Gluten-free baking is a challenge. From hard and dry quick breads to mushy cakes, you are bound to make many mistakes, especially when you are first starting out.
But what if I told you gluten-free baking doesn’t have to be hard? You can avoid these gluten-free baking mistakes by following these tips.
Follow The Recipe To A Tee
Do not change gluten-free recipes. If you do, you will end up with negative results.
Gluten-free flour is different from regular flour. Furthermore, gluten-free recipes contain specific ingredients, measurements, and techniques. If you change the recipe, it may come out wrong.
Test Before You Experiment
I’m all for experimenting. But if you are going to experiment, test the recipe a few times first. Once you’ve baked the recipe a few times, you can start by making small changes until the recipe becomes something you love.
Gluten-Free Flours Are Different
If you are thinking of substituting wheat flour with oat flour in a cake or bread recipe, don’t. It will end badly.
To mimic the texture, structure, and elasticity of gluten, you need the right combinations of gluten-free flours, gums, and starches.
You can make our own gluten-free flour blend or purchase a gluten-free all-purpose flour from the store. However, if you are buying gluten-free all-purpose flour, check the ingredients to see if it contains xanthan gum or guar gum.
These ingredients will give gluten-free baked goods structure and prevent them from falling apart. If your gluten-free flour does not contain one of these ingredients, add 1/2 teaspoon of xanthan gum or guar gum to the dry ingredients for each cup of gluten-free flour in a recipe. Do not add more than this, or your gluten-free baked goods will have a gummy texture.
Gluten-Free Baking Is Still A Science
Whether you are baking with regular flour or gluten-free flour, it is still a science. Gluten-free flours need a little more attention because they are not as forgiving as wheat flour.
Gluten-free flours have a finer texture than wheat flour, making them harder to measure accurately. Plus, it’s hard to dip the measuring cups into the little bags.
I usually buy gluten-free flour in large bags since I bake a lot. This makes it easier to measure gluten-free flour using measuring cups.
Alternatively, you can measure the gluten-free flour over a sheet of parchment paper. Gently spoon the gluten-free flour into the measuring cup. Overfill the measuring cup, then use a butter knife to level it. The parchment paper will catch the excess flour, and you will be able to pour it back into the bag.
You can also use a kitchen scale instead of measuring cups. Weight is more accurate than volume, so you will have better results.
Add More Baking Powder
Gluten-free baked goods need a little more baking powder to help them rise properly. If you don’t add enough flour, they will be dense instead of light and fluffy. I always add a tablespoon of baking powder to my gluten-free baked goods to quick breads and cakes. For other baked goods, I add 2 teaspoons of gluten-free flour per cup of flour.
Add More Eggs
Add another egg if you are making muffins or a quick bread like banana bread. The eggs add more volume to the batter. Since there is no gluten, the eggs give them a fluffier texture.
Spices And Flavorings Are Your Friends
Some gluten-free flours, like oat flour, can be a little bland. In contrast, other flours, like quinoa flour, have a strong flavor.
Spices and flavorings add life to gluten-free goods. They can also mask the robust flavors of gluten-free flour.
Start by adding more spice, 1/4 teaspoon at a time, until the batter tastes right to you. Add another teaspoon of vanilla extract to give the muffins or bread more flavor.
Don’t Be Afraid To Mix The Batter
When making wheat recipes, you will see do not overmix the batter somewhere in the instructions. Overmixing causes gluten to develop, giving the baked goods a dense and tough texture.
Since there is no gluten in gluten-free baked goods, you can’t overmix them. Mixing the batter longer will help distribute the ingredients evenly, give them more structure, and help them rise better.
Let The Batter Rest
Always let the gluten-free batter rest. It doesn’t matter which gluten-free flour you use; your baked goods can have a gritty texture.
Let your gluten-free batter rest for at least 10 minutes to prevent this. The flour will absorb the moisture and soften, eliminating the gritty texture.
Gluten-Free Baked Goods Take Longer To Bake
Gluten-free baked goods have a higher proportion of liquid to ensure they remain moist. Unfortunately, this causes the exterior of the gluten-free baked goods to cook faster than the interior.
If you remove the gluten-free baked goods from the oven too soon, they will fall and have a mushy texture. Decrease the oven temperature by 25°F. The gluten-free baked goods will take longer to cook, but the interior and exterior will finish cooking around the same time.
Use Silicone Bakeware
I’ve had my share of gluten-free baked goods stick to the pan. Nothing is more frustrating than doing all that hard work only to have it stick to the pan. That’s why you need to use silicone bakeware. Silicone is flexible and has a non-stick surface that allows gluten-free baked goods to pop right out of the pan.
If you must use metal pans, line them with parchment paper, especially if you are making bread. Parchment paper is easy to peel away from gluten-free baked goods. Make sure you spray the parchment paper with a bit of non-stick cooking spray to make it easier to peel it away from the gluten-free baked goods.
Let Gluten-Free Baked Goods Cool Completely
Gluten-free baked goods are fragile, so you must let them cool completely. If you cut the gluten-free baked goods as soon as you take them out of the oven, they will crumble. Letting them cool completely helps them hold their shape better.
More Baking Guides:
Minimize Baking Mistakes With Almond Flour
Gluten-Free Flours You Can Use Right Now
10 Gluten-Free Flours You Can Use Right Now
Gluten-free baking can be a steep learning curve. However, these tips will make your gluten-free baking journey much easier.
Plus, you’ll get to eat delicious sweet treats. Happy gluten-free baking!