Friday, November 21, 2008

Baking day

I'm baking today because WG is sick of corn tortillas and turkey wrapped around cheese. She wants bread, cookies and muffins. I have recently learned a couple handy things regarding GF baking, so I thought I'd pass my secrets on.

* When you are developing your own GF recipes or converting "regular" recipes, ALWAYS bake a single test cookie / muffin / cupcake / whatever before you bake a whole panful. This is important even if you are using a pre-made mix that claims to replace wheat flour cup for cup. This allows you to do some tweaking of the batter if things go wrong without having to throw away a whole panful.

* Sometimes allowing your batter to rest is a good idea because it lets the xanthan gum start to tighten things up. The flip side of this is that if you are using flour to make gravy or a white sauce, it is best to use a plain mix without xanthan gum. The xanthan gum makes gummy gravy that just gets thicker and thicker. Ick.

* It's well-known that you can freeze unbaked cookie dough balls. This works for GF, too. You can also freeze unbaked muffin and cupcake batter. Put the batter in the muffin papers and freeze. When you are ready to bake, use the same oven temperature but they might need an extra 3-7 minutes. I know you could just bake them all and then freeze them. I like fresh-from-the-oven much better than defrosted / reheated.

* Nut flour / meal is the key to really really good GF baked goods that are very close in taste and texture to their wheaty counterparts. I haven't tried extra finely ground rice flour yet but I've heard that helps, too.

The November '08 issue of Cooking Light has a recipe for pecan pie that uses oats to make the crust instead of flour. I haven't tried it yet, but it looks promising. Oat pie crust

I'm deciding on our Thanksgiving menu. I'll post it when I have it all figured out. It *is* possible to have a mostly traditional, absolutely delicious GF Thanksgiving!

No comments: