Ann Reardon

Gluten -Free Baking Tips

 

If you have just been diagnosed as celiac or have gluten sensitivity gluten free baking can be disheartening at first. Here are some tips to help you on your way with gluten free baking. If you don’t have gluten sensitivity or celiac disease you really do not need to be on a gluten free diet. Sure avoiding foods high in refined white flours will be a good thing, but replacing them with gluten-free versions is not a healthy option. Watch the video for a more in-depth explanation.

Best Gluten Free Bread Recipe

yummy gluten free bread recipe
The recipe below makes a yummy good soft loaf.

2 tablespoons sugar
2 1/4 teaspoons dry active yeast
1 cup or 145g (5.11 ounces) white rice flour
3/4 cup or 85g (3 ounces) tapioca starch
3/4 cup or 92g (3.25 ounces) potato starch
1/2 cup or 60g (2.12 ounces) almond meal
1/4 cup or 25g (0.88 ounces) flaxseeds (if you prefer to have no seeds in your loaf use ground flaxseeds)
2 1/2 teaspoons or 9g (0.32 ounces) xanthan gum
1 teaspoon or 5g (0.18 ounces) baking powder
1/2 teaspoon or 3g (0.11 ounces) salt
1/4 cup or vegetable oil
3 egg whites
1 teaspoon vinegar
1 1/4 cup luke warm water

Place all the ingredients in a bowl and mix it until combined and there are no lumps. Line the base of a loaf tin with baking paper and spread the mixture out in the tin. Turn the oven to barely on, 32C (89.6 degrees Fahrenheit) is ideal, anything more than 45C (113 degrees Fahrenheit) will kill the yeast. Leave it to rise for about an hour then turn the one up to 180C (356 degrees Fahrenheit) and bake until golden on the top and sounds hollow when tapped on the bottom of the tin. If you’re uncertain you can stick a knife in the centre and see if it comes out clean, like you would do with a cake.

Tip: You do not need to knead gluten free bread dough. The kneading process in normal bread recipes is to develop the gluten in the wheat flour, as there is no gluten in this recipe kneading is pointless.

best gluten free bread recipe

Gluten Free Cookie Recipes

The biggest challenge is gluten free cookies. Non-wheat flours tend to have a fine gritty after taste unless they are used in a recipe that has liquid, like cakes or bread. The liquid rehydrates and softens the flour. Think about boiled rice which is soft verses uncooked rice grains baked in the oven. Typically cookies do not have much liquid, they are made from fat, sugar, flour and sometimes egg. So the key to a good gf cookie is to use a flour that gives the least gritty mouthfeel (see table below) and use a recipe that uses the smallest amount of flour in proportion to the other ingredients as possible. Or no flour at all such as macarons or florentines.

This table shows the test results for various gluten-free options as flour replacers in a standard choc chip cookie recipe (minus the chocolate chips). Recipe used was 150g (5.29 ounces) margarine, 1/2 cup brown sugar, 1/2 cup caster sugar, 1 egg, 1 3/4 cups flour. I’ve used individual flours instead of using a commercial gf flour mix so that you can see the effect that the different flours have on the cookie. In particular I was wanting to answer the question of what is causing the gritty after-taste. Hopefully this will help in your cookie experiments.
gluten free cookie flour Rice Flour Good initial crunch but you are left with a bad gritty texture afterwards, even after drinking water you feel the need to use your tongue to get little bits from between your gums and cheeks. Definitely the worst offender in terms of grittiness.
best flour for gf cookies Corn Flour OK initial crunch, then almost melts in the mouth or disappears, there is no chewiness. You are left with a superfine powdery mouth-feel afterwards.
gluten free cookie recipe Tapioca Flour Good crunch and initial texture, the best so far. But still leaves the super-fine powdery feeling in your mouth after you’ve swallowed.
gluten free cookies not gritty Quinoa Flour Weird smell, softer texture which could possibly be fixed by baking longer. Has the best texture for a cookie. There was no gritty mouthfeel. But it has a horrible smell and taste. This flour would be worth experimenting with for biscuits with cocoa powder in the recipe to mask the flavour.
gluten free cookies Green Banana Flour So dry, tastes like eating an unripe banana, felt the immediate need to drink water after just one bite and did not want to eat any more.
gluten free cookies recipe Chai Seeds Chai seeds work well as a flour replacer in recipes with liquids – like corn fritters. They are high in fibre which is a bonus. But in a cookie recipe like this they are NOT good. It tasted like eating chai seeds dipped in butter or oil.
gluten free cookie recipe which flour Almond Meal I used 2x the amount of almond meal to the amount of flour that the recipe called for and these tasted the best out of all of them. Definitely has a nutty flavour but I would eat these.

I also ran experiments with the addition of xanthum gum and I do not recommend it for cookies, it makes them softer and you can definitely taste it.

Oreo cookie gluten free recipe

This recipe is for Lily who has recently been diagnosed as coeliac, when I asked her what food she was missing the most she said Oreos. So after many more experiments I have developed a gluten free “Oreo” recipe for her and anyone else who is missing them.

gluten free Oreo cookie recipe
150g (5.29 ounces) margarine
1 cup caster sugar
1 egg
1 cup quinoa flour
pinch of salt
2/3 cup cocoa powder
160g (5.64 ounces) nestle dark chocolate melts finely chopped
1/4 teaspoon vanilla paste

Preheat the oven top 180C (356 degrees Fahrenheit). Mix all the ingredients together in a bowl until you have a thick paste. Place small spoonfuls onto nonstick baking paper. Place another sheet over the top and press with a book or chopping board to flatten to Oreo thickness. Remove the top sheet of baking paper and bake for 12 minutes. Allow to cool.

For the filling
80g (2.82 ounces) Icing Sugar
16g (0.56 ounces) Margarine
few drops Vanilla essence
Mix together to make a thick paste (do not add any liquid just keep mixing, pressing against the sides of the bowl until it comes together). Roll into balls and press between two cookies.

gluten free Oreo cookie recipe

Gluten Free Cakes

As with cookies choosing recipes with a low flour ratio when compared to rest of ingredients will work best for gluten free cakes. These recipes work really well with gluten free flour:

Chocolate Cake Recipe

Lemon and blueberry cake recipe

Or if it is a special occasion you could choose a recipe that has no flour at all like this one

Gluten Free Desserts

There are so many dessert recipes on this site that are gluten free, see this page for a list. Alternatively if you are longing for a dessert that is not gluten free experiment using the tips above to replace the flour in the recipe.

BIG ANNOUNCEMENT

I have been busy over the last year planning, writing and overseeing the photography and layout for my first ever cookbook! There are heaps of my favourite dessert recipes in there with a chapter on pastries, ice-cream, yummy cakes, artistic desserts and of course chocolate desserts. Each chapter has its own intro explaining the food science that you'll need to know for success every time. Booksellers where you can pre-order your very own copy: http://bit.ly/ARcookbook


All recipe quantities in the book are in grams, ounces and cups.

25 Comments View Comments

  1. Rating: 5

    Hi there; i’m a home cook that’s been experimenting with gluten-free foods for a few years because of allergies. i believe a lot of the gluten free items you and Dave were trying were not the right brands, given the poor flavour and textures. For breads, Schar makes the best kinds that don’t have a bad aftertaste/texture and don’t crumble. For pasta, Barilla makes a good one that can be al-dente, as well as a variety of other brands using lentils/chickpeas/rice/buckwheat (which has no gluten in it). Trader Joe’s makes a good version of a gluten-free oreo that is possibly the closest to real oreos. There are also smaller brands/local bakeries that have been able to make gluten-free substitutes for even donuts, bagels, and other pastries with high success. I do wish you mentioned a little more about soy sauce and how wheat is added to soy during the fermentation process, because a lot of people are not aware that there’s gluten in soy sauce (the only soy sauce without gluten is tamari, which is more expensive).

    (also less important, Twizzlers have gluten in them, which I’ve found to be a shame)

    I also want to mention something about rice flour and tapioca flour, or tapioca starch (which are two different things). In Asian cooking, rice flour/glutinous rice flour it is used in a variety of way to create a soft, chewy texture that has absolutely no grittiness. For best results, rice flours must be mixed with boiling hot water until sticky and then cooled with small amounts of cold water and then it can be handled and kneaded until combined, and then it can be used for mochi, soup dumplings, gyoza, and a variety of other items–with no grittiness. Rice flour should not be used solely if making shortbread/crackers/or anything crunchy; almond flour is better for that. There is also Brazilian/Columbian cheese bread made with only tapioca or tapioca combined with cassava/rice/other gluten flours that don’t immediately crumble. When tapioca/rice flour is combined with potato starch/cassava flour/corn flour, and with different amounts of oil/water/butter, it takes away a large part of the grittiness/dry/crumbly nature of gluten-free bread and lends itself to a chewy texture that is reminiscent of gluten bread. it is also possible to bake a chiffon cake with only cornstarch that is quite close to normal chiffon cake, albeit slightly denser. personally i love the challenge of turning things that are gluten into gluten-free, though it takes a lot of trial and error. The problem with xanthum gum is too much of it can also cause dryness/hardened bread, and because it’s added into most “mixed” gluten-free flours that carry an all-purpose label, it’s difficult to control. My best results always come mixing different starches and flours that don’t have added xanthum gum so that I can control what is going in it.

    I understand however that a single video can’t cover everyone and i do want to thank you for yours, because it did make clear a point regarding people like me and people with autoimmune diseases are tired of being treated like a fad or not being taken seriously. I have most certainly gained weight after switching my food choices and losing it was difficult; it sometimes has become a matter of eating less bread in general so as to maintain a balance of nutritions. And again, people treating gluten-foods as a way to lose weight wouldn’t understand that. I was very glad that you understand the nutritional problems/results and the effects. Once more, thank you for video.

  2. Rating: 5

    I find one of the best substitutes is buckwheat flour. Also using gluten free oats. I would love to see a bread recipe with gluten free oats. Thanks for being so awesome Ann!

  3. Rating: 5

    Hi Ann, I love watching your videos. I have coeliac disease. Do you think that most of the cakes and desserts you make can be made gluten-free because I would love to be able to make and enjoy lots of your recipes?

    • My sister also has coeliac disease. We use Cup4Cup flour as a 1 to 1 replacement for regular flour, which is specifically what it’s designed for. The flavor isn’t perfect, but it’s really only noticeable when you eat it side by side with the same recipe made with regular flour, and even then you probably wouldn’t be able to decide which one is the GF if you didn’t already know. It is awesome for cookies and cakes. I haven’t tried it in bread, yet, because I personally prefer to replace bread with rice, but they do have a few bread recipes on their website.

  4. Rating: 5

    Hi Ann! Love your videos, & just found your one about gluten-free diets. It is very insightful, and really helpful! I’ve been told by a few people that gluten can aggravate PMS, and so eating less of it can help to ease the symptoms of PMS. I suffer from PMDD, and am willing to try anything which might help me cope better with this condition, but I also don’t want to put my health more at risk or become malnourished. I already take various vitamins & supplements so they help, but I was wondering if you have any knowledge about gluten & PMS/PMDD or if you could make any recommendations at all?

  5. Rating: 5

    Hi Ann. Am new in this site and after so much research on all your you tube, I failed to find my favorite ginger snap cookies. Can you please please please bake one for me so i can cooy your recipe? Thanks a million!

  6. An interesting dialogue is price comment. I feel that you should write more on this subject, it may not be a taboo topic however usually individuals are not sufficient to talk on such topics. To the next. Cheers

  7. Rating: 5

    I’m so excited to try the Oreos recipe! I’m allergic to wheat (which means I always have to double-check that products don’t include gluten-free wheat starch), and I’ve really been missing a good chocolate cookie. Thank you! 🙂

    • Ann

      Awesome suze ?

  8. Rating: 4

    Hi Ann, love you videos.
    I would just like to suggest trying ground psyllium husk instead of or in addition to xantham gum.
    I’ve had similar issue to those you had above with xantham gum, and whole chia seeds don’t make nice biscuits.
    Adding between 2-3% dry weight of the psyllium to the recipe really helped with the adhesion issues without the weird softness of the xantham gum.
    I’d be interest to see more of you work in this area as I’m always trying to find good gluten free recipes for me and the family.

    • Ann

      Thanks Lert, I’ve used psyllium in egg free baking before, but not gf. What texture effect does it have on the cookies?

  9. Rating: 5

    That was a very interesting and helpful video. I have heard so much about gluten free, that it is supposed to be good for you. I have been thinking about trying it. I would have tried it by now, but the cost put me off a little. After watching your video I have decided to stay gluten full.

    • Ann

      Sounds like a very sensible decision ?

  10. Rating: 4

    Hi there! I was recently watching some of your videos, including the on regarding gluten and gluten free baking. I’m not personally gluten free and my question is actually somewhat opposite of “gluten free: advice: Can adding gluten to low carbohydrate baking help create a more standard structure to baked goods?

    Some background:
    I’m a bariatric patient and life long home chef. I’ve always wanted to own and run my own restaurant, but that’s an entirely separate story. I’ve gotten into recipe development, specifically focusing on food for bariatric patients and those on long term lower carb diets. There are so many things that you take for granted as far as food products prior to surgery and post surgery seems to be a lifetime of searching for healthy equivalents. One of the things that a lot of bariatric patients crave (as far as food goes) are baked goods. While there are lots of low carb equivalents to various bready products, none of them come close to hitting the mark. Everyone is looking for something different, but personally, I miss that specific chew you get from traditional baked goods. Knowing the structure of and the science behind much of baking, this has lead me to wonder for several years now if there is a wake to create low carb baked goods with a more similar texture by adding gluten. I’ve never tried because I am (admittedly) a chef much more than a baker. I deal more in dashes and splashes than leveled cups.

    So I figured I’d see if this was something you would have some insight (that you’re willing to share) about how I would go about testing this out (or if it’s even something that would be worth testing). I’m unsure with what I could replace the body of the baked goods with (in place of the regular flours that is) that would provide the molecular network for the gluten to do it’s magic in. Almond, cashew, coconut and other alternative flours seem far too large in granular size to be able to work. I have plenty of thoughts and questions regarding the whole thing, but I guess I’ll leave it with that.

    I would love fluffy, toothsome pancakes, or a good crusty loaf of bread. Dare I wish for a bagel?
    I appreciate any advice you might be able to give and would love to have a discussion regarding this and other such things. There are so many things I’d love to make but I’m not sure where to start when it comes to baking.

    • Ann

      Hi Amelia, Sounds like you’ve got some experimenting to do. You can buy gluten as ‘vital wheat gluten’ it is 83% protein. If you add too much to a recipe it will become quite rubbery/ chewy like meat.

  11. Rating: 4.5

    Thank you for this, will be trying these with my boyfriend, as he has recently been diagnosed with Celiacs! He misses Oreos too, so I am very excited to try and make this for him <3

    • Ann

      Hi Bee, That’s so kind of you, I’m sure he’ll enjoy them.

  12. Rating: 5

    This is the most lucid discussion I’ve heard on the subject. Didn’t know the differences between gluten sensitivity and celiac disease before watching the video. Am fairly certain Twisties are mentioned in Greek mythology, along with ambrosia and nectar.

    • Ann

      ? you must be a twisties fan like Dave

  13. Rating: 4.5

    Thank you so much for doing this I am unable to eat gluten and there are a lot of things I would love to be able to make and eat again.

    • Ann

      Great, I’m glad it was helpful Rachel

  14. Rating: 5

    Could we get the recipe you used for bread on Debunking Fake Cooking Videos 2020?

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