Whether you’re gluten-free for medical reasons or you just want to avoid the “wheat belly,” baking with alternative flours can be a challenge. There are plenty of gluten-free recipes online, but what if you want to create a gluten-free version of your grandma’s signature banana bread? These handy tips can help you do just that, or troubleshoot a gluten-free baking catastrophe.
- Use a combination of gluten-free flours
- Sift flours and starches prior to measuring. Sift again after combining to improve texture of baked goods.
- Mix flours thoroughly before adding to other ingredients
- In recipes which call for rice flour or corn meal: mix with liquid, bring to a boil, then cool before adding
- To maintain freshness, refrigerate gluten-free flours and bring to room temperature prior to baking
- Starch flours require extra leavening. The rule of thumb is 2 teaspoons of baking powder per cup of gluten-free flour, but you may need to reduce the amount to adjust for altitude.
- If baking soda and buttermilk are used for leavening, add 1-1/8 teaspoon of cream of tartar for each ½ teaspoon of baking soda to neutralize acid.
- Add dry milk solids or cottage cheese to recipe to improve structure or baked goods
- Use evaporated milk instead of regular milk
- If your baked goods are too crumbly, add an extra egg white next batch
- Without gluten, kneading time is shorter, so take care not to over beat
- If using a bread machine, only use one kneading cycle
- Let gluten-free dough rest at least 30 minutes or up to overnight in the refrigerator to improve texture
Baking & Keeping
- Bake in a smaller portions at a lower oven temperature for a longer time
- Use dark pans for better browning
- Because gluten-free baked goods can dry out quickly, always wrap them tightly and store in the refrigerator or freezer to retain quality