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Do You Need The Gelatin?

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A few recipes call for unflavored gelatin, is it necessary? What does it do and is there a replacement for it if I don't have it on hand? I tried to buy it this morning, but they only had 1 box and it was a pkg of 32 envelopes for 10$, I didn't want that much!! I wanted to make that pizza dough everyone raves about this afternoon, but I don't have time to run around to all the stores in town to find a smaller pkg... Thanks for your help!

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A few recipes call for unflavored gelatin, is it necessary? What does it do and is there a replacement for it if I don't have it on hand?

Gelatin is used to replace some of the protein that is lacking in our gluten free flours. It helps add texture and springiness to baked goods. If I am looking to replace it, I use something else that is high in protein - almond meal, egg whites (reducing other liquid in the recipe) or dry milk. While I'm not sure it is really necessary, you may find that your recipe has a different texture without it. I use it quite frequently in a few favorite recipes, so I buy the big box. It lasts forever if kept in a cool, dry place. It's fun to make jello jigglers with fruit juice, too. :)

Hope this helps.

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Gelatin is not necessary. Look at all the gluten-free vegetarian/vegan baked goods without it.

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I think I know which recipe you are trying to make and it is our favorite. I have always made it exactly as the recipe calls for.

If it is the recipe I think it is, then it already uses powdered milk, so I would suggest trying the egg whites.

If this does not turn out really good, I suggest you find the gelatin and try it again. You will probably end up using the gelatin if you can only find the big package. I am always having to buy more gelatin because I can only find the small one.

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I have never used gelatin and things will work with out it.

I tried the pizza dough recipe from irishdaveyboy tonight without it and it still came out. :D I did add about a tablespoon of ground up almonds to the flour mixture, and a little sorghum flour. You could also add a little garbanzo bean flour for the protein. It is easy to grind up nuts in a blender, I do batches of them and store it in the refrigerator in plastic ziplock bags. I also substituted yogurt for the dry milk so there would be less lactose, but keep the total amount of liquids about the same by decreasing the water a little bit.

I also proofed the yeast first by putting it into just the warm water with the 1/2 teasp. of sugar, and letting it sit a few minutes while I measured the other things out. This way I could make sure the yeast was not dead, was just the right temperature, and also could mix the dough by hand because the yeast would be already going. First I added the yogurt, oil, and vinegar and then the yeast water, and stirred and kneaded it with the spoon. The dough behaved well and was not ornery or overly sticky.... I am wondering if this would also make a cute, fast mini loaf of bread if it was not smashed down into a crust.

I was just relieved it didn't do the glueball in the bowl routine.

Instead of rolling it the oiled pan with a floured glass, I pressed it in with olive oiled hands.

I am thinking egg white or flax meal might work, also. I've done a lot of biscuit type pizza crusts that used egg and baking soda and vinegar to rise instead of yeast.

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I've never used gelatin in my gluten-free baking, but any binder would have some influence on the texture. Agar Agar is known as a "vegetable gelatin", as it comes from seaweed. So that's what I might try if I ever find a recipe that didn't turn out right otherwise. Never had that happen yet though. I suppose it's also a matter of preference too. Some like a thin pizza crust, some like a thick one. I'd have to guess that the gelatin would make the crust a bit chewier. From my experience with nut meals, I don't believe it would be a replacement for gelatin. It's not being used for the protein, but as a binder.

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More info


Q. Why use gelatin in mixes?

A. Gelatin adds extra protein (which again helps loaf stability and promotes elasticity to your recipe), and reduces crumbliness. However, it is not essential in most recipes. You could also use some bean flour for added protein.

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In a pinch, depending on the recipe, I've baked without it. Pizza crusts and similar baked goods are very forgiving if you don't use gelatin.

With breads, muffins, cakes, etc., if it calls for gelatin, I use it.

Happy baking! Julie :)

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