I’m just starting out on a gluten-free diet and have been an avid baker all my life. How can I continue to bake delicious treats for my friends and family that I can enjoy, too?
Welcome to the gluten-free culinary adventure! Luckily for gluten-free consumers these days, there are a number of excellent gluten-free flour blends on the market. Gone are the days when it was necessary to purchase multiple flours and mix up the right blend at home, leaving you with numerous partially used bags of gluten-free flours and nowhere to keep them.
While many of these new flour blends can be used as a direct substitution for wheat flour (sometimes requiring the addition of xanthan or guar gum), this doesn’t guarantee results will be identical to gluten baked goods. Gluten-free baked goods can, however, be absolutely delicious, but the flavor and texture may vary from their wheat flour-based versions.
Choose a gluten-free flour blend (or make a custom blend) and start experimenting with recipes that contain smaller amounts of flours (e.g., nut tortes, fruit crisps). When flour isn’t the main component of a dessert, flavor and texture differences related to gluten-free substitutions will be less noticeable. As you get more comfortable with gluten-free baking, try recipes that rely more on flour.
Another approach to gluten-free baking is to use recipes that don’t call for any flour, for example, flourless chocolate cake, French macarons, flourless peanut butter chocolate chip cookies, and meringues. Finally, don’t forget to explore the world of gluten-free baking that takes advantage of delicious and nutritious gluten-free flours such as teff, buckwheat, and sorghum.
Check out our post “Gluten-Free Cooking & Baking Hacks” to get started. There is baking joy after making a gluten-free switch. Happy Baking!