Wednesday, June 4, 2014
So, you're going gluten free...
This is really an open letter to my sister who is just getting started. Her whole family is going to go gluten free this summer, so I thought I'd give her some tips.

What you'll need...
1. Go buy 

The How Can It Be Gluten Free Cookbook

A Test Kitchen Handbook

. It is worth every dime. You will never regret it, and it will pay for itself in three loaves of wonderful bread.

2. Go buy yourself a kitchen scale. Mine is an OXO® Good Grips® Food Scale (Try Marshall's or Tuesday Morning.) I paid $20, and it works great!

3. At Smart and Final, purchase a 6 L/6 qt plastic container, or something similar.

4. Buy a 4 lb bag of rice flour. (Lotus Market in Mesa has a great price.)
    And from Shar's Bosch Kitchen Center, on Gilbert just South of Baseline, purchase "Bob's Red Mill"
  • Brown rice flour
  • Potato starch (not flour)
  • Tapioca starch
  • Xantham gum (Ouch! Prepare to be shocked by the price. But it will last forever.)
  • Non-fat Milk Powder (They have it in a nice little plastic container.)
  • Almond Flour
5.  On your way back home, stop at Trader Joe's for a bag of gluten free oats. (You're going to be grinding them up in your blender to make oat flour for the sandwich bread recipe.)

6. Next, go to Sprouts for Psyllium Husk Powder (it's by the laxatives, yum. But you'll need it if you want to make awesome bread and pizza crust.

7. At Walmart or wherever, buy yourself some 4 cup and 5 cup gladware containers. Pick up some butter, brown sugar, and chocolate chips, because the first recipe you should try is the Chocolate Chip Cookies!! (I do not recommend making their Oatmeal Cookies, and substituting coconut flour for the almond flour. It was not ideal. I'm just sayin'. Stick to the recipes and you won't go wrong.)

8.  Make up a double batch of America's Test Kitchen Gluten Free Flour Mix. Why a double batch? Because it will use your whole 4 lb bag of white rice flour, and most of the bag of brown rice flour, and it will fit perfectly in your 6 qt container! You can store it in the cupboard, but I suggest storing the bags of extra ingredients in a gallon bag in the freezer. Since you don't know how long it will be before you use up your batch. It took me about a month, but I wasn't baking daily or anything.

9.  Other ingredients that you hopefully have in your fridge or pantry - salt, baking powder, baking soda, instant or rapid rise yeast, sugar, eggs, etc.

My awesome tip - Plan your menu for the week. Measure the flour and dry ingredients for any baked goods you will be making into your gladware containers, write on them with a sharpie, listing the contents, what you need to add to complete the recipe, and baking time and temp! You'll still want to refer to the ATK cookbook for baking, mixing, and storage details but it will take most of the pain out of GF baking for you, and hopefully you will never get desperate enough to purchase one of those premade, outrageously expensive boxes of baking mix.

BTW, the cost of a loaf of this homemade bread is around $5, and it was about the same for a batch of 2 dozen chocolate chip cookies.

Enjoy!! Let me know how it goes!!

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