The Best Tips for Baking Gluten-Free This Holiday Season, According to Experts
The holidays are a time for baking, and that means those who are gluten-free are still eager to get in on the action. While wheat may be out of the question, there are still plenty of cookies to be had this time of year. So if you're planning on baking gluten-free, take some advice from a couple of seasoned experts to ensure you're set up for success.
1. Learn to bake by weight.
Shauna James Ahern, of Gluten-Free Girl, feels strongly that you should let go of your measuring cups. That's good advice all around — regardless if it's for gluten-free baking or conventional baking. That's because baking by weight is the most accurate way to bake. It's especially important when it comes to gluten-free baking, as various gluten-free flours have different weights, and baking with cups would cause inconsistencies that could negatively affect the end result of your cookies and cakes.
2. Stay organized.
Another tip that also applies to conventional baking is to stay organized, especially during the holiday season. Jeanne Sauvage, of the Art of Gluten-Free Baking says, "I really enjoy the holidays — and the license to bake and cook to my heart's content — and I want to give myself the time and mental space to savor them as much as possible." For her, that means measuring out ingredients ahead of time, freezing pie shells and cookies doughs ahead of time, and cleaning as she goes.
3. Remember just how many amazing baked goods are naturally gluten-free.
If you're worried about having to convert recipes to make them fit the diet, know just how many great baked goods are out there that are gluten-free without even trying (flourless chocolate cake, anyone?).
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4. Memorize the easy conversion between regular flour and gluten-free flour mix.
Going back to the importance of weight, a cup of all-purpose flour does not equal the same amount as a cup of gluten-free flour. While specific gluten-free flours, like tapioca flour or potato starch, have their own weights, if you're working with a basic gluten-free flour mix, Shauna says 140 grams equals 1 cup of all-purpose flour. This is a great ratio to remember if you're trying to convert a favorite conventional recipe to gluten-free without much fuss.