The mountains are just beautiful. Calming. Relaxing.
Are you relaxed yet? We are!
As you can probably tell, I’m not really completely roughing it, not if I can find a great coffee shop with access to beautiful wifi. Being here in the midst of nature is great though, and it gives you lots of time to think. One thought that has been forming in my mind for a bit is about baking. Specifically, how I need to experiment and do more of gluten free baking.
I always say I am not a baker, but really that is silly. Baking is just like any other skill – one needs experience. And the science of baking is a lot of chemistry – one of the major facets of my profession. I had so much fun making these awesome peanut butter and banana muffins for my guest post on ZOMTBakes, I’ve realized that I really need to become more knowledgeable in the area of gluten free baking.
So, I plan on doing some reading (some chemistry actually, haha), about starches, and how various ingredients/techniques affect the end result. I have a feeling this will require a bit of experimentation too, haha. But when I get back from my lovely vacation, I am going to start a new series on this blog, about my baking adventures. About the various gluten free ingredients, and what does/doesn’t make a successful gluten free creation.
To start, I have basically organized my pantry into categories of gluten free ingredients – what I call starches, flours, and “glues” – I’ve started to figure out a few things about baking through my various successes and failures – for example, I’ve found rice flour is good for some things but not others (like homemade pasta), or bean flours need to be used in limited quantities because their flavor is very strong. I find more and more that the starch:flour ratio is more important than necessarily which type of flour you use, and as a general rule at least 3 different GF ingredients are needed to give anything any type of expected consistency. Here are the ingredients I typically work with, because they are relatively accessible and affordable –
White rice flour
Brown rice flour
Almond meal (homemade)
Walnut meal (homemade)
I would like to develop a mixture of an “all-purpose” GF mix that I could use for a number of various recipes, rather than creating an entire recipe from scratch out of several ingredients each time. This is going to be my next project once I get back.
But until I get back (I hope to find internets again to share with you some of the great food we have made out in the mountains), I leave you with some great scenes of Fall:
What are your favorite flours or GF ingredients to use???