that "tricky" gluten-free dough!
faced with the challenge of having to eat gluten-free, you may
consider abandoning your love for delicious cookies and pies.
You think they just dont taste the same, so why should
I even bother. Or you may learn to accept the gf hard, flavorless,
gritty substitutes available at your local health food store.
Well, we are here to tell you that all hope is not lost. Through
many attempts we have discovered a way to bring those delicious
cookies back to the front of your palette.
the perfect baking flour
first challenge was dealing with the flour. After purchasing various
bags of flour (everything from Tapioca, Potato, Rice, Xanthum
Gum, etc), making a huge dent in our pocket books, and producing
less than desirable results, we decided to look towards manufacturers
of baking mixes for our solution. As it happens we discovered
a mix, made by the Chef's Pantry, called "Country French Bread Mix".
The mix has all the flours already mixed together and it requires
the "baker" to add the yeast, eggs, etc. So, in an effort
to avoid finding the exact chemical equation for good gf baking
flour, we decided to try the Chef's Pantry flour as a substitute.
To our pleasant surprise it worked wonderfully! Our suggestion
is to try this flour mix as a substitute for regular flour in
nearly all of your baking. We are confident you will find this
to be a must-have in your pantry.
flour can make a huge difference in your baking results. Carefully
measuring out your ingredients, both dry and wet, can make a difference
in not only taste but texture as well. When measuring out gf flour,
first fluff it with a fork, then spoon it into a dry measuring
cup. Level the top with a knife to ensure an even cups worth.
It is not always necessary to sift your dry ingredients together.
The job can be done sufficiently by mixing the dry ingredients
with a whisk or a fork.
measuring your liquid ingredients be sure to use a glass measuring
cup (to ensure proper level of fullness) and place the cup on
a level counter. If using a recipe calling for oils and thick,
"syrupy" ingredients, measure out the oil first, followed
by the thick, sticky ingredients. This will eliminate the sweeteners
from sticking to the sides of the cup.
in Butters or Fats
your recipe calls for cutting in fats (butter or shortening) into
dry ingredients, it is important to use chilled butter to eliminate
the possibility of it melting during the mixing process. You will
find the best results using a pastry blender (a device that looks
like a "U" with a handle at the top, with the U being
made up of a series of rigid wires). If a pastry blender is unavailable
you can also use 2 knives, crisscrossing them like open scissors
and cutting through the butter to blend into flour. The end result
should be flour particles coated with butter, resembling small
peas or coarse meal. The purpose of is procedure is to allow the
butter to melt during the baking. The moisture contained in it
produces steam, thereby giving the pastry a flaky, tender texture.
out gf dough
you may find a little tricky when using gf doughs. The key is
"patience", perseverance and a small bag of tricks
compliments of Glutenfreeda. Depending on the dough you are working
with you may need to adopt a few strategies to eliminate the headache
of ripped, misshapen pastry tragedies.
using the Chef's Pantry "Perfect Pie Crust" mix.
Follow the directions for the mixing of the dough, up to the baking
part, then follow directions for the pie you are attempting to
make. If you are making a cream-filled pie, or custard pie, or
any kind of pie that doesnt require the filling to be baked
(such as the Banana,
Chocolate & Coconut Cream Pie) you will need
to bake the crust on its own. If you prefer a thicker crust, try
using 3/4 of the prepared dough (the package makes 2 balls of
dough intended for either two pies or double crust pies).
If a more buttery flavored crust is desired substitute butter
for the shortening (you will end up with twice the amount of butter
than the package calls for).
addition to using the appropriate flour and recipe, roll out the
flour between 2 sheets of parchment paper. This will accomplish
three things: 1) it eliminates the need to flour a surface
of course you can use gf flours, but this will make it easier,
2) it will keep the dough together, eliminating rips, crumbling,
etc., and 3) it will facilitate the transfer from your pastry
board to the pie dish. Make sure you roll out the dough so that
it is about 2 inches larger than the rim of your pie dish. When
you are ready to make the transfer to the pie dish, remove the
top piece of parchment and invert the pastry over the dish. Slowly
and carefully remove the top layer of parchment. Make sure the
dough is firmly set in the bottom of dish. Fold under about a
1/2 inch of dough and crimp edges to make a nice decorative pattern.
you use this Pie mix and follow this procedure for rolling out
dough you will never feel left out from the old gluten-filled
.this is truly wonderful.
sure that your dough has been chilled for the appropriate time.
This will allow the dough to "rest" and also allow the
fats (butter or shortening) to harden enough to facilitate the
process of rolling out the dough.
on the type of cookie you make you need to be careful on the method
you choose to roll out your dough. If the dough has a larger than
normal butter content and is wetter than your traditional dough
(a good example of this is the Gingerbread
Cookie recipe) you will need to roll the dough
out on a gffloured
surface. However, most cookie recipes that require you to roll
out the dough, you will get the best results from rolling it out
between two sheets of parchment.
you are using cookie cutters (as in the Christmas
Cookies), and are having difficulty with the cutter
not releasing the dough, try placing a small amount of gf flour
on a plate or on your pastry board. Move the cutter back and forth,
coating the blades with the flour. This will help eliminate any
stubborn cookies from releasing.
hope you enjoy your holiday cooking
and eating this year.
Dont forget to treat yourself with the delicious cookies,
desserts and pies available in our recipe file this month.