One of my kids has a nut allergy, but he's fine with coconut flour. So far I've made pita bread and chocolate chip cookies with coconut flour, but both still ended up super crumbly. I guess it's not too horrible for cookies, but it's still too much.
Sandwiches made from coconut flour pita bread also fall apart (they're not paleo yet, still fighting the good fight.)
So far I've found that using double the amount of eggs helps, but not enough. Anything else I can do to get some gluten like elasticity and still keep away from gluten?
Please help before the wife buys more of the off the shelf crap that's made with HFCS, ammonia and other crap!
And if I can figure out how to make bagels out of coconut flour, I might be able to get her to break her wheat habit too.
I use half the coconut flour I think I need, and add extra eggs, tapioca flour, and/or guar/xanthan gum when I bake with coconut flour. You can always add more coconut flour, but most recipes use a LOT less than it seems like they'll need. The batter should be almost runny by comparison, because as it sets, it will thicken substantially.
However, one of the things I found most effective was letting go of the idea of 'substituting' breads, cookies, cakes, etc. at all. You see, I think we get habituated to those things -- especially if we get them when we're young, and then it becomes difficult to let them go. I decided that, since most "substitutes" didn't really 'represent' well, it was probably better just to find alternatives.
In place of pitas, try "inside out sandwiches" -- slices of meat, poultry, etc., with salad fixings shoved or wrapped inside. (We will purchase a whole fresh pork shoulder or roast beef, rub/roast it, and slice it super thin, then spread it with home-made mayo and mustard and wrap it around baby lettuces).
In place of tacos, roast up some sweet potatoes. Scoop out the middles, leaving a 1/4" layer of potato against the skin, then pop them back into the oven to crisp (like making potato skins) -- then fill them with home-made taco meat.
In place of pancakes, whizz up 1/4 cup of cooked pumpkin or butternut squash in the blender with 3 3ggs. Pour into a buttered pan and let cook until set -- flip to brown the 2nd side, and serve with butter and cranberry relish. (this makes about a half-dozen).
You can take a few large spoonful's of flax seeds and crush them up. Place in a cup with a few spoons of hot water. They will turn into a gel. I have found that this is a good binder. I am not a fan of tapioca or xanthan gum as I would not normally eat them.
I also second the adding of zucchini or cauliflower or chesses. I have added potato flour a few times - however this is abit border line, depends if you eat potatoes or not. For me I do occasionally and when I occasionally make breads/cakes I find it ok.
I'd check out recipes specifically made for coconut flour. When I transitioned to GF (before going grain-free) I learned to sub by weight, not volume. That was easy. The transition to grain-free baking was a lot more difficult, since coconut and almond flours each require a significantly different approach. Almond flour (which you don't use) requires very little moisture, and coconut flour sucks up all the moisture you can give it (and will get crumbly). Once you feel comfortable using recipes for coconut flour goodies, you can more comfortably make your own.
I hesitate recommending xanthan and guar gums as binders. I used them briefly when I baked GF and honestly they just wreak my stomach. And they're a bitch to clean up. Think dried, caked on egg and multiply it by about a thousand.
Also, +1 to the people who mentioned that it'd be best to 'get over' substitutions for gluten products. I became pretty good at GF baking before going grain-free, but nothing will completely replace a good baguette or French pastry (in my opinion, anyway). But, I make a mean 'paleo' cookie and muffin on occasion.
I add shredded zucchini or grated cauliflower to recipes and it provides texture and stability. When I get a chance I'll post my cheese biscuit recipe. It is stable enough to support bacon, egg and cheese sandwiches.
You need binder to replace the gluten in wheat flour. Add in additional eggs (or other protein). I've made coconut flour pancakes that are nearly 75% eggs and they turn out well - holding their shape while still being bread-like.
I suggest adding more eggs. For a good understanding on coconut flour read this awesome post from a blogger who I find extremely knowledgeable.
You can also find good paleo recipes with coconut flour on this site too.
Definitely adding more eggs and maybe some xanthan gum would help. Coconut flour requires a lot of eggs... you might even try some recipes from healthyindulgences.net, or comfybelly.com. I have had successes with some of their coconut flour recipes. :)
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