Creating a favorite baked good without gluten is sometimes a challenge, but you can convert many recipes by following a few basic rules. Primarily found in wheat flours, gluten is also present in barley and rye flour. Yeast dough recipes don't convert easily into a gluten-free alternative, but you can use baking powder for the leavening to make a quick bread dough and other mixes. Gluten-free flours convert by weight; a few extra ingredients are needed to keep the dough moist and ensure the best texture after baking.
Things You'll Need
- Mixing bowl
- Kitchen scale
- Gluten-free flours
- Xanthum gum
- Stand mixer
- Baking powder
- Baking pan
Convert the wheat flour measurement to weight. One cup of wheat flour weighs 120 grams, so a dough recipe containing 2 cups of wheat flour requires 240 grams of a gluten-free alternative, such as rice or potato flour, which provides a finer texture, or flax and nut meals, which make grainier bread. Tapioca flour makes baked bread chewier. Measure the gluten-free flour into a mixing bowl, using about 3 parts fine and grainy flours and 1 part tapioca flour, depending on the desired texture of the dough.
Measure and mix in ¼ teaspoon of xanthum gum for every cup of gluten-free flour in the recipe. Xanthum gum holds moisture and helps the dough develop a texture more like wheat breads.
Fill the bowl of a stand mixer with water or milk, using the same amount in the original recipe or about 1 cup for every 1 ½ cups of gluten-free flour.
Mix ¼-teaspoon salt with every 1 cup of flour in the dry ingredient bowl. Double the amount of baking powder in the recipe, using up to 2 teaspoons per cup of flour. Gluten-free dough requires additional leavening to rise properly.
Add up to 1 egg and 1 tablespoon of olive oil for every 1 cup of flour in the wet ingredient bowl. Gluten-free flour does not absorb moisture as well, so it requires additional moist ingredients.
Stir the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients. Mix with a hand mixer or stand mixer, preferably with a dough hook attachment, at medium speed for 5 minutes, or until the ingredients are completed mixed and the dough is light in texture. You can also mix the dough by hand with a wooden spoon or by kneading in the bowl, but it's difficult to work enough air into gluten-free batter to create the proper texture when mixing by hand.
Spread the dough in a greased pan. Use loaf pans for quick breads, or a rimmed round, square or rectangular pan for other types of breads or pizza crusts.
Tips & Warnings
- Add an additional egg or 2 egg whites to the mixture if it seems dry. Gluten-free flour holds moisture poorly, so additional liquids and fats can prevent a dry bread.
- Improve a basic dough by adding sugar, honey, cinnamon, or small berries or raisins for a sweeter bread. You can also mix in savory ingredients, such as herbs, for more flavor.
- Bake dense breads, like a quick bread loaf, at 375 degrees Fahrenheit for dense breads, or at 425 degrees for thin breads, like a pizza crust. Allow the dough to rest in the pan for 15 minutes while the oven preheats.
- Photo Credit marekuliasz/iStock/Getty Images
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