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Gluten Free Baking Tips

By: Sara Raffensperger, Editor,
Gluten Free Baking Tips
Gluten Free Baking Tips
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One of the most difficult aspects of a gluten free diet is that you can't follow most baking recipes without wondering if you're going to have a stomach ache or worse afterwards. With these Gluten Free Baking Tips, you will never have to wonder again. You will become a master of gluten free baking and wonder what was holding you back before. Just because you're gluten free doesn't mean you can't enjoy baking or baked goods. You just have to use some special ingredients and tricks to learn how to bake gluten free foods. And we are here to help you have fun in the kitchen again.

Gluten free baking can be a lot of fun, but it's not going to be like the baking that you're used to. You probably won't have an easy, go-to, all-purpose flour that you can use for every recipe. But once you figure out what kinds of flours (or mix of flours) that you need for cookies, cakes, and pies, you are going to be unstoppable in the kitchen. Once you get used to the new tricks that come along with learning how to bake gluten free, you aren't going to want to stop baking and trying new recipes.

How to Bake Gluten Free

  1. Before we get started, allow us to say that it will be much easier for you to bake gluten free recipes if the recipes are already developed to be gluten free. It's possible to adapt recipes that aren't gluten free, but you're going to have an easier time of it if the recipe is already meant to be gluten free.

    Also, just like with regular, gluten-inclusive baking, there are going to be errors and mishaps. Try to have fun with baking experiments and allow yourself to be okay with the mistakes that happen. Have fun with the recipes and don't be afraid to try new techniques.

  2. If you're gluten free and you're cooking in your own kitchen, chances are you don't have to worry about cross-contamination. If you are not gluten free and you're baking for someone who is, you need to make sure your workspace and equipment are gluten free. Don't handle or open containers containing wheat flour or ingredients with gluten in them while you're baking. 

    If you're going to be baking gluten free a lot, but also baking other recipes that include gluten, consider acquiring a second set of tools and equipment just for gluten free baking.

  3. When you're baking a recipe that isn't originally gluten free, you can do a straight swap of wheat flour for the nut or rice flour of your choice if there is less than 2-4 tablespoons of wheat flour in the recipe.

    If there's more than 4 tablespoons to swap then you can create your own flour mix. Make a gluten free all-purpose flour by using the 40/60 ratio. You'll use 40% whole grains and 60% white flours/starches.

    For example, you'll use 40% of brown rice flour, or buckwheat flour, quinoa flour, etc. and 60% white rice flour, cornstarch, or potato flour.

  4. You'll probably have to combine different flours. Regular all-purpose flour works for most baked goods and it's the only flour most people use. However, if you're baking gluten free foods, then you need to let go of that magic flour.

    For the most, you are going to have to combine two or three flours together to make a flour mix that will work for you and your gluten free baking.

  5. Bake by weight rather than relying on measurements in cups. Each gluten free flour has a different weight and if you run out of one kind of flour, you can replace it with a different one with the accurate amount. If you buy a kitchen scale then you can be sure that your recipes will be as accurate as possible.

    If you're converting a family recipe so it's gluten free, substitute 1 cup of regular flour with 140 grams of your gluten free all-purpose flour blend. Write that conversion down and keep it by your baking supplies.
    1 cup = 140 grams
    1 1/2 cups = 210 grams
    2 cups = 280 grams

  6. There are a lot of different gluten free flours for you to try. Here are a few: quinoa flour, coconut flour, amaranth flour, arrowroot, brown and white rice flour, buckwheat flour, corn meal, bean flours, tapioca flour, and teff flour.

    Most of these flours are not ideal to use on their own; however, they could be good to use when you're making a gluten free flour mix.

Collections of Gluten Free Baking Recipes

Now that you know all of these handy gluten free baking tips, try your hand at some of these gluten free baking recipes. There is a recipe for everyone to enjoy whether you want a tasty cake or bread for your sandwiches. Explore which recipes you're interested in and get baking with your new gluten free baking knowledge!

Tell us about any baking tips you have or mishaps in the kitchen!

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Washing as you go leaves way less mess at the end and makes for more enjoyable cooking

Tip 1 is the one I have found most helpful. I think we would all be healthier reducing potentially GMO gluten, and using recipes developed for that seems to give best results.

I can use all of the tips, like I tell my daughter whatever you do please have everything clear and all of you ingredients handy when you start makes your work easier

I need all your tips

I find that alternative flours, especially coconut flour, need more baking time.

These sound interesting. My tip is to make sure you have time to make the mistakes and still get something good out of your baking. I'm always in a hurry and end up with uneven results.

This would be a great help

I like to improvise in the kitchen a lot so it has taken a lot of trial and error to figure out how to compensate for certain things.

This is so helpful for my daughter who just turned 19. She has many digestive issues and the Gluten free recipes are the best.

I find gluten-free breads to be more dense, and are best when thinly sliced.

I've learned that you CAN bake in a toaster oven, even gluten free!

I tried to cheat and use a gluten free cookie mix. I won't say the brand but it was supposed to make yummy "confetti" cookies. They were so nasty tasting that even our dog, Duke, wouldn't eat them. They were bitter and hard.

All looks so good

Gluten-free goods take longer to bake!

Baking is such an exact science that I've had a few mishaps with baked goods not rising correctly because I put too little or too much of one ingredient. These are great tips, thanks!

This looks like an amazing resource for people who are gluten-free! My biggest kitchen mishap was when I was microwaving a sweet potato and it suddenly caught fire. Now if I want a sweet potato, I bake it in the oven.

My whole life in the kitchen feels like a mishap, but I'm improving with every experience! One time, my roommate put a metal baking pan in the microwave, and I had to explain to her why that's not appropriate. I'm not calling myself a top chef or anything, but it felt pretty good.

In college, two engineering students made muffins. They each thought the other added in the sugar. Neither of them did. They were terrible muffins. #TrueStory

One time, I cooked a pizza in the oven on a pizza peel instead of a pizza stone. Bad idea. It cracked the peel.

During a "life skills" class in high school, my group and I accidentally mixed up the salt and sugar when making muffins. We didn't realize our mistake until we tasted the muffins. Never again...

I haven't experienced any baking mishaps over the last year because I haven't used my oven since October of 2015. It sets off the smoke detector every time I use it and I do not like loud noises.

I have a friend who's gluten-free, and I'm always at a bit of a loss about what to make her and end up pestering her with "Can you have this?" "How about this?" kinds of questions. This will definitely help me feel more confident in the future that I'm making her something she's allowed to have.

I have a friend who has to be gluten free for medical reasons, I bet she would love these useful tips! I didn't know there was so much to gluten-free baking!

This guide is unbelievably helpful. Now I know what precautions to take when family members who follow a gluten-free diet come to visit!

Oh, I have too many baking mishaps to count! A few of them involve substituting whole grain flour and ending up with a dense, unappetizing baked good. This page is very helpful, though, as I frequently try to bake treats that are suitable for a gluten free friend.

A few years ago I baked some chicken in a glass dish that I bought at a yard sale. Turns out it wasn't oven safe. The dish cracked in half during baking... but actually left the chicken unharmed! We still ate some of it. )

I had no idea making gluten-free food had such specific requirements. Learned so much! As for kitchen shenanigans, I once set a tortilla on fire in a microwave when I was in grade school. Luckily, no one, including the microwave, was harmed!

One time when I was younger, my grandma wasn't supervising me as I used the electric mixer. I didn't go slow enough when mixing dry ingredients, and there was powder EVERYWHERE. Luckily she thought it was funny!!


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