I have to say the most challenging, yet at the same time, most rewarding learning curve has been my gluten free baking. I love baking for our guests and truly believe there is no better start to the day then the smell of fresh baked muffins and scones wafting through the air. I wanted to be sure that all of our guests enjoy the complete Ashcroft House experience which must include fresh home baked treats! I will admit I set off the smoke alarm during my learning curve, (ok, maybe more than once), but I finally have a couple of winners and thankfully the confidence to keep experimenting.
Since I have already admitted that I am an expert at cleaning my oven, I must share my latest secret to avoid the task. If you bake – you know. It really is just a “feel” for the batter, and secret #1 – a drip pan on the rack below – you are off to a great start. The drip pan is a great way to reuse our old cookie sheets and they deflect the heat from a bottom element electric oven to avoid burning. If you are not a baker, and are as green as I was starting this gluten free process, them arm yourself with the drip pan and you may want to try my flour mix.
Please understand that it is just my taste and experience (and quite a few guest comments) that led me down the road of creating my own flour mix. Of course I am always grateful when the gluten free baking version is the same as the original, so nice not to have to make two separate yet identical batches. I personally find white rice flour too gritty and have had too many bad experiences using just one or two flours mixed together. My flour mix is always in transition but the current version bakes up pretty good and I hope you enjoy the creation you use it in! Good Baking!
Gluten Free Flour Mix
2 cups brown rice flour
1 cup sweet rice flour
1 cup soy flour
1 cup bean flour
1 cup corn flour
1 cup starch (corn / tapioca / potato – mix whatever)
Combine in a ziplock – toss to mix – store in the freezer. Even though it is stored in the freezer use within a couple of months – brown rice flour does not have as long of a shelf life as the others.
I really hope you have as much success with this blend as I have. I mix it up and use it cup for cup of any flour called for in the recipes I make.
My ongoing, always refined, and hopefully beneficial list of;
Gluten Free Baking Techniques
use your old cookie as a drip plan and to distribute heat and avoid burnt bottoms
Experiment with different flour mixtures to obtain the best texture
in my experience GF batters are more moist than wheat but if too soggy do add more flour mix
mix all ingredients throughly – I run my mixer for at least a minute or so to beat in more air
double the amount of baking powder called for
never skip the xanthan gum, gar gum, or methylcellulose called for – these are you “gluten” saviors
Happy Gluten Free Baking!