Top Tips For Gluten-Free Cooking

Over the years I have collected, heard, read and experimented with gluten-free recipes and thought I would share some of the top tips out there for better cooking and baking. If you have any tips you’d like to share please feel free to add them so we can help each other explore all the endless possibilities with living a gluten-free lifestyle!

1. Try using ground almonds instead of gluten-free flour for a richer almond taste. 

2. When making gluten-free pastry make it a couple of days before you need it -put it in the fridge in a polythene bag -it handles much better when it has rested a while.  

3. If you can find gluten-free ready to use breadcrumbs that will save a lot of time and is perfect for breading chicken for kids.  

4. A teaspoon of glycerin can make flour based cakes light and fluffy. 

5. Try using  polenta in cakes like Italians do. It tastes delicious and the cakes stay moist for longer.  

6. Gram flour/chickpea flour can make great tortilla wraps using the same quantity of flour to water and frying like a pancake. Try a pizza base with the flour too. The flour is usually good value for money sold in huge bags.  

7. Try gluten free stock cubes rubbed into medium ground Polenta as a tasty coating for fish or chicken. Break up the stock cube into the Polenta in the same way you would rub fat into flour, dip fish/meat into beaten egg then Polenta mix (you can do a double dip if you want) then bake or shallow fry according to taste.  There is enough seasoning in the stock cube to give you a nice flavour and the Polenta creates a nice crisp coating that keeps the fish/meat nice and moist. You can also make Polenta chips and coat in the same tasty mixture, best deep fried.  

8. Try using 2 tbsp golden syrup in cake recipes to keep them moist. Also, use an electric whisk to beat eggs until double in size and fold in to the mixture at the end, this helps the cake to rise and make the cake light and fluffy.  

9. Have a go with coconut flour for brownies and cookies. Coconut flour has lots of health benefits.  

10. Have a separate butter for those who don’t have to have a gluten free diet, saves the crumbs in the butter which is not good.  

11. Buckwheat flour can be used for everything from cakes to pancakes, its gluten free and full of protein.  

12. I don’t use xanthan gum but if you want to try it you can get some xanthan gum available from health food shops and some supermarkets. Adding a little of this will help to replace the elasticity missing in gluten free flours and make your pastry easier to handle and roll out and your bread less crumbly.  

13. General Tips for Using Xanthan Gum and Guar Gum in Gluten-Free Cooking

  • Bread and pizza dough recipes: Add 1 teaspoon xanthan gum or guar gum per cup of gluten-free flour used in bread and pizza dough recipes
  • Cake, muffin and quick bread recipes: Add 1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum or guar gum per one cup of gluten-free flour used
  • Cookie and bar recipes: Add 1/2 teaspoon (or less) xanthan gum or guar gum per one cup gluten-free flour used

14. Add extra lukewarm water or fluids to the mix. I don’t use a lot of stabiliser or thickening products. I tend to follow old fashioned cake recipes and just change the flour. Only when using wheat free flour I add more fluids than the recipes say because i find gluten free flour (i use a maize blend) tends to be dryer, heavier and stickier.

15. Sinking cupcake remedy: use baking powder instead of using baking soda, and double the amount called for in gluten recipes, will give cupcakes the same rise as gluten cupcakes.

16. A good mix for all purpose gluten free flour:

  • Expandex® Modified Tapioca Starch
  • Potato Starch
  • Corn Starch
  • Corn Flour
  • White Rice Flour
  • Xanthan Gum
    You’ll need to play around with the quanitites though to experiment but have heard good reports from people using these ingredients together.

17. Starches for baking include potato starch, cornstarch, arrowroot and tapioca starch.

18. From Karina on her all purpose gluten free flour recipe is:
1 cup sorghum flour (aka jowar flour) or millet flour
1 cup tapioca starch or potato starch (not potato flour)
1/3 to 1/2 cup almond meal, or buckwheat flour
1 teaspoon xanthan gum

and her self raising flour mix:
1 cup unleavened gluten-free flour mix (see above)
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt


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