A year ago, I switched my major from food science to dietetics. However, this was not before learning a great deal about grain processing (I have also worked in a small flour mill and lab for four years). The reason this background is especially helpful is when it comes to understanding gluten free products and baking. Don’t get me wrong, I am not a seasoned gluten free baker, honestly I’ve only tried once! But, I do understand why wheat is superior to other flours for baking…GLUTEN (the protein in wheat)… the exact thing that individuals with Celiac disease cannot have.
The hardest parts of gluten free baking (from what I’ve heard) stem from the moisture balance and protein levels. This is why in gluten free baking a blend of flours is used, and also why that blend can be different for various products.
Last night, I attended another gluten free group session sponsored by a local grocery store. The speaker was a representative from a local company that makes mixes for baking: the mixes are gluten-free, nut-free, dairy-free, and soy-free (so friendly for those with food allergies). The company claims that their product can be used in place of flour, for the same amount, in any recipe.
One of the main flours they use is sorghum. Personally, I have found sorghum products to have a gritty texture. However, these sorghum flours are milled so fine that there is not gritty taste!
Above is a picture of sorghum. The grain is small seeds about the size of a kernel of wheat, but round. Sorghum is lower in protein than wheat, so in order for it to act like wheat flour, it must be mixed with higher protein ingredients. This understanding is an important part of gluten-free baking that I can share with future clients as a dietitian.
We tried many products and those will be posted next along with links to those recipes!