It’s on again! The Gluten Free Ratio Rally – baking gluten-free using ratios…. and it SO works! The inaugural rally posts were focused on pancakes.
This time around we are tackling quick breads or muffins. Both of which are basically the same recipe, just different baking times. Personally, I’m a fan of the loaf method. Saves time, ya know. And, it’s easily transported to work and left in the main office for others to taste test, share and enjoy as well. The muffins are great – when I have the time to make them, I do. Lately, however, I’m noticing that I’m forgetting to set the timer or some other meaningful-yet-missed-due-to-sleep-deprivation task while the evening hours are upon us.
Working full-time means baking time comes in the evening and only if I’m lucky. These last couple of weeks, I’ve fallen back on to some standards/fail-safes that are quick to whip up (lavash bread, brazilian cheese bread,, cookies (!),) and best of all: QUICK BREADS! Without time to have a loaf rising, it’s perfect to get a quick loaf of bread in. Depending on your mood, you can make a million varieties. Really. I’ve been reading just the TITLES of the quick breads that the other GF Rally bloggers are creating and my head is spinning with ideas and my taste buds are completely craving a buffet-table of GF breads and muffins. (OH MY – wouldn’t that be heaven??)
There were a dozen of us who blogged about pancakes – and baking GF with a ratio of ingredients. Spin back a bit to Ruhlman’s book about “Ratio“, initial conversations about ratios with gluten free baking, and a rally was born. That book is really much more of a reference point. As for GF ratios, the only hurdles/variables are the starch – to – flour ratio to make up the flour called for within any given ratio.
The Gluten Free Flour : Starch Ratio
And let’s be honest: we are SO lucky! In reality, there are so many flours for us to choose from: sorghum, millet, brown (or white) rice, teff, buckwheat, corn (flour not starch), almond, hazelnut, coconut, amaranth…. and THOSE are just the ones I like. Surely I am missing some of the ones you enjoy?
As far as starches go, these are my favorites: tapioca, potato starch (not flour), cornstarch, arrowroot, and sweet rice flour.
For most of my baking (anything non-yeast bread), I rely on a ratio of 65-70% flour to 30-35% starch. Any greater percentage of starches and the breads/baked goods tend to be too pasty/chalky to me. And that isn’t even talking about the lack of positive nutritional contributions to the baked good. I choose the best, whole grain flours I can (typically millet, sorghum and finely ground brown rice) with the starch that will best impart the texture I’m looking for (tapioca = slightly sweet with a little chew; potato starch makes things more moist, but also more dense; cornstarch creates a lighter texture, but with a chalky aftertaste, etc). I really like using tapioca starch (also called tapioca starch flour) because it’s cheap too – and easier to find in large quantities at local Asian markets. (That’s a definite bonus!)
Baking by Weight/Ratio
While I’ve had my kitchen scale for several years, I really only used it for two reasons: (1) complete curiosity about weights in regards to different flours and serving portions, etc and (2) to bake something from Europe, Australia, New Zealand, Spain, Italy, etc that was written in grams, rather than cups.
Since the get-go, I’ve been surprised at the wide-variance of weights. Now, don’t get me wrong – I KNEW the flours were different densities, etc, but I was definitely surprised that the measurements were off by SIGNIFICANT grams. It makes a difference when baking. It is helpful to have the weights.
But since we are a cups-and-ounces crew/country, I’m posting my recipe both ways. Sometimes, as in without a scale on hand or while baking the same way our mamas did, we reach of the measuring cups. However, if you have the inclination, I would suggest that if you really are a GF household/baker, you should consider a kitchen scale. You will have a whole world of recipes (literally..the rest of the world!) open up to you in grams. And you can play around with your scale measuring out random foods just to befriend that scale and really see its value for you. (FYI: This is the one we have.)
But until you are ready to make the leap, keep baking. And check out these other Ratio Rally Bloggers and their Gluten Free Quick Bread/Muffin recipe. Once you see the tons of varieties that I have been eyeing lately, you will truly be considering a scale. The variety and ratio works because of the scaling.
The Quick Bread/Muffin Ratio is as follows:
2 : 1 : 2 : 1 : 1
flour : sugar : liquid : eggs : butter (fat)
What does that mean? It means simply this:
230 grams gluten free flour mix (170 grams sorghum + 60 grams tapioca starch flour)
115 grams of sugar
230 grams of liquid
115 grams of butter (1 stick)
Gluten Free Chocolate-Chip Mocha Quick Bread
Recipe makes 1 loaf OR 18 – 24 muffins
You can find a printable copy of this recipe here.
115 grams (1 stick – 1/2 cup) butter
115 grams (1/2 cup) sugar
170 grams sorghum (about 1 1/4 cup)
60 grams tapioca starch (about 1/2 scant cup)
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 Tablespoons instant coffee
1 teaspoon xanthan gum
115 grams – 4 ounces (1/2 cup) milk or half and half
115 grams – 4 ounces (1/2 cup) prepared (not hot) coffee
2 eggs (large)
115 grams (5 ounces / 1 cup) dark chocolate chips (OR sliced almonds OR chopped walnuts OR chopped dried cherries)
- Preheat your oven to 350F. Butter a bread-loaf pan.
- Cream together butter and sugar until light yellow and fluffy.
- While creaming (thank you, stand mixer!), whisk together sorghum flour and tapioca starch.
- Add eggs to creamed ingredients. Mix together.
- Add remaining ingredients (sifted flours, baking powder, salt, instant coffee, xanthan gum, milk, coffee) to the mixing bowl. Mix together for 2 minutes.
- Stir in add-ins (chocolate chips, nuts, dried cherries, etc) if using.
- Pour into your loaf pan. Bake for 45-55 minutes until a tooth pick inserted into the center comes out clean (or at least only with melted chocolate) AND/OR your bread internal temperature reaches 200F – 205F.
- Remove from the oven and let cool in the loaf pan until cool enough to touch with your hands (30 + minutes). Flip onto a cutting board. Slice and serve.
We enjoyed this bread with sliced strawberries and homemade lattes this morning. What will you eat yours with?
Happy GF Baking!
PS. Don’t forget to check out the other Ratio Rally Recipes! You can find a list of all of our posts on our hostess’s site: Silvana of Silvana’s Kitchen. Here’s the page with her recipe and the links to the other THIRTY-SIX Gluten Free Ratio Rally Participants! THIRTY-SIX! WAHOOO!