For those that follow me, you know that I posted this recipe late last week, but choose to remove it from the website Sunday after I had experienced problems with this recipe over the weekend when using my new batch of brown rice flour … hence this “Version 2” as the problem has now been sorted … thank goodness!
I love brown rice flour, but I hadn’t realised it can be difficult to source, quite expensive, and that from brand to brand the level of “milling” can differ wildly. Whilst I can mill brown rice in the Thermomix to a good “flour” consistency, it needs to be very fine for this gluten free recipe to absorb moisture from the wet ingredients and give some “stickiness” to the dough … this is particularly important as I am not using gums to help bind the ingredients.
The new batch of brown rice flour I had was quite different to the flour that I tested this recipe on … it was quite coarse and gave a crumbly dough which was difficult to roll and cut. I then went to buy more brown rice flour from other retailers, and that was when I became aware of the difficulty to source it, and at a good price (I finally found some and it was over $10 for 500g!).
So … as much as I love brown rice flour it had to be eliminated from this recipe to make it easier for everyone concerned.
To recap on my original post, when baking with GF flours you generally use a mixture of flours to create the texture that you want. All flours behave differently and have different flavour profiles, so it is a matter of becoming familiar with the textures and flavours that you like.
For those that are just embarking on this journey, here is an excellent article by Anneka Manning on the different GF flours available, what they do, and their flavour profiles.
For this recipe I followed Anneka’s lead and used a combination of 3:2 major flour to minor flours using my original gingerbread recipe (see here) replacing the plain flour with gluten free flours made up as follows:
- For my major flour I now use either white rice flour or sorghum flour (you can use other flours like quinoa, amaranth, or buckwheat as per Anneka’s notes, but I haven’t tested this recipe using them); and
- For my minor flours I used: (1) potato starch (not potato flour as it is heavier and tastes a lot like potato); (2) sweet rice flour which is also called “glutinous rice flour” but has no gluten in it: and (3) arrowroot and/or tapioca flour, both of which are marketed under those names and are interchangeable in this recipe.
Brown rice flour and white rice flour adds “nuttiness” to recipes which I like, but white rice flour is milder in flavour. To make it easier to access I used the Macro brand of white rice flour (the organic range from Woolworths) which currently retails at $4 for 500g. Because I swapped the brown rice flour for the white rice flour, I decided to use vanilla bean paste instead of vanilla extract to add more flavour to the dough.
For minor flours I chose three starches: potato starch because it has a very mild flavour and helps to retain moisture; sweet rice flour for its high starch content and binding ability; and arrowroot/tapioca flour which is flavourless, but adds lightness and also helps to bind mixtures.
I currently purchase both potato starch and arrowroot/tapioca flour in 1kg bags online from 2Brothers in Perth (see here) and have always found their quality excellent. You can also buy these flours from most health food shops, Asian supermarkets, and some supermarkets may also stock some or all of these flours.
Sweet rice flour/glutinous rice flour is usually always available from Asian supermarkets (I buy the Erawan brand), but it is worth checking the Asian section of your local supermarket as I have seen it at Coles, and Woolworths used to stock it too. I have included a picture of the packet that I have to help with sourcing this product.
- 240g white rice flour, or sorghum flour
- 100g potato starch
- 50g sweet rice flour (glutinous rice flour)
- 50g arrowroot or tapioca flour
- 1 ½ tbls ground ginger
- 1 tsp mixed spice
- 1 tsp sea salt flakes, or ½ tsp fine sea salt
- 1 level tsp bi carb soda
- 150g butter, cubed
- 150g golden syrup
- 100g light muscovado sugar, or plain brown sugar
- 1 x 60g egg
- 1 tsp vanilla bean paste
- Place all the dry ingredients into the TM bowl and mix 10 seconds / speed 4 to combine
- Add the wet ingredients and mix 12 seconds / speed 6, then knead 20 seconds
- Place a large piece of Glad Wrap on your bench, upturn the TM bowl onto it to allow the dough to fall out … scrape around the base of the bowl with a spatula to remove the last of the dough and add that to what is on the Glad Wrap
- Use the Glad Wrap to lift over the dough and help shape it into a flattened rectangle
- Wrap the dough in the Glad Wrap and rest for 60 minutes in the fridge (it can stay in the fridge for two days before using if needed)
- Preheat oven to 160 degrees, fan forced, and line three to four large baking trays with baking paper (if you only have two trays you may wish to do the rolling/baking process in two lots to keep the dough cold for easier handling)
- Divide the dough into four so that you are only working with a ¼ of the dough at a time … as the dough is a little sticky, it is easier to work with in smaller sections
- Place a piece of baking paper onto your bench (if you have a silicon mat place the paper onto the mat as it will help keep it in place as you roll)
- Lightly dust the base piece of baking paper with GF corn flour and place the ¼ dough section onto it and press down with your fingers to lightly flatten it (you will need to continue to dust the bottom sheet of baking paper with cornflour as you roll each piece of dough, but whatever corn flour is incorporated into the dough from this process will not affect the flavour or texture, but this will stop the dough from sticking to the base baking paper when you are trying to lift your gingerbread shapes from it)
- Cover with a second piece of baking paper and roll dough to 4mm thickness (the gingerbread will rise a little with the bi carb soda in it, so try not to make the dough thicker than 4mm otherwise you may loose some of the gingerbread's shape)
- Carefully remove the top piece of baking paper and cut dough into desired shapes (dip your cutter into a small bowl of corn flour first, then straight into the dough to ensure you get a nice sharp edge … don’t worry if any corn flour sticks to the dough as it can be brushed off easily once the dough is baked)
- Use a palette knife or a thin spatula to lift the shapes and place onto the baking tray leaving 3cm space between each shape (dip the knife or spatula into the corn flour every now and then so that it doesn’t get sticky with lifting the dough)
- Collect the leftover dough and bring together into a disk before lightly flattening it with your fingers again, then cover with the second piece of baking paper again and continue rolling/cutting ensuring that you lightly dust the base paper with corn flour as needed
- Once you have got to a small piece of leftover dough, collect the next ¼ dough, press the leftover dough into the top of it, shape into a flattened disk with your fingers, cover with baking paper and continue with rolling/cutting until all the dough has been used
- NB: don’t worry about over-working the dough as it does not contain gluten and will not become tough with excess handling
- If you wish to create “buttons” on your gingerbread use a paper straw to punch holes into the gingerbread
- Place first tray into oven and bake 8 minutes, turn tray around and continue another 4 minutes until the gingerbread is lightly coloured around the edges (it takes exactly 12 minutes in my oven)
- Remove tray from oven and allow gingerbread to cool 10 minutes before placing on a cooling tray to cool completely
- Store in an airtight container for up to three weeks
Information on where I sourced my flours from is also on the main post.