Easy, Tasty, Gluten Free Q&A
Wow, what a response! Thank you everyone who has gotten in touch about Easy, Tasty Gluten Free, by trying the free recipes, buying the cookbook, and sharing your results. I'm just thrilled to hear how much you and your family are enjoying these delicious treats!
Lots of you have also reached out to ask questions. Since they overlap, I am going to answer the most common ones here in the blog. Have more? Reach me on Instagram or Facebook, or email me via my website (just scroll down the page).
Why Asian Market Rice Flours?
This is the number 1 question people ask me about the recipes in Easy, Tasty, Gluten Free. The answer is simple: These flours are fluffier! And they seem to be the same all over the world.
Whether I'm baking in the US, Canada, Switzerland, Australia, Germany, or somewhere else, the flour I get in an Asian market always seems to have similar labels and the same fluffy texture.
When I buy speciality flours in health food stores or supermarkets, the white rice flour tends to be grainier, and it makes a drier, grittier baked treat. I don't like the texture: it doesn't say 'love' to me. So I buy my flours at the Asian markets. Added bonuses: they are often less expensive, and I find all kinds of cool ingredients to try!
These are in my cupboard now. The brands can change but the labels are always similar. Sometimes one is blue instead of red or green. Check the label before you buy!
Is Sweet Rice Flour (AKA Glutinous Rice Flour) Gluten Free?
Sweet rice flour is one of the 2 core flours in my Easy, Tasty Gluten Free recipes. Sometimes new celiacs are put off by one of its alternate names. It's also called sticky rice flour, or glutinous rice flour.
Uh oh...does that mean it has gluten? No. In this case, glutinous means sticky rice, a different variety than the regular white rice that is used to make white rice flour.
White rice flour is made from rice, Latin name Oryza sativa.
Sweet rice flour is made from sweet or sticky rice, a variety of rice with the Latin name Oryza sativa var. glutinosa
Glutinous means sticky or gummy (Webster's defines it as having a quality like glue). That's different than gluten, our devil protein.
Sweet rice flour, AKA glutinous rice flour, is safe for gluten-free baking. It adds some chewiness and holds moisture in the batter. I generally use it in combination with regular white rice flour.
I'm new to gluten-free baking. Which recipe should I try first?
Well, as you might guess from the title, Easy, Tasty, Gluten Free they are all pretty easy. But for real beginners, or people who are nervous in the kitchen, these can be particularly good recipes to start your gluten-free baking adventures:
Super Reliable Take-Them-To-Work Brownies
Crunchy Criss-Cross Peanut Butter Cookies
What is the best kind of chocolate to use, dark or milk?
Wars have been fought over this!! (At least, they have in my kitchen). For recipes where the chocolate is melted down and mixed in, like the Chocolate Raspberry Torte, Chocolate Swirl Cheesecake, or Mom's Fudge, the chocolate you use really affects the texture. That has to do with the different contents of cocoa solids vs. milk and other components in the chocolate. So for these recipes, stick with what's in the recipe at the beginning. You can always experiment later - I certainly do!
Recipes with chocolate bits in them are a different story. Chocolate-Filled Peanut Butter Cookies, Chocolate Chip Pound Cake or Coconut Delights use small pieces of chocolate to add big bursts of flavor. For these, use whatever you like best: very dark, sort of dark, milk chocolate, even (gasp!) white chocolate. Modifying the recipes to fit your or your family's particular tastes helps you share the love.
Don't have the book yet? What are you waiting for? These recipes are perfect for giving yourself or someone you care for some real gluten-free love! Get the book here