I have learned quite a bit after some research and cautious experimenting. In most circumstances, you can completely omit the gums in cookies, muffins, and cakes with very little difference. The best gluten-free flour substitute is oat flour. BUT, oats come with a warning. There is a small number of people with Celiac disease who cannot tolerate even pure oats. There is no way to test if that is you without eating them. Even if you can tolerate oats, the health recommendations are to limit how many you eat. Understandably, many Celiacs exclude oats out of fear. My goal was to create a low-fat, vegan, gluten-free recipe that didn't include oats or gums. This recipe uses a blend of flours. As gluten-free flours all have different densities and moisture content, I measured them by weight. I tried to work out the equivalent volume measurement (I can't guarantee the results if you choose to make this using the volume measurements). In order to keep the nutrient content high, the flour blend is about 70% whole grain flour and 30% starch. The starches are needed to help with binding and to keep the bread from being too dense and heavy.
Instead of xanthan or guar gum, I used flax egg, substituted apple sauce for oil, and added a shredded sweet potato. The extra gel from the flax, pectin from the apples, and starch from the sweet potatoes help tremendously to retain a nice level of moisture. For extra lift, I soured the soy milk with vinegar to get a good reaction with the baking soda. The result is pretty good.
350 grams your favourite gluten-free flour blend or follow instructions below (approximately 2 1/2 cups)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 Tablespoons ground flax or chia seed
6 Tablespoons warm water
1/2 cup applesauce
1/2 cup sweetener of choice (I used coconut sugar)
1 cup non-dairy milk of choice (I used soy milk)
1 teaspoon vinegar (I used apple cider vinegar, but white vinegar works well too.)
1 cup packed shredded sweet potato
1/2 cup raisins or chopped nuts
2 teapoons sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
The flour blend I used is as follows: 140 grams sorghum flour (1 cup), 105 grams buckwheat flour (3/4 cup), 70 grams arrowroot starch (1/2 cup), and 35 grams tapioca starch (1/4 cup).
Add to a large mixing bowl along with the baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg. Whisk to combine, and set aside.
Now we'll move on to the wet ingredients. Place the ground flax seed in a medium bowl, add the warm water, and whisk until frothy. Separately, measure the milk and add 1 teaspoon of vinegar. Set aside to thicken while you peel and grate the sweet potato. About half a medium-small sweet potato will give you about 1 cup grated. I used my food processor.
If you don't like or don't have any of the flours I used, feel free to substitute any flour you like. Make sure that you substitute a starch for a starch and a whole grain flour for a whole grain flour. For example, substitute corn starch, potato starch or white rice flour instead of tapioca or arrowroot, teff or oat flour for buckwheat flour, and brown rice or millet flour for sorghum flour. The taste and the texture will change with each substitution, making gluten-free baking an adventure as well as a challenge. Have fun and don't be afraid to experiment. You might surprise yourself.
To your health and happiness,
Beans and Rice