Another good turn out for our April GIG meeting! Dr. Lisa Shaver returned to lead the April meeting at our Portland Providence Medical Center location in the Health Center classrooms. It was loaded with valuable gluten free knowledge sharing including an information packed presentation by Nosh on This cookbook authors Tim and Lisa Stander Horel (Gluten Free Canteen). After a short break with some Nutella Bites and Chocolate Chip Macaroons courtesy of Kyra's Crave Bake Shop (Thanks Kyra!), the second hour was filled with administrative news and notes from Dr. Shaver and attendees that I will cover in a separate post.
Speaker Presentation Notes
The highlight of the meeting was an excellent presentation from Tim and Lisa Stander Horel, cookbook authors of Nosh on This: Gluten Free Baking from a Jewish American Kitchen. They thought there are ways to improve gluten free baking (it "doesn't have to taste like a cardboard box") and set out to share their baking discoveries in their new book. This great cookbook offers 100 baking recipes with a variety of cakes, cookies, cupcakes, pies, tarts, brownies, pastries, sweets breads and donuts. All recipes are not only gluten free but free from nightshades and other allergens as well.
They shared baking tips and product recommendations for gluten free baking successfully including the following:
- Bake by weight for improved accuracy and repeatability. Using measuring cups can vary weight by 25 pct.
- Fats and liquids are different when baking gluten free.
- Make recipes as written the first time, and then make adjustments as desired on subsequent batches.
- Test your oven temp with an oven thermometer and then adjust accordingly.
- For nut flours, it is recommended to buy blanched flour versus a meal flour (ie Almond Meal). The blanching process removes the nut skin that many people can be allergic to.
- Arrowroot is a great alternative for tapioca starch.
- Danishes and Croissants can be made gluten free contrary to what some people think! There are recipes in the book or on their website.
- Wrap gf baked goods in plastic wrap before freezing.
- GF cakes and cookies use different types of flours so they recommend to vary different type of flour to match your baked goods
- Coconut flour is good as a "helper flour" but not as a main flour.
- A person asked if it was possible to take an existing flour and grind/blend it to make it superfine, and the speakers did not recommend this. They noted this process would heat up the flour and therefore change the taste of the flour.
- Pie and pastry doughs should be chilled prior to rolling.
- Xanthan Gum is not always necessary for a binder in GF baking. For example, GF cookies usually don't need it.
- They suggested buying a kitchen scale which can cost ~ $25. Don't pay more than $40. Brands they recommend are: Oxo, Escali or Salter. Get scale with 5kg max and 2 gram increments for best accuracy.
- They recommend Honeyville Almond Flour (available for purchase at Costco)
- Recommended Authentic Foods Superfine Flours (AF Super Fine Flours on Amazon), They like Superfine because of the nutrient base of 2 parts brown rice, 1 part white rice and 1 part tapioca starch. Flour recommendations
- Webstaurant has good kitchen equipment online.
- If you are looking for a good bread box, a Polder bread box is good for gf storage.
- Need some good nut flours, they recommend to check out Nuts.com. Many items are certified gluten free.