A year ago Nathaniel sent me a link to the first outline for glutenfreegus.com. It was followed a few minutes later by a request for a recipe… which was followed by a request for photographs of (Pumpkin Harvest Muffins.)
We’d stopped baking commercially a year earlier, moved into a smaller home, and I was concentrating on ceramic pieces that evolved from efforts to build “Faux Bois” pots.
Cooking for and writing a daily GF food blog wasn’t on the radar screen, but it’s been a rewarding experiment, and something we look forward to continuing, though perhaps not daily.
Another List o’ Tips seems like a good way to punctuate a year. And so:
1. Use a scale when measuring dry ingredients. Proportion is almost everything in successful baking.
2. Baking cakes and breads in small pans for shorter amounts of time helps insure centers will be cooked through. This is one of the reasons we suggest a tube pan for Annie’s Sour Cream Coffee Cake.
3. When adapting a conventional recipe, reduce the amount of liquid. GF flours, especially if a blend includes nut “flour” absorb less liquid than conventional (wheat, rye, barley) flour.
4. Nuts and nut flours: store them in the freezer to prevent them from turning rancid.
5. For chewy (Chocolate Chip Cookies) let the dough rest in the refrigerator for 2 hours, and even better overnight.
6. Store GF baked goods in the refrigerator or freezer well wrapped or in an air tight container. Oxygen is the enemy. A first layer of parchment paper helps unfrosted cakes from developing a goopy, wet surface.
7. Apple sauce, mashed banana, pureed pumpkin and squash add body, flavor, natural sweetness, and moisture to GF baked goods, reducing the amount of sugar and fat required.
8. Afraid of or don’t like the texture of Xantham Gum? Waffles, crepes, pancakes, some brownie recipes and flourless chocolate cake recipes don’t need it. Finely ground flax seeds can help as a replacement. Start by using 2 teaspoons for every one of xanthum gum.
9. Roll out pie crust dough between two sheets of waxed paper, or better, plastic wrap for easy handling and transfer to the pie plate.
10. GF baked goods are highly perishable. Sugar, fat, salt, vinegar, and alcohol are ingredients that help them stay fresh longer, but number 6 still applies if you’re storing anything for more than an afternoon.