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Gluten-Free Baking Guide

Cooking often leaves a bit of wiggle room when it comes to ingredients, but when baking, you’re best served going “by the book.” This is especially true when it comes to gluten-free baking.

The Cooper Clinic Nutrition Services team explains why that is and provides a delicious and nutritious recipe for gluten-free Apple Date Bread.

The Scoop on Gluten

Gluten is a protein found in wheat, barley and rye grains, and is a critical structural element in baked goods. To date, there aren’t any singular gluten-free alternatives to replace gluten, so a combination of gluten-free flours, starches and gums are needed.

Rice and corn are staples in many store-bought, gluten-free products; however, a whole host of alternative gluten-free options are available that offer more nutrient variety and value.

Gluten-free products are often made from refined gluten-free flours. Because they are “specialty foods,” they are not required by law to be enriched as their gluten-containing counter parts are. That means going gluten-free, despite the best of intentions, can lead to poor fiber intake and inadequate amounts of multivitamins.

You can overcome this gluten-free shortfall by reaching for gluten-free whole grains and complex carbohydrate options. Sorghum, amaranth, teff, quinoa, millet, gluten-free oats or chickpea flours can be used as primary ingredients in store-bought or home-made flour blends. Doing so can help boost the nutritional value.

Gluten-Free Substitutions

Finding gluten-free substitutions can sometimes be a challenge, but it is possible to create your own. Below are instructions on how to make sorghum flour blend, oat flour blend and high-protein, gluten-free flour blend.

1. Sorghum Flour Blend

1 ½ cups sorghum flour

1 ½ cups potato or corn starch

1 cup tapioca flour

  • Measure ingredients and whisk together
  • Makes 4 cups


2. Oat Flour Blend

2 cups gluten-free oat flour

1 cup almond flour

1 cup arrowroot starch

  • Measure ingredients and whisk together
  • Makes 4 cups


3. High-Protein, Gluten-Free Flour Blend

1 cup chickpea flour

1 cup millet, sorghum or amaranth flour

1 cup brown rice flour

1 cup potato starch or corn starch

1 cup tapioca starch

  • Measure ingredients and whisk together
  • Makes 5 cups


Apple Date Bread

Yields 15 slices (1/2 inch thick)

  • 3 eggs
  • ½ cup applesauce
  • ¾ cup apple juice or water
  • 1 tsp. apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 Tbsp. vegetable oil
  • 3 cups of any above gluten-free flour blends
  • ½ cup non-fat dry milk
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 Tbsp. sugar
  • 2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 Tbsp. xanthan gum
  • 2 ¼ tsp. yeast
  • ¾ cup finely chopped pitted dates
  • 1 tsp. orange zest


  • In a medium-size bowl, mix all liquid ingredients together and set aside.
  • Place all dry ingredients, including yeast, into the mixing bowl and blend flours together on slow speed.
  • Slowly add the liquid ingredients to the dry while the mixer is on low.
  • Beat on high for 3-4 minutes. Mixture should look silky, if the dough is too dry, add additional liquid (apple juice or water) 1 tablespoon at a time.
  • Add the dates and orange zest after the dough has been thoroughly mixed.
  • Place the dough into a 9×5-inch bread pan for 60-70 minutes. Start checking for the bread being done at 55 minutes.
  • When done, remove bread from pan and place on cooling rack. Do not cut or package until the bread cools, approximately 2-3 hours.

Nutrition Information:

Serving size: ½ inch slice

  • Calories: 187
  • Carbohydrates: 39 g.
  • Fiber: 2 g.
  • Fat: 2 g.
  • Protein: 4 g.
  • Iron:7 mg.
  • Calcium: 51 mg.
  • Sodium: 208 mg.


Above recipe citation:

Case, Shelley. Gluten Free The Definitive Resource Guide. Saskatchewan: Case Nutrition Consulting, Inc. 2016. Print.








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