August 23, 2013

Gluten Free Baking Tips

If you've been following us for a while, you'll know we went mostly gluten free last November. I am the most hardcore out of everyone in the family because my gut just feels so much better.
I promised many people I would continue to update and give more tips, so here's some help with baking (because I loves my cakes and cookies, oh yes!)

When you're just starting out, it makes sense to buy gluten free flour mixes. This saves you time and brain cells, but it is more expensive than mixing your own.

If you buy a GF flour mix, you are usually good to go, though some recipes may have you add extra xanthan gum. You have to create the right balance of starch and grain flours - I can't remember what the actual proportions are, but I now make my own flour-blend (cheaper that way) based off this recipe:

http://glutenfreegobsmacked.com/my-gf-flour-blend/

This is the best! Also, check out her pull-aparts bread recipe - it's amazing. We found it can also be used as pizza crust. It's the closest thing to gluten-based bread in terms of texture.

The only real downside to GF baking is you have to add more fat or eggs to compensate, so it's not the healthiest. You can get away with apple sauce or bananas maybe instead of eggs, then use some oil. It's a lot of experimentation. Also keep a close eye on your baking because starches burn quickly - you usually can reduce baking time by about 5 minutes or so. (You'll start to smell it)

Also, if you buy rice flour, make sure you get "fine ground" or "stone ground" because it's really gritty otherwise and you'll notice.

Don't expect too much at first - it does create a different texture and you'll get used to it in time. But I have a recipe for vegan brownies (also GF now) that NO ONE WOULD EVER KNOW are GF. They are sooo good. I use the GF blend from the link above and then make the recipe like normal.
Here it is! Enjoy!

Vegan Gluten Free Brownies

3/4 cups sugar
3/4 cups GF flour blend
1/2 cup chopped nuts (optional)
1/4 cup cocoa
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt

1/2 cup water
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 tsp vanilla

You can mix all these ingredients directly in a 9 inch greased square pan (saves on dishes!) and bake at 350 degrees for about 22-25 minutes.