Are you someone who looooves to bake like us? You have started a gluten free diet and still want to bake but don’t know how to bake gluten free recipes? We agree, baking with gluten-free ingredients is different from traditional baking and methods of traditional baking may not always prove effective in making a gluten free recipe. Without the right techniques, the results can be disheartening too. Trust us, we too have been there; we had to keep trying countless times and after countless loaves of embarrassment and dismay, here we are, humbly making the best dreamy gluten free delicacies that we can! So, we thought, why not share these tried and tested methods with you. Believe us, with just a few steps and the right techniques, you can also bake like a pro. We also want to let everyone know that following a gluten free diet can be easy and delicious like the traditional one. So, let’s get started!
- The key ingredient-FLOUR
- One of the major adjustments in starting the gluten-free baking journey is to choose from the vast number of flour options and to determine how each is to be used and when. If you are a beginner, we suggest that you use an all-purpose gluten free mix and once you have become or feel that you are skilled enough, you can start experimenting with other flours like millet, sorghum, almond flour, arrowroot flour, teff flour and so on. Note that if you’re making your own flour mix, it’s almost always better to combine at least a few different flours, rather than just one, for example Rice flour. Also to provide the right texture, the flour mix should have some whole grain flour and some starch. Starches are important for softness and overall texture.
- Stick to the recipe and follow directions and measurements exactly.
If you are a beginner to gluten free baking stick to your recipe no matter what. By doing so, you will get a basic idea of ratios and measurements used typically in such gluten free recipes. And once you get confident and have had enough experience, you can unleash that master-chef in you and start trying out different recipes and ingredients.
- Invest in a kitchen scale.
Measuring cups and spoons aren’t accurate enough for gluten free baking. You might be used to the traditional way of dip and sweep while measuring out the ingredients. But this does not work while baking a gluten free recipe because different gluten free flours behave differently. Therefore, invest in a kitchen scale and begin measuring your flour by weight and volume.
- Mix…a lot!
Unlike traditional wheat flour baking recipes, which are not meant to be over-mixed, gluten free recipes turn out a lot better if they are mixed longer and thoroughly. It is so because mixing helps the ingredients to develop more structure which in turn gives a better rise and chew.
- Give it a good rest
When the batter is allowed to rest, covered for a good 30 minutes before baking, we found out (almost by accident 😉) that the recipe turned out without the sometimes sandy texture that can be typical to quick gluten-free recipes. It just allows the ingredients to soak and absorb the moisture and soften before baking. It helped the dough to become thicker and firm up so that it doesn’t become sticky as well. Please note that this doesn’t really apply to bread and other yeasted recipes, since you have to give a rest anyways for rising.
- Don’t rely on typical visual indications.
The typical visual cues applicable to traditional baking does not apply here because most of the starches here use the cooling time to set. So, it can be tricky to know when a loaf of bread or cake is ready to come out of the oven. Hence, its best recommended using an oven thermometer to ensure that your oven is at the right temperature and a timer to set the accurate time prescribed for the recipe.
- The other tried and tested trick
Cool the baked goodie properly because as we said earlier, the majority of the starches set during the cooling process. We recommend that you use a rack as it will allow it cool from all sides rather than in the hot pan, they were made in. If the steam gets trapped in, it can make it chewy and sticky-thanks to the Xanthum gum present in gluten free ingredients which love to hold on to moisture (like its dear life).
- Practice self-love! 😊
Forgive yourself if you make mistakes, nobody is an expert. You become an expert only by baking, baking and baking more and more. It’s always better to start with easy recipes even if you are an expert at traditional baking because as we said earlier, gluten free ingredients can be tricky. Always be patient and kind to yourself and most importantly it is ok to even repeat the same mistakes more than once. Believe us, with patience, time and by following our tricks and tips, you can become a success at baking gluten free recipes.