Sunday, 29 May 2011

tapioca-free baking, an unexpected challenge

An unexpected challenge today. My step-daughter suddenly told me that she always gets stomach ache every time she visits.  What was in my bread and cakes?  Well, the bread she ate this morning had my usual flour, so that was urid, tapioca and corn, and also had sweet potato and yeast and baking powder.  All of these are things she eats routinely except the tapioca.  I include tapioca in baked goods as it contributes to a smooth slightly chewy texture, and also, when pre-gelatinised, give excellent pre-baking elasticity, allowing doughs to be rolled super thin, and makes things more flexible after cooking too, as shown in the write up up the wraps.

I was rather startled by this, as she normally tucks into all my baked goods with gusto, sleeps well, and goes away declaring she feels refreshed from her visit.  I wasn't to worry about it, she said, she could just eat the other stuff.  I looked up on the internet and immediately found a stream of information from people who said the same thing, stomach ache not long after eating tapioca.  This was in addition to the information on how poisonous tapioca is if not prepared correctly.

Immediately I set about testing tapioca free recipes. I had to work with whatever I had in the house on an early Sunday morning.  Here are the first two, a cracker, with three variations, and a chocolate chip cookie.

Tapioca free flour mix
100g urid
50g buckwheat
50 cornmeal

50g flour
1/2 tsp olive oil
20 ml water  (add a little more if dough too dry)

Mix and knead together until smooth.
Roll out on floured board.

Add anything you like for flavouring.  The large crackers are the plain mix, the small scalloped ones have pepper in, and the other small ones are the pepper mix plus sunflower seeds.

Roll thin, place on baking sheet and cook at 180C until just tinged with brown.  Place on baking rack to cool.

These are crisp and very good.

Chocolate chip cookies
100g flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
30g butter (I used a spreadable butter mix as hadn't any proper butter)
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
40 g sugar
35g chocolate chips

Whisk flour and baking powder together.  Rub in butter to flour, add sugar and egg and vanilla, stir or squidge with hands to get an even quite stiff mix, then add chocolate chips.  Cook at 180C for about ten minutes until tinged with brown.  If you want them crisper turn the oven down and bake for longer.

I used dark chocolate chips, and that makes a cookie that is not very sweet. If you want a sweeter cookie increase the sugar and add milder chocolate chips.

These are crisp, not chewy as they would have been with the tapioca, but really very pleasant.

I was concerned that the buckwheat might give too much flavour, as I am not generally a fan of buckwheat except where I do specifically want the dark, dominant taste.  I included it because it does give a soft flexible crepe, as used in Brittany.  In this mix it doesn't dominate the flavour.


  1. Hi. Thank you for posting your recipes. I am gluten intolerant and also have tapioca reactions. With your flour mix recipe, I will be able to enjoy bread, cake, and cookies once again. Again, thanks.

    1. HI, thanks for that comment. I haven't done much experimentation lately but the next phase will be developing recipes without tapioca as it does seem to be in so many things. I wish I had kept a blog when I did my early research when I tried everything I could lay my hands on!

  2. I need to get on and do some more testing - been preoccupied with moving and travelling. Planning to do a tapioca free seedy loaf next


I reserve the right to edit or not publish comments