Many people ask me if you can just replace standard wheat flour with gluten-free flours in a recipe. The short answer is no. Whilst the commercial gluten-free flour blends (usually a mix of rice, potato and tapioca) can make a pretty good stab at sitting in for wheat flour (as long as you add extra liquid), they’re really only part of the picture. It’s a bit like asking Dame Edna to stand in for Her Majesty (or vice versa) – better to accept that these are very different characters and celebrate their uniqueness.
To get on well with gluten-free flours you need to understand their individual qualities and personalities. Whilst some – like rice, potato and oat – are good all-rounders, others have a supporting role and some are best used in small doses for added interest. Here are a few of the key players.