You may be wondering how to go about baking with gluten free flour when you are trying to avoid gluten. After all, gluten is the one responsible for our bread, muffins, cookies, cakes, and other baked goods’ elasticity and stability to hold them together.
Gluten is a kind of protein found in wheat, rye, barley and triticale. This protein is acting as a binding agent to provide stickiness to the dough and batter and give them shape, structure and a chewy texture.
Taking in gluten is really not a problem for most people but for those with celiac disease and gluten sensitivity, gluten-free diet is already a way of life.
With the absence of gluten, you may think that baking your favorite desserts and pastries. It will be challenging but you will be surprised to find out that there are actually many alternatives to wheat flour that you can imagine. This is what makes gluten-free baked goods more exciting than wheat-based baked goods. With gluten-free baking, you get to enjoy trying out on different gluten-free flours such as almond flour, buckwheat flour, brown rice flour, oat flour and many more.
Here are some key points on how gluten-free baked goods differ from wheat-based baked goods.
Flavor is what makes gluten-free baked dishes unique. While wheat flour, the most commonly used in baking, is consistent in its texture and taste, gluten-free flours are of variable kinds each having different flavors. It is not as easy as swapping a wheat four with one gluten-free flour. You need to mix and match different types of gluten free four to achieve your desired taste and texture. So if you are cutting out gluten from your diet, you get to be flexible when baking. Try as many kinds of flours as you can.
Some of the reasons why people enjoy eating baked goods are their chewy and spongy texture. Gluten is responsible for that. This is the biggest challenge when baking using gluten-free flours. Some gluten flours have a gritty texture. It may be a little more complex than using wheat-based flour since you need to combine some gluten-free flours and other additives to achieve the usual texture. However, the gluten-free baked goods still do not have the exact texture as those made of wheat flour.
Most often than not, gluten-free products are denser than wheat-based products. They also tend not to rise quite as much as their wheat-based counterparts since gluten helps the dough to rise. This means that gluten-free baked products can be heavier and but smaller in size.
Slightly Different Size and Color
Although not really significant, gluten-free baked products still show a little difference from their wheat-based cousins in appearance. Aside from their volume and size, gluten-free baked products may not brown as the usual brown you get when using wheat flour. You can brush the dough and batter with milk or egg if you want to get an evenly browned look. Also, gluten-free baked goods may not be as fluffy but that doesn’t mean it’s less appetizing.
Shorter Shelf Life
Gluten-free baked goods tend to have a shorter shelf life. Reheating can cause the starch to go stale more quickly so it is not advisable to reheat more than once. Reheating them multiple times may create a tough and dry texture.
Evaluate your recipe and do not be afraid to experiment. Replacing wheat can be a real challenge but with a variety of healthy and tasty gluten-free alternatives, you should be able to create a wonderful appetizing baked recipes. You just have to find the right ingredients that suit your taste.
To learn more about gluten free baking and other healthy alternatives to your usual recipes, make sure to check on our blog articles.