April 09, 2015

Gluten Free Baking

With the weather turning colder, we figured it’s a good time to get baking. Not only because it’s a great way to warm up, but because baking is about making things to share.

But when you’re serving up your delicious baked goods, it’s nice to know that everyone can enjoy them, even those who can’t have gluten. So today we’re sharing our tips for gluten-free baking – along with the recipe for our tasty Choc Banana Brownies, gluten-free of course!

Gluten Free Chocolate Banana Brownies // Pureharvest

1) What is gluten?

Gluten is a protein found in grains such as wheat, barley and rye. It helps bread keep its shape when rising, gives pizza dough its cool stretchiness and gives baked goods that chewiness we love.

2) So isn’t gluten necessary for baking?

Nope! Eating gluten-free isn’t new – it’s been around for ages which means there’s plenty of tried and true recipes without gluten. Just ask your grandma, she’ll know plenty of treats like:

  • flourless chocolate cake
  • buckwheat pancakes
  • rice pudding
  • baked custard
  • chocolate crackles

If you’re new to baking gluten free, we recommend giving these a go – there’s a reason that they’ve stood the test of time (hint: it’s because they’re delicious!)

3) But what if I want to use a regular recipe and make it gluten-free?

You’ve seen an amazing recipe and thought “I MUST EAT BAKE THIS” – but need it to be gf? Don’t worry, there’s lots of different gf flour options. Here’s our high rotation list of alternatives, along with a recipe suggestion:

  • Almond flour – blitz almonds to a fine meal in a blender and you get a dense, moist flour perfect for cakes, brownies and even tart cases – they’re the secret ingredient that make our Mini Decadent Chocolate Cakes so wonderfully rich
  • Arrowroot flour – made from a starchy tuber, this versatile flour is a fantastic way to thicken sauces or custards (like in our Healthy Lemon Tart) and it also forms the base of our easy-peasy DIY Arrowroot Biscuits
  • Oat flour* – another easy one to whip up in the blender, it adds sweetness and moisture to cookies and treat balls, and we love it in our Banana Breakfast Muffins *even “gluten-free” oats aren’t tolerated by all coeliacs and those with gluten sensitivity, so always check before you use oat flour in a gf recipe
  • Buckwheat flour – people have loved its nutty taste for centuries using it in crêpes, noodles and biscuits – we’re big fans of the flavour it brings to our Chocolate Pear Tarts and our Blueberry Pancakes
  • Coconut flour – made from dried coconut meat, it’s an absorbent flour that’s great to use when you’re cooking for a nut and gluten-free crowd – and it gives our Macaron Biscuits and Coconut Cake Pops a wonderful texture

Two things to keep in mind when baking gf:

  • Approach it with a spirit of experimentation – think about the different qualities of each flour and how they might affect your baked treat. Eg if you want a moist and dense chocolate cake, almond meal would be your best bet, but if you want a nice solid cookie, coconut flour would work wonders.
  • Flour isn’t the only place you can find gluten in your baking – make sure all other ingredients (especially baking powder) are gluten free too

So now you know your almond from your arrowroot flour – let’s get on with the brownies!

Gluten Free Chocolate Banana Brownie Recipe

How To Bake Gluten-Free + Choc Banana Brownies // Pureharvest

How To Bake Gluten-Free + Choc Banana Brownies // Pureharvest
Image: Photographically
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