September 9, 2015 9:25 am Leave your thoughts
I was only intending to skim through GBBO on iPlayer. I had the ironing to do and a summer’s worth of Playmobil toys to put away. But I got sucked in: it’s such a calming, soporific programme. Nobody shouts or interrupts. Everyone has all the ingredients they need. I’m pretty sure they don’t have to do their own washing up.
The second part of this week’s programme was the gluten-free technical challenge. Gluten-free baking, from scratch, isn’t easy. But it’s not that hard either, when you know what you’re doing, and the results can be just as delicious as standard baking. At Naturally Good Food we sell large quantities of gluten-free baking mixtures and gluten-free products. If you’re at all unsure of yourself, we’d recommend starting with one of these. Someone else has already done all the experimenting for you!
What is gluten?
Gluten is the name given to a composite protein found in wheat, rye and barley, among others. It’s the thing that gives elasticity, stretch and extendability to dough – and if you’re cooking without it, you need to make sure that you have the right ingredients to create the same effect, or something equally good.
Some of these ingredients – while utterly familiar to staff at Naturally Good Food – were bewildering to the GBBO contestants, who looked in dismay at psyllium husks and gluten-free flours. ‘I don’t like not being in the know’, one of them muttered, while another declared the experience ‘really weird’.
They were tasked with making gluten-free pittas, for which they needed to create a sticky, but not a wet dough, which, when baked, was to break fairly easily, with a pocket inside. Their instructions weren’t complicated: ‘using all the ingredients, make a dough’.
It was interesting to watch. The dough was much looser and stickier than they were accustomed to. They all found that kneading had little effect and that the pittas didn’t puff up as much in the oven or brown as usual.
But the end-results were fine: gluten-free pittas, all of which I’d have happily eaten for lunch.
Perhaps the biggest surprise was that these avid bakers had rarely experienced gluten-free baking at all. With a huge, and growing, demand for gluten-free products in the UK and elsewhere, it seems odd that people who thrive on technical challenges should never have ventured into this area before. We reckon some of our highly experienced customers could have given them a run for their money!
Gluten Free Ingredients
If you’re interested in gluten-free baking from scratch, we’d be delighted to help you stock up. There’s a great range of options, from standard gluten-free plain, self-raising and all-purpose flours, through flours such as quinoa and coconut flour, all the way to the little ingredients that can make the vital difference: the xanthan gums, the flax and chia seeds. And yes, the psyllium husks.
Tags: all-purpose gluten-free flour, bulk gluten-free, chia seeds, coconut flour, flaxseed, Gluten free, gluten free baking, gluten free flour, gluten-free pittas, linseed, plain gluten-free flour, psyllium husks, quinoa flour, self-raising gluten-free flour, xanthan gum
This post was written by Yzanne