Gluten-Free Holiday Baking

It was during the Christmas season that my Mother would bake her fresh wheat bread, wake us up early for her perfect gooey cinnamon rolls before school, and every Sunday, Monday, and Friday we would chow down on Ghirardelli brownies with ice cream. Everything she baked was the perfect gift. However, now that I am allergic to gluten, I can’t eat any of her baked goods. To fix this, I decided to turn to Pintrest, but every delicious goodie either broke apart at my touch, or failed to bake past its strange gelatin-like state. I used bean flour for cookies, dates for brownies, and even tried bananas for pecan pancakes! Nothing cooked correctly, and I was devastated. I didn’t bake, or eat anything baked, for months. I was healthier, but I also felt incredibly deprived when the perfect cakes were not gluten-free and my favorite pies were fatal to consume.

I was searching for a solution to holiday baking on Pintrest, again (I’m an addict), when my Aunt brought home a mix from the store for a gluten free cake. It was delicious. We checked out the ingredients for the flours that were used in the cake, and found that it had a flour we had not yet tried. I found out that this flour is the Holy Grail of all my favorite recipes for baking: Brown Rice Flour (I am convinced that angels sang at the discovery of such a delicious ingredient). I will attach links to several holiday recipes below. Follow each step, no matter how strange it may appear. If one of the steps asks you to massage a head of lettuce before hanging it on a clothesline in your oven to dry to add moisture to your bread dough, do it. It will be worth it.

In gluten-free baking there can be many challenges. However, most of these challenges can be overcome by following directions and understanding your ingredients. Know what the flours you have can do. Treat each flour like they are your friend, and they will treat you well. You can follow this link to see what different flours in gluten-free can baking do:

Next, if you don’t have all the exact ingredients, substitute to the best of your ability (keep an open mind, and you can use whatever sugar you want. It doesn’t have to be Raw or Organic for the food to taste divine) the product may look strange before you put it into the pan for the oven. Cookies will almost always look crumbly. This is okay. Just press the dough in your hands and it will fix itself. Pie crust does the same thing. It is okay, don’t get stressed. ‘Tis NOT the season for stress. When the product comes out of the oven, it will usually look darker than normal recipes. The change of color is normal. Remember that gluten-free baking is not normal baking. It will look, sound, smell, and feel different than normal baking. While baking, prepare for an adventure. J

Here are some of my favorite recipes thus far:

Pie Crust: (I made a half-dozen pies with my first mass recipe with this, and it was delicious)

Chocolate Chip Cookies:

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Cinnamon Rolls:

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Molasses Cookies:

Happy Baking!

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