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How To Make Gluten Free Flour More Elastic?
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Hello all. This is my first post here. I'm no gluten-free, but my wife is. One thing I've been trying to find year after year is something maybe that you can add to gluten-free flour to make it more elastic like wheat flour. Specifically for pie crusts. I love to bake pies, but it's really hard using gluten-free flour because the finished crust falls apart when I'm trying to bring it to the pie plate.

Any suggestions? Thanks!

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Hello all. This is my first post here. I'm no gluten-free, but my wife is. One thing I've been trying to find year after year is something maybe that you can add to gluten-free flour to make it more elastic like wheat flour. Specifically for pie crusts. I love to bake pies, but it's really hard using gluten-free flour because the finished crust falls apart when I'm trying to bring it to the pie plate.

Any suggestions? Thanks!

Hi and welcome! I'm thinking, if you like the taste of your crust and how it handles after it is baked you might just use this method. Roll pie dough out between 2 pieces of plastic wrap. (slightly dampen the counter first so it won't slide around--if you have granite that isn't necessary)

After it is rolled out the way you want it, slowly remove the top piece of plastic, and lift the crust by the bottom piece. Fit into the pie plate with the plastic still adhered, then very carefully peel off the plastic. Works like a charm :)

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What she said. Gluten free pie crust can actually be better than wheat based pie crust, because it doesn't get stretchy, which makes it more light & flaky. Just be more careful in how you handle it.

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No, I like the way it tastes, but for pie crust it most definitely needs to be more elastic in order to manipulate it the way I need to.

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I use the King Arthur Gluten Free Pie recipe.

http://www.kingarthurflour.com/recipes/gluten-free-pie-crust-recipe

Use the lemon juice verses the vinegar. You can also do this in the food processor, because there is no Gluten to make it tough. The King Arthur flour is a combination of flours, so it is less gritey.

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Is there xanthan gum in your recipe? That would help a lot. I know I have posted Bette Hagman's vinegar crust recipe here a few times - that one works very well for me.

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The problem with making it more elastic in the raw form, is then the finished baked product could be used to make car bumpers or drywall. :rolleyes:

Because I cannot eat as much pie as I can bake, ;) after performing a lot of experiments that merely resulted in having to buy larger clothes but creating the same pie crust the texture of bamboo floor tile, (tasty floor tile :lol: ) I gave up making bottom crusts, and just put a top crust on, that I rolled out between 2 sheets of waxed paper, after chilling the dough for awhile. Peel off the top paper, lift the bottom and carefully flip it over the filling in the pan, then peel off the other paper. If I have to have a bottom crust, I will do the same thing, and skip the top crust, and just make a custard pie or a crumble top. With the bottom crusts, you can take an oil recipe type crust and just finger poke it around in the pan after getting the mass of crust into the pan with the waxed paper transfer.

I still think I can make a pie crust from scratch, without gums and with the higher protein type flours, but I have not played with this for awhile, because I had to switch out of several brands of gluten free flours because I can't do oat cross contamination and I can't tolerate some other brands, period. There are several types of flours that are "stickier" that rice flours, one is buckwheat and the other is amaranth, both, when soaked for a while in liquids, get sticky, if you want to experiment by adding either or both to a recipe. There is also chia seed soaked in cool water to make chia gel.

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I haven't yet attempted a gluten-free pie crust, though I have made a sort of shortbread crust that managed to hold together. I've been using psyllium husk powder in my baking and pancakes rather than the guar gum I had been using, since I'm not using any starches. Guar gum makes some things like my double-recipe flatbread gloppy but psyllium husk powder works pretty well.

The ratio I use is about 3/4 to 1 teaspoon of psyllium husk to 1 cup of flour (generally rice). Then, after it's all mixed I let it sit for about 5-10 mins, for the psyllium husk to 'gel', or whatever it does. I don't know that it would make it stretchy, but I think it'll hold together a lot better. If you try it, let us know how it works.

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Do you add an egg to your crust. I find it helps.

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Pastry thankfully is one of the easiest things to make gluten free and taste like its counterpart. I find it rolls easier than gluten crust as it does not have that stretch. I make pastry in my food processor which is far faster than kneading it by hand. The last thing you want in pastry crust is to melt the cold butter bits! Handling the dough as little as possible is key. I add ice water or Vodka. Then I roll it between two sheets of parchment paper which ensures it does not stick.

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I find that letting the pastry "rest" in the refrigerator for about 2 hours before rolling it out really helps. I think the gluten free flours (I use cup4cup by Williams Senoma) absorb the liquid more slowly, so the rest period helps.

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I have a product that I bought a while ago but did not try so I am not sure exactly how well it works but it is basically a gluten free gluten additive for gluten-free Flours. 

 

It is from Orgran and the product is actualyl caleld Gluten Free Gluten now that I am looking at the package.  Supposedly it gives gluten-free flours "workability and versatility"

 

From the packaging - Thsi product will provide structure and will mimic the physical protein found in wheat in a way that will allow you to make a dough or batter with similarities and consistencies to wheat based ingredients.

 

Hope that helps.

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No, I like the way it tastes, but for pie crust it most definitely needs to be more elastic in order to manipulate it the way I need to.

 

Have you tried Whole Foods brand of frozen gluten-free pie crust? They are wonderful.

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I've made more gluten-free pie crusts than I can count. Seriously. Been playing with flours and ideas quite a bit, and what has held true for pie crust is that no gums or binders will yield the best crusts. Also, a wheat crust is formulated with a considerable amount of fat, because that is what will defeat the gluten from forming long elastic structures. Otherwise you'd have bread dough. Since gluten-free flours do not hold together much on their own, they are on the opposite end of the scale in this regard. That is, rather than having to alter what would ordinarily make bread dough into pie crust dough, gluten-free dough is already a lot closer to being ideal for pie crust. Therefore, it doesn't require nearly as much fat.

 

I'd say, forget trying to force gluten-free pie dough to behave like wheat dough. But rather, take advantage of the characteristics it tends toward on it's own. Many gluten-free flours produce very good pie crusts, but the methods of working with the dough can be notably different from that of wheat dough.

 

What I've found for shaping the dough, is that it is quite easy to simply plop the dough in the middle of the pan, and press it out with your fingers. No rolling, plastic wrap or paper required. Only takes a few minutes once you've gotten the hang of it, and it won't stick to your fingers if the dough has been formulated well. The top crust is an altogether different matter however. I've found it easy to make a lattice crust or a crumble topping, but actually haven't tried to roll out a disc of dough to carefully position over a filled pie, as I don't have a roller (yet). Not sure how easily it would separate from the paper or plastic wrap either, which is why I haven't been in any hurry to buy a roller.

 

I think if you can describe what type of crust you're making, we'd have more applicable ideas for you.

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