Monday, 4 July 2011

The need to understand in baking

As you might have read in some of my other I am branching out into allergy free cooking. But to do that and make it successful I need to get my head round what the things I need to replace actually do. This is a blog post about substitutes in baking.

So what purpose does an egg serve in cakes and pancakes? eggs provide protein which helps to bind and moisten the cake and gives it some colour. basically it is what helps hold the cake together and make them firm, so a replacer has to do the same.

what options have I come up with? 1 egg can be replaced with;
a) 1 tablespoon powered flaxseed simmered in 3 tablespoon hot water, left to stand for approx 15 mins to go gloopy
b) 1/2 a banana mashed and stirred in, fine if you like the flavour of banana
c) 2 tablespoon of potato starch
d) 2 Tbsp. water + 1 Tbsp. oil + 2 tsp. baking powder
e) 1/4 cup apple puree
f) commercial bought egg replacer
g) tablespoon of vinegar ( in my case gluten free so not malt)

what purpose does gluten serve in baking?

It gives elasticity  to the dough  helping it to rise and to keep its shape, and often giving the final product a chewy texture. again you need to find a substitute for that so that the cakes are not heavy like bricks, but light and springy like a normal cake.

here is one option mix together
2 cups rice flour
2/3 cup potato starch
1/3 cup tapioca flour
1 teaspoon xanthan gum.

and use as normal, store any left over in an air tight container.

there are alternatives out there including the ones I am initially going to try working with

rice flour - ideal in pancakes
tapioca flour - helps to add spring to baked goodies
and I am also using Xanthen Gum as a gluten substitute

once I have mastered these then I fancy adding buckwheat, coconut, potato and hemp flours to see what sort of results they achieve.

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