September 30, 2009

Baking & Pastry Project Week 13 - Flat Breads

Bread & Pastry Project Week 13 - Flat Breads

One of my favorite tweaks on gluten free baking is to use two sometimes three different types of binders. A binder is what holds your gluten free baked good together, such as xanthan or guar gum, flax seed meal, gelatin, pectin, agar agar or chia seed meal. There are other gums that are not as readily available and tend to cost a bit more, for example gum arabic, kuraya or tragacanth gum.

The idea is that each gum works in a particular way. Therefore, if you have more than one you will have the holding power of both types of gums. Look in your freezer case for your ice cream container. In the list of ingredients you will find things like xanthan gum and methylcellulose or xanthan and guar gum. Ice cream tends to travel a long way from the factory to the eater's house. In that journey the ice cream will be subjected to a variety of temperatures. The gums help the ice cream maintain it's fluffy texture and mouth feel. Otherwise, you would end up with a container of ice cream that has partially melted and refrozen while in transit.

A couple of other things to think about while your thinking about binders: taste and quantity. Each gum, meal or powder has it's own flavor. In small amounts it might not be that noticeable, but when used in larger quantities it can change the flavor of your baked good. For a bread like pita, you will need a lot of binding strength so that the bread holds together when you open the pocket and place your filling inside. If you use any one binder in sufficient quantity to hold it together, you maybe adding a competing flavor to your bread. This is the perfect bread for using more than one binder. Try out my choice of chia seed meal and agar agar powder or xanthan gum and pectin, perhaps another combination.

I hope you enjoy this week's breads. The naan has a warm and nutty flavor from sunflower seed meal and the pita bread is rich and earthy from ivory teff flour.


Thursday, 10/1 - Naan

Saturday, 10/3 - Pita

Shopping List

Brown Rice Flour (Fine or Superfine Grind)
Sweet Rice Flour (also called glutinous rice flour)
Arrowroot Starch
Almond Meal
High Protein Flours, such as: Soybean, White Bean, Black Bean
Whole Grain Flour, such as: Buckwheat, Millet, Sorghum, Quinoa, Teff
Instant Dry Yeast
Binding Agents, such as: Xanthan or Guar Gum, Chia Seed Meal, Agar Agar Powder
Plain Yogurt
Clarified Butter
Sunflower Seed Meal


Flours & Binding Agents: Authentic Foods, Barry Farm, Bob's Red Mill
Instant Dry Yeast: Barry Farm
Agave Syrup: Wild Organics, Native Seeds


Baking Stone

What's Going On?

I was a very lucky woman and received a copy of the Culinary Institute of America's Baking & Pastry book along with their culinary dvd's from my family for my birthday and our anniversary. After watching all the DVDs, I decided to work my way through the CIA's Baking and Pastry book - of course making it gluten free. There were so many skills that I wanted to develop and work on. I hope you will be interested in sharing my journey with me.

Want More?

You can also follow me on Twitter, where I'm glutenagogo.

Other Baking & Pastry Project Posts

Baking & Pastry Project #24 - Lavosh

Baking & Pastry Project #23 - Pizza
Baking & Pastry Project Week 12 -
Baking & Pastry Project #22 - Soft Pretzels
Baking & Pastry Project #21 - Crescia al Formaggio
Baking & Pastry Project Week 11 - Parmesan & Pretzels
Baking & Pastry Project #20 - Craquelin
Baking & Pastry Project #19 - Brioche
Baking & Pastry Project Week 10 - Brioches

Index of Baking & Pastry Project Posts


linda said...

I love your blog and I am so anxious to make some of your recipes. I don't have a scale - what do I do? Do you always use a scale? Do you have a scale you could recommend? Thank you.

Sheltie Girl said...

Hi Linda - I have a small scale by Escali. You can find it at as the Escali Primo Multifunctional Scale. In both white and red it is $24.45 and in other colors it is a little bit more. This is a very nice scale as it does grams, ounces, pds.

I've had mine for about two years. It's held up extremely well and doesn't eat batteries. I've even taken it on the road with me and it travels well too.

My baking results have been better from a consistency point of view since I started this project and switched to weighing my ingredients. Every flour is different in weight and texture, so it's easy to scoop too much (i.e. gf oat flour) or conversely not enough (i.e. starches).

I hope this helps,


Anonymous said...

I'm definitely looking forward to this portion of your project. Naan is one of my favorite breads to make!