Gluten products are of special importance to many people who suffer from gluten-intolerance, allergies, or coeliac disease, which is a serious inflammation of the small intestine. More gluten-free labeling and product alternatives are available due to increased interest in dietary restrictions and Government intervention. It is possible to enjoy a wide variety of freshly made foods that are gluten-free, including white and rice breads.
Many foods contain gluten, including roasted nuts, baking powder, hot chocolate, semolina, pre-grated cheese, soy sauce, packaged meats, and mustard powder. Most processed foods also contain gluten. If a food label lists “starch,” “extracts,” or “filler,” gluten is probably present.
Gluten flour (vital wheat gluten) is wheat flour minus starches. Mix with low-gluten flours, as too much will turn foods leathery. It is useful in pizza dough and flatbread and adds density to bagels and other yeast-based goods.
• When using flours that are gluten-free, add xanthan gum or guar. These can be found at health food stores and will add elasticity and form to doughs and baking mixes.
• Glutinous rice does not contain gluten.
• Cake flour has a lower gluten content than all-purpose.
• The more a dough is kneaded, the tougher it will become as the gluten strands become stronger. Always follow recipes exactly for the type of flour used and how long to mix.
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