Gluten-free baking for coeliacs
It can be a challenge baking when you have coeliac disease to consider. It’s the gluten in flour that keeps baked goods elastic, and without it, cakes and biscuits are often dry and crumbly. But going without gluten is a necessity for those with this lifelong auto-immune disease that causes damage to the small intestine and prevents nutrients from being properly absorbed.
Coeliac Awareness Week runs from June 18 until June 24 and this year’s theme — Together We are Gluten-Free for Life — spells out the importance of understanding what is not a mere dietary preference.
To help raise awareness and encourage people to enjoy baking again, Coeliac New Zealand ambassador Sally Holland shares two tasty gluten-free recipes from her book Goodbye Gluten. It’s something she knows about all too well, giving traditional scones, sponge cakes, brownies and cupcakes a makeover after her husband Bill was diagnosed with the disease.
Gluten-free flour mix
Sally has used white rice flour and cornflour from maize, not wheat. Xanthan gum is made from corn sugar and is used as a gluten substitute to give elasticity in gluten-free baking. Tapioca flour is also known as arrowroot.
Sift 2 cups rice flour, 1 cup tapioca flour, 1 cup cornflour, 2 Tbsp xanthan gum into a large mixing bowl. Using a wire whisk, slowly stir until well-blended. Transfer to an airtight container. Makes 4 cups.