Learning to bake gluten free may be the biggest challenge you will face when switching over to the gluten free lifestyle. There are so many ready- made substitutes for pasta, crackers, and sweet treats however, it is still difficult to find whole grain and baked goods with less sugar. The good news is that more information on how to create beautiful products is readily available.
Making your own nutritious baked goods is delicious and rewarding. The lack of gluten in gluten free flours requires a few adjustments in the baking process. Gluten is responsible for elasticity of dough, which is what makes baked goods tender and chewy. Gluten is also exceptionally good at both absorbing and retaining moisture. This is why gluten free baked goods tend to be drier and less tender. Rest assure you can overcome these obstacles and enjoy delicious baking like everyone else.
Listed here are 5 tips to help you on your journey to better baked goods:
- Create a flour blend- Nothing can deter you from baking more than having to measure out 5 or 6 types of flour and starches each time you want to bake. To make your own blend with your favorite flours make sure to use the following formula:
3 parts protein type flours such as corn, quinoa and buckwheat
2 parts starches such as arrowroot, white rice and tapioca
1 tbsp. gum such as xanthan or guar per 5 cups of flour
(*Be sure to omit the gum in your gluten free recipe if it calls for it – you don’t want to double up)
- Add fruit or veggies for moisture and best results – You may have noticed a lot of gluten free baking has some sort of fruit or vegetable in it. Apples, bananas, carrots, zucchini, applesauce help to hold moisture in your baked goods to give them a more tender texture.
- Don’t grease the sides of the pan – Gluten free baked goods tend not to rise as much as their regular counter parts. To give your products a boost, don’t grease the loaf, cake or cupcake pan. Instead use parchment paper or cupcake liners. The batter will have something to stick to, to help it rise higher.
- Use tested recipes – Why re-invent the wheel? You will waste less ingredients if you start out with a tried and true recipe. Once you have a recipe you know works then you can experiment and add your own touches.
- Bake lower and slower - Gluten free product get brown more quickly and give the allusion of being cooked all the way through. If you are modifying a regular recipe to be gluten free be sure to decrease your own by 25 degrees and cook your product for 10 to 15 minutes longer than the recipe calls for.