Baking is something I have always enjoyed. Making old family recipes helps me connect with my past, and reminds me of the many people I love. When I transitioned to a gluten free lifestyle, I struggled for a long time trying to convert my old family recipes to gluten-free.
Here are some useful baking tips I found helpful for making gluten free recipes, and converting old family recipes to gluten-free:
◊ Increase either the eggs or the leavening agents to make a recipe turn out lighter – A general rule of thumb to remember is 2 teaspoons of baking powder to 1 cup of flour. Baking soda and cream of tartar can also be used. Add an extra egg as part of the liquid for every 1 tablespoon of gelatin dissolved in the liquid of the recipe.
◊ Measure liquids carefully – Be sure to use standard liquid measuring cups.
◊ Substitute butter and oil with applesauce – To help reduce the fat in a recipe try substituting 50 to 100 percent of the butter or oil with an equal amount of applesauce.
◊ Level dry ingredients with a straight-edged utensil – It is usually not necessary to tap the utensil or pack, unless the recipe directions tell you otherwise. See more on How to Measure Dry Ingredients.
◊ Maintain gluten free flours freshness – Keep gluten free flours in airtight containers or Ziploc bags and store in your fridge or freezer. Be sure to thaw completely before using.
◊ Don’t allow batter to sit too long before baking – Unless directed in recipe’s directions. Allowing the batter to sit too long can cause products to not rise completely and appear flat.
◊ Reduce thickness of the batter - If batter appears too thick; add 1 tablespoon of water until you reach desired consistency.
◊ Make your own mixes – If there are breads you bake often, try mixing the dry ingredients ahead of time and store in Ziploc bags to ease the process in the future. This way when you’re ready to bake, you can just grab a pre-mixed bag from your cupboard. See more on Make Your Own Mixes.
◊ Add moist ingredients - Gluten-free recipes tend to be more dry than wheat products. Try including fruit, vegetables or sauces to baking products to add moisture, such as zucchini and banana bread. My favorite converted family recipe is The Best Gluten Free Pumpkin Bread.
◊ Chill cookie dough – store cookie dough in fridge for 20-30 min to manage easier.
◊ Separate eggs into yolks and whites – Beating eggs yolks and whites separately can improve leavening of a recipe.
◊ Use smaller baking pans - Smaller pans work best for baking more evenly. There have been several times where I’ve baked with a 9×13-inch pan and the edges were well done, but the center was still full of batter. Try using cupcakes pans or two 8-inch round pans rather than a 9×13-inch pan.
◊ Natural for batter consistency to appear thinner – If you are new to baking gluten free don’t be concerned about the consistency of rice batter when you begin baking. Rice batters tend to be thinner than wheat batters.
◊ Convert recipes with same amount of flour – For converting batter recipes use the same amount of flour as directed, and add an additional 2-4 Tbs extra liquid per cup of liquid called for. For cookies, try adding an additional 2-4 Tablespoons of extra flour per each cup of flour requested.
◊ Substitute water for milk – For a fluffier, moister product try using milk or milk substitute instead of water when requested.
◊ Add xanthan gum to recipes - Xanthan gum is a gluten-free stabilizer that improves the texture of baked products made with gluten-free flour. Xanthan gum helps keep baked products from easily crumbling. For a more natural moist texture try adding 1/2 tsp per cup of flour in cakes. For breads, try adding 1 tsp per cup of flour. Even try adding 2 tsp per cup of flour to your pizza crust mix for a better texture to your favorite pizza crust.
See more on Adding Xanthan Gum to Recipes.
◊ Substitute evaporated milk – when baking, substitute evaporated milk with cottage cheese or yogurt to improve texture.
◊ Add sorghum to recipes - For better volume and texture mix tapioca flour with sorghum to baked goods. Also add slightly more oil and eggs to recipes with sorghum blends to improve moisture content and texture.
◊ Double your recipes – Save time and money by doubling your recipe and storing the extra dough in the freezer. See more on Freeze Homemade Gluten Free Pizza Crust.
Gluten Free New York Checsecake
This light, refreshing cheesecake truly is the perfect gluten free cheesecake.
Gluten Free JELL-O Cake
This moist, refreshing dessert is easy to make and perfect for any event.
The Best Gluten Free Pumpkin Bread
This moist, rich pumpkin bread is truly one of the best gluten free recipes around.