The Gluten Bigot: Gluten Free Baking Gone Wrong

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Gluten Free Baking Gone Wrong

Have you ever decided to make a recipe you found online, and had it go horribly horribly wrong? If you follow my blog, you'll know that for anything that I post, I typically make at least one change to the original recipe. The odd time I will follow a recipe to the letter, and today was one of those days. I decided to make gluten free soft pretzels. I did some searching and found a recipe. I just looked at the pictures, which had my mouth watering by the way, and decided to make it and follow orders as I'd never made pretzels before.

The result was so bad. I've made things before that didn't go as expected, and typically I can figure our a way to save whatever I'm making. I hate throwing money away - especially when a recipe calls for 4 tsp of xanthum gum, that stuff is not cheap! I tried, but there was no saving this one. I resolved to try to bake despite the fact the dough would not even stick together a little bit (rolling was a joke, I decided to make pretzel sticks in lieu. 

The results were just terrible. I followed everything and my 'pretzels' look nothing like the photo on the website. I could repeat this insanity and still have my deformed pretzels. They did end up in the bin.

This is not the first or last time this will happen to me. I use online recipes which have not necessarily been tested (I wonder if this one was). If you're reading my blog and you want to make anything I make, I promise I did make it myself and I post photos of everything so you can see what the real result will be.

Some recipes are not beyond hope though. A few weeks ago, I made sweet potato gnocchi and was referring to a recipe for guidance. My gnocchi looked a hot mess, it was much to wet. I ended up just adding significantly more flour to make it into what it needed to be. When I made paleo empanadas I subbed flours on a whim and the results weren't ideal, and I was able to save it by adding more egg into the recipe. In both cases I was really happy with the results. 

However, sometimes like this time, your efforts just won't work out. It happens, and when you're exploring the world of gluten free food you'll hit those road blocks. Just learn a lesson, such as to evaluate the ingredients before making and not just pretty pictures, and keep on trying. I'm not giving up on soft pretzels, and have bookmarked this recipe to try next.

What do you do when a recipe isn't working out? Do you bin it, or see it through? What are your tricks to 'saving' a recipe?

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