October 20, was the 15th anniversary of Gus’s diagnosis with Type 1 Diabetes. 15 years ago today the results of blood tests confirmed his endocrinologist’s suspicion that he also had Celiac Disease. We have advice to share having been on the gluten-free baking path ever since. Some is noted in our recipes, but lists are nice and concise.
1. One learns a lot from mistakes; don’t be afraid to experiment.
3. Finely ground GF flours work best. The texture of rice flour has improved over the last decade, but be aware that some are still not milled finely enough to avoid grittiness in baked goods. Shop around; shop on-line.
4. GF flours with higher protein content add body and strength (quiona, sorghum, oat, millet…), but are best used in tandem with starchier flours.
5. Fat is an excellent preservative for baked goods which go stale sooner than their conventional counterparts, so don’t be afraid of butter and oils. They are your friends with respect to GF baking. (And the tide seems to be turning with respect to the healthiness of butter. Doesn’t mean it’s not going to go out again, but….)
6. Oil helps promote a tender GF cake “crumb.” We often use it instead of butter.
7. Baking cookies and scones using a sheet covered with parchment paper helps distribute the heat for more even baking. Be informed about your parchment paper choices.
8. Ingredients at room temperature, and so batter at room temperature, helps insure the center of GF cakes will be fully cooked when the edges and tops are set.
9. Xantham Gum helps provide a sense of (elasticity) that comes from the gluten molecule absent in GF baked products. If using, it’s helpful to let batter rest for a few minutes before baking so that the xantham has a chance to (cure).
10. Bean flours (garbanzo, fava…) are rich in protein, but have a strong earthy flavor that doesn’t always work well with the flavor profiles of baked GF sweets. I’ve never had a tasty garbanzo bean flour cupcake. Ever.
To be continued…