Gluten-free baking can be intimidating, but it doesn’t have to be. We want to share some tips and tricks with you, to help make those gluten-free treats just as stellar as you are.
Here you go:
Secret Number One
A flour blend is essential, taking into consideration whole grains and starches. A general rule of thumb is to have a 60/40 split: 60 percent white flours + starches, and 40 percent whole grains. Using a kitchen scale to determine the 60/40 split will make life so much more pleasant.
Your white flours and starches could be:
· White rice flour
· Sweet rice flour
· Tapioca starch
· Arrowroot starch
· And even nut flours
Whole grains could include:
To expand on this just a little further, one cup of flour is traditionally about 140 grams. This means then that your split would be a mixture of:
· 84 grams of white flours and starches, and
· 56 grams of whole grains
Secret Number Two
If tolerated, egg whites can be your best friend. They add structure and texture to gluten free products, particularly to cakes and muffins. Try replacing one whole egg in a recipe with three tablespoons egg whites. You'll get that fluffy lift that your product may be lacking.
Keep in mind also that egg whites can dry out a product—less is more when first trying it out, although three tablespoons is a great starting point. Experimentation is key, so don't give up if something is still a little off.
Secret Number Three
Sift. Always sift. You'll get out any grainy bits that can come through in the final product, creating that gritty mouth-feel. It will also help aerate your flour blend - especially starches, which tend to clump - alleviating any dense lumps that can get missed when mixing the batter.
A few grainy flour culprits include millet, amaranth and white rice flour.
After sifting, be sure to whisk it all together. A cohesive blend will ensure that any liquid added into the flour mix won't create any starchy dough balls that are difficult to break down.
Secret Number Four
You can't really over-mix basic gluten-free batters and doughs in the same respect as traditional baking. For simple cake batters (like pound cakes) and cookie doughs, get that mixer going. There aren't any gluten proteins to overwork or over stretch.
Mixing on medium-high speed for 3-5 minutes will help ensure that everything is well incorporated, again, breaking down those pesky little dry pockets, and will introduce a little air into the product, helping with any final density issues.
Secret Number Five
Two more tricks to combat any grittiness that you may experience with final baked products:
First, run your sifted flour blend through the food processor. Just let it go. A minute or two will break down anything missed in the sieve and will ensure everything is well whisked together. A high-power processor makes all the difference.
And second, let your dough sit. The moisture in the dough will help soften any hard, little grains. Cookie doughs can easily sit 24-to-48 hours in the fridge, pre-baking. Muffin batters can even be refrigerated overnight, as well. If you find that it has thickened up at all, just add a little more liquid to get it back to the desired consistency.
And that’s that! Our top five secrets to gluten-free baking. Give these ideas a whirl and let us know your thoughts by either commenting on this post, contacting us on our website, or finding us on social.
The Polly Fox