Sorry, today's post is not about celiac disease or gluten sensitivities. It's about actually running out of flour. Plus, I have been itching to use the interrobang in a blog title. :)
We've had a heck of a month (again). But we're still trying to fit in those peaceful times with friends when the craziness of the day can fade away for a few hours. Because we're the family with the most food restrictions, a lot of those friend visits happen on our turf, though, and we usually make treats to share with visitors.
Well, grocery shopping has been SO LOW on my to-do list this month, and we wanted to make brownies and relax with one of Jo's teacher friends the day after returning from yet another car trip. Naturally, I started planning this baking adventure about 10 minutes ahead of the time it would take for the brownies to be ready. We got out our aprons, preheated the oven, and hit the pantry. That's when I realized we had about 2 pounds of sugar, but not even a cup flour, in the house.
Did you know that there's an easy replacement for flour that is probably already on your shelf right now?
If your "pantry" is like mine, it's a kitchen cabinet overflowing with bags and boxes of things you used once or twice and forgot about...chick pea flour? fine-ground cornmeal? lots of half-bags of marshmallows, shredded coconut, safe cookie butter. Also, at least half a box of pancake mix. Aha!
With a few simple changes (or not), almost any safe pancake mix can take the place of flour in a lot of baked goods. This is because mixes often are just flour, some powdered leaveners, flavorings, and preservatives, sometimes some vitamins. Usually, replacing flour with pancake mix doesn't even change the taste or texture, especially in bread or muffin recipes.
My budding baker, many years ago...she's much bigger than the counter now and doesn't even need a chair!
This was Jo's first kitchen experiment in real time with me. We decided on chocolate mini-muffins: quick baking, with some extra dry ingredients (cocoa) to round out the whole-wheat pancake mix that we used. In a rush, we didn't change anything about our flour-based muffin recipe on this try.
Download or view the artistic version of our instructions below, courtesy of the family's youngest artist and baker.
Without getting too science-y, using equal amounts of pancake mix for flour does change the gluten-to-rise ratio just enough that your muffins will rise a lot in the oven but be a bit flatter than expected after they cool. Not a big deal for home cooks, but here's a quick adjustment to try if you are aiming for the prettiest version:
In a given recipe made with mix instead of pure flour, decrease the baking powder or soda that you add by 1/2 to 1 tsp (approximately proportional to the flour content, with a 1/2 tsp decrease for every 1 cup of flour). Extra cocoa powder never hurts, either.
Or just roll some coconuts in cookie butter and sugar, call it a day!
Hi, I'm Nicole.
ABOUT THE BLOG
An apothecary is a person or a place. Either one implies healing and relates to pharmacy in its truest sense, as a source of treatment and advice.
This blog is my way of uniting my pharmacy training with my efforts to provide a healthy and safe lifestyle for my family. In true apothecary form, I research and prescribe alternative ingredients that work just right in each specific recipe, and I would like to share the results with anyone who needs help making their own family’s kitchen allergy safe and heart healthy.
Nicole Van Hoey's books on Goodreads
Bakery Bites: Breads and Treats Without Dairy, Eggs, Nuts, Seeds, or Soy
ratings: 1 (avg rating 5.00)
Kitchen Adventures With Multiple Food Allergies: A Recipe Collection for Celebrations Without Dairy, Eggs, Peanuts, Tree Nuts, Seeds, or Soy