at 3:11 pm

    Interesting. I’m interested to see the rest of this series =D.

    [Reply]

  • Linda- Kitchen Therapy

    posted on January 30, 2010 at 3:13 pm

    This is an interesting way to group flours. Though I would say that refined starches aren’t really flour. They offer no nutrition, other than high glycemic calories.

    Looking forward to the rest of the series.

    [Reply]

  • Libby

    posted on January 30, 2010 at 7:07 pm

    Newbie here experimenting with gluten free flours.
    I just found some Chia Seed(super packed with nutrients) and og Brown Rice flour blend at the farmers market this week, really cheap. The sign mentioned 1:1 substitute for wheat flour. I’m excited to try it!

    Thanks for the recipes, this helps a lot!

    [Reply]

  • Terri

    posted on January 30, 2010 at 11:40 pm

    Thanks Amy for posting about the differences between the GF flours. I love your website! You inspire me to try my own things in baking. I have built off some of your recipes and changed them to suit my needs. The banana flax muffins are a regular in my kitchen!
    Anyway,
    I have gone through my share of failed experiments with gf blends, so I tried a store bought one. I wasn’t impressed with the taste of Bob’s red mill all purpose flour. It was a little too beany for my taste and my family hated the baked goods I made with it. I looked online and found a GF blend, and modified it with the ingredients I had. I use brown rice flour(3 parts), corn starch (3 parts), soy flour(2 parts) and almond flour (1 part).(the original recipe called for 1 part corn flour instead of the almond flour, but I find the almond tastes much better.) I also cut down on the cost of the flours by grinding my own brown rice flour and almond flour using a spice grinder. It is a little time consuming, but it’s time well spent. I grind long grain brown rice and it turns out fine in the muffin recipe. Thanks again for posting about the flours. I look forward to reading the next installment!

    [Reply]

  • Ricki

    posted on January 31, 2010 at 8:36 am

    A great idea to post about flours–I’ve been playing around with combinations myself and find that it’s true, chemistry is a huge factor in GF baking–even more than in conventional baking. I haven’t had the same experience with nut flours being the most dense, but maybe that’s because I tend to combine them with other flours.

    [Reply]

  • Brooks J. Young

    posted on February 13, 2010 at 12:55 am

    Amy,

    Thank you so much for writing this series. I have been running around in circles trying to find out about different flours and also where to purchase them.

    I’m definitely going to try all your new recipes.

    You’re the best!

    [Reply]

  • kristine G

    posted on September 30, 2010 at 9:06 am

    I’ve was experimenting with making the gluten free breads from Bette Hagmans books and then decided to try my own recipe. Her recipes tasted great but I had some concerns. For one all the breads are too sweet. How much sugar is really necessary for the yeast? Also I’ve noticed most of the gluten free breads have alot of starch. Is it good for you to be eating that much starch? It seems that half if not more of the flours in GF recipes is pure starch. Is there a way of getting around this? The ones that I buy at whole foods dont have the starch.

    thanks alot for all the posts they’ve been helpful in my transition.

    [Reply]

    Amy Reply:

    @kristine G, I have a bread recipe that works pretty well on my blog – here’s the link: http://newsite.simplysugarandglutenfree.com/gluten-free-whole-grain-sandwich-bread/

    A little bit of something is needed to help the yeast but too much is a problem, too. I’ve made some of her breads and, yea, she uses a lot of starch. But her recipes work really well. Whole wheat bread has lots of white flour in it, too. It’s not totally whole grain.

    All that to say I don’t know for sure about the gluten-free bread recipe. I’m just starting on my bread baking adventures.

    [Reply]

    Kristine G Reply:

    @Amy,

    Thanks for the reply. I have also just started making bread. I found it best to start with a cookbook, I think I have 6 now in my house from the library… haha. Now I just want to make my own bread that suits my tastes. I dont have a bread machine and im missing alot of the flours needed for your recipe but when I run out of the flours I have I’ll get the ones needed to try yours. im just going to keep experimenting! My breads dont always turn out right but my hubby eats them anyway :)

    [Reply]

    Amy Reply:

    @Kristine G, That’s part of the learning process…you’ll be amazed at how much you start to intuitively know about gluten-free flours after all that experimenting. Have fun!

  • Tonya Weathers

    posted on February 6, 2011 at 9:20 pm

    I was cleaning off my counter and was about to throw away Plano Profile Magazine and happened to puruse thru quickly and happened upon your article – The Sweet Secret. I don’t want to sound weird, but I feel like you and I are destined to be friends! A year ago I started a journey after seeing a chiropractor. She told my husband and myself to stop eating sugar and gluten. It has been a challenging year to try and figure out how to adjust recipes and find solutions that taste good that my two teenagers will actually eat, too. I am sooooo excited to try your recipes!!!!!! Do you still have any spots left for your baking class tomorrow night at Plano Rec Ctr? I hope so!! I will contact the phone numbers to get a login and try to register. I feel like this is a turning point in our life and what I’ve been looking for to help me figure out how to be successful with gluten-free/sugar-free eating. I’m on a cloud!!!

    [Reply]

  • AmyK

    posted on April 8, 2011 at 7:14 pm

    Hi Amy, I just came across you site and am very excited. My daughter has celiac disease and eating gluten free for the last 3 years. Although I cook GF pretty well, I have not had much success with baking breads and would have loved to have been part of your gf baking class. Will you be doing any again soon and online? Or do you know of any in the Southern California area? My daughter is considering this as a career and she and I would love to get more experience baking.

    [Reply]

  • Ellen Palser

    posted on September 19, 2012 at 12:22 pm

    My pain specialist recently had me read ‘WHEAT BELLY’ and go on a gluten free diet. While it hasn’t changed my pain, I am now considerably lighter, and my juvenile diabetes and asthma have improved immeasurably. Along with this I have suffered from gastro-parisis and was on stomach tube feeding for 2 years. This is much improved as well. I came accross your website in an old Reader’s Digest and enjoy your recipes. I will continue to look you up often. I was interested to read about the nut flours, as I have a bad nut allergy, so will now avoid them. Keep up the good work – we need you!
    Sincerely Ellen

    [Reply]

    Amy Reply:

    @Ellen Palser, Congrats on the health improvements! My experience has been that as long as we continue to focus on solutions, they come to us. It is just a matter of time. Thank you for you kind words about my blog. It is a true passion of mine and a labor of love. It feels good to know it helps others.
    Hugs,
    Amy

    [Reply]

  • Alice Moriarty

    posted on November 10, 2013 at 1:34 pm

    Since reading Wheat Belly I’ve been trying to find websites devoted to wheat free baking but have been repeatedly referred to GF websites. I’ve created numerous bread recipes that do not use wheat but use other gluten flours. My Blood sugar still spikes after eating. Now I’m trying to go GF all the way but as others have pointed out, the bread may taste good but it is a poor choice for sandwiches. I bought Bob’s GF bread mix. This was delicious BUT all those starches! And 150 calories a slice! Sandwich for lunch is out of the question. Carbs are pretty high too. Your “choosing the right flour….” article may be just the answer I’m looking for. I have no trouble (that I know of) with digesting gluten but wheat spikes blood sugar and I’m diabetic. I’ve had good success with controlling BS with diet. I’m hopeful that by using the info here I may be more successful in creating GF bread that is also calorie and carb “friendly”. You have a great site. Thank you.

    [Reply]

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