Wheat-Free Baking Tips

Did you know that gluten is what gives bread it's elasticity and chewiness? It's a protein found in wheat, barley and rye. Without it, your dough can be difficult to work with, and your baked goods can end up dry and crumbly. Er, make that very crumbly.

I've been wheat-and-gluten-free for about 5 years now, and I've experimented with many different kinds of gluten-free baking. Here are some tips if you're planning on doing your own experimenting:

  1. Try different kinds of gluten-free flours, and in different ratios. You may find that you like the texture of a muffin made with half-garbonzo bean flour and half-tapioca flour. Or a combination such as sorghum-brown rice-and-oat flours.

    gluten free flour

    There are as many combinations as you can dream up, and you really can't go wrong.

    Or for some tried-and-true non-wheat flour combinations...

    See our easy wheat-free flour substitutions.

    For a full list of gluten-free flours, check out glutenfreegirl's awesome site.

    You can find gluten-free flours in most major supermarkets these days, with a few exceptions. I've found that Bob's Red Mill has the best selection of different gluten-free flours.

  2. Things will get sticky! If you're kneading or shaping a gluten-free dough, especially one using potato or rice flour, wet your hands and have a bowl of room temperature water ready to dip your hands into.Things will go alot smoother with moistened hands.

  3. If you need to roll out your gluten-free dough, place a sheet of plastic wrap over the dough. This will keep the rolling pin from sticking.

    oven mitt
  4. Add xanthan gum or guar gum to give your baked goods softness and elasticity.

  5. Lay parchment paper on your cookie sheets to prevent sticking. Or add plenty of oil or non-stick spray to the pan if you're making cakes or brownies. Gluten-free baked goods tend to stick.

  6. Having trouble shaping or molding your gluten-free dough? Using cookie cutters or molds can be difficult because gluten-free dough is much stickier than dough made with wheat flour. Just roll or fold the dough into different shapes. Dogs don't care about the shape of their treats!

  7. You may need to either dehydrate treats or leave them in the oven after baking if you've moistened the dough during the dough-working process.

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