GF Substitutions

GF Substitutions Part XII: How to Handle your Flops

September 26, 2010
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This week is all about dealing with that one thing in gluten free cooking / baking that no matter what variety you try, you always have issues with, and how to keep moving towards progress and keep your spirits up. I am sure there is something that just never seems to work out exactly they way you want it to, no matter how many kinds you try or how many times you make it. For me, that thing is cookies. It seems no matter what type of cookie I try to make, there are always issues. Too thin and spreading, hard as a rock, or just plain old morphing into something almost unrecognizable at all. When I try to make cookies, there is always that sense of trepidation and intimidation that comes over me. Yet I haven’t given up on cookies completely, and keep trying! I think knowing how to deal with flops is an important issue – flops don’t necessarily mean you’re a bad cook! I think they can be a bit more frequent during gluten free cooking/baking because oftentimes when we are in the kitchen making gluten free deliciousness, recipes can be a bit experimental – especially if you are trying to make your own recipe or adapt a glutenicious one for the first time.

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Gluten Free Substitutions Part XI: Homemade Pasta

September 19, 2010
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Welcome to the next installment of Gluten Free Substitutions! How are all of your gluten free cooking & baking efforts going? In case you missed last week, I am currently accepting submissions for a roundup of everyone’s gluten free kitchen experiences, the good and the bad! Just remember only a few weeks left to email me (jenncuisine at gmail dot com) your submissions to be featured in the big roundup!

This week I want to talk to you about making pasta. Making pasta from scratch at first sounds like a daunting project, but really it’s not, and the results are more than rewarding. It can be complicated like a stuffed ravioli (because I always choose complicated first), or simplistic, adorned with a basic sauce with rich flavors. Trust me, once you try fresh pasta, you’ll be trying to make time for it every day!

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Gluten Free Substitutions Part X: Pizza Dough and a Call for Submissions!!!

September 11, 2010
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Wow, 10 weeks of Gluten Free Substitutions, how far we have come! From highlighting the naturally gluten free to using simple products or flour mixes, to the nitty gritty of baking from scratch. I certainly have learned a lot from all of you, and have been working on some substitution projects of my own (peanut butter cookies, puff pastry, and a few others!). I have a little announcement – if you ever missed one of the series or want to go back and reread some (or the comments), I now have nice pretty links to all of the pages set up on my new resources page.

This week I want to talk about my thin crust pizza dough. First I made some pizza dough from others’ recipes, to make sure I got a technique of making pizza down. By the second or so try, I think I had some tasty pizza. My current working dough is not a recipe I created from the top of my head. Rather, it is an adaption of an adaption of an adaption of an adaption of a someone else’s very non-pizza GF recipe. Some things, like my pie dough, kinda came a bit more outta thin air when emulating a glutenicious version. Some, however, are merely adapted so many times from something else that it’s no longer recognizable from the original. Now it is something new, reinvented. This pizza dough is just as much an example of substitutions as the pie dough, albeit in its own way.

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Gluten Free Substitutions Part IX: Getting Lucky with Pie Crust

September 6, 2010
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Welcome to the next installment of Gluten Free Substitutions! Wow, I can’t believe we are at part IX already. Since we’ve spent the past few weeks investigating the ins and outs of various gluten free ingredients, let’s look at making some actual gluten free yumminess!

Sometimes, when baking gluten free and coming up with my own gluten free version of something, I just get lucky. Or, at least that’s what I think when something works. The first time I ever made a gluten free pie crust, it was a total success. It held together, didn’t crumble, and tasted and felt like “real” pie crust. I say “real” in quotes because back then I did not have high hopes when I put it in the oven. But it was very real. It just didn’t have any gluten in it. I could hardly believe it myself when it came out, especially because I was so new to gluten free anything at that time. Heck, I was new to cooking anything at that time.

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Gluten Free Substitutions Part VIII: The Flours

August 30, 2010
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Welcome to the next installment of of the gluten free substitutions series here on Jenn Cuisine! We’re currently in the process of investigating various GF baking ingredients, and why they may or may not be useful. Last week I did a post about starches and why they can be important in baking, and previously I had discussed various binding agents to use. So this week we are pressing on to the flours!

Truth be told, at the moment I’m not feeling so awesome about my abilities to discuss gluten free flours with you . I had a bit of a baking flop this weekend. I mean a real flop. I attempted puff pastry. Maybe I was being too ambitious? I don’t think so, after all there is more than one very successful looking gluten free puff pastry recipe out on the web, namely by Jeanne of Four Chickens and Helene of Tartelette. My last gluten free puff pastry attempt unfortunately didn’t puff. Yesterday, neither did this attempt. After talking to the Twitterverse I don’t think it was all from my flour combo, instead I am thinking it is also my lack of decent puff pastry skills. But I did use some less starchy flours, and maybe that also contributed to its downfall.

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GF Substitutions Part VII: All About Starches

August 24, 2010
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Welcome to the next installment of Gluten Free Substitutions here on Jenn Cuisine! We are now really getting into the nitty gritty of gluten free ingredients, last week covering binding agents, and this week moving on to the starches. I think you’ll find this week is a bit easier, less complicated chemistry, hopefully. The binding agents really did need chemistry though, because their main purpose in GF baking is to replace the missing properties of gluten. Starches also can have some binding properties, albeit to a lesser extent. I promise to keep the chemistry a bit less this week…we’ll see how I do!

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