Flour formulations that work
Recognizing the demand for familiar, gluten-free foods that taste great, experts including Richard Coppedge, Jr., CMB, professor of baking and pastry arts at the Culinary Institute of America (CIA), Hyde Park, N.Y., have turned their efforts to creating workhorse formulations that are free of wheat, rye, barley and triticale (the wheat/rye hybrid).
In “Gluten-Free Baking with The Culinary Institute of America” (2008), Mr. Coppedge published five distinctive gluten-free flour formulations, which were welcomed by the growing number of consumers choosing a gluten-free diet.
In his most recent book with CIA, “Baking for Special Diets” (2016), Mr. Coppedge included only two of the blends. “I’ve learned from my own experience that having fewer choices makes it easier for people to choose; no one formulation is the ‘cure all’ to helping everybody,” he said.
Individually, the two blends do what he feels needs to be done. Flour Blend A is the “weaker,” more starch-oriented formulation; it’s low in protein, higher in carbs and includes some fiber-based buckwheat. “I found the previous five didn’t have enough fiber needed to bulk it up; without the fiber, it wouldn’t hold water as well.”
Flour Blend B, the “stronger” flour — a protein-rich blend with a gluten-type performance — includes dried egg whites and whey powder.
Along with his students, Mr. Coppedge is discovering pulse flours (from dried beans, dried peas, lentils and chickpeas) in gluten-free formulations. “Pulses are dramatically high protein grains,” Mr. Coppedge noted. “I’m using black bean flour as a gluten-free alternative in making a brownie or mudslide cookie.”
He’s also incorporating red lentil flour for red velvet cupcakes. “Personally, for me, once you get over the distinctive taste of pulses, the color, texture and nutrient value are great," he said. "The gluten-free market has really spiked the use of pulses in food service.”