Apr 20th, 2017
R seems to have developed a bit of a wheat allergy. I never knew you could “develop” allergies, I thought you were born with them – but R seems to have managed it. I wish he could have been allergic to something a bit more convenient, because avoiding wheat is a right pain in the arse.
Anyway, it is what it is, so I bought some gluten free flour and had a go at bread first. Hmmm….. For a start off it was a pain to make, it had egg whites in it, and what seemed like loads of oil. Then it took what seemed like forever to rise – and even then it didn’t rise that far. After two hours proving and an hour in the oven – it looked like this.
Not a total disaster, but it had an odd “cakey” consistency and not much taste or smell to it. It also seemed to harden very quickly and by the next morning was inedible except for toast.
Then today, I had a go at pastry. The recipes I found seemed to indicate that it was made just like ordinary pastry but with the gluten free flour (which actually has a similar appearance and consistency to cornflour). I also added half a tsp of xanthan gum (indicated in some of the recipes as a texture improver). This did not go well – making it with the amount of water I would have used for wheat flour – it was so very short it would hardly roll out. I persevered and got it in the tin, baked it blind and then tried to trim the overflow round the tin. It was as hard as a brick. The intention was to make a Bakewell tart, so I carried on and added the jam and frangipane. It looked ok when it came out of the oven.
I will say – it did not have a soggy bottom – far from it. In fact it had the pastry equivalent of buns of steel – but was so tough and hard it was scarcely eatable.
So back to the drawing board on that one – I think next time I will add more water and perhaps an egg to the pastry, and some linseeds to the bread.