If you’ve spent your whole life baking with wheat flour, switching to gluten-free baking can be intimidating. But it doesn’t have to be, says Frank Tegethoff, a research and development baker in King Arthur Flour’s Innovation Department. Follow his suggestions for a smooth transition to making gluten-free goodies.
Start with Cupcakes.
Or quick breads, muffins, cookies, pie crusts—anything that doesn’t require yeast, Tegethoff says. “With bread-making, it gets a lot more complicated. It’s absolutely doable—you just need to have more patience.”
The reason it’s tricky, he explains, is that gluten serves as a binder to hold onto the yeast, making the bread rise and get fluffy. But gluten-free flours need other ingredients, such as xanthan gum, to help them do that.
Take the easy way with all-purpose gluten-free flours.
When you’re starting out, look for all-purpose gluten-free flours or ones with 1-to-1 substitution on the label, such as King Arthur Flour’s Gluten Free Measure for Measure Flour. “You don’t make any changes other than dropping the all-purpose flour out of your favorite pancake (or whatever) recipe and replacing it with an equal amount of Measure for Measure flour, and you’ve got pancakes,” he says. You can’t do that, he warns, with individual gluten-free flours, though.
Use trusted gluten-free recipes.
If you opt for individual flours, look for tried-and-true recipes, Tegethoff says. Also, read the recipe closely several times. “You’ll probably encounter unusual ingredients and terms you don’t know. Call us at King Arthur or maybe a baker buddy to get your questions answered before you start.”
Try this gluten-free Buttermilk Biscuits recipe.