Friday, August 16, 2013

Gluten-free baking mix, pie crust and pasta recipes

I realize a lot of people see the gluten-free bandwagon as a fad, but for those of us who have truly been diagnosed with a gluten allergy (celiac disease), there is nothing faddish about  it.  When you HAVE to eat gluten-free, it is a tremendous challenge to find products that are safe.  Reading labels gets old quickly and previously "gluten-free" products were essentially impossible to find (in my area anyway), unless you could find them at a health food store.  Even in purchasing gluten free products, you have to "know your stuff" & still read labels.  Gluten is in other products other than wheat. 

Recently my daughter bought her dad some "gluten-free" muffins, but the label lists barley, which is a no-no. 

OK, enough with the rant.

The purpose of this  post is to share the basic gluten-free flour recipe that I have been using for a long time.  I can't give credit for the source because I don't have it.  

You can use it for many things, but baking cakes and biscuits still isn't on the list.  If I ever find a recipe for an edible biscuit, I'll share it.  I use it for breading meats for frying, thickening sauces, thickening for cream soups, mixing with corn meal to make a corn meal mix that isn't too grainy in texture as with pure corn meal, PASTA and PIE CRUST!!!  Below are the recipes for both.

First, the basic flour recipe.  I buy my flours in bulk at Muddy Pond, a Mennonite community in Monterey, which is just outside of Crossville, TN.

BASIC GLUTEN-FREE FLOUR MIX (Original source unknown)

2 cups oat flour
1/2 cup coconut flour
2 cups tapioca flour
2 cups rice flour
4 teaspoons Xanthan gum
1 teaspoon Lecithin
1 cup corn starch

Place the 2 cups of oat flour in food processor or blender and add Xanthan gum and Lecithin
powders.  The Lecithin especially is bad to clump together. Mix well.  Add to remaining flours and mix thoroughly.  Store covered in a cool, dry place.

For SELF RISING FLOUR:  4 cups of flour mix, 4 teaspoons baking powder, 1 teaspoon salt.

2 cups flour mix
1 1/2 teaspoons xanthan gum (yes, additional to the xanthan in the flour mix)
3-4  eggs

Place eggs and xanthan gum in bowl of food processor, pulse to  mix thoroughly.  Continue to process while adding flour.   Dough will pull away from the bowl.

Either roll out thinly with a rolling pin and cut, or use your pasta machine.

I use mine fresh without drying, but that is personal preference.  I freeze the leftover pasta (cut but uncooked).

PIE CRUST:   I've been married & cooking for 46 years & had never mastered the art of pie crusts until I found this recipe from Simply Gluten-Free. This recipe makes the perfect pie crust - very flaky, light and easy to handle.  Did I mention easy to handle?  I had followed every trick I had heard of - rolling between 2 pieces of waxed paper, placing over your rolling pin, etc., but still ended up with a mess.  This one turns out real purty.

Perfect Gluten-free Pie Crust from Simply Gluten-Free.   Check out the link - good tips for the perfect pie crust & lots of recipes.

Gluten Free Perfect Pie Crust Recipe


½ cup unsalted butter or solid, all vegetable non-dairy shortening
2 to 4 tablespoons cold water
*1¼ cups All Purpose Gluten Free Flour Blend plus more for rolling
1 teaspoon kosher or fine sea salt
2 tablespoons sugar


Cut butter into ½ inch pieces and place it the freezer for 15 – 30 minutes.
Add some ice cubes to the water and let it get ice cold while preparing the dry ingredients.
Combine the flour blend, salt and sugar in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse 5 -6 times to combine. Add the butter and pulse 6 -8 times or until the mixture resembles coarse meal with some pea size pieces of butter.
With processor running, add ice water 1 tablespoon at a time until the mixture just barely starts to clump together. If you pinch some of the crumbly dough together and it holds then you have enough water, if not add more a little at a time. You do not want to add any more water than is absolutely necessary.
Remove the dough from the machine and form into a disk. Wrap the disk in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least one hour or for as long as 2 -3 days.  Since the dough is so crumbly and does not hold together at this point, I find it easier (and far less messy) to pour the mixture into a large food storage bag and form it into a disk using the bag to help. Then just close up the bag and put it in the fridge. Remove dough from fridge 5 minutes before rolling.

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