Gluten-free baking recipes
I have mixed feelings about gluten free baking recipes. I totally accept that many people have problems tolerating gluten in their diet, some to such an extent they have full blown Coeliac disease. About fifteen years ago I was on a gluten free diet for over three years.
Do I feel it did me good?
Certainly it made me much more aware of what I was eating. As I experiment more and more with three hundred year old recipes ( making the kind of cakes that would have been eaten at an afternoon tea party in the 18th century) I do examine the ingredients more carefully as to how they behave when cooking.
A balanced view point
The best information I have read is an excellent article, Against the Grain by Michael Specter in New Yorker Magazine In this he examines the anti-gluten phenomenon from every perspective and it makes sobering reading. It is about 10 to 12 pages long but very sensible and thought-provoking.
Is Gluten a convenient baddy?
I do feel gluten (and wheat) is erroneously blamed for a lot of ills when a lot of problems might be generated by the way food is manufactured and processed today. I also think people become very fearful of gluten, terrified to eat it in error when, unless you have Coeliac disease, it really won’t hurt you. My general rule is to use the best and most pure ingredients I can afford such as organic flour, sea salt rather than table salt, butter not margarine.
Having said all that I have created some gluten-free recipes. Generally speaking, the higher the flour content in a standard recipe, the less well it is going to come out if just replacing wheat flour with a gluten-free version. I would also focus on recipes that don’t use flour at all.