They say April showers bring May flowers, but, for us, May is all about gluten-free flours for Celiac Awareness Month! For many people, going gluten-free is not a fad, it’s a medical necessity. We work with clients who have Celiac disease, Crohn’s, ulcerative colitis, IBS, and IBD to create menus that are delicious AND safe for their guts. From baked goods to sauces, gluten-free cooking has come a long way over the years! Here are some things to keep in mind about gluten-free baking, whether you’re trying it for the first time or adding new techniques and recipes to your repertoire.
Find your faves!
Find the gluten-free flour that works for you (or the one that’s best for your recipe). Almond flour is one of the most common gluten-free flours, since it bakes up well in many favorite recipes like breads and cookies, but it’s not an option for some people with nut allergies. Coconut is similarly approachable for home bakers, but it has an intense flavor and can create a dense result if not used carefully. For savory recipes, options like tapioca may be a good choice. Some alternative flours, like buckwheat and amaranth, are best when combined with other gluten-free flours. For a look at the properties and benefits of the 14 most popular gluten-free flours, check out this article from Healthline.
Baking is a science!
As with any type of baking, when you’re baking with gluten-free flour, it’s best to follow the recipe as carefully as possible. Ensuring the right ratios of flour to fats, liquids, and binding agents will help you create consistent results with the right texture and mouthfeel. It will also help you avoid a common issue with gluten-free baked goods: crumbling. Measuring gluten-free flour by weight instead of volume helps as well. The development of gluten, the major chemical reaction that happens when making wheat-based dough, of course does not happen in gluten-free recipes, so be careful not to overwork gluten-free dough.
Read the comments!
As you’re scouring the internet for gluten-free baking recipes, the comments section of recipe websites is a helpful place to look to see how the recipes turned out for your fellow home bakers. Since everything from the freshness of your ingredients to the altitude you’re baking at can affect your final results, insights from others who have tried a recipe can be particularly helpful. Comments can also include substitution suggestions if the flour in the recipe isn’t your favorite. For more gluten-free baking tips and tricks, including ways to increase nutrition and substitution for other common ingredients, here is a helpful resource guide from Beyond Celiac.
Whichever May flour is your favorite, we hope you enjoy doing some gluten-free baking this month. Above all, have fun with it! If you have a favorite gluten-free recipe you’d like to share, let us know on Facebook or Instagram.