Organic Gluten Free Tapioca Flour from Infinity Foods. Tapioca is a starch extracted from manioc. Manioc is a root vegetable originating in South America that is also known as cassava root. Cassava/Manioc is a staple food in the tropics and is the third largest source of carbohydrates after maize and rice. It is naturally gluten free, although be aware that some tapioca flours have wheat flours added to them. Not this one though!
Tapioca Flour is widely used in baking. In Colombia and Venezuela there are traditional flatbreads called arepas that are often made with tapioca flour instead of maize or corn flours. Tapioca flour is widely used in Asia and South America to make a variety of cakes and breads. It's often used as a thickener or stabiliser and is the primary ingredient in Skips crisps in the UK!
When used in gluten free baking it's mainly part of a mix with other gluten free flours. For example, try using rice or buckwheat flour in 2-3 parts to 1 part tapioca flour for a good mix of flour. Tapioca flour reaches a high viscosity quickly at low temperatures and it helps the mix to come out springy and well bonded.. Tapioca flour is also useful in thickening sauces and fillings, to avoid lumps mix it with a cold liquid first and then mix in. It will need a little cooking to remove the starchy flavour (but less than cornflour does!) It remains stable when frozen, so it's an excellent choice for anything that might need stored and is particularly good for pie filling thickening as it thickens at a lower temperature than cornstarch and imparts a glossy sheen.