gluten-free flours

The wild and wacky world of gluten-free flours

If you’re a newly diagnosed celiac, the world can be a dark and scary place. Walk into any mainstream restaurant and the list of can’t-haves is flat-out depressing. Supermarkets that were once joyful smorgasbords of whatever your leetle heart desired suddenly have whole aisles knocked out from your weekly romp. Even your own pantry lets out a dry cackle when you open the door in hopes of a little sustenance. What in the world do celiacs eat?

We eat a lot, actually. Eyebrow-raising, envy-inspiring, attention-grabbing goodies, in fact. Soon enough, you won’t even notice you’re “deprived.” People will apologize as they bite into a pillowing billow of glutenous bagel and you’ll just smile, knowing that when you get home you will make a feast fit for kings.

But hold on a sec – you just got diagnosed and you are confused about cooking without all-purpose flour. Understandable. The gluten-free flour world is vast and largely uncharted in American kitchens. But fear not. The learning curve is steep, yes. But at some point you will emerge at the top of Mount Everest with gluten-free bread in one hand, gluten-free muffins in another, gluten-free cookies and cakes in the crooks of your arms, and a gluten-free chocolate chip bundt cake balanced like a wreath atop your head. And you’ll feel like a million bucks. True story.

Living Without, a magazine dedicated to those with food allergies, has a fantastic article on the different gluten-free flours, their properties and uses. If intimidating at first, bookmark it and come back to it every couple of months. See if anything new piques your interest. Soon you’ll be baking your way to Breadville. And Muffintowne. And Cakeykins. Buttah!