Tips for Gluten-Free Baking

May is Celiac Awareness Month! Celiac Disease is a genetically inherited autoimmune condition that creates a toxic reaction when gluten is consumed. Gluten is found in many kinds of grains and all kinds of wheat. 

Flour is a staple of many American foods: bread, pizza, pasta and a lot of processed foods, which can feel overwhelming if you are trying to eat gluten-free. If you suffer from celiac disease or gluten intolerance, it can be tough to find baked goods and more that you can enjoy. Gluten, which is found in flour, soy, and more, can cause health complications and discomfort.

Whether you have sensitivity to gluten, or you have celiac disease, it's easy to substitute most of your baked goods with a gluten-free mix and still get great results. Here are some tips to keep in mind when you're baking with gluten-free flour.

* Flour is needed for bread to retain its shape. Be sure that when you substitute with gluten-free flour you include xanthan or guar gum, which will help expand the dough. These ingredients are emulsifiers, stabilizers, and thickeners, which replace the reaction between gluten and liquid. * If you're baking with both flour and gluten-free flour, remember to thoroughly clean or separate the utensils used including sifters and spatulas as it could lead to cross-contamination. * Gluten also is a protein so add some protein to your dough mix when you use gluten-free flour. Add eggs or liquid egg whites instead of half a cup of water for a protein boost! * Gluten Free Alternatives: There are many gluten-free alternatives to wheat flour including sorghum flour, black bean flour, corn flour, oat flour, buckwheat flour, brown rice flour and more!

* Online resources: —‹ Check out Bob's Red Mill's gluten-free section for great, gluten-free flours. The All Purpose GF Baking Flour combines garbanzo flour, potato starch, tapioca flour, sorghum flour, and fava flour.

—‹ Great gluten-free blogs to check out: –  Gluten-Free Girl and The Chef –  Gluten Free Mommy

Do you eat gluten-free? What are your tips?