noelexis and anyone else with issues with zanthan gum or guar gum I found these cheat and tricks
This lady has tons of recipes. and she seems very sensible.
Karina's Vegan G-Free Baking Cheat Sheet
My favorite protein rich gluten-free flours in vegan baking:
Brown rice flour
Chick pea and bean flours
Nut and coconut flours
A blend of at least two gluten-free flours is best. Add a little starch or two to help the heavier g-free flours rise and stretch. In summer heat and humidity keep flours stored in the fridge (bean and brown rice flours especially can spoil quickly).
Starches for lightness and stretch:
Potato starch (NOT potato flour)
You need a gum:
In gluten-free baking, xanthan gum helps add viscosity and stretchy give to batters and doughs. Some folks are suspicious of xanthan gum, a natural additive grown on cellulose, but xanthan isn't all that scary; it is odorless and tasteless. It doesn't come cheap; but a bag will last you for months; store it in the fridge.
For those who can handle legumes, guar gum is a cheaper, similar binding product made from guar beans. Note: those with sensitive digestion may react to guar gum (some report it works as a laxative).
For those of you baking gum-free, one alternative is to add a tablespoon of arrowroot starch to your basic g-free flour mix. It doesn't exactly replicate the viscosity that xanthan gum gives dough and batters, but. Hey. It helps.
For most recipes, I use powdered Ener-G Egg Replacer mixed with hot water. 1 tablespoon powdered replacer whisked with 4 tablespoons hot water equals 2 eggs. This works in cakes, cookies, muffins, and breads. It does not replace eggs in a custard based recipe, unfortunately.
If avoiding corn or potato starch, substitute 1 tablespoon tapioca starch or arrowroot starch plus 3 tablespoons water for each egg called for in recipe to help binding. You will need to increase leavening a bit to compensate; add 1/4 teaspoon baking powder.
Flax seed is a choice (for those not allergic to flax seeds). Use two tablespoons ground flax meal plus 1/8 teaspoon baking powder blended with 3 tablespoons of water for each egg called for in recipe. This works best for binding. I would watch the liquid to dry ratio- I find seed gels can create a gummy center in gluten-free baked goods.
Chia seeds can also- theoretically- be used as a gel for gluten-free baking. From the genus Salvia hispanica, chia is a plant in the Mint family- an excellent alternative for those of us allergic to flax seed. Personally, I have not cared for the end result; like flax or hemp seed in baking, I think it creates a gummy mouth feel and dense product.
Banana: Try a half mashed ripe banana plus 1/4 teaspoon baking powder for each egg.
Mayo: Use 3 tablespoons vegan mayonnaise in place of one egg, for binding. I would add a little extra leavening- 1/4 teaspoon baking powder.
Tofu: Try using 1/4 cup silken tofu for one egg for binding; I would add a little extra leavening- 1/4 teaspoon baking powder.
This is the easiest part of vegan baking. Use your favorite non-dairy milk alternative in place of milk. To create a sour buttermilk taste, add a 1/2 teaspoon of fresh lemon juice or light tasting vinegar to the non-dairy milk. You can also use juice- in an apple cake or muffin, try apple juice or cider. In cakes and scones try orange juice.
An interesting note: I've tried various non-dairy milks and juices in my gluten-free vegan recipes and I've found that the best choice for rising and lightness is often just plain hot water. Seriously. It's my new favorite. I discovered last winter while making a cornbread. I suspect it's because the hot water helps soften the gluten-free grains and flours. As an additional note, I have found hemp milk makes baked goods a bit gummy. Why? I'm not sure. I no longer use it in gluten-free vegan baking.
For replacing yogurt, any g-free non-dairy yogurt should work. But you'll have to experiment.
As mentioned above in the introduction, I use light olive oil in baking and it works like a charm (as well as being good for you). Start with LESS oil than the butter called for. At least 1 to 3 tablespoons less.
Other choices include Spectrum Organic Shortening (you can sub one to one for butter), or grapeseed oil, canola and safflower oil (use less than the amount of butter called for).
Fruit puree can also work as a fat sub, but some tinkering may be necessary. Start with only subbing half the fat and go slow. Mix up the batter and make sure it's not too heavy. Applesauce, pumpkin, squash and sweet potato puree can all add low fat body to batters and breads. You may have to compensate for the added flavor- use extra spice or more vanilla. Choose your pairings for compatibility- stronger tastes like sweet potato go better with deeper flavors like chocolate, ginger and pie spices, for instance.
Storing G-Free Vegan Baked Goods
Freeze it. If you're not eating all of it, it's best to slice, wrap in foil, bag, and freeze it. Even cookies. It seems like a pain to do this for simple things like cookies and brownies, but it's worth the effort. It will keep your goodies fresh. And one advantage is you'll have a store of ready-to-go treats on hand.
Troubleshooting in vegan g-free baking:
The cake or bread did not rise; or it rose and fell:
Too much liquid and not enough structure (sugar is structure, if you lessen it or replace it with agave, your batter may be too wet or too gummy), or too much leavening (it rose too fast then collapsed). Try using less liquid.
The oven temperature was too high or too low (every oven has its own personality). Test your oven with an oven thermometer- you might be surprised.
The pan was too small. If there is too much batter in a pan, the middle is thicker and takes longer to bake.
The pan was too big. A larger pan than called for results in a thinner, flatter end result.
You used frozen fruit and the batter got cold. Or you chill your flours or liquid ingredients; next time bring all ingredients to room temperature; use hot liquid.
Or mix your batter and let it sit for ten minutes.
Batters should resemble slightly thicker, stickier versions of their wheat based counterparts. If a batter is too thin, add more g-free flour (not starch). If a batter is too thick add a tablespoon of warm water at a time until it reaches the right consistency. How will you know it when you see it? After baking awhile, you will develop an intuition about batters, and how they behave in your oven, at your altitude, season, and weather.
Karina's Notes on gluten-free vegan batter:
Gluten-free vegan batters are a tad different than wheat and white flour batters. They are stiffer at first, then stretch and get sticky as the xanthan gum and egg replacer do their thing.
If the batter "climbs" the beaters, slow down the speed and slightly lift the beaters to encourage the batter to move back down into the bowl. Move your beater around the bowl in figure eights, at a slight angle. Practice your technique- soon you'll be winging around gluten-free vegan baking like a pro.
Vegan G-free Dough:
Yeasted g-free bread dough (and pizza dough) is less like traditional dough and more resembles a thick cake batter; you spread it with wet hands or spatula. If it's too thick, I find the loaf turns out too dense. Check the consistency while mixing and adjust the wet to dry ratio if you need to.
Weather and humidity can influence dough; I find I need to tweak dough from time to time- adding an extra tablespoon of warm water if it's too thick, or a tablespoon of sorghum flour if it's too thin- like a thin cake batter. It needs to be more like thick cake or muffin batter.
If the weather is very humid, use less honey or agave- they are both humectant and attract moisture. Use less liquid as well- too much liquid makes a loaf gummy or sunken.
Use metal pans for baking. I use (Chicago Metallic).
If you use glass baking pans, read the manufacturer's guidelines for glass pans; you may need to alter oven temperature by lowering it 25 degrees F.
I don't care for silicone baking pans. I'm not sure gluten-free flours do either.
Trouble: The cake, bread, cookie, muffin wasn't done in the center; or it was gummy in the center.
Check the cake, bread etc before removing it from the oven. If the center of a cake, muffin or bread is soft, wiggly or depressed, bake it longer until it is firm to a light touch. Don't be afraid to bake it for another ten minutes or more if it needs it.
Test with a wooden pick. It should be clean when it's done.
Note that every oven is slightly different, and your oven temperature may be hotter or cooler than mine; adjust the baking times to your oven. If you consistently need 5 extra minutes baking time, expect that. Or if you seem to need less, check for doneness sooner.
High altitude baking needs longer baking times. Some egg-free recipes, such as brownies, are really tough to bake at high altitude. You might try increasing oven temperature by 25 degrees F.
Your pan might be too large, or the batter too wet.
Using seed gels for an egg replacer can produce a gummy center. Even hemp seed "milk" might do this.
Too much fruit puree, frozen fruit, or too much liquid can all produce a gummy center.
I find that agave increases moisture in a recipe- like honey, it's a humectant. If the center is gummy, cut back on the agave- especially if it's humid.
Measure the dry ingredients with dry nested cups - not glass liquid measuring cups.
Measure wet ingredients in glass measuring cups for liquid- not dry nested cups (there is a difference in volume!).
Spoon or pour dry ingredients into dry measuring cups and level off- do not scoop the cup into the flour bag.
Make sure your ingredients are room temperature.
Let your batter or dough rest after mixed. Gluten-free flours often benefit from a little extra batter time. Let the batter sit in the baking pan ten minutes before baking it.
If cookies spread too rapidly, chill dough for an hour first. Try using a silicone baking sheet liner. Try using a dark metal cookie sheet.
Weather affects ingredients. Flours can absorb humidity. Storing them in the fridge also adds dampness. You may need to use less liquid on rainy or humid days. Start with two tablespoons less.
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