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Gluten-Free Basics & Beyond

All About Gluten-Free Baking:

Troubleshooting GF Baked Goods

Solving Baking Problems in the Gluten-Free Kitchen

Gluten-free baking can present a host of challenges. Here's how to overcome them.

After thousands of kitchen tests, we have a sense of what problems are likely to occur when you attempt to make a conventional baked good gluten-free. The tips on this page offer advice for common problems we’ve encountered over years of recipe development. Note that every baking recipe is a unique formula, so these solutions won’t work in all cases. Think of this information as a starting point when problem-solving in your kitchen.

Pancakes

Common Problem Possible Solution

Dense, gummy texture

Lower burner or griddle temperature and extend cooking time to help pancakes cook through without getting too brown

Light and Airy Breakfast

Recipe Gluten-Free Buttermilk Pancakes

Just because you need to avoid gluten doesn't mean you can't enjoy a leisurely Saturday morning pancake breakfast.

 

Muffins and Quick Breads

Common Problem Possible Solution

Crumbly texture

Add extra egg and use binder, like xanthan gum

Dense texture

Use more leavener

Dry texture

Add additional liquid or sour cream

Mushy center

Lower oven temperature and extend baking time

Gritty texture

Let batter rest for 30 minutes before baking

Make Muffins

Recipe Gluten-Free Blueberry Muffins

We set out to make a golden-domed gluten-free muffin that also had a tender, delicate interior.

 

Drop Cookies

Common Problem Possible Solution

Excessive spread

Add binder and let dough rest

Gritty texture

Let dough rest for 30 minutes before baking

Greasy

Use less butter and swap in a portion of almond butter

Overly crisp texture

Use more brown sugar, less white sugar

Overly soft texture

Use superfine sugar and leave cookies in turned-off oven after baking for several minutes to dry out

Airy, hollow texture

Use melted butter instead of creaming it

Burnt bottoms

Before baking, place baking sheet of cookies inside second sheet for extra insulation on bottom

Fill the Cookie Jar

Recipe Gluten-Free Chocolate Chip Cookies

Gluten-free chocolate chip cookies as good as the original.

 

Cakes

Common Problem Possible Solution

Greasy mouthfeel

Swap in sour cream, chocolate, or cream cheese for some of fat

Dense crumb

Reduce amount of fat, use additional liquid, use additional baking powder, use additional egg

Gummy center

Lower oven temperature and extend baking time; swap out some of liquid for sour cream

Edges of cake are tough

Line sides and bottom of cake pan with parchment paper

Cake doesn't release

When parchment is not an option, make paste of butter and flour blend and brush into pan

Let Them Eat Cake

Recipe Gluten-Free Chocolate Layer Cake

No more dense, bricklike cakes. Our rich-tasting chocolate layer cake is fluffy and tender, and bakes up tall and sturdy.

 

Pie and Tart Dough

Common Problem Possible Solution

Crumbly texture

Add binder, such as xanthan gum

Not flaky

Add small amount of rice vinegar

Dry, difficult dough

Process butter more thoroughly during mixing

Pie Time

Recipe Gluten-Free Single-Crust Pie Dough

We built a gluten-free pie dough from the bottom up that bakes up tender, but also light and flaky.

 

Yeast Breads

Common Problem Possible Solution

Dough doesn't rise

Add extra liquid, use instant yeast and bloom yeast in warm, sweetened water, let rise in warm but turned-off oven

Dense crumb

Add ground psyllium husk

Gummy, wet crumb

Lower oven temperature and extrend baking time

Squat loaves

Use smaller loaf pan and add foil collar

Bread sinks after baking

Leave bread in turned-off oven after baking to dry out

Light and Sliceable

Recipe Classic Sandwich Bread

Most gluten-free sandwich bread recipes turn out squat bricks with a cardboard texture. We wanted a reliable recipe that produced a light-textured sandwich loaf.

 

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