Coconut/Flax Gluten-Free Bake Mix #1

I had a post that I did with the results Donna Hodach-Price and I came up with regarding the best gluten-free bake mix amongst the options we had and this morning it was gone! Just gone! I have no idea what happened!  That is just so uncanny.  Maybe when I was working late last night, my fingers did the walking and did something I was not aware of.  No idea!  At the same time last night I noticed I was emailed a post that I did ages ago.  Something went really screwy with Blogger.

Anyway here is the bake mix recipe again, but this time I'm giving the flax meal as an option to the coconut flour.  I personally am never going to touch flax meal again.  It interfered with my hormones and made me feel really awful.  I'm at that age where menopause is imminent.  I've always been quite sensitive to anything interfering with my hormones.  Others actually have the opposite experience, so it really is a "your mileage may vary thing."  Do research flax though and see whether you think the benefits outweigh the risks.  Looking into it, I was quite surprised by the things I read.

Update 22/02/2011:  Still working on the bake mix, and so far this is what I came up with.  Please know that if you like flax, the flax option works beautifully in recipes.  You may need up to 1/4 cup less liquid/wet ingredients when replacing white flour.  Use 1/4 cup extra bake mix with any of these gluten-free bake mixes to replace white flour.  With the coconut option below usually the same liquid/wet ingredients will be necessary, depending on the recipe.

Update: April 8th, 2011:  I abandoned this bake mix with the 1 1/2 tsp xanthan gum.  It's too much - it also causes tummy upsets.  However, the Coconut/Flax Bake Mix #1 below, are a couple of good options for those of you who like a bit more fiber.  They're great bake mixes.  I wish I could have explored them a bit more.  I may just use the Coconut Bake Mix #1 for some applications.  It will be a slightly more robust bake mix to the one I'm currently using as the Splendid Gluten-Free Bake Mix.

1 1/2 cups ground almonds or almond flour
1 cup certified gluten-free oat flour
2 tbsp sifted coconut flour, OR 1/4 cup golden flax meal (with flax use 1 tsp Xanthan gum)
1 1/2 tsp Xanthan gum

Yield:  2 1/2 cups, 1/4 cup servings: (coconut flour option)
122.8 calories; 4.7 g protein; 8.0 g fat; 6.1 g carbs (5.9 g carbs with flax)

Notes:  So far, I really like it.  It's not perfect but it is the best I've come up with yet.  There's not a whole lot to work with.  The coconut flour in greater quantities than 2 tbsp is too much fiber for us.  The Xanthan gum increased slightly helps to give the properties of gluten and binds the components of the bake mix to prevent crumbly outcomes. Using 1/4 cup more bake mix than white flour makes it possible to follow the recipe exactly, however, there are some gotcha's.  If the recipe has only one egg, then almost certainly there will be more liquid requirement.  Sometimes depending on the recipe more liquid may be required to get the correct batter consistency as coconut flour absorbs so much moisture.  The muffins I made rose and fell slightly.  They were beautifully browned but had irregular tops (kinda fun actually and added interest and texture compared to perfectly rounded muffins).  The muffins have a soft, moist crumb - perfect!  My banana loaf rose beautifully, was perfectly rounded and sank minimally all over.  It was dense, moist with a soft crumb.  I'm thinking I might try another version - the carbs go up 0.3 grams to see if "drying" out the bake mix a bit by mixing up some of the ingredients will help the baking to keep its rise and not fall at all.  Failing that, I'm going to stick with this bake mix as I really am not a miracle worker and have limited ingredients to work with and overall it tastes like baking made with real white flour.  My eldest son who is not one for baked goods has really enjoyed my baking experiments and cannot believe that the muffins, loaves and cookies are gluten-free and low-carb!  He said, "Nobody would guess".  High praise! :)

Differences in Coconut and Oat flours:

There are differences in coconut flour brands.  The one I use is from Netrition and is called Aloha Nu, however, most people use coconut flour from Bob's Red Mill, which seems to be fairly widely available in America. Xanthan gum and certified gluten-free oat flour by Bob's Red Mill (no, this one is available here) are available at Netrition.  Do not buy Legacy Valley gluten-free oat flour.  According to Donna it is so bitter-tasting that she had to throw it out.

Coconut/Flax Gluten-free Bake Mix #1
1 1/2 cups ground almonds, OR almond flour
1 cup certified gluten-free oat flour (Bob's Red Mill recommended)
1/4 cup coconut flour, OR golden flax meal
1 tsp Xanthan gum

Yield:  2 1/2 cups, 1/4 cup per serving, 1 serving:
124.9 calories; 4.5 g protein; 7.4 g fat; 6.1 g carbs 

Results:   The taste - much nicer with coconut flour than with flax in the bake mix; no aftertaste and no coconut taste either (since discovered it depends on the recipe whether the coconut flavor comes through or not). The texture - perfect - not too moist and not dry at all, soft crumb texture - just lovely!  The muffins were even lovelier later on when completely cool and sitting in my dish cupboard on a dinner plate at room temperature.  I guess because we have a humid climate, they don't dry out uncovered.  This morning they were still excellent. Again, not every recipe will be so perfect with this bake mix using coconut flour. If a recipe has only one egg and all the liquid/wet ingredients have been used and the batter is still too thick, add another egg and if it is still not the right consistency, add yet another egg (coconut flour loves eggs). I will explore this bake mix with coconut flour a little more.  :)  Personally, I'm not going to use flax again, but it is a really lovely bake mix and provides more predictably good results. 

This is the best part - substituting Gluten-free Bake Mix for white flour in regular recipes:
Add 1/4 cup extra Gluten-free Bake Mix when replacing white flour.  This makes it almost certain that the same amount of liquid/wet ingredients in the regular white flour recipe will be required, however, there are so many different recipes out there that there could be variables and definitely the flax version may need less liquid. 

Do not use this bake mix in egg-less quick bread recipes!  Coconut flour needs eggs.  Also, this bake mix will not  work in regular breads as it lacks the properties of white flour.  It should work in a sweet loaf that uses eggs, but not in a bread for a bread machine or loaves that don't require eggs that are bread-like.  You may add eggs to the recipe and then it should work as long as the batter consistency is correct.