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Gluten Free Recipes

Asked by NJ54. Answered on 11th April 2012

Full question

To convert recipes to Gluten Free is it simply a case of using gluten free flour or are there other changes to ingredients needed?

Hi Nigella, as always your site is full of delicious recipes however, I struggle with this as I have an intolerance to gluten. Could you possibly provide me with some alternatives? Thanks ever so much. Dorothy Jamieson, Shetland Isles

Our answer

Some recipes will convert well to using gluten free flours but unfortunately some will not. It is best, if possible, to use a gluten free flour mixture that has been specially blended for baking (such as Dove's Farm in the UK or Bob's Red Mill in the US). These mixtures usually contain 2 or 3 different flours which often give a better result than using just one type of flour. Sometimes also a natural product called xanthan gum is used, this is a thickener and stabilizer and helps to bind the cake or cookie together (instead of gluten).

Often gluten free flours require a little extra liquid. If your recipe already has a liquid batter then this may not matter but check with the guiidelines on the flour packaging as you may need to increase liquids by a couple of tablespoons. If you are measuring the flour using cups then you may also need to make slight adjustments as gluten free flours may pack slightly differently to all-purpose (plain) flour. Again the packaging should have guidelines. If measuring by weight then you can usually just substitute the equivalent weight of gluten free flour.

Nigella also has a good selection of gluten free recipes on her website. Go to the recipes section and click on Nigella's Own recipes. From here you can narrow your search to gluten free recipes by clicking on the "gluten free" box and then clicking on "refine".

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