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bakingbarb

gluten-free Baking Tips

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Ok so I am thinking that to bake well this way we need all the tips and hints we can get.

Can the flour mixes in one cookbook be sub'd for the mix in another book? I have 3 books and they all have a diff mix. So lets say I want to make this cookie recipe from book A but I made the all purpose flour mix from book B - can I sub one for the other?

I made a sour cream coffee cake and although the cake turned out quite well I think it needed more sugar. I would normally just do it, but not sure with the gluten-free recipes if I can do this or not.

What I am finding with baked goods is the flour taste is diff obviously but flavorings can cover this up, at least I am assuming. This is my assumption so I am asking. The sour cream coffee cake didn't have the right flavor was it the flour or was it the vanilla? I am not happy with my vanilla so this could have been it.

When I ate cake at aGF bakery, the cake was quite good. We ate a couple of diff cakes and while they were both good, the flavor wasn't what I expected. Now when I ate before at wheat bakeries there were times I though the flavor was lacking so this is a common problem. Where as when we bake at home we are more aware of wanting our foods to taste good, not cut costs hence cutting flavors.

So next thing, most gluten-free baking doesn't call for butter it calls for oil or shortening for the fat. Butter adds so much flavor that I am wondering why it isn't used more. I understand in cookies butter would make them spread too much but if the dough is frozen first it could put a stop to that. At least with wheat flour this is what I would have done. The other thing would have been to add bread flour which would have made the dough stronger/tougher and it wouldn't spread. So we don't use any wheat flour so does anyone know how to fix this?

The above cake didn't call for butter and neither do most of the recipes I am seeing. I understand a lot of people are also dairy free but I am not so what will happen if I sub melted butter for the oil? When the cake cools, so does the butter so it will firm up.

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Im glad your asking questions, I wish I would have in the beginning since I struggled through so much not asking.

Butter is fine to use in cakes, it does give it a lot more flavor and it wont change the texture of the cake that I have found. I have not tried freezing the dough but I bet it would work. If you do want it tougher you could try more flour blend. I have not tried this yet but added xantham gum might make it stronger but be carefully because it could make it too rubbery so definitely practice with that first. I also use smart balance light margarine for casein free option. With the margarine do not melt it, its a soft spread so there is no need to do it.

I do add a lot more flavor to my desserts. To my chocolate cupcakes I add usually a raspberry sauce for some of the moisture and it sparks up the flavor. I also add dry pudding mixes to my cookies, they come out soft but still hold together. They give them quite a bit more flavor, especially vanilla pudding to my sugar cookies.

For a stronger vanilla flavoring you could also look for a mexican vanilla.

With flour mixes you can substitute but it can change how it turns out. Bean flour in the mix is more of a gluten feeling type mix and it holds together well but personally I dont care for it in alot of my baked goods. Gelatin can be added to the mix and it makes it hold together better, I have not made this recipe on my own but I noticed it with my tom sawyer flour blend. For most baked goods I enjoy bette hagman's feather light mix and use that quite often.

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I've had the best luck with baking by following "regular" recipes and using simple flour mixtures. I use Betty Crocker and all my old recipes for almost everything now. It seems to work better than trying to follow dozens of steps in "new" recipes that don't end up all that great. My sister-in-law and mom have had good luck baking cookies and cakes by just taking my flour mix and following their normal recipes. I just use brown rice flour, potato starch and tapioca starch, with xanthan gum added and sifted together well. Everything from pasta to cake turns out well.

Here are some other things I've learned:

Bean flour in anything that's supposed to be sweet is gross, in my opinion. But it does work in things like pizza crust where you want more texture and chew.

Butter works great, but lots of us are dairy-free, so we replace it. Spectrum shortening seems to work the best.

For cakes, the moist ones seem to work the very best - carrot cake, pumpkin cake, apple cake, fudge cake.

Over mixing gluten-free flour gives the finished product a strange texture - be careful to mix just as much as is really needed.

I've had the best results with brown rice flour, rather than white rice flour. It doesn't seem to turn out gooey and still looks like white flour in the finished product.

Sorghum flour gives a nice, nutty flavor in things like scones and biscuits.

You usually need to add a bit more liquid than the recipe calls for. Sometimes, I take away a Tbs or 2 of the flour instead, depending on the recipe.

Letting batter or dough sit for 10 minutes before baking does something to make it turn out better. I think the gluten-free flour needs a bit of time to absorb the liquid.

Adding too much xanthan gum can be a disaster.

Not adding any xanthan gum at all will be a crumbly disaster.

Trying to use one kind of flour (like rice) doesn't work in 90% of recipes and you will end up with goo.

Following the regular pie crust recipe works really well, as long as there is enough xanthan gum in the flour mix. Don't let anyone convince you that you can only use a cracker type crust. Let the dough sit for 10 minutes, or refrigerate for longer, before you roll it out and you'll have delicious pies. Using 1/2 real butter and 1/2 shortening in the crust makes it really flakey.

BakingBarb - keep experimenting. I've read your other posts and I know that you'll get the hang of it and be an amazing gluten-free baker. Your dream of opening a cafe or bakery might be changed, but you might just change the gluten-free world for the better!

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Great tips everybody.

I think what I am going to try soon is chocolate chip cookies but I will use the recipe from Rose's Christmas cookies. Actually it is like a chunky cookie oh crud it calls for granola. Well so far I have been able to tolerate small amounts of oats and I love oats so that will be in there. Plus ccc's are not something I binge on normally so I think the amount of oats in the cookie won't be a problem for me. Oh geez I am now craving these cookies.

I am going to have to work on a replacement for oats eventually (unless I spend the extra on gluten-free oats) if I were to bake for other people because most won't eat the oats and be comfortable with that.

Alright then, you all have empowered me. I will bake and will try my own recipes. :D

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something that I have always done even before going gluten-free is adding a box of instant pudding to cakes, cornbread, coffee cake etc. makes a HUDGE difference. I mix the (gluten-free brand of course) pudding with the dry ingrediants. Helps add flavor , and keeps things from crumbling =)

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I am going to have to work on a replacement for oats eventually (unless I spend the extra on gluten-free oats) if I were to bake for other people because most won't eat the oats and be comfortable with that.

Try Quinoa flakes.

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something that I have always done even before going gluten-free is adding a box of instant pudding to cakes, cornbread, coffee cake etc. makes a HUDGE difference. I mix the (gluten-free brand of course) pudding with the dry ingrediants. Helps add flavor , and keeps things from crumbling =)

Do you change the recipe at all? Do you have to add more liquid, take away some of the flour?

This is acutally a very good tip. I used to make the pudding cookie recipe and it does add moisture and flavor.

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Ya know I used to know a guy in New York that baked breads out of his kitchen and sold them mailorder. He only baked it when you ordered it.

I wonder if that could be done on a small scale with gluten-free? I wonder if people would buy from it?

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Ya know I used to know a guy in New York that baked breads out of his kitchen and sold them mailorder. He only baked it when you ordered it.

I wonder if that could be done on a small scale with gluten-free? I wonder if people would buy from it?

The problem with that is, gluten free foods don't keep very well. I don't know if this would be viable or not.

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Ya know I used to know a guy in New York that baked breads out of his kitchen and sold them mailorder. He only baked it when you ordered it.

I wonder if that could be done on a small scale with gluten-free? I wonder if people would buy from it?

Yes, people would buy it! Online gluten free food is exploding right now, people ar epopping up everywhere. But Juliebove is right, you gotta really be good to have it last for longer than two days, so a lot of people are freezing and shipping, but that's even more expensive. Maybe you could start out small-scale in your closest six towns, and just take out an ad in the paper. Offer pick-up or delivery for a fee within 30 miles or something. Or maybe you could find a bakery nearby that wants to expand and will endorse you? They could carry your stuff in their freezer, I've been thinking about doing that but I'm not good enough yet. My muffins are still kinda wacky.....

Edit: I'd even call it BakingBarb's Gluten free treats or something!

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Do you change the recipe at all? Do you have to add more liquid, take away some of the flour?

This is acutally a very good tip. I used to make the pudding cookie recipe and it does add moisture and flavor.

you just add the pudding to the dry ingrediants. Infact just made myself a bday cake last week using gluten-free cake mix and mixed in pudding.... very yummy... my friends and family did not belive me it was gluten-free.

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I have noticed in MOST of my recipes, that the flavoring (specifically vanilla but I use butter flavoring, too) is greatly increased. Like instead of 1 tsp it will call for 1 TBSP. I think a lot of that is due to rice flour really not adding too much flavor to a recipe. My first, mostly white rice flour, bread was baaaaddddd and I think a lot of that was the lack of a real flavor (well, there were lots of things wrong with it but we won't go into that here :lol: ). I think white rice flour lets any other flavor take over and you need to be aware of which flavor is going to dominate in your recipe - I think that's why more vanilla is used.

I have successfully used soybean flour in choc chip cookies (it was only 1/4 cup). But other than that, I have not cared for the bean flour taste in any of my baked goods (Have not tried pizza crust yet).

In one of my batches of cookies, the first pan spread too much. I added a little more flour mix (which is what I would have done before) and the rest turned out fine. I also think one of the keys to cookies is to not try and make the huge cookies.

I have yet to have luck with sweet rice flour. (Liz, from a previous thread, you recommended not to use the asian store glutinous rice flour . . . so I found a place to buy sweet rice flour and still did not have luck). My pancakes and my bread (which both called for it in the recipe) tended to be gummy in the middle - like you're not sure if it is cooked all the way and have sinking problems once cooled. I think I may try it (just a small amount) in my next batch of cookies though because I kind of like that effect in cookies. :P

I do plan on trying the vanilla pudding in my mix when I try sugar cookies for the first time later this month . . . I think that will be a great help to both flavor and texture.

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I do plan on trying the vanilla pudding in my mix when I try sugar cookies for the first time later this month . . . I think that will be a great help to both flavor and texture.

mmm, I've been craving those soft cookies with the icing on them at the store, maybe you could tell me how yours turn out?

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mmm, I've been craving those soft cookies with the icing on them at the store, maybe you could tell me how yours turn out?

Those cookies are to-die-for. They are almost 1/2 cookie, 1/2 cake. Now I want one too! :lol:

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I have yet to have luck with sweet rice flour. (Liz, from a previous thread, you recommended not to use the asian store glutinous rice flour . . . so I found a place to buy sweet rice flour and still did not have luck). My pancakes and my bread (which both called for it in the recipe) tended to be gummy in the middle - like you're not sure if it is cooked all the way and have sinking problems once cooled. I think I may try it (just a small amount) in my next batch of cookies though because I kind of like that effect in cookies. :P

I like "Mochiko" brand of sweet rice flour. However, I prefer brown rice flour in baking because it seems to work better and doesn't turn out gummy in most recipes. I use the sweet rice flour to thicken gravies and sauces

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my favorite baking mix is bette hagman's featherlight mix.

Featherlight Mix - from Bette Hagman's Gluten Free Gourmet Bakes Bread

1 c. Rice flour

1 c. cornstarch

1 c. tapioca starch

1 Tbs. potato flour (NOT potato starch)

i have a big rubbermaid tub of it mixed up in my cupboard and use it for everything! i've found it subs well both in betty crocker recipes and other gluten-free recipes.

the most successful recipes i've tried have been from this site: www.eatingglutenfree.com

never tried one from them that i didn't like. they have great tips on there for making pie crusts and other things.

i always add a box of pudding to my cookies. if you want a recipe that calls for it, look on the previously mentioned website. their chocolate chip cookies are the best!

i've found that following recipes exact is the best way to get them to turn out. pre-dx i used to guess and experiment on my baking, but since dx i realized that doing that was a sure way to screw up!

happy baking all :lol:

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i've found that following recipes exact is the best way to get them to turn out. pre-dx i used to guess and experiment on my baking, but since dx i realized that doing that was a sure way to screw up!

happy baking all :lol:

I know! gluten-free baking is not a very forgiving sport, I'll say! I used to do all sorts of wierd crap and it always worked, not anymore.

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Hi Everyone!

I am also a baking barb! I have started a business here in Western MA which we are calling The SillYak. We are baking and supplying to local cafes. My thinking behind this is that the health food stores are exploding with gluten-free options (some of which are even edible :P . And, there are many options on the net from gluten-free malls and groceries to little novelty shops. So the options for buying food, and baking your own from mixes is almost endless . . . but what we're all missing terribly is the ability to go out and have a cup of coffee and a cookie or muffin with friends or go to a deli and order a sandwich! So this is what I am focusing on. We are trying to get fantastic, fresh, bakery quality goods into our local eateries. I am also trying to use this as an opportunity to educate local chefs and restaurant owners about gluten-free food safety and cross contamination. Also, it's an opportunity to educate the public.

So far, we have not advertised at all and are only in one local shoppe but people have heard through word of mouth and folks who have never been into this restaurant before are showing up all excited for really tastey sandwiches. I have gotten special orders for birthday cakes and today I am baking bread for someone who wants to give it as a gift to a guest who is visiting from out of town. I am not sure how I will keep up with the demand - but my goodness this is sooo exciting. It gives me such great joy to feed celiacs and gluten intolerant folks really good bread!! I have been getting thank you notes from people - I just can't tell you how it warms my heart (and heals my soul from all my previous negative feelings about Celiac Disease).

So, to the other bakingbarb - go for it!! Get a license from you local board of health for a "residential kitchen" and start baking out of your home. The business is likely to explode and before you know it you will be on your way to gluten-free greatness.

Sorry, I do not have time to swap baking tips right now as I gotta get into the kitchen and get todays bread going. But I can tell you it can be done, it will be done and you will do it!!

Good luck to all the bakers.

Barb

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