The holiday season is upon us, and what better way to celebrate than by filling your home with the aroma of freshly baked treats that everyone can enjoy? Armed with our guide to gluten-free baking, we give you all the tips and tricks to turn you into the holiday hero, bringing smiles to the faces of friends and family!
Bakers, come one, come all, to kick off the season with some sweets for the fall! With the holidays just around the corner, everyone’s whipping out their aprons and baking tools to start baking up a storm, but for those of us on that gluten-free lifestyle, whether by necessity or choice, it may be hard to reconfigure our baking habits, especially because a lot of the baking commodities out there are gluten based. Not to worry though, here are the 5 top secrets to keep in mind for this holiday season’s baking frenzy!
Like diamonds are a girl’s best friend, alternative flours are the gluten-free besties we need in our lives and the beauty of alternative flours is that all you really need to do is look for them! Already pre-made and ready to be mixed, no more scouring the internet for alternatives on the fly when you can save yourself the experiments and invest in a gluten-free flour that has all the same perks as a conventional flour just without the gluten! Great gluten-free flour alternatives include almond flour, coconut flour, buckwheat flour and brown rice flour! Not only are these alternatives entirely gluten-free, but each provides a unique palette to your baked goods, bringing forth more nutty, coconut, or mildly sweet flavour to your baked goods so test which one elevates your baking sesh!
Reinvention never fails!
We all get bouts of nostalgia sometimes, especially for the baked goods that we grew up having, a lot of brands nowadays focus on reinvention rather than inventing because most has already been done before, so why not make a good thing even better by switching up ingredients to make it healthier and better for yourself and your friends and family? While the holidays and traditions usually go hand in hand, there’s nothing wrong with tweaking those traditions, because we’re constantly changing as people, and as we change, so do our dietary needs! Make those childhood favorites and reinvent them into something that’s better for you so that you can continue to enjoy them, rather than leaving them in the past!
Xanthan Gum and eggs are the binders and besties you need!
Baking in it of itself is already a taxing, ‘need to follow the recipes to a T’ type of cooking that only few can endure, and especially tougher when you’re starting out with alternatives. A lot of the concerns when it comes to a different way of baking, especially transitioning to gluten-free baking is consistency, sometimes when mixing, it becomes a sticky, clumpy mess. A pro tip in those instances is to add in an egg to the mix. If the recipe calls for 1 egg, add an additional one! The additional egg will act as the typical fluffer that gluten usually does to lift your baked goods. Another great substitute for this is xanthan gum! A well known secret substitute for gluten in those recipes because it mimics the binding properties that gluten brings to the dish, while also providing that fluffy, great texture, all you’d need is a pinch!
Flavour, flavour, flavour!
When we think of the holidays, we think of all those familiar flavours; peppermint, cinnamon, gingerbread, nutmeg, the list goes on! Flavours and spices are a key staple in any baker's kitchen. Just a tweak in those recipes can change the final result, and now that you’ve gotten the consistency in check by using alternatives like xanthan gum, eggs, or different types of flours for your gluten-free baking journey, go ham with all the spices that you can and always keep stock of those favourites to keep your baked goods fun and fresh!
Patience is key
Those who bake will always say that baking is an art, and art takes time, so you’ll need a lot of patience and d lot of experimenting at first. Just like in cooking where a watched pot never boils, in baking, watched bread won’t rise. Take your time enjoy the process, and have fun with it! Even if the first few rounds on your gluten-free baking journey don’t go as you expect, be sure to embrace the little imperfections because that’s what ends up making your gluten-free creations unique! We don’t all start out being a pro at anything so take every experience in passing and learn from the past.
Now you’re locked and loaded with these top 5 tips for your gluten-free holiday baking season. Don your apron and enjoy the journey and all those bumps in the road, they always make for good memories with friends and family! Happy gluten-free holiday baking!