Baking as a vegan can be a challenge — no butter, eggs, or dairy — but it can seem even more challenging if you’re following a gluten-free diet, too. We turned to David Venable, QVC’s resident foodie and host of the popular gourmet show In the Kitchen with David, to get some practical gluten-free baking tips. Here’s your ticket to creating bakery quality, gluten-free treats at home.
Mix the flours
Instead of using a single type of gluten-free flour, Venable suggests a combination of several gluten-free flours, such as rice, corn, almond and buckwheat. “Then add xantham gum for viscosity,” he adds.
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Use add ins
Gluten-free baking gives you the chance to experiment with vegan ingredients. “Incorporate a half cup of dry ingredients like nuts or chocolate chips to help improve texture and flavor,” recommends Venable. He also suggests adding apple sauce as well as other fruit and vegetable purees to keep baked goods moist. Vegan yogurt can also be swapped in. The sweeter the puree or yogurt, the sweeter your baked good, meaning you can also cut down on the sugar.
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Gluten-free baking often means your baked goods won’t brown like wheat flour based recipes, so you may have trouble determining if a baked goodie is done. Instead of overbaking your gluten-free treats, take Venable’s heed: “If you find the edges of cookies or desserts cooking faster than the centers, reduce your oven heat by 25 degrees. You can also place foil on the edges of larger desserts to really slow things down.”
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Turn them out — and freeze
Don’t set your baked goods on the counter and walk away because you may end up with soggy treats. Let them cool a bit then get them out of the pans and place them on wire racks to cool further. Venable also suggests, “Freeze them once they are completely cool because freezing can help improve texture of gluten-free baked goods, and it can help extend the life of your recipe.
Do your research
Since baking is a science, particularly with gluten-free treats, Venable recommends diving into gluten-free baking books. Since many people who are gluten-free are also egg- or dairy-free, you will likely find many wonderful vegan-friendly gluten-free baking recipes. “We have two fantastic gluten free baking books on QVC.com, The Cake Doctor Bakes Gluten Free and Simply Gluten Free Desserts which are filled with helpful tips and advice,” the cooking expert adds.
What are some of your tried-and-true gluten-free baking tips? Please share in the comments below.