Tips For Baking And Cooking With Gluten-free Flour
Flour is the most staple food item that is available in all the kitchens — whether it is a home, a hotel, or a café. Flour is the most important ingredient that is used when baking cakes, pastries, bread, muffins, cookies, biscuits, and various other baked goodies. Flours are of different types, and the expert bakers would know which type of flour can be used for baking which item. For instance, you would be making use of cake flour for baking different types of cakes or using bread flour for baking different types of bread and buns, cookies, or using pastry flour for baking pastries. All-purpose flour is a flour type that is extremely versatile and can be used for baking most of the things mentioned above.
Nowadays, many people are opting for whole wheat flour for baking a lot of items. The shift in the flour is because all-purpose flour, cake flour, and pastry flour are not as nutritious as whole wheat flour. The protein content in these flours is less compared to that of wheat flour or whole wheat flour. But a major problem in wheat or whole wheat flour is that they contain a high level of protein and gluten. People who are intolerant to gluten cannot consume wheat flour or whole wheat flour in any form. So they need to focus on flour that is free from gluten.
While baking with gluten-free flour, you need to be careful about what flour to substitute and in what proportion. This is usually considered as the basic chemistry of food, but not everyone is aware of it. Here are some of the most essential cooking and baking tips that will help you cook with gluten-free flour.
#1 Start By Cooking/Baking With Smaller Quantities Of Gluten-Free Flour
When you are baking some food item, most recipe measurements would be according to the basic flour, which is the all-purpose flour (it is a versatile flour and does not have gluten). So when you are switching to gluten-free flour from the all-purpose flour, you need to do it in smaller quantities. With this, you would be able to learn how to work with the flour and what adjustments you need to make so that the baked item matches the taste and texture of those made with all-purpose flour. There are many different gluten-free flours available in most supermarkets. Try experimenting with them to find the one whose taste you like and which gives you the best results. Some gluten-free flour variants are almond flour, coconut flour, tapioca flour, oat flour, and more.
#2 Gluten-Free Flour Would Not Be Very Sticky — Do Make Sure You Are Adding Liquid In Required Proportion
When you are making use of wheat flour, you could observe the flour becoming sticky. It is due to the presence of gluten in it. When the flour is free from gluten, the dough would not be sticky. Instead, it would be dry. So you would have to add enough liquid content to make the dough soft and tender. The liquid you are using to knead the dough can be water, milk, or even some juice. Add the liquid in small quantities so that the dough doesn’t become too sticky or loose.
#3 The Presence Of Gluten In the Flour Helps It To Rise
This goes without saying that when you are making use of wheat flour or whole wheat flour, you have to add yeast or baking powder in small quantities to raise the dough and make it fluffy. This is due to the presence of gluten in the flour, which helps in the rising when liquid is added in the right amount. But when you are making use of the gluten-free flour, you would have to add baking powder in slightly larger quantities to help the dough to rise and make it fluffy.
#4 Gluten-Free Flour Should Be Kneaded Multiple Times
Although you might be combining gluten-free flour along with other flour, you might need to knead the dough multiple times to increase the bonding between the flour. Gluten-free flour is usually dry and needs liquid in excess and proper kneading to attain a perfectly baked item. With proper kneading, you would be able to make the food tastier and chewier.
Gluten-free flour is usually used by people who are intolerant to gluten, and they cannot use whole wheat flour or wheat flour for baking nutritious food items. The aforementioned tips will help you in baking a wide range of food items without making any extra effort. All you have to do is maintain the proper proportion of all the ingredients that would be needed for the recipe.