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Avoid this Houston cooking class if you go gluten-free

People on the recently popular gluten-free eating plans may do it for medical reason or to lose weight, but this Central Market cooking class, entitled Flour, Too, is definitely not for them because every dish prepared is prepared with flour.

Flour is essential to many of your favorite recipes.
Photo by Daniel Berehulak/Getty Images

Why do we need flour in cooking?

Wheat flour has many applications in the kitchen. The products labeled as all-purpose flour, bread flour and pastry flour are all made from grinding wheat. The differences between these products is the protein content, which affects how they act in baking. To get different amounts of protein, different strains of wheat are used to produce the various flours.

Flour is used as a thickening agent in cooked sauces like roux that form the basis for many dishes from Texas's eastern neighbor, Louisiana.

Perhaps the most important use of flour is in baking, when the gluten content becomes critical to the success of the recipe. When it is mixed with water, the protein in wheat flour forms gluten, and the more protein in the flour, the more gluten is produced. Gluten in a baked good make it dense and chewy, which is why breads, made with high-protein bread flour, are chewier than delicate and flaky pie crusts, which are made with low-protein pastry flours.

Check out the video to find out how to lighten up your flour by sifting it without a flour sifter.

Central Market Cooking School – Flour, Too

3815 Westheimer Road

Houston, Texas 77027


In this class, held on July 31 at 6:30pm, you will get to experience seeing owner and pastry chef of Flour Bakery and Cafe in Boston, Joanne Chang, prepare a variety of sweet and savory delights that all depend on flour. This is a cooking demonstration rather than a hands-on class, but you will learn techniques that you can bring to your own home kitchen. This demonstration will feature how to make upside-down cake, chocolate terrine, scallion pancakes, chicken pot pie and gougeres.

You can sign up for this class via Central Market's online cooking school reservation system or in person. The cost for the class is $65 per person and lasts from 6:30 p.m. until 9 p.m. The registration cost also gets you a copy of Joanne Chang's first cookbook entitled Flour, Too.

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