08 July, 2011
Wheat-Free Bread Alternatives
Breads made with non-wheat flours have a different taste and texture than traditional wheat bread, but can be just as delicious. If you must avoid wheat because of celiac disease or a wheat allergy, use a variety of flours to create wheat-free bread options. Many wheat-free breads taste best toasted. Although they may be used for sandwiches, some wheat-free breads lack the structure to stand up to heavy or voluminous fillings.
Rice is the least allergenic grain, notes Jennifer Cinquepalmi in “The Complete Book of Gluten-Free Cooking.” Rice flour creates a dense, heavy bread that doesn’t rise as high as wheat breads. Rice flour is often combined with potato starch and tapioca flour in baked goods. Commercial rice breads are often available in the freezer section of major grocery stores or health food stores.
Teff is an ancient grain native to Ethiopia. When used alone, it may cause bread to have a gritty and dry texture, but breads made with a combination of teff, sweet white sorghum flour, potato starch and tapioca flour have a mild flavor and smooth texture. You can purchase teff flour online to make your own at home, or seek out local gluten-free bakeries that produce the bread.
Corn meal is free of wheat and can be used alone to create corn bread. If you find the bread too dense when using cornmeal alone, substitute with half cornmeal and half gluten-free baking mix in a recipe. Purchased corn breads and corn bread mixes often contain wheat flour in addition to cornmeal, so check labels carefully.
Sorghum flour, according to Cinquepalmi, is the closest in taste and texture to wheat flour when used in baked goods. This alternative grain is inexpensive and is usually blended with potato starch and tapioca flour to add a lighter texture to breads made with it.
You can use millet grass instead of sorghum flour in bread recipes. It contains almost the same amount of protein as wheat flour. Millet is easily digested and any breads made with it tend to take on a yellow hue. You can combine millet with brown-rice flour to make a lighter bread than using rice flour alone.
- FARE: Wheat Allergy
- "The Complete Book of Gluten-Free Cooking;" Jennifer Cinquepalmi; 2006
- Yuliya_vdikovinku/iStock/Getty Images