There can be a number of possibilities that you are avoiding gluten, maybe you have a celiac disease or some other health problem or gluten intolerance. Reason can be any of these but the good news is, if you want, you can prepare healthy and delicious gluten-free goods for you. When it comes to gluten-free baking, there are a number of new factors involved and where key principles of standard baking may not be applied. Whether it is measuring the flour, baking time, correct temperature, or proofing bread to decide leaveners, you definitely have to stop thinking about the tradition baking to get into those great-tasting gluten-free recipes. So here’s everything about gluten-free baking that will work for you.
Who doesn’t like baked goods? For an avid baker, baking bread, muffins, or cake might be an easy-to-go task but for those who are not familiar with the ABC’s of baking might found gluten-free baking a difficult thing. Well, technically you cannot switch your regular flour with gluten-free flour and expect the same end results. Because of gluten, your dough rises, turns into a different shape, and give a chewy texture to your baked goods.
But there are some stores that offer you gluten-free mix for your rolls, bread, and gluten-free flour so that you can replace it with the all-purpose flour. Another way to do gluten-free baking from scratch is: Just check out recipes for the same and for that you should have ingredients like xanthan gum to give your dough a rise.
When it comes to Nutrients
Well, it’s hard to deny the fact that gluten-free goods are less nutritious than the regular ones and the reason is the flour used in it. The flour used here is lower in iron, folic acid, fiber, and other B vitamins. Experts suggest that one should try learning how to bake gluten-free recipes with more nutritious flour to enhance nutrition since these recipes rely more on starches and refined flours.
Brown rice flour, amaranth, or flours made from beans are way better than the white rice flour, which is generally used to make those store-bought gluten-free products.
Gluten-Free Flours need Special Measuring Techniques
A maximum number of home-bakers go for “Dip and Sweep” method to measure the flour but when it comes to gluten-free flour and starches, the method doesn’t work properly. The reason being, they are much finer than wheat flours and make it difficult to pack them uniformly and consistently into a measuring cup. So, what the solution for this? Get a scale and measure the flour using that. But if you still want to go with the measuring cups, follow the given steps for most even results.
- Keep a sheet of paper towel on the counter and set your measuring cup in the center.
- Now, spoon the flour into that cup. Shake the cup occasionally until it is mounded over the rim. Do not try to tap or pack the flour.
- With the help of the flat edge, scrape away extra flour to level.
- Using the paper towel, transfer that extra flour back into the bag.
Over-mixing is allowed (Actually it’s Good)
Well, traditional recipes are not at all in favor of over-mixing the batter because they often turn rubbery but in gluten-free recipes, it’s just the opposite.
Bakers want their batter to have more structure in order to give it a better rise and a nice chew, which can even support the stir-ins like blueberries.
Resting Batters and Dough
There are two types of gluten-free baked products, one was quickly cooked and the other one was cooked with longer baking time. You’ll definitely find a sandy texture in the first one. A number of experiments were done to get rid of such a thing but failed. Then it was that when you let your batter or dough rest for about 30 minutes (covered), it makes a difference.
That way, your flour, and starches become fully able to absorb the liquid and get soften before you bake. It also makes you batter thicker and dough more firm and you eventually end up with a less sticky thing.
Oven Thermometer and a Timer is very CRUCIAL
You simply cannot assume that “Okay, now my bread or cake must be ready and I can take it out of the oven”. Don’t you even dare to think about this method? For doneness, gluten-free recipes don’t go right with the techniques like a clean toothpick or checking by pressing the top of the cake. Even when your gluten-free goods are completely done, they often seem to be underdone, little-wet inside, and you might feel soft on touch.
Therefore, nothing is better than a timer to determine the doneness of the gluten-free baked goods since visual cues might mislead you. Also, you need a well-calibrated oven for the best gluten-free baking. Get a good oven thermometer and keep it close to the center of the oven.
Common Problems and Possible Solutions
Since we are working the gluten-free recipes for a long time, we are now aware of the kind of problems people usually face and what are the possible solutions for them. Have a look.
- Dense and Gummy Texture: You need to lower down the burner and extend your cooking time. This will let your pancakes to get cooked completely without getting too brown.
Muffins and Quick Breads
- Crumbly Texture: Simply add one more egg and use a binder like Xanthan gum.
- Dry Texture: You need to add some additional liquid or sour cream.
- Gritty Texture: Allow your batter to rest for about 30 minutes before baking.
- Dense Texture: Here you need to use more leavener.
- Mushy Center: Lower down your oven’s temperature and extend the cooking time.
- Excessive Spread: Allow your dough to rest and add a binder.
- Greasy: Try using less butter and is possible, swap a little portion with almond butter.
- Overly Soft Texture: Try using superfine sugar and let your cookies remain in the turn-off oven for a few minutes to dry out.
- Overly Crisp Texture: You need to use more brown sugar and less white sugar.
- Gritty Texture: Allow your dough to rest for about 30 minutes before baking.
- Burnt Bottoms: Before you bake, ensure that you keep the cookie’s baking sheet inside the second one for more insulation on the bottom.
- Airy, Hollow Mixture: Try using melted butter rather than creaming it.
- Greasy Mouthfeel: You need to replace sour cream, cream cheese, or chocolate for some of the fat.
- Gummy Center: Simply lower down the oven’s temperature and extend the baking time. Switch some of the liquid for sour cream.
- Tough Edges of the Cake: Use parchment paper to line the sides and bottom of the cake pan.
- Dense Crumb: Try reducing the amount of fat and use additional egg, liquid, and baking powder.
- The cake doesn’t Release: In case of no parchment paper, use the paste of butter and flour blend and brush into the pan.
Pie and Tart Dough
- Crumbly Texture: You need to add binder like Xanthan gum.
- Dry, Difficult Dough: You have to process the butter more thoroughly while mixing.
- Not Flaky: There you want to add a little rice vinegar.
- The dough doesn’t Rise: You need to add extra liquid. Use bloom yeast and instant yeast in warm and sweetened water. Let your dough rise in a warm but turn-off oven.
- Gummy, Wet Crumb: Lower down the oven’s temperature and extend the baking time.
- Squat Loaves: You need to get a smaller loaf pan and add foil collar.
- Dense Crumb: Simply add ground psyllium husk.
- Bread Sinks after Baking: Let your bread remain in the turn-off oven to dry out.