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Digital Subscriptions > Healthy Food Guide > June 2016 > Phil Vickery’s GREAT GLUTEN-FREE BAKE-OFF


There’s an art to getting perfect taste and texture without the elasticity of gluten – but it’s one you can easily learn, says expert gluten-free baker Phil Vickery. Follow his tips, try his recipes and get ready to be pleasantly surprised…

ALL MY GLUTEN-FREE COOKBOOKS have been the result of experimentation and playing around, trying to get the best out of gluten-free ingredients. One thing I never do is stop learning, and as new ingredients become available, I test and cook some more.

Gluten-free mixes and blends are constantly changing. When I started making my own blends you were pretty much restricted to rice flour, polenta and chickpea flour. Now ingredients you could only buy on the internet are readily available – buckwheat, soya, brown rice flour and, my current favourite, sorghum, plus base ingredients such as xanthan gum and tapioca flour. Over these pages, I’ll be giving my advice on key ingredients and blending, with three recipes and a lot of gluten-free baking tips I’ve picked up along the way.


WHEN BAKING WITH gluten-free alternatives it’s usually best to follow your instincts – the batch of flour, temperature and humidity on the day, and other foibles, will all affect the results.

Substituting gluten-free flours in a standard recipe

Gluten-free flours tend to be more absorbent, so you’re likely to need to increase the proportion of liquid. Coconut flour, for example, is very thirsty. Too little liquid and the results can be heavy and dry. Expect the baking time, texture and rise all to be slightly different, too. Add a small amount of xanthan gum with the flour to replicate the stretchy ‘spring’ and structure (½tsp to 225g as a guide, but recipes vary). It’s a fine balance: too little xanthan and the structure will fall apart; too much and your cake or bake will bounce like a gummy ball. Don’t forget to make a note of what you did so you can do (or avoid doing!) the same again.

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About Healthy Food Guide

Can you reverse type 2 diabetes through diet? In the June issue of Healthy Food Guide, our experts look at the latest claims by the creator of the 5:2 diet. Also, find out if your medication could be causing your weight gain, and discover the best diet and exercise choices for long-term bone health. Plus, gluten-free baker Phil Vickery shares his failsafe bread recipes and we help you fill up on the latest grain bowl trend.