A Guide to Gluten-Free Baking
Whether you’re living with Celiac’s disease or have a gluten intolerance, gluten-free eating is a must for many people. Unfortunately, gluten shows up in a lot of our favorite foods – including almost all baked goods. While this may be discouraging, fear not: it’s perfectly possible to create delicious baked goods, completely gluten-free. At Souplantation and Sweet Tomatoes, we offer new flavors of gluten-friendly muffins monthly, so we can say it from experience! But if you want to try gluten-free baking at home, here are some important tips and tricks.
This is one of the variables that changes the most with gluten-free baking. Most gluten-free recipes call for longer baking time at a lower temperature compared to traditional recipes, but timing will vary greatly between recipes, dishes, and even ovens. Make sure you get a proper oven thermometer to correctly monitor the temperature of your oven – it’ll be crucial for fine-tuning recipes over time.
Getting the Right Consistency
Two of the biggest pitfalls of gluten-free baking are dryness and the wrong structure. To remedy dryness, try recipes that call for pureed fruit, sour cream, or yogurt, as these will naturally contain moisture. You can also experiment subbing brown sugar, honey, or agave for white sugar, which adds moisture to the mix. For better structure, try adding dry milk solids or cottage cheese, which contain ingredients that mimic the structuring properties of gluten.
Know Your Flours
You’ll need to get creative with flour substitutions when baking recipes that aren’t specifically gluten free. Here are a list of gluten-free flours to use in your baking recipes that can most likely be found at your local grocery store.
- Brown rice flour
- Millet flour
- Amaranth flour
- Quinoa flour
- Almond flour
- Chickpea flour
Many of these flours can be substituted like-for-like in recipes. Usually, a combination of different flours needs to be used in gluten-free baking. Purchasing a gluten-free flour blend from your local grocery store makes it easy to have gluten-free flour on hand. Be sure to check all ingredients, to make sure they do not contain gluten. Sometimes gluten can linger in flavorings, from a gluten-containing source like barley. If the products packaging does not state “gluten-free,” you can always call the manufacturer to confirm.
Happy gluten-free baking!