For Great Gluten-Free Baking, Use Less Fake Flour!

Most of us who cut out gluten don't lose our cravings for home-baked muffins, cakes, and brownies. Problem is, existing substitutes for wheat flour aren't completely satisfying. There's nothing sadder than a gluten-free chocolate chip cookie, megarose says on Chowhound, due to the slightly granular texture of flours like tapioca and rice. Instead of adapting wheat-flour recipes to gluten-free substitutes, should we focus instead on baked goods that don't contain much flour to begin with or are completely flour-free?

Flourless chocolate cake is a great choice, sedimental says. Cheesecake, angel food cake, and pavlovas (meringues with a bit of cornstarch for crunch; see photo above) don't totally rely on flour. Neither do corn muffins or cornbread, goodhealthgourmet says, and both French macarons and traditional macaroons achieve fancy results with little or no flour.

Actually, sedimental prefers almond flour to wheat flour in pie crusts. And once you have a great flour-free crust in your repertoire, the possibilities are almost limitless. And don't forget about sabayon, a luxurious flour-free wine custard that can serve as a sauce for baked treats.

Discuss: Gluten-Free Baked Goods without alternative flours?

Photo of Pavlova with Lemon Curd and Fresh Berries by Chris Rochelle / CHOW.com