Learning to bake without gluten can be like going back to learn your ABCs in baking. Without gluten, and without a knowledge of how to replace it, what would happen to cakes, cookies, pies, and other delicious baked goods? They would not have an airy, fluffy center, and the mix would not rise in the oven. While gluten-free baking can be a challenge, it’s definitely possible to make delicious gluten-free goodies. Check out these 5 must-have pantry staples for gluten-free, vegan baking:
1. Quinoa Flour
Quinoa makes for a very delicious and nutritious flour that has a light, nutty taste. Try using quinoa flour in these gluten-free goji muffins. This recipe also calls for teff flour, which is another excellent flour choice for gluten-free baking. This vegan peanut butter and jelly shortbread recipe also calls for quinoa flour, and you can make this entirely gluten-free by substituting another flour for the whole wheat flour.
2. Nut Flour
Be it almond, soybean, chickpea, hazelnut, or peanut, nut flours are another great flour choice because they have a high protein content. Try almond flour in these gluten-free peanut butter cookies with dark chocolate drizzle or use garbanzo bean flour in this Indian-style soft steamed chickpea flour cake.
3. Baking Powder
Baking powder is handy to have in your pantry. Not only can you use it in gluten-free recipes, but you can also use it as an egg replacer if you’re baking both vegan and gluten-free. For one egg, use 2 tablespoons of water, 1 tablespoon of oil, and 2 tablespoons of baking powder. Use baking powder in this carrot cake with walnuts and cream cheese frosting.
4. Root Starches
Starches add a light airiness to gluten-free baked goods. Try root starches like potato and tapioca. Blogger Emma Christensen says she prefers “using root starches in baking for custards, puddings, and pie fillings” and finds “that the flavor is more neutral and our results are more consistent. Use both tapioca and potato starch in this Ooh la la gluten-free French bread and use potato starch in these ketchup baked home fries.
Many foods that are made with gluten would fall apart without it since gluten helps give breads, cakes, and other baked goods a nice structure. Adding gums such as xanthan gum or guar gum will help your gluten-free item hold shape. For yeast products such as bread, food blogger Rhea Parsons suggests you add 1 teaspoon of xanthan gum or guar gum per cup of flour blend. For non-yeast products, add ½ teaspoon of xanthan gum or guar gum per cup of flour blend.
Lead image source: Tips on How to Make Gluten-Free Sandwich Bread