When you are first diagnosed with Celiac disease or go on a gluten-free diet, one of the first things you will notice that’s missing is the baked goods. Currently, it’s not too hard to find good tasting gluten-free baked goods, but back in 1986 when I was diagnosed, that wasn’t the case. I had to rely on my own baking and creativity to find good tasting gluten-free baked goods.
So today I’ll be giving you some ideas for substitutions on gluten free baking Just remember that the foods you love most may not taste the same in gluten-free form. But, on the plus side, you may find that you like them even more than before so don’t lose all hope, just keep an open mind and palate. In addition, you need to understand that there is no identical substitute for foods and the textures and flavors will be different. They won’t taste bad, just different.
When trying to convert an old family favorite to gluten free it’s important to understand what the ingredient does to the recipe in terms of texture and flavor. Even the raw texture will be different. Batters might be thinner than what you’re accustomed to, or just look completely different. It’s important to not adjust the recipe expecting it to be the same as the glutenous versions.
The other important thing to remember is that if you aren’t using a commercial gluten free baking mix you will likely need to mix in more than one type of flour to get the results you want in the recipe. It’s also important to take a lesson from baking schools. In bakery school bakers learn to bake by weight and ratios based on the desires of the final results rather than by cups and spoons full.
If you learn the ratios of the different types of baked goods you’ll be able to substitute easier when you know how everything works. Michael Ruhlman has a great ratio chart to learn on his blog. It is not for gluten free baking but it can help to learn these ratios so that you can take any recipe and make it gluten free. Learning to bake by weight and ratios will help you create better recipes over all. When a recipe calls for 1 cup of flour, try using 140 grams of a gluten free substitute instead. Better yet, mix two different gluten free choices together for a better result.
Most of the things you cook at home are really truly simple. Pancakes, muffins, quick breads, are as easy as switching out the regular flour for a gluten free variety. For yeast breads like pizza dough you will need to add another binder and thickener to ensure that it works better such as chia or flax seeds. It’s also important to learn the different qualities of various flours. For instance coconut flour holds liquids very well; you might need to add extra liquid to avoid a dry result.
The most important thing is to just try different combinations to see if it works. Other than that, you can carry on as normal when turning your baked goods gluten free. Make your own flour mix and try it out. Try mixing different combinations of rice flour, oat flour, sorghum flour, millet flour, and potato starch. Store in a cool dry place and use in all your recipes. Using a mixture of different flours will give you a better result.