When learning gluten-free baking, one of the primary challenges is achieving the desired texture in baked goods. Gluten provides structure and elasticity in doughs, so without it, gluten-free baked goods often turn out dense, dry, crumbly, or gummy.
Different types of gluten-free flour
Finding the right combination of gluten-free flours and techniques may require time and experimentation to achieve a desirable texture and flavor in your creations.
Here are some gluten free baking tips and tricks to learn by heart:
Common gluten free flour
Tip #1 Use only the right flour
Gluten-free flour blends are typically a combination of different flours and starches to mimic the texture and structure of traditional wheat flour. It's usually best to use pre-made gluten-free flour blends specifically formulated for baking, as they have the right proportions of different ingredients.
However, you can also create your blend by combining rice flour, almond flour, tapioca flour/starch, potato starch, or sorghum flour.
Here's a tried and tested recipe for an all-purpose gluten-free flour blend.
All-Purpose GF Flour
250 g Rice flour (extra fine)
300 g Buckwheat flour (Fine)
150 g Potato starch
80 g Tapioca starch
7 g Psyllium powder
7 g Xanthan gum
- Thoroughly mix all the ingredients in a bowl using a whisk. Transfer into a covered container. Store in a cool, dry place.
And if you don't have much time to make your own blend, use any of these exceptional gluten-free flour brands that guarantee success in your baking.
Psyllium husk soaked in water
Tip #2 Xanthan Gum, Guar Gum, and Psyllium is a must
Gluten-free flour blends lack the binding properties of gluten, which helps give baked goods their structure. Add a tiny amount of xanthan gum or guar gum to your gluten-free flour mix to compensate for this.
These ingredients act as binders and help improve the texture and stability of the final product. Also, check the packaging of your flour blend, as some pre-made blends already contain xanthan gum or guar gum.
"Binders are the building blocks of dough" – Anonymous
Adding liquids to the dough
Tip #3 Moisture and Liquid Adjustments
Gluten-free flours tend to absorb more moisture than traditional wheat flour, so it's often necessary to increase the liquid content in your recipes.
Expect to adjust the amount of liquid, such as water, milk, or eggs, to achieve the desired consistency. Add a small amount of extra liquid until the batter or dough reaches the right consistency. However, avoid adding too much liquid, as it may result in a dense or gummy texture.
A properly rested bread dough
Tip #4 Proper dough resting
Some gluten-free flours, particularly those made from grains like rice or quinoa, benefit from long resting in the fridge. It allows the flour to absorb moisture, resulting in a better texture. If a recipe doesn't mention pre-soaking, let the batter or dough rest for 30-60 minutes before baking.
Properly baked breads
Tip #5 Baking Time and Temperature
Gluten-free baked goods may require some baking time and temperature adjustments, particularly bread. Since gluten-free flours have different properties than wheat flour, keeping a close eye on your baked goods in the oven is crucial.
Start with the recommended baking time in the recipe and check for doneness by inserting a toothpick into the center. If it comes out clean, the baked goods are ready. If not, continue baking and check again at regular intervals.
Kneading gluten free dough
Tip #6 Experiment and Adapt
Baking with gluten-free flour often involves trial and error. Different gluten-free flour blends and recipes may yield different results.
Don't lose hope if your first attempt doesn't turn out as expected. Instead, hold your head high; keep experimenting, adjusting ratios, following feedback from others who have tried similar recipes, and, more importantly, always check our recipes and tips to master your gluten-free baking skills.
Gluten-free baking can be challenging, but you can create delicious gluten-free treats with patience, practice, and proper adjustments.
With time, you'll become more familiar with the nuances of gluten-free baking and find the tricks that work best for you.