"True silence is the rest of the mind; it is to the spirit what sleep is to the body, nourishment and refreshment. "
- William Penn
In our last blog, we spoke about how to convert our recipes into gluten-free. This Tuesday we are going to focus on the ingredients that can be used to replace gluten products. A little bit of practice and workout is definitely needed without which no recipe is going to turn out perfect. So, let’s have a look.
To go gluten-free we need to add binders to the recipe to avoid crumbly and dry cakes. You can add any of the following binders as an additional ingredient to the recipe.
1/4 – 1/2 cup apple puree/sauce. Apples contain pectin which helps bind the flour and holds onto moisture (it’s a win-win ingredient).
1 tablespoon chia seeds, soaked in 1/4 cup water (leave to soak for 10 minutes or so). Do note that you will have little specs of chia seeds throughout the cake (try grinding the seeds first in a coffee grinder if you don’t want to see them).
1/4 – 1/2 teaspoon of xanthan gum per cup of flour used. Note that you will only need to use this if the flour blend you are using does not contain it. Use with caution however, as some people react badly to this ingredient.
Chia seeds and apple sauce are great for adding moisture to gluten free cakes. We need all the moisture we can get in the recipe to keep it soft and crumble free. Gluten free flours tend to soak up ever last bit of moisture, so you could also add additional moisture enhancers in the form of other fruit or vegetables e.g. mashed banana, crushed pineapple, or pureed pumpkin, grated zucchini etc. These extras will help to maintain the moisture level required in a recipe.
Air Bubble Creators
Eggs. The yolks in the eggs create richness and moisture which we need more in gluten free baking. The egg whites are drier, however when they are whipped, they create a lot of air and can be folded into the cake mixture. This helps to make the cake more spongy.
Buttermilk (Soured Milk) and Baking Soda*. These two ingredients together have a great power. Baking soda and buttermilk react together to create lots of air bubbles which gives our gluten free baked good lots of lift, helping to create a fluffy and light texture.
Creaming Butter and Sugar. This technique creates air pockets which are enlarged by chemical leaveners like baking powder and baking soda. If your recipe doesn’t have butter, don’t worry. Other fats such as shortening and oil are great for adding moisture and keeping cakes light.
In case your recipe doesn’t have buttermilk you can always replace it with a dash of vinegar at the same time do not forget to cream your sugar and butter really well.
Or if your recipe calls for only milk then add 1 tablespoon of vinegar and replace 1 teaspoon of baking powder for 1/4 teaspoon baking soda.
Coming to the major ingredient THE FLOUR. You can opt to buy the readymade flour available in the market or make your own as well. If you are buying the ready flour make sure to check the ingredients list and check whether xanthan gum is used or not, if not make it your additional ingredient.
You can also opt to make a mix of one or more flour. You may find many blending ideas. The choice would depend on your taste, recipe and product you are looking to make. When it comes to gluten free taking trials is always the best option.
So, looking forward to get tagged in your trials. If you have any questions feel free to post it to us. Until then DASVIDANIYA!