Native to Brazil, tapioca comes from a starchy root called cassava. The flour is most commonly used as a thickening agent like cornstarch and also for baking gluten-free breads. When it comes to baking bread, you typically cook the tapioca flour before kneading. This extra step shouldn't cause any hesitation for home cooks, as recipes are generally simple and quick to make, perfect when you have a busy schedule.
Measure out one part water for every three parts tapioca flour. Measure out one part oil to every eight parts tapioca flour. Place flour, water and oil in the saucepan.
Whisk the oil, water and flour together thoroughly, breaking up any clumps with the whisk. Continue until smooth, about 1 minute.
Set the saucepan on the stove. Turn the burner to low heat and whisk until the mixture thickens completely, about 3 to 5 minutes.
Remove the mixture from the heat and allow it to completely cool. Add the cooled mixture to the rest of the ingredients called for in the recipe -- typically a quick leavener like baking soda, additional uncooked tapioca, salt and egg.
Knead the dough and mold it into the desired shape. Preheat the oven to the cooking time called for in your recipe, generally 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Bake for the allotted time or according to the size of the loaf.
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Based in Kingston, Canada, Samantha Lowe has been writing for publication since 2006. She has written articles for the "Mars' Hill" newspaper and copy for various design projects. Her design and copy for the "Mars' Hill" won the Associated Collegiate Press Pacemaker award in 2008. Lowe holds an Honors BA from Trinity Western University, and a MSc in Occupational Therapy from Queen's University where she is currently doing her PhD.