Recipes & culinary ideas
The beginning of your gluten free journey can be a difficult time, so we’ve gathered some helpful tips for you to follow in order to make it that bit easier.
Do you miss your favourite breads and cakes, but haven’t mastered the art of gluten free baking yet? Don’t worry – with a bit of patience, a little practice and a couple of tricks, you’ll soon be a baking pro!
General baking tips
- Use measuring spoons as general kitchen spoons can vary in size
- Use xantham gum. This is a natural binder and thickener and really helps in gluten free baking. Not only does it improve the structure of the crumb in gluten free bread, it can also reduce crumbling and aids binding in gluten free pastry and scones. It should be used sparingly though, for example ½ tsp in a fruit cake is often sufficient.
Gluten free cakes
The secret of a fluffy sponge cake
The classic sponge is the perfect base for many different cakes and bakes. But what is the secret to a perfectly fluffy cake?
The air is the most important aspect, as it helps the cake gain volume whilst remaining fluffy and soft. Read on below for some top tips!
- Don’t open the oven doors while baking. The sponge cake could sink!
- Leave the cake in the tin for 5 – 10 minutes before removing
- Ensure your ingredients are at room temperature.
- Use a slightly lower oven temperature to allow time for the baking powder to activate.
- When making cakes, always preheat the oven to the correct temperature, before cooking the cakes.
- To test that the cake is cooked, insert a skewer or cake tester into the middle of the cake after the end of the stated baking time. It should come out clean.
- For fruit cakes with a minimal amount of fruit included (cherries, berries, dates) coat in the flour mix before stirring in.
A Sponge Cake Classic tastes superb when filled with fresh fruit and whipped cream.
Find more tempting gluten free cake recipes
Gluten free pastry
Making gluten free pastry is slightly different to conventional pastry. Here are our top tips for the perfect shortcrust pastry:
- Knead the dough – unlike conventional gluten containing pastry, gluten free pastry should be kneaded once you have combined the mixture. This helps to make the pastry more stable, and less crumbly.
- Chill the pastry before use – in the same way you would chill conventional pastry, it’s important to chill gluten free pastry for a minimum of thirty minutes before you roll it out.
- It can be easier to work with shortcrust pastry if you roll it between two sheets of clingfilm or greaseproof but always necessary to do this if it has been chilled.
- Addition of a small egg to pastry aids the structure as too much water can make the pastry hard.
Making gluten free bread
Some people prefer the pleasure of making their own gluten free bread. Investing in a bread machine can make this process even easier. Here are some of our top tips for baking gluten free bread.
- When working with gluten free dough more liquid is necessary than with the conventional dough. Follow the quantities in the recipe very closely.
- Gluten free dough can stick to your hands and utensils. We recommend you grease or flour your hands when working the dough/ for wraps, naan etc.
Baking with a bread machine
You can become a star baker with a bread machine, with no effort at all. All you need to do is to put in the ingredients and set the type, baking mode, browning degree and time – et voilà. The machine does the rest!
Top tip! Why not try adding pumpkin seeds, nuts, olives, tomatoes, dried fruits, fresh fruits or cinnamon to your basic dough.
Important basic rules:
- Always put the liquid ingredients into the container first.
- Measure the ingredients exactly
- Put yeast into the mixture at the end and never mixed with salt.
- After the bread is ready, turn it immediately out of the mould and let it cool
Storing your gluten free bread
If gluten free bread is going to be eaten within a few days, it can easily be stored in a plastic bag in a cool and dry place for 2 to 3 days.
Gluten free bread, cake, pizza etc. have long shelf lives if they are kept in the freezer.
Gluten free deep-frying – Dos & Don’ts!
Wonderfully crispy, deep-fired dishes are no problem for those following a gluten free diet – as long as you know how to prepare them!
- Be careful that meals containing gluten haven’t been cooked in the frying fat before.
- Oils, vegetable fats and lard are naturally gluten free
- Deep-fry all food for as little time as possible as it should be browned to just golden
Have a look at our gluten free recipes for recipe inspiration.