As you may know we are gluten free. Learning to be gluten free has been an adventure for me. I have had some wonderful success and some outright failures. I thought I would share some of the tips I have learned with you guys in case you are in the gluten free boat now or want to hop on later.
Xanthan Gum is important – Very important. If you choose to make your own all-purpose mix you need to make sure you add xanthan gum. Also, if you buy pre-made mixes you need to check the label to verify if you need to add xanthan gum or not. I can not tell you how many flops I have had because I forgot the xanthan gum.
Don’t forget to activate the xanthan gum – Great, you remembered the xanthan gum. Awesome! Now instead of just beating a few minutes on medium you really need to turn your mixer up to high and beat it a good 7 – 10 minutes. No, I’m not kidding. This increase in mixing really has helped my products turn out better.
Eggs are excellent – Gluten free products tend to be dry. I’m not sure what causes the gluten free products to be dry, but they are. Even homemade ones. To solve this problem you need to up the moisture content in the batter. Eggs are excellent for this. When a recipe calls for 1 egg, I use 1 extra large egg if possible. Since I buy my eggs from a person and not a store I do not get the option of medium, large, extra large. Instead, I just use 1 large egg and 1 small egg. Now that I do this my recipes have turned out much better.
Moisture is key – When letting gluten free products rise, you really need a moist environment. Do you have a bakery-style proofer? Yeah, me neither. But I have discovered out how to fake one (while reading Gluten-Free on a Shoestring: 125 Easy Recipes for Eating Well on the Cheap). You ready? The microwave! Take a kitchen towel, wet it, and wring it out. You want it wet but not dripping. Place the towel in the microwave and zap for 3-5 minutes (or longer if you have a lower powered microwave). Be careful the towel is HOT. Place the towel over your bowl and place your bowl in the microwave. Try and do this as fast as you can. Set your timer and walk away. Do not peek! Peeking releases the coveted moisture! Allow your dough to rise in peace!
Time is flexible – Occasionally, the recipes time will not be on your time. I have had recipes that rose faster (and larger) than the recipe stated while others needed double the stated time. Be flexible. If your dough has not rose, repeat tip 4 and maybe try wetting your towel more.
These are my top 5 gluten free baking tips: xanthan gum, activate, eggs, moisture, and time. Do you have any gluten free baking tips to add?
Have a blessed day!
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