Jean Brooks, from Serious Sourdough Bakery, shared with me and the other Natural Epicurean students a gluten-free flour that she said is the best option on the market today. She said you could use this flour as a one-for-one substitute for all-purpose flour in almost any recipe, so I had to try it. The flour? Better Batter, which is not available in Austin but I have a feeling could be very soon. It is available by mail order, which is how I came to acquire five pounds of it. (It’s on Amazon.com, too.)
Jean cooked some biscuits for us in a gluten-free lab one day and I was seriously impressed. It had been quite a while since I had experienced biscuits and these were no mealy, gritty, phony biscuits either – they were flaky and delicious.
I had empanadas on the brain – I used to love empanadas from my days in Orlando. Casa de las Empanadas, if you still exist on Oak Ridge Blvd, I am thinking about you. Bahama Breeze and I are homies that go way back, as well. Ah.
I cooked an empanada recipe from Deborah Madison’s Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone that included onions, spinach, collard greens, and beet greens. The Better Batter did its job amiably and the result was hot, tasty, and gluten free. It will hold me over until Bahama Breeze moves back in to Austin and develops a gluten-free version of their West Indies Patties. Sigh…
If you’re wondering, Better Batter uses a combination of rice flours, tapioca starch, potato flour/starch, and includes zanthan gum. The ratios? Who knows? That’s a trade secret, but I’m glad someone came up with it. 🙂