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GF baking smells bad suddenly

cycler1729's picture

I've been waiting before posting this hoping that I'd figure it out on my own but I don't know what to do.

I've been baking gluten-free for several years and everything was alright but last month I baked a gluten-free cake (normal recipe that I converted) that I had baked before and when I took it out of the oven there was on "off" smell. I don't know how to describe it (the closest is like vanilla that is bad but this had no vanilla in it) but it wasn't right - definitely not the way all of my GF baking used to smell.

So I bought ALL new ingredients and scrubbed every bowl and pan that I use (even my flour storage and my oven) and baked the same cake - and it smelled the same!

I decided to bake several different things that used different ingredients and different pans - brownies, cookies, muffins - smelling every ingredient before adding it (they all were ok) but it all had the same smell after baking.

As much as I dislike wasting food, you become accustomed to some in-edibles when you experiment at GF baking but this is horrible and a huge waste of time!

So today I baked a lemon chiffon cake that smelled ok while it was baking (and looks gorgeous!) but when I cut it - there was that smell!

Since no two of the things that I baked use exactly the same ingredients, the only thing that they all had in common is the flour mix that I create from the different rice flours.

I just don't know how or why the exact same brand might be "bad" - if it was ok from one lot and then bad from the same lot and then the new lot is also bad?

My last attempt will be to buy a prepared flour mix later this week but if that doesn't work I don't know what I will do!
Has this has happened to anyone else?
Has anyone got any ideas what is causing it?
Thanks!

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My two favorite things in life are libraries and bicycles. They both move people forward without wasting anything. The perfect day: Riding a bike to the library. —Peter Golkin

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My two favorite things in life are libraries and bicycles. They both move people forward without wasting anything. The perfect day: Riding a bike to the library. —Peter Golkin

wonka's picture

(post #65281, reply #1 of 12)

I don't know what could be the problem.

Is one of the flours you are using for your mix rancid?

Have you added any new flour to your mix recently?

Maybe you have a virus that is affecting you sense of smell (I'm reaching here, lol).

I hope you figure it out.

Pati's picture

(post #65281, reply #2 of 12)

I am also wondering if it might be a medical problem. Sounds strange, but if you are using all new ingredients, I don't see how it could be that. Have you asked anyone else to smell it to see if they detect an off smell?


Many years ago I had an auto accident that caused by head to go through the driver's side window. The resulting head trauma affected the olfactory center in my brain and caused some things to smell different for awhile. (It also caused me to have olfactory hallucinations, which was really bizarre.)


At any rate, have someone smell some of the baked goods. See what they think.

cycler1729's picture

(post #65281, reply #3 of 12)

Thanks for the responses - but there hasn't been any sort of injury or illness recently - and everything else smells the way that it's supposed to.


I don't know who to ask to smell it - I live in an apartment and it'd be sort of weird to knock on a neighbors door and ask them to sniff my cake!  LOL!  Also, I don't know anyone else who is GF who'd know what it is supposed to smell like.


I doubt if the flour is bad - I think that I'd smell that right away. 


Does xanthan gum ever get bad?  I opened a new one and there is a slight scent but I never sniffed it before so I don't know if there is a difference. 


 


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My two favorite things in life are libraries and bicycles. They both move people forward without wasting anything. The perfect day: Riding a bike to the library. —Peter Golkin

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My two favorite things in life are libraries and bicycles. They both move people forward without wasting anything. The perfect day: Riding a bike to the library. —Peter Golkin

wonka's picture

(post #65281, reply #5 of 12)

I'm going to post your question on my Celiac forum. You have me curious as to what is causing this for you. I'll let you know if anyone has a solution for you.

cycler1729's picture

(post #65281, reply #7 of 12)

I was thinking about how to answer your questions and I realized that I had some muffins frozen from that first mix of flour and when I defrosted them a week or so ago they smelled (and tasted) perfectly ok so it must be something that I bought or used after that.


I did post on a celiac forum but there are rarely any answers there.


I don't know TracyK but hopefully she'll read this and might be able to offer an idea.


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My two favorite things in life are libraries and bicycles. They both move people forward without wasting anything. The perfect day: Riding a bike to the library. —Peter Golkin

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------

My two favorite things in life are libraries and bicycles. They both move people forward without wasting anything. The perfect day: Riding a bike to the library. —Peter Golkin

wonka's picture

(post #65281, reply #8 of 12)

Do you use bean flour? Some people detect an off smell when it is in a mix, others don't.

What flours do you use in your mix?

Do you completely empty the container you use, rewash, then do a new mix?

cycler1729's picture

(post #65281, reply #10 of 12)

I use White rice flour, Brown rice flour, corn starch, potato starch, tapioca flour and xanthan gum.

No bean flours.

I completely empty the container, wash, then do a new mix NOW - I didn't every time before but I never had any sort of reaction before. But the smell was from the old mix and also from the new - that was why I changed everything - because I thought that something had gone wrong in the old mix.

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My two favorite things in life are libraries and bicycles. They both move people forward without wasting anything. The perfect day: Riding a bike to the library. —Peter Golkin

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------

My two favorite things in life are libraries and bicycles. They both move people forward without wasting anything. The perfect day: Riding a bike to the library. —Peter Golkin

wonka's picture

(post #65281, reply #11 of 12)

Hmmm. Here are two comments from the Celiac forum:

I've had funny smells from time to time......I finally traced it to tapioca flour. I just don't use it much anymore because it has a funny odor to me when baking bread. Tastes fine, but smell is important to me!

You bring back memories of early GF baking. Some of the stuff was fine the day I baked it, but as the item set, it developed a smell that I didn't like. I haven't had that for quite awhile however. At the time I was using rice flour from unknown sources- a HFS- no label as to its origin or from an Asian market. I now use BRM rice flour. This is just a stab in the dark as to the reason.

cycler1729's picture

This new site isn't very (post #65281, reply #12 of 12)

This new site isn't very usable - I was looking for your last comment and it doesn't show - it seems that you're only able to see a certain number of responses but I don't see where it says "next page" - but anyway - it was the tapioca flour! I did a search to see if anyone has an alternative mix and there was someone who only uses white rice flour, corn starch and potato starch and I baked cupcakes and they are exactly the same as the ones using tapioca flour. But it is a little "light" so I might add some brown rice flour to see.
Do you know if there is a specific alternative to tapioca flour? I looked but I don't see a comparison.

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My two favorite things in life are libraries and bicycles. They both move people forward without wasting anything. The perfect day: Riding a bike to the library. —Peter Golkin

TracyK's picture

(post #65281, reply #9 of 12)

I'm sorry, I have no idea what might cause something like that! But I've got no experience with GF baking, or xanthan gum. :(


I hope someone can help you out, though, because it must be terribly frustrating!



We are all in the same boat, you and me and ex-Gov. Palin and Rep. Joe Wilson, and wealth and social status do not prevail against disease and injury. And now we must reform our health insurance system so that it reflects our common humanity. It is not decent that people avoid seeking help for want of insurance. It is not decent that people go broke trying to get well. You know it and I know it. Time to fix it.

                                                            -- Garrison Keillor

Gretchen's picture

(post #65281, reply #6 of 12)

Don't you know TracyK? She might help.

Gretchen

Gretchen
mireille_c's picture

(post #65281, reply #4 of 12)

Hi,
Other people tasted your baking as well? Do they find the same taste?

Edited to say: I just read your last post and seems you live alone.


Edited 12/2/2009 6:07 pm ET by mireille_c