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Q: Why don't you use a single flour to replace wheat flour in baking gluten free baked goods?
A: In order to achieve the texture and mouth-feel as close to wheat flour as possible, mixing 3-5 different gluten free flour is crucial.
Recently there is a gluten free premium cassava flour available, boast that this one single flour can replace wheat flour in gluten free baking, I tested it and the result is actually quite good on cookies, but it imparts an aftertaste to all the baked goods unless being masked with heavy spices or chocolate.
There is also a gluten free flour mix named C4C, stand for cup for cup meaning baker can subsitute this particular flour into any wheat flour recipe 1:1, the reality was good in doing cookie or cake but not so good in doing bread; plus it contains dairy which I avoid and does not worth the price tag.
For one moment I thought I do not have to mix my own gluten free flour mix anymore, the reality is I still prefer my own combination of different gluten free flour plus they are highly nutritional.
Q: Are your gluten free baked goods considered whole grain?
A: Yes on some items, because the majority of flour in my baked goods are sorghum flour, millet flour and brown rice flour. They are whole grain, gluten free naturally with high nutritional value.
Q: What to watch for if I need to substitute one flour for another?
A: You need to substitute by weight not by volume (Cups). Try to find another flour that has a similar protein content. By doing this, you would not sacrifice structure in the gluten free baked goods you make.
Q: How long does your baked goods last?
A: Due to the fact that no preservatives were used, bread and cake can last about 2-4 days; cookies last a bit longer, about 2 weeks. They all freeze very well and would stay well in your freezer for 4 months.
Q: Why my baked goods collapse when it comes out from oven?
A: The major difficulty in baking gluten free is that gluten is missing. Its function is to give a stretch factor, structure and binds things together in the baking process. To replace the missing gluten, you can use Xanthan Gum or Guar Gum. The guideline is about 1/4 tsp per cup of gluten free flour for less structure needed baked goods such as cookies; 1/2 tsp per cup of gluten free flour for medium structure needed baked goods such as cake and muffins; 1 tsp per cup of gluten free flour for maximum structure needed baked goods such as bread, rolls and foccacia. You need to add it with the flour and mix together before adding any liquid.
If you are baking with nut flour to replace wheat flour, no xanthan gum or guar gum are needed, however, almond flour is very high in oxalate level which is no good for people with kidney problem; we choose to use Organic Coconut Flour from Bob's Red Mill for our Paleo Baked Goods.
Q: I want to modify a traditional recipe made with wheat flour by using gluten free flour, what do I have to pay attention to?
A: Apart from the tips above using Xanthan Gum or Guar Gum, you have to take a look at the protein level of your recipe. you must keep it to the same level as the old recipe.You can add an egg if necessary. As far as leavening is concerned, you may increase baking powder by 1/2 tsp per cup of flour and 1/4 tsp baking soda per cup of flour when something acidic is present in your recipe. The point is, baking powder has a neutral PH level, it does not effect the PH level of your baked goods. However, baking soda is alkaline, it will make your baked goods more alkaline which we do not want; therefore, we only use baking soda when acidic ingredients were used such as chocolate, buttermilk, orange juice, lemon juice and fresh fruit. Last but not least, be flexible with the moisture level, some gluten free flours absorb more liquid than others. Nut flour for example,could consume 20% more liquid in your recipe. If you don't adjust then your baked goods would be very dry and crumbly.
Q: Many gluten free products are using corn starch and corn meal, how about you?
A: My husband is not just allergic to wheat and gluten, he is also allergic to corn and nuts. So I have not used corn starch, corn meal or corn flour in the last 14 years and I do not miss it. Potato Starch and Tapioca Starch are just as good. Especially potato starch, its cell expands and swells when heated with liquid, giving you extra moisture in gluten free baked goods. Corn Starch is cheap moneywise plus makes the baked goods lighter. I feel the urge to not use corn starch because it's everywhere, when a person has multiple allergies, better not to consume corn. Most of the corn product in this country is genetically modified, which is also one of the reason why I am staying away from it.
Q: What do I find most challenging in gluten free baking?
I fell into the same thought process as everyone else, that when I bite into something gluten free, I expect it to taste the same as its wheat flour original. The reality is they are made with different ingredients, they should taste different and I have to accept that. I have to have an open mind to accept a new flavor and I get excited about it. The fact is what I make tastes very much like its original wheat flour version, although a little different, I like the way they taste and I know it is healthier for my family without the harmful gluten, that makes me smile.
Q: What do you think people would love the most about your gluten free baked goods?
A: It tastes very close to its wheat flour original without the harmful gluten. And it tastes homemade because I love to keep it simple and delicious. Nothing too fancy just a plain good loaf of bread made without gluten or a soft and chewy oatmeal raisin cookie. I make sure my baked goods are made to the highest standard, without harmful gluten or wheat or any chemicals. I think customers appreciate that I think of them and I care about them.
Q: Do you deliver to another state?
A: All baked goods are perishable, we pack them very well to endure handling during shipping, please email me to check with the exact shipping cost to your zip code especially you have more than 1 item in your cart. Ordering online and pay with paypal is available now, we only ship on tuesday and wednesday to avoid weekend sit at a warehouse somewhere, please give us a day or 2 notice so we could prepare your order fresh for you. For customers living in Palm Beach County and Broward County, we have a delivery company to take care of your order, their delivery cost is pretty reasonable, better than we pay gas money ourselves plus you get the freshly baked gluten free bread or any baked goods fresh on the day you place your order.
Q: My son's or daughter's birthday is coming up, can you bake a gluten free cake for them? What about wedding's or Bar Mitzvah's?
A: Yes! Of course, email me with your idea, you can select a wide range of themes, as well as cake base, filling and frosting. Such as a chocolate cake base with coconut pecan filling and chocolate fudge frosting. This is a custom option, you can choose whatever combination. We also have dairy free, vegan and paleo option in making custom cakes.
Q: How long have you been baking gluten free?
A: My husband started to react to gluten badly 14 years ago, that was the time I started baking and cooking everything gluten free, corn free. I follow this diet too, even though I do not have allergies, I have an autoimmune thyroid disorder which was suggested to avoid gluten, and I don't miss gluten-filled baked goods when I can make these delicious versions.
Q: Are there any nutritional value in your gluten free baked goods?
A: Yes! It's whole grain, no trans fat, I use all natural and wholesome ingredients. For example, the millet flour I used is high in iron, zinc, magnesium, manganese, Vitamin B, Calcium and phosphorous. The Sorghum Flour I use is high in protein, fiber, Vitamin B, Calcium, Potassium and phosphorous. You can google the nutritional value of my ingredients.
Q: If gluten free flours are that good, why not use all gluten free flour, Doesn't that mean that wheat flour won't exist anymore?
A: I wish, that would be wonderful for people who are allergic to wheat, celiac and gluten-intolerance. The problem is money! Cost of 1 lb of AP (All-Purpose) wheat flour is approximately $0.20 in wholesale price; the cost of my gluten free flour ordered from Bob's Red Mill in Oregon cost about $2.80/lb with shipping. Plus cost on labor in mixing them for bread use / cake use / cookie use.
Q: Most gluten free baked goods taste way too sweet, how's yours?
A: A common trick in gluten free baking is to use the maximum amount of sugar per lb of flour volume, to mask the flavor of some gluten free flour.
Nowaday all commercial bakers are trying to make high-ratio cake meaning using the maximum amount of sugar per lb of flour, to make things sweeter and sweeter, to slowly poison our younger generation's palate....
My personal opinion is less sugar the better. It's nice to have cake taste sweet but it's not nice to make it so sweet that you can't taste the other elements except sugar. I can no longer eat commercial baked goods from Publix or Costco. If I have to weight their products' sweetness and 10 is highest, theirs are 15!
Q: What is your favorite gluten free flour?
A: My favorite is Sorghum Flour, 3rd largest grain grown in United States, high in protein, fiber, B Vitamin and a lot of good stuff! It has a slight sweet aftertaste to it. I can safely cut down the sugar level without sacrificing sweetness in my gluten free baked goods. My next favorite is Millet Flour. I used to eat millet in a porridge form when I was a little girl, it is loaded with nutrients and has a nice fragrance. It also creates beautiful crumb when used in making gluten free bread.
If you are allergic to egg, then use 2 Tablespoons of flaxseed meal mixed with 1/4 Cup warm water less with 2 TBS, let it stand for 10 minutes and it should gel up, use it to replace 1 egg in the recipe. Plus flaxseed is high in omega-3, better than any commercial egg-replacer in nutritional value.
Q: Why don't you make more gluten free, dairy free, egg free and sugar-free baked goods?
A: I have been trying very hard to avoid aspartame, an artificial sweetener; I have used Stevia many times in my gluten free baked goods including cookies and cake. However, they all impart an after-taste to it, and the powder version of "Stevia in the Raw" actually suggested to use it along with sugar, not by itself.
Because in traditional baking, sugar is not just a sweetener, it does other job such as aeration in the dough, help in leavening; without gluten the dough is already very tough to handle, not using sugar is possible but it may alter its final taste and texture, we would continue to bring more choices available.
For now we have a coconut cream scones, Mexican Wedding Cookie, Coconut Cream Pie that are sugar free made with Erythritol; a Paleo bread that is slightly sweetened with Organic Agave Nectar.
Hope the above information could help you, should you have any other questions, please email me at [email protected]