Sweet Cooking

Hold the Gluten

In Cookies, Gluten Free on May 14, 2010 at 6:48 pm

Do you know what celiac disease is? This is what the Mayo Clinic has to say about it:

Celiac disease is a digestive condition triggered by consumption of the protein gluten, which is found in bread, pasta, cookies, pizza crust and many other foods containing wheat, barley or rye. If you have celiac disease and eat foods containing gluten, an immune reaction occurs in your small intestine, causing damage to the surface of your small intestine and an inability to absorb certain nutrients.

That’s just an overview, for more info, visit the Mayo Clinic website.  BREAD. PASTA. COOKIES. PIZZA! OH MY! The Mayo Clinic didn’t mention cake, but that should be in the list too. Thank goodness wine doesn’t contain gluten. I would be the skinniest person in town if I had celiac disease. Probably the grumpiest, too.

Well, I have a friend who has it. She is very thin (but to her credit, typically very happy). I feel badly for her because almost all foods can make her sick. Almost everything in the grocery store or on a restaurant menu has some type of gluten in it. Literally, everything.

Guess what? This is gluten-free!

I decided to bake something for my friend that she could enjoy without a stomach ache. I found this recipe for Chocolate Chip Coconut-Banana Biscotti on Sugar Plum. I think it was a solid effort. The recipe uses rice flour, and the texture is a little weird for me. I think the taste is good, but the texture….I’m not sold on it yet. It was a lot more grainy than other biscotti. It didn’t get crispy enough for me. I dipped the ends in chocolate to try to compensate. I figure that a little chocolate never hurts.

This is the dough...don't you think the texture looks weird? It tastes good, though.

The diagnosis of celiac disease is on the rise, and fortunately, food manufacturers have noticed. I am going to keep expirimenting with different types of flours. At Whole Foods there are a lot of products that are now “gluten free.” They have rice flour, hazelnut flour, potato flour, almond flour, etc. I am wondering if one of the nut flours would have worked better. If any of you have baked with something other than wheat flour, please send me tips!

Thanks for reading and have a great weekend! “See” you on Monday!

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