Going gluten-free used to be synonymous with celiac disease. Celiac disease is an autoimmune disorder wherein a person cannot break down gluten. Therefore, gluten is seen by the body as an attacker rather than merely a protein to digest. With more research being released, “gluten intolerance” came to the fore, as well, which proves that some people cannot break down gluten as efficiently as others.
When gluten intolerance was not yet discovered, it was difficult to look for gluten-free products. Most were only available in health stores, and supplies do not come in the thousands. With the recognition of gluten intolerance, people now have more options when it comes to their gluten-free products. Products currently range from flour, pastries, to sauces and dressings. The market today is now like a piece of heaven for those with celiac disease and gluten intolerance.
Gluten-free cooking is not much of a problem because there are so many ingredients that are free of gluten in the first place. Ingredients include meat, seafood, fruits, vegetables, and rice, corn, and potato-based grains. If you need sauces, there are lots of recipes that you can follow. You can even purchase pre-made sauces in groceries. If cooking is not your strongest suit, then you can call a gluten free prepared meals service so you can just have your fill of gluten-free goodness.
While cooking gluten-free provides not much of a hassle for those on a gluten-free diet, one of the most significant challenges is when it comes to baking. A lot of the baking recipes we know of today are based on wheat-based ingredients. And with baking considered a precise science, you cannot merely replace one cup of all-purpose flour to one cup of gluten-free all-purpose flour. The consistency and taste will be different, and you will not achieve the results that you want.
Going gluten-free poses a big challenge for those who enjoy baking and would want to whip up their bread at home. For one, gluten-free flour does not produce the same consistency as wheat flour. Gluten-free flour is dense, and it lacks the “fluffy” texture; therefore, if you are baking bread, you will get a thick bread that is so filling you cannot finish the entire slice.
Many people are still averse to the taste of gluten-free bread, pasta, and pastries. It takes a bit of time to get used to the texture and flavor, so it is best to figure out the mix that will suit your likes. Every flour is different, and it depends on the miller, and the type of grain used. Since gluten-free baking is a new phenomenon, it is essential that you devise a mixture with a taste and texture that you prefer.
Here are some gluten-free baking tips:
1. Use flours from the same brand
At the start, you can try different brands of flour so you can figure out which ones you like. Once you’ve discovered the brands that you want, you can stick with that brand, so you are ensured that you get the same consistency all the time. It takes a bit of time to decide on which brand of flour to use, so be patient on this stage.
2. Do not be afraid to experiment
Some flours work better with full cream milk, while others work better with non-fat milk. Do not be afraid to experiment with the mixture of your batter. It is a crucial process since gluten-free baking is still new, and so many people are still exploring the different mixes. You can also experiment with the use of baking soda, xanthan gum, and the combination of different flours together.
Gluten-free baking encourages you to be creative. Unleash that side of yours and do not be afraid to try different mixes. Who knows, you may discover the next big thing with gluten-free baking.