Making Gluten-Free GloriousHolly Taylor & Adriana Rabinovich
Thinking outsidethe box to bakebetter tastinggluten-free food!
For each type of baking, think about the role ofgluten:• Cakes - gives moisture, acts as a binding agentand stops cake from crumbling• Cookies – gives texture, crunch, flavour• Pastry - binds, holds pastry together and givesstretch making it easier to work• Bread – gives structure/architecture, taste, crumb,rise and flavour
ThinkWhich gluten freeingredient(s) or techniquecan I use to re-create thatspecific quality?
TechniqueThe most important factor in making a good cakeIngredients- can be adjusted to compensate forlack of gluten:• Ground nuts- add moisture, flavour and texture(almonds, hazelnuts, walnuts)• Xanthan gum - to stop cake from crumbling• Additional eggs - for structure and rising• Additional liquid - buttermilk, crème fraiche,soured milk to get a better rise
CakesWeigh out ingredients ratherthan use American stylecups, especially liquidsTop tip
Techniques to Consider• Flourless• Oil Based Emulsion• Classic EmulsionButter/Sugar/Egg• All in one• Roulade/Meringue/Dacquoise• Carrot Cake• Victoria Sponge• Lemon Drizzle
All in one cakes• For the lazy cook, gluten-free flour blends areperfect for making cakesusing the all-in-onemethod• No amount of electricwhisk action is going toover develop the glutenguaranteeing a beautifulrise that will never gorubbery
Xanthan Gum• Xanthan gum is gluten-free gluten!• It helps to bind ingredients together,lock moisture in and providestructure to gluten-free bakes• Just be careful not to use too much,as an excess can make it difficult forbreads and cakes to rise and makepastry crunchy rather than short!• Use 1 tsp per cup of flour in breadrecipes and ½ tsp per cup for cakesand pastries
Fruits and vegetables• Another way to add moisture andimprove the texture of gluten freebakes is to add fruits andvegetables• Try grated carrot, courgette, sweetpotato, beetroot or parsnip• Add mashed banana, cookedcarrot, apple puree or evenavocado to get a really moist finish• Use soaked dates or other driedfruits to give a fudgy texture
Nut and seed flours• Great for cakes and grain-free breads• Ground almonds, chestnutflour and other ground nutsand seeds can be used tocreate rich and moist cakespacked with flavour
Glycerine• Helps to keep gluten-free cake moist and stop dryingout• Around 2 tsp is needed for an average sponge cakerecipe
Solutions• More baking powder• Bicarbonate of soda• Increase egg (white/yolk)• Acidified liquid: yogurt, buttermilk, crèmefraiche• Soured milk
Eggs• Many gluten-free recipes rely on eggs to providerichness and structure• They also help to bind the flours together, add colourand aid the leavening process• Even bakes not traditionally made with eggs like breadsand pastries turn out better with an egg added• Adding a tbsp. of mayonnaise to cake recipes can alsohelp add moisture!• For vegans use pectin or ground flax in water to addmoisture, plus a little extra baking powder
Ingredients & Technique• Add an egg to improve binding• Roll out between sheets of cling film to help the pastry holdtogether• Keep everything well chilled and bake in a hot oven• Roll and shape your pastry straight away to prevent it dryingout• Work pastry into a dough without adding heat (food processand palette knife)• Use water to bind and give crispness• Use Maillard principle to get better texture and flavour• Increase amount of salt and sugar to improve flavour
Pastry• Gluten-free pastry is a littlemore delicate and crumbly thannormal pastry but it’s also veryforgiving.• You can over work it, it’s easy topatch up and it doesn’t shrinkanywhere near as much asnormal pastry!• It also has the most amazingmelt in the mouth texture, thatmakes it sublime for desserts• For the same reasons, gluten-free shortbread is far superior tothe wheat version!
Hot Water Crust Pastry• If you love traditional gameor pork pies then using agluten-free hot water crustpastry can help cut downon calories and fat!• Gluten free flours bindmore water but less fatthan the traditional wheatbased versions• Check out the Geniuswebsite for a great GF hotwater crust recipe
BreadIngredients + Technique + Practice = SUCCESS• Don’t think traditional bread dough• Dough will be much wetter• No kneading required• Consider what type of yeast or rising agent to use• How much liquid is needed?• Which gluten free flours will work best?• What can I add to improve texture and flavour (gelatine, agar agar, milkpowder, herbs, spices, seeds and nuts)• Size matters• Proving times• Oven temperatures and baking times
BreadSelect the size of yourbaking tin carefully anddon’t fill the tin morethan half wayTop tip
Problem…Bread is thewrong texture –too hard or toorubbery
SolutionsIngredients• Flour Mix – starch versusprotein• Water quantity• Dough vs Batter• Yeast/Rising agentsAction/Technique• Proofing• Tin shape/size• Oven temperature• Baking time• Maillard principle
Water• Gluten-free flours are generally drier than wheat flours• As a result cakes made with GF flour often require acouple of extra tbsp of water to ensure a good rise• While breads made with gluten free flour work betterwhen the dough is actually a thick batter – this helpsthe bread to rise and become fluffy rather than heavyand chewy• Carbonated liquids can add even more volume!
Starchy flours•Gluten-free baked goods are known for their pale colourand crumbly texture•Using tapioca starch can help things to brown more in theoven•While potato starchand corn flour can improvethe crumb texture of bakedgoods•Recipes work best when thestarchy flours are mixed withother GF flours in a 1:1 or 1:2ratio
Protein rich flours• Just like breads made with wheat, high protein contentin gluten-free flour adds structure and flavour to bread• Good choices are sorghum, millet, amaranth, teff,gluten-free oatmeal, soya flour and buckwheat
Vitamin C• Yeast thrive in an acidic environment which promotesbetter volume in gluten-free bread recipes• Ascorbic acid also acts as a natural preservative,increasing shelf-life