When Baking Gluten-Free Treats, Choose Chickpea Flour For The Best Texture

chickpea flour and dried chickpeas
chickpea flour and dried chickpeas - Natashamam/Getty Images

Gluten-free treats often have a reputation for failing to deliver in terms of texture and taste. But the path to satisfying baked goods sans gluten doesn't have to be elusive for those adhering to a gluten-free diet, as long as you have the right ingredients and proper preparation. The key to delicious gluten-free baked goods relies on building texture and binding ingredients to make fluffy treats that are neither overly dense nor brittle. Chickpea flour is great for this purpose, as it offers a firmer structure that can bind and hold up in a number of recipes.

Made by grinding dried chickpeas, the gluten-free ingredient can help create toothy mouthfuls that are both structured and delicious. Should you be setting out to make gluten-free pancakes, muffins, breads, or cookies, adding chickpea flour into the mix of ingredients can help you put chewy treats onto the table. Plus, chickpea flour is one of the more nutrient-dense flours out there, so with your entire daily recommended daily dose of folate and 6 grams more protein than wheat flour per cup, you'll get a nutrition boost in your baked recipes, too.

Read more: 21 Delicious Ways To Use Up Leftover Rice

A Successful Path To Gluten-Free Baking

gluten free sign in loaves of bread
gluten free sign in loaves of bread - Daisy-daisy/Getty Images

When exchanging wheat flour for chickpea flour in recipes, consider blending chickpea flour with other gluten-free flour varieties to make baked treats of your choosing. Because chickpea flour is slightly nutty-tasting and dense, using too much of it can overwhelm more delicate recipes, particularly if you're after a sweeter palate. While you're generally looking at swapping flour that contains gluten for the same amount of gluten-free flour, when combining chickpea flour with other flours in baking, use a quarter to 30% of chickpea flour in the overall composition of your recipe. Of course, some instructions will explicitly call for more, like when you are breading ingredients to fry or are planning to roll out gluten-free flatbreads.

As you set out to find chickpea flour in the store, keep in mind that you may find packages labeled gram flour, besan, chana, or garbanzo bean flour depending on where you do your shopping. They're all the same ingredient. Once you have chickpea flour stocked in your pantry, you can use it not only for baked goods but also to make savory fritters or a substitute for cheese. The thicker consistency can help you create substantial sauces, and because the flour binds easily, it can act as a kind of egg replacement in recipes when mixed with water or be used to make a gluten-free roux. This ingredient is a must in gluten-free households, whether you're cooking sweet or savory dishes.

Read the original article on Tasting Table