How to Use Expandex in Gluten-Free Recipes

Homemade gluten-free breads

Annabelle Breakey / DigitalVision / Getty Images

Expandex is a gluten-free starch made from modified tapioca starch. Use it as a way to improve the texture, taste, crumb, elasticity, and shelf-life of your gluten-free baked goods. In general, chefs use tapioca, also called cassava or manioc, in gluten-free recipes to lighten the texture and to thicken sauces, but Expandex is particularly good at these things and more.

Expandex is a white, odorless, flavorless powder that does not contain wheat, rye, barley, oats or corn and is certified gluten-free. This product, like cornstarch, potato starch, and arrowroot starch, is primarily a source of refined carbohydrates and contains 419 calories (but merely 1.2 grams of protein) per 100 grams.

What Is Modified Starch?

Modified starch is a naturally occurring starch that is processed to change the molecular structure and characteristics of the original starch. Modified starches are used as thickeners and stabilizers and can improve the shelf-life, appearance, texture, and taste of foods. Modified doesn't mean GMO, unless the product comes from a GMO source. Expandex certainly isn't GMO.

Uses of Expandex

Expandex is not a replacement for flours that contain gluten. It performs best when used as a substitute for only a portion the other gluten-free starches in recipes. A good rule of thumb is to replace up to 15% of your gluten-free flour weight with Expandex.

We recommend adding it to your gluten-free flour mixes because it helps to trap the air in and give your bakes the volume and fluffiness that many gluten-free bakes lack. It also helps create a better outer layer in bread, providing more crunch.

By adding a portion of Expandex to homemade gluten-free flour mixes with nutritious flours like buckwheat, sorghum, millet, and amaranth, cooks can achieve better baking results and, at the same time, add nutritional value to gluten-free recipes. Also, by using this starch you can reduce the amount of binding gums (like guar and xanthan) in your preparations, and add shelf-life to your bakes.

Chose any gluten-free recipe that you love and replace a portion of the flour, as indicated above, with Expandex. Get acquainted and experiment with what it has to offer when gluten-free baking. Try a dairy-free banana bread, make a pizza dinner, or celebrate with rice German chocolate cake.