Gluten-free baking can be tough. Literally. If you mess up, your lovely sponge cake turns into something more closely resembling a paper weight. I’ve always loved to bake, but when I met my better half, who is intolerant to all things glutinous, it was the gluten-free pie way, or the highway.
When I first started playing around with substituting flours (brown rice, millet, sorghum, etc.) I thought it would be easy to get the same effect. I mean, they’re all in flour-y form, how different could it be, right? Wrong. The amount of homemade pancakes in near brick form that poor Sean has consumed is just proof of his true love for me.
Once I realized I wasn’t alone in this quest to make delicious gluten-free treats, life got easier (for us both). I realized I didn’t need to reinvent the wheel, and that there were pioneers before me. The website run by the Gluten Free Goddess was my first inspiration. Soon Sean and I jumped on the baking bandwagon together and tried our hand at Erin McKenna’s recipes (formerly Babycakes NYC).
Here are a few important things to keep in mind when baking gluten-free:
- Picking the right flour is critical. Depending on what you’re baking, choose your flour wisely. A great go-to that usually works for the basics is All-Purpose Gluten-free Flour. There are many to choose from now, but our favorite is still Bob’s Red Mill. This is only partially because he actually looks like his own caricature in real life
2. Gluten-free goodies can turn out a little dense if you’re not careful. A couple great tasting ways to add some gooeyness to your goodies is to add unsweetened applesauce, a combo of ground flaxseed and water, or smash ripe bananas into the mix.
3. We always prefer using coconut oil to non-dairy butters. This helps keep the treats super moist, and gives them a subtle sweetness. Our favorite it Carrington Farms Extra Virgin Organic.
4. Learn from the pro’s. There are a ton of wonderful resources online today with expert advice for gluten-free baking. Try using a tried and true recipe first, and follow it to a T.
Good luck with your gluten-free goodies!