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Pre-Made Mixes Vs. Individual Ingredients

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I have a question for anyone experienced with gluten-free it worth it to buy all of these gluten-free flours and baking ingredients individually, or should I just buy the pre-made mixes (they seem like a cheaper deal)? Also, can you recommend any products or recipes that are good? I want to make baked foods that taste like the real version. I am also wondering if it's necessary to buy a bread machine.


In particular, I would like to make bread for my mother. She wants to try a gluten free diet but likes to eat bread, specifically raisin bread or blueberry bread. I have no experience with making real bread, let alone gluten free bread. All of the gluten free bread I've tried tasted pretty bad, and didn't compare to wheat bread. I tried to make cinnamon raisin bread with a Bob Red Mill mix package, and it was very heavy. I didn't mind, but my mother didn't like it. She's picky.


If anyone knows of a bread recipe or pre-made mix that is light, and tastes close to real bread, I would appreciate if you share it.

Edited by djs89

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I haven't made bread yet (used to make bread with gluten all the time...), but I do bake cookies, brownies, cakes, etc.  I use Bob's All-Purpose flour since I purchase on sale and freeze.   I've been baking goodies for my gluten-free husband for 12 years (I'm still a newbie).  I've converted many of my old recipes to gluten-free.  The trick is 1) adding Xanthan Gum (keep in freezer) and 2) season the food item.   The gluten-free flours aren't the same as wheat flour in taste.  I suppose I'll get use to it, like I'm now used to soy products vs. dairy.   I never do plain butter cookies or vanilla cake.  My hubby's favorite is apple spice cake, which allows me to toss in all sorts of goodies (fresh apples, raisins, spices, nuts, etc.).  Top it off with homemade icing and it's great.  I also bake just cupcakes because they'll freeze well and we won't gobble up the whole cake.  Plus, we'll have a variety on hand and I bake a ton before the summer heat sets in.  


I always doctor up even a brownie mix adding chips, a bit of sour cream, or instant coffee to mixes.  I use a lot of mixes when visiting family for convenience.  Summer's coming up so try cobblers or crisps, so good with fruit.  Don't forget peanut butter cookies.


Today I'm make Chocolate Mayo Cake and I hope it will be a success.  It used to be my daughter's favorite, and I never made a gluten-free version of it since my husband's not crazy about chocolate.  By the way, she's eating gluten-free and likes just about everything.  


Keep trying!  


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One of the things to simply accept is that gluten free bread is not gluten bread. It will not have the same texture, or the same taste. It also is not any less "real" because of this. The sooner you accept it for what it is, the sooner you will enjoy it for what it is instead of hating it for what it isn't. I'm not sure what bread you've been trying, but some brands are pretty bad. Others are actually really good.


I have not yet tried making yeast breads, only quick breads. I generally don't like to use mixes and bake things from scratch. I don't understand why I should spend between 4 and 8 bucks on a mix to make one thing when I can spend that much on a bag of flour (times however many kinds of flour) and use just a little of each. It is simply way more cost effective to buy flour.


As for recipes, I don't have one handy but if I had to recommend a place to start looking I would say head over to glutenfreegoddess. She has never failed me in the past.


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I understand that it's hard to replicate wheat foods. I don't really care much about the taste and texture of most food, but my mother is really picky. Trying to get her to eat new things is difficult. It's like dealing with a picky five year old. :P


I'm not sure what is most cost effective, as it seems like buying the special ingredients for baking can be costly as well. Xantham gum, baking powder, tapioca flour, arrowroot starch, yeast, potato starch, sorghum flour, etc. many of the recipes I've looked at require quite a few different ingredients, and they can cost around $5-$10 each for a small bag.


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When you start talking about things that are basic baking supplies, I don't count those as baking expenses and never have. There are more things I need baking powder, spices, things like that in my kitchen for than baking. With the flours, sure you pay whatever for a bag, but it isn't like you are using a whole bag of it for a loaf of bread. Maybe you live where stuff is more expensive but I pay maybe $6 or $7 for the more pricey flours here for a 1 pound bag. You'll find that you will need some flours and starches anyway because in everyday cooking you just need to have flour in the house. I practically burn through tapioca starch, cornstarch and rice flour.


I totally get the picky kid thing, my husband is like that. He has to choose between he health and particular foods. Your mother may have to do the same if she has a gluten problem.


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