Mango & Coconut Cheesecake
We know that gluten free baking can be tricky at times. Read on as we give you our top tips to help you perfect your gluten free recipes!
Gluten free baking will be more complicated and textures will change: but don’t panic, we’ve compiled out top tips to make you’re gluten free baking a success!
So let’s get started with the basics. What even is gluten? Firstly, it’s not the same thing as wheat! Gluten is a protein found within wheat, as well as rye, spelt, kamut and triticale. Activated by adding liquid to flour, it’s the component of baking that gives finished recipes their light crumb and fluffy texture. But if you’ve ever over-beaten muffins to have them come out tough and dense, you know it can be both our enemy and friend in baking!
Read on for our top tips to mastering the art of gluten free baking…
Cooking is an art and baking is science – this mantra comes into play even more so when going gluten free! While you may be well practiced at eyeballing a cup of regular flour, be sure to weigh out your gluten free alternatives for best results. These flours tend to vary dramatically in weight and volume.
This is where things get exciting! Gone are the days of plain and self-raising – now you have options. For example corn, pea, oat, almond, coconut and buckwheat flour offer a great gluten free alternative.
A few things to note – remember that nut flours contain a high amount of fat and may throw out your recipe proportions. Coconut flour is also very absorbent, so be sure to adjust your liquid accordingly.
If you would prefer to ease yourself in gently, a pre-blended gluten free flour is a great place to start. These blends are rigorously tested, and can generally be used 1:1 in place of normal wheat flour in recipes that already contain a lot of moisture.
Gluten free recipes require more liquid to keep things moist, which means they tend to brown faster on the outside than they cook on the inside. No one likes a soggy middle, so try lowering your oven temperature by 25°C and extending the baking time slightly.
Good news: you can’t over-beat a gluten free recipe! The tough texture that results from over-beating normal recipes comes as a result of overworking the gluten. In this case, we suggest beating for several minutes to add as much air as possible.
Another tip to try is separating your eggs and beating the whites until they form soft peaks. Gently fold them into the batter to make the end result a little fluffier.
Adding xantham or guar gum can be a great way to replace the structure lost by omitting gluten. The exact amount of gum needed for each recipe is worth experimenting with, but generally we add ½ teaspoon per cup of flour blend.
Light and fluffy – the coveted texture that’s so difficult to achieve in gluten free baking! Our top tip is to increase the baking powder or soda in your recipe by 25%. You can also replace milk with buttermilk, or add a splash of apple cider vinegar or lemon juice to further activate the leavening agent.
Gluten free baked goods can be notoriously dry, but you don’t have to fall into that trap! If you feel like your mixture is too dry, simply add an extra egg white. The additional protein will also help to stabilise the batter.
Depending on the recipe you can try adding fresh fruit, apple sauce or canned pumpkin, and we’ve also found that using brown sugar instead of caster sugar helps to retain moisture.
While this is a no-brainer for most recipes, we promise it really does make the difference in gluten free baking. A little splash of this magic potion will help tone down the intense nutty flavour that can dominate many gluten free flour blends. Check out our full range of vanilla products here.
Take your time when baking gluten free – you can’t rush a good thing! Starches can be slow to absorb liquid, so allow your mixture a little time to rest before putting it in the oven.
This rule also applies after baking. Before you even think about touching it, make sure you allow your recipe to cool completely to reduce the risk of it falling apart.
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