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Gluten-free cooking and baking

cheek2cheek's picture

I'm interested in "talking" with other food lovers/cooks/chefs and bakers about their experiences with gluten-free cooking and baking. I'd love to share recipe ideas, baking techniques, etc. Any "foodies" out there with gluten intolerance and/or celiac disease who are challenged with gluten-free living...please post. Can't wait to hear from any and/or ALL of you.


 


 


 

kathymcmo's picture

(post #37999, reply #1 of 108)

Have you tried searching the forum? There are several people here who post about GF cooking/baking quite a lot, you're sure to find a trove of information.

cheek2cheek's picture

(post #37999, reply #3 of 108)

Thanks for this. I'm new to this forum.....or I should have said "new and old"....since I haven't been here for awhile. I will begin a serious search. It's encouraging to know there are others here who are serious food lovers/enthusiasts/experimenters/chefs and bakers who are taking up the torch and creating incredible food without wheat, rye and barley. This year the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park New York hosted their Fourth Annual Gluten-Free Culinary Summit! Thanks again for the encouragement.

kathymcmo's picture

(post #37999, reply #5 of 108)

I will be interested in what posts you elicit because my brother was just diagnosed with celiac and I told my SIL I'd keep on the lookout for good recipes she can try.

cheek2cheek's picture

(post #37999, reply #6 of 108)

When I have a little more time I'll share some of the food blogs I've discovered. I'm amazed how much information and recipe sharing is out there on the web. The generosity of the gluten free community is astounding and very supportive. I'm so grateful.

wonka's picture

(post #37999, reply #2 of 108)

I have Celiac Disease, as does one of my children, so we have a gluten free household. I bake and cook mostly from scratch. If you do an advanced search for gluten free, you should be able to find a number of recipes.

If there are any particular foods that you would like a recommended recipe for, just ask.


Edited 10/14/2009 6:00 pm ET by wonka

cheek2cheek's picture

(post #37999, reply #4 of 108)

Thank you so much. I'm so grateful for this encouragement.

butterscotch's picture

(post #37999, reply #7 of 108)

I definitely want to join this conversation over the long haul.  I gave up gluten about a month ago, so I'm really pretty new to gluten-free cooking and baking.  So far, I haven't found the cooking part too onerous at all.  I'm an avid cook, have a large repetoire of recipes, and, as a result of years of cooking, often have a good idea of what can be substituted and left out to make a recipe gluten-free.  AND, I have all the wonderful cooks on this board to turn to when I get stumped.  Last week Wonka advised me on what gluten-free flour I should use to thicken soups, and, as you saw, lots of people have been kind enough to tell me how I should handle quinoa.


It's the baking that's bothering me.  Baking has been a hobby for a long time, and I don't really want to give it up.  Right now, I've got a house full of whole wheat, rye, all purpose, and cake flours that I want to use up baking for friends and family who have no problem with gluten.   I feel downright depressed when I scan the ingredient lists for gluten-free baked goods and realize I have none of these flours or gums in the house, have no idea what they taste like, either separately or in combination, and don't know how to tell a good gluten-free bread or cake recipe from a bad one.  I think I will just have to wait on the gluten-free bread for a while until I feel like I've got the energy (and the cabinet space) to start from scratch with unfamiliar ingredients.  Meanwhile, I'll be very interested to hear about the results of your own quest to produce a good-tasting gluten-free bread.  I've looked at a number of blogs about gluten-free baking/cooking, and many of the bloggers claim to have produced bread that actually tastes good, so that's encouraging.  Their bread, whatever it's like, has to be better than the commercial Glutino brand bread I bought at Whole Foods recently.  It smelled like burning plastic (!) and had a flavor to match.

wonka's picture

(post #37999, reply #8 of 108)

Just keep in mind that all those gluten flours get pretty airborn when you measure them out and you can end up ingesting quit a bit that way. I didn't get better until I removed them from my house.

MadMom's picture

(post #37999, reply #9 of 108)

Since I was not diagnosed with Celiac, but have just been trying to watch my gluten intake, I don't think that I will have to resort to such measures.  I'm gradually trying to eliminate gluten from my diet, but still have some on occasion.  Haven't noticed any real difference, except that I seem to lose weight when I'm more cautious about eliminating the gluten free food.  Probably due to eliminating the bread!



Not One More Day!
Not One More Dime! Not One More Life! Not One More Lie!

End the Occupation of Iraq -- Bring the Troops Home Now!

And Take Care of Them When They Get Here!

butterscotch's picture

(post #37999, reply #10 of 108)

I will keep that in mind, thanks.  I'm still in the process of trying to figure out how much gluten, if any, I can tolerate.  Once or twice, I've slipped and just eaten a small amount through absentmindedness--forgot to pick a crouton out of my salad at a restaurant, ate a sample cracker while shopping at the supermarket, etc.  These episodes didn't seem to produce any noticeable bad symptoms, so maybe I can get away with ingesting a little occasionally.  On the other hand, having a piece of toast for breakfast, a sandwich for lunch, and pasta for dinner, as I used to do, is definitely out.  It makes me feel awful immediately.

Marcia's picture

(post #37999, reply #11 of 108)

Sharon, I'm allergic to wheat and have been since my second pregnancy. I eat an all rye bread (I realize you can't have rye), which I've become accustomed to, and recently found a gluten-free English muffin in the frozen section of my supermarket. The brand is Foods By George, and I bought the plain but there were flavored ones, too. They are not perfect but are not bad to my taste when toasted. I cannot say how they'd taste to you because my palate has changed over the years, as I think yours will to adapt to gluten-free items. It will take time.

I'm sure the home baked gluten-free items are better, but I have other health issues and no energy for baking at the moment. You'll likely become a wonderful gluten-free baker since you already enjoy baking. Wonka feeds her whole family this way, and I doubt they'd be happy about it were her baked goods not delicious.

butterscotch's picture

(post #37999, reply #12 of 108)

Marcia, thanks so much for the suggestions.  I will look in particular for the English muffins as I love English muffins and they are one of the things I really miss.  Our local regular supermarkets are not a good place to look for gluten-free products.  I've found almost nothing in the way of baked goods at them that would be useful to me.  But I have noticed they carry a few items made by major manufacturers that give me hope because it seems they are finally noticing there is a market for gluten-free versions of their products.  Last week, in fact, I saw a gluten-free cake mix (Betty Crocker, I think).  I don't care for cakes made from cake mixes, but who knows how desperate I'll get?  The one thing I have been able to buy at the supermarket is cereal--Rice Chex labelled as 'gluten-free'.


The only place I've been able to find any kind of selection of gluten-free bread is at Whole Foods.  Mostly what they sell is the horrible "Glutino" brand which I wouldn't buy again if someone paid me.  But I will definitely look for the St. George English muffins and, if they are not being offered, I'll request them. 


And, finally, I'm sure you're right that Wonka's recipes will prove a wonderful help to me once I finally do attempt GF baking--especially bread baking.


P.S.  Baked desserts for myself are not really a high priority for me right now, but I did come across some very interesting gluten-free cake recipes in, of all places, Barbara Kafka's Microwave Gourmet.  I guess she found that it was difficult to produce a good cake made with wheat flour in the microwave but that she could get good results subbing potato starch and corn starch for the wheat flour.  I'm attracted to these recipes because I cook with potato starch and corn starch and they seem normal and familiar to me--unlike stuff like sorghum flour and xanthan gum which seem like they're from Mars.


 


 

Marcia's picture

(post #37999, reply #13 of 108)

We live in what I consider the boonies, and gluten-free items are starting to crop up here. I found the muffins in a regular local market. Our closest Whole Foods is 45 minutes to an hour away.

In any case, there is hope. Oh, the muffin brand is Foods by George, and they are either made or distributed in NJ, which might mean you won't find them. Then again, there are more and more items around and sometimes in odd places. If you have a decent health food store, it might be worthwhile to look there. We had a wonderful one in our former home town, and they would order things for me.

I have the Kafka book and haven't looked at it in years, but you jog a faint memory about the potato and corn starch baking. Will have to dig the book out; thanks for the mention.

As for the ingredients from Mars (LOL), there is certainly a learning curve, but with time they will seem perfectly natural. Okay, that's a guess, but it's what I think and hope for you.

butterscotch's picture

(post #37999, reply #17 of 108)

Marcia, you are really sweet.  I know I will stop pouting about gluten-free baking and learn to like it--and probably pretty soon.  At the moment, I'm working a lot--albeit at home--and just don't want to face it.


And thanks so much again for the food suggestions.  If those English muffins are available in LA, I will find them!

Marcia's picture

(post #37999, reply #20 of 108)

It's hard to change and I don't mean to suggest it's not. I have to say that I used to cheat a lot, too, but not so much nowadays.

I was just at my sorry market again, and was really surprised at the range of gluten-free food available there. This gluten-free thing is exploding. Many of the products I'm unable to eat because of other food allergies.

I've never tried the Glutino (sp?) breads, but they do sound awful.

butterscotch's picture

(post #37999, reply #35 of 108)

I don't know why our local supermarkets are so lame about gluten-free products.  I think I should probably try one or two of the smaller chains where I don't usually shop.  Maybe they'll have a better selection of GF stuff than I've found at my usual markets.


One related problem is that a couple of years ago Whole Foods merged with our other big health food-y chain, Wild Oats Markets, and, as a result of the merger, there now are no more Wild Oats Markets. So, effectively, Whole Foods has no serious competition around here and its proliferation has made it very hard for smaller mom-and-pop health foods stores to stay in business.

cycler1729's picture

(post #37999, reply #23 of 108)

Whole Foods stocks them in NY so you might be able to get them where you are.
The Glutino frozen bagels also aren't bad - they were better but I think that they changed something when they changed their packaging.
One thing that is great (although really high priced) are the Glutino pretzels. They've got several different flavors.

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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

butterscotch's picture

(post #37999, reply #32 of 108)

I completely agree that the Glutino pretzels are really good--I've been buying them and like them a lot.  Other than being a little lighter than regular pretzels, it's hard to tell that they're not made from wheat.  I tried the pretzels before I tried the bread and was surprised to find the bread so awful.  I haven't noticed the bagels, but then, after the bread fiasco, I need some time to recover before trying them.

wonka's picture

(post #37999, reply #14 of 108)

The nice thing about sorghum flour is that it adds a taste similar to wheat. It is one of my favourite flours to have on hand. The xanthan gum is used to keep baking from crumbling and for thickening and adding elasticity to breads.

Given that, you can make a perfectly good mix with cornstarch, potato starch and rice starch (not much nutrients because these flours are not enriched) but I wouldn't make most recipes without xanthan gum.

butterscotch's picture

(post #37999, reply #18 of 108)

Thanks, Veronica, for taking the time to educate me about what gluten-free baking ingredients are really like.  I completely credit everything you've said.  And, as I said to Marcia above, I'm going to start using this invaluable advice in my own baking soon.

wonka's picture

(post #37999, reply #19 of 108)

You are more than welcome. I don't mind sharing what I've learned. Lots of people helped me at the beginning of my diagnosis, so now it is my turn to give back.

Marcia's picture

(post #37999, reply #21 of 108)

If my energy levels increase, I'll know where to turn for baking advice. It's good to know that you're here and generous with your expertise. :)

MadMom's picture

(post #37999, reply #15 of 108)

Glad to hear that Rice Chex are gluten free.  I bought some Kellogg Smart Start cereal, assuming that something which was good for your heart might be decent.  It was HORRIBLE!  So sweet that I couldn't even choke it down.  Is the Rice Chex sweet?  I keep hoping that I can find some not-so-sweet cereal for breakfast.  At the moment, I'm eating Product 19, which I love, but which, unfortunately, has gluten.



Not One More Day!
Not One More Dime! Not One More Life! Not One More Lie!

End the Occupation of Iraq -- Bring the Troops Home Now!

And Take Care of Them When They Get Here!

butterscotch's picture

(post #37999, reply #16 of 108)

DD developed a fondness bordering on addiction for Smart Start around the time she started high school.  It was a staple at our house, and  could hardly buy it fast enough to keep DD in cereal.  But I feel the same way about it that you do--it's too d**n sweet for my taste.


As for Rice Chex, I think you might like them because they aren't sweet at all.  Not surprisingly, they taste something like Rice Krispies--not much flavor but crunchy, much bigger and thicker than Rice Krispies, though--a different texture completely.  Personally, I prefer Cheerios but have given them up because they contain wheat.  I realize, in retrospect, that they used to upset my stomach.  I always thought it was the milk that bothered me, but it must have been the gluten.

cycler1729's picture

(post #37999, reply #22 of 108)

I, too am gluten-intolerant and I saw Erewhon brand corn flakes in the health food store - definitely not sugary and pretty close to the "real" one.
Recently I've been baking brownies using the old Betty Crocker cocoa brownie recipe substituting a rice flour mix for wheat flour and they are really delicious! I bake them very chewy (not dry).

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


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

MadMom's picture

(post #37999, reply #24 of 108)

I found the Erehwon brand cereal today.  I, too, am amazed at the proliferation of gluten free products.  They're in almost every store.  One thing to be careful about, if you don't care for the sweet taste, is the amount of sugar.  I compared the Erehwon cereal I bought with another of the same brand, and the sugar was 1 gm per serving in the one I bought, vs 6 gm per serving in the other variety.  A big difference!  I haven't tried it yet, will get DH to fix it tomorrow in place of my beloved Product 19. Fortunately, as I've said before, I've not been diagnosed with Celiac disease, just thought I would try to limit my gluten intake.  So, I don't have to be quite as diligent as some.



Not One More Day!
Not One More Dime! Not One More Life! Not One More Lie!

End the Occupation of Iraq -- Bring the Troops Home Now!

And Take Care of Them When They Get Here!

cycler1729's picture

(post #37999, reply #25 of 108)

To be honest, I was looking for something like Corn Pops (I love sugar!) but the only thing that looked at all appealing was the Erehwon. And it definitely isn't sugary.

Years ago, Malt-o-meal Corn Pops were GF but then they added wheat to it. It gets me insane when there is a food that I love that adds wheat when everyone else is removing it now that there is awareness about the condition. Pathmark added wheat to their Fudgsicles and Ice Cream and I only noticed because they changed the packaging and whenever a company does that I always check the ingredients.

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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


Edited 10/16/2009 2:51 pm ET by cycler1729

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

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 #37999, reply #26 of 108)

I don't know if you can find them where you are, but I buy Nature's Path Gorilla Munch cereal, occasionally, for the kids. They are very similar to Corn Pops but gluten free.

cycler1729's picture

(post #37999, reply #27 of 108)

Thanks - I'll look for that!


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


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 #37999, reply #28 of 108)

I have steered you wrong. I've just come back from the store and the Gorilla Munch is by Envirokidz.