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Gluten-Free Holiday Cooking

Holiday Cooking Question #7

Gluten-Free Holiday Cooking Question 7

In my six years of trading in my gluten-full flour for gluten free, I’ve focused on recreating classic gluten-full flavors. The truth is you can make anything gluten-free and it’s going to look and taste like the original—or better! Besides health reasons, there are even reasons to be happy that you’re baking gluten-free. You can go ahead and toss out the classic baking theory of overworking dough. With gluten-free baking, that doesn’t exist. You also don’t have to let gluten-free breads rise twice—one nice, long rise will do the trick.

If your goal is to recreate your favorite baked goods, then you’ll want to use the most basic flours. Many of the gluten-free flours have unique flavors that won’t resonate with the flavor profile of your original recipe. And, if you’re buying a store-bought blend, the same philosophy applies so read the ingredient list.

If you’re making a blend from scratch, consider that so-called “starchy, white old-school” blend (like mine) comparable to gluten-full unbleached all-purpose flour. If you want a “healthier,” high-protein flour blend, consider it comparable to gluten-full bread flour or whole wheat flour. You’re finished baked good is going to be heavier.

In my experience, the classic ratio for a gluten-free flour blend that mimics gluten-full unbleached all-purpose flour is 60% grain flour (white rice or brown rice) and 40% starch (tapioca flour, potato starch or cornstarch). For a healthier blend, the classic ratio is 50% grain flour, 25% protein flour (bean, oat, quinoa and nut flours) and 25% starch. If you decide to use a gum, which can help with the overall texture, add ½ teaspoon of xanthan or guar gum per 1 cup flour blend. I recommend basing your choice of flours on your expectations, dietary needs and health preferences. For the recipe for my popular, cup-for-cup flour replacement—Silvana’s Kitchen Gluten-Free Flour—please visit SilvanasKitchen.com.

- Silvana Nardone
Silvana's Kitchen

Thai Kitchen Tip

Change up your holiday baking routine with a gluten-free Coconut Pumpkin Pie.  Get the recipe from Thai Kitchen's Recipe Box or download the 2013 Gluten-Free Holiday eCookbook

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Thanks to Thai Kitchen for making this series possible! 

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