Wow, have I opened up a can of worms or what!?!
I spent a lot of time before and during the holidays baking. Good, old-fashioned butter, white flour, and white sugar baking.
The thing is, making, and as a result eating, all of those (not to toot my own horn too much, but) delicious treats was not a realistic daily activity.
All I wanted to do was come up with some healthy alternatives that would allow me to bake on a near-daily basis, and still button my jeans.
Sure there are plenty of “healthy baking recipes” out there, but, a) I like to be creative in the kitchen, and b) I like to use what I have on hand, and what I have on hand is not often what the recipe calls for.
After a few semi-successful (yes, that can also be interpreted as semi-failed) attempts, I admitted defeat. Well, maybe not defeat, but at least ignorance.
Clearly, creating my own twist on a recipe is not as easy as keeping the wet and dry ingredient ratios the same…
I started simple, reading about common ingredient substitutions. Many I already knew, but many (MANY) more were a complete surprise.
Then I moved on to some simple kitchen chemistry.
Now I have been challenged to try gluten free baking.
Sorry wheat, you know I'll always love you, but I think we should spend some time apart..
I started doing some research, and a whole new world appeared to me.
There are so many things I never took into consideration!
Elevation, humidity, protein content, what your pan is made out of….
Sure, tell me any of those things can affect your final product and I can see how that makes sense. I just hadn’t thought about it.
Now I’m looking into gluten free, which could be simple enough (comparatively) on its own, until you add in the other possible variables. Vegan, nut free, soy allergy, lactose intolerance, casein allergy (a protein in dairy that many people who are allergic to gluten are also allergic to), cross-contamination (rolled oats are gluten free, but are usually processed with wheat)….
As Fletch would say…I think we’re gonna need a bigger boat….