Who doesn’t love baking for the holidays? For many families it is a time-honored family tradition. And the good news is that following a gluten-free diet does not prevent you from holiday baking. We’ve gathered some popular gluten free holiday baking delicious recipes that will delight your whole crowd!
We also have some tips to help make your baking efforts a success. If you are new to gluten-free baking you will find that getting the results you want may take some practice. Also don’t be afraid to using some packaged baking mixes. They can help you be successful and create some treats you will be proud of.
Here are some basic tips:
- Review the ingredient of every item used in your recipe. Gluten hides in many ingredients.
- Check out your list of gluten-free flours. They are not all the same and many have specific purposes. We like Bob’s Red Mill™ special 1-to-1 blend of gluten free flours, starches and xanthan gum, making it easy to transform traditional cookies, cakes, brownies, muffins and pancakes into gluten free treats. This flour is designed for quick breads and not recommended for use in yeast recipes.
- Learn to bake by weight. Conversion between regular flour and gluten-free flour mix.
- Smaller items are better. Since gluten-free baked goods tend to crumble easily, making all baked good smaller tends to improve their quality and keep them “sticking together” more.
- Blend different flours together. This will help prevent one flavor or texture from dominating the final product.
- Get sticky help – adding Bob’s Red Mill sweet rice flour will make the flour more sticky.
- Lower baking temperature – gluten-free baked goods tend to brown more easily when reducing the oven temp by 25 degrees.
It’s important to read the entire recipe before you start baking and follow it exactly. I have caught myself being soft with my techniques and measuring – only to end up with a recipe fail. I remind myself over and over the importance of following a recipe. Don’t get me wrong, you can add chocolate chips to your banana bread or sprinkle some coconut on top. It’s the base recipe I’m referring to. If you don’t have the right amount of flour your baked goods could end up too dense or even fall flat. If you don’t add the correct amount of wet ingredients your baked goods could crumble.
There’s a myth that gluten-free flours don’t hold in baked goods on there own and that you always need to add a binding agent. This is NOT TRUE. If you find the right combination of ingredients you won’t always need a binding agent. There are a few exceptions, you will find that cookies high in fat usually still need a little help from binding agents.
In the case of sugar cookies, snowball cookies, Russian tea cakes, and any other cookie that may be higher in fat, you might want to add a binding agent. Xanthan Gum is the most common binding agent you see the most in recipes, but not everyone’s digestive track can tolerate it.
In closing, if a recipe calls for a specific branded flour it is important to use that product. Once you gain experience you will be able to make substitutions. We have gathered several holiday favorite recipes for you to try. A final point is to be patient. Baking gluten-free recipes can take practice, but it can also be the start of your new holiday traditions.