My name is Ashley McLaughlin and this is my blog, Edible Perspective. To learn more about my journey head on over to my about + FAQ pages. I'm thrilled that you stopped by. Enjoy!

 

 


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Baked Doughnuts For Everyone: From Sweet to Savory to Everything in Between, 101 Delicious Recipes, All Gluten-Free

 

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Monday
Dec122011

at it again

You know how sometimes I go on baking sprees?  Like with my zucchini breads 1, 2, 3, 4 + 5?  Testing out different versions of a recipe to get them juuuust right?  I did this before going gluten free, but now that I’m GF, it happens even more.

I’ve been missing cookies like crazy lately, and what better month to start baking cookies then December?

Last year, I was on a mission to perfect mandel bread, a Jewish cookie similar to biscotti.  Traditionally, it’s made with sugar, white flour, eggs, oil, baking powder, vanilla + walnuts.  It’s a very simple recipe, but for some reason it was giving me issues.  I blame the altitude! 

I made a few changes to compensate for the altitude + also came away with a vegan version as well.

(1 of 7)

Well today, I was back at it again.  I’ve missed this crunchy cookie for the past year!  I am determined to perfect a gluten free version. 

Today, I made a list of 4 different versions to try.  First, I cut the recipe down to only 1/3.  It calls for 3 eggs, 3c of flour and other easy measurements to change.  Why have 4 full-sized batches around, when I don’t know how they’ll turn out?  I threw together 4 trials in about 20min or less and was on my way.

 (2 of 7)

Here are the flour combinations I tried:

  1. 1/2c + 2T GF oat flour + 1/4c rice flour + 1/4c almond meal
  2. 1/c + 2T GF oat flour + 1/2c rice flour + 3T tapioca starch
  3. 1/2c + 2T GF oat flour + 1/2c sorghum flour + 1T tapioca starch
  4. 1/2c + 2T sorghum flour + 1/2c almond meal + 2T tapioca starch

*tapioca starch = tapioca flour – A common starch used in baked goods, which acts as a thickening agent.  You’ll commonly see this called for in pies.  It blends really well, unlike some other starches, which can ball up + become gelatinous.  Different starches are good for different types of recipes.  I’ve read this is a great addition to GF cookies because it helps give them a chewy texture.  I wasn’t looking for a chewy texture with these cookies, as they are crunchy, but it’s good to know tapioca starch can help.

Before baking, I numbered the different batters in pencil, on the parchment paper.  The worst thing about baking multiple batches at once is getting them mixed up!

(3 of 7)

Just like with biscotti, these get double baked. 

(4 of 7)

They all held together perfectly!  This is a slightly crumbly cookie to begin with, and then trying to make it gluten free, could have caused disasters.  Since there is no gluten in GF flours, baked goods don’t hold together nearly as well and their textures are noticeably different than baked goods using white, wheat + spelt flour.

Gluten helps bind ingredients together + creates an elastic, doughy texture, typically difficult to mimic with gluten free flours.  Often times, you’ll see gluten free baked goods with extra eggs, added starch, or xanthan gum.  These are ingredients that help bind everything together and give them better texture.

(5 of 7)

This was my first time baking with sorghum flour + tapioca starch.  [I’ve uses tapioca starch, but only in pies.]  Sorghum flour has 120 calories, 3g fiber + 4g protein, per 1/4c serving.  It’s described as a sweet flour, which can commonly be found as an ingredient in cereals.

(6 of 7)

  1. 1/2c + 2T GF oat flour + 1/4c rice flour + 1/4c almond meal
    • The combination of flours provided great flavor.  The cookie is traditionally light in flavor, which is what made me think to use oat flour.  The rice flour doesn’t have much flavor impact, and I thought the almond meal would help to richen it up a bit.  The rice flour was definitely detectable in texture.  It was a bit too grainy for my liking, even though it was a very finely ground.
  2. 1/c + 2T GF oat flour + 1/2c rice flour + 3T tapioca starch
    • This recipe used the most starch, and you could definitely tell in the end result.  It was the lightest cookie in texture.  Not quite as hearty as the original.  It was also slightly bland from the starch and not including any almond meal, like trial 1.
  3. 1/2c + 2T GF oat flour + 1/2c sorghum flour + 1T tapioca starch
    1. The flavor of this was almost spot on, but the sorghum flour actually made this batch too sweet.  Also, the sorghum flour made the cookie have a slightly mealy texture, similar to the rice flour.
  4. 1/2c + 2T sorghum flour + 1/2c almond meal + 2T tapioca starch
    1. This was by far the best texture, which I attribute to the 1/2c of almond meal.  The sorghum flour was still detectable in texture however and the flavor needed to be a bit more mellow.

(7 of 7)

Findings:

  • Sorghum flour adds a mealy texture when too much is used.
  • Sorghum flour can also make things too sweet and give a slightly malty flavor.
  • Be careful with almond meal, as it is more heat sensitive and can burn.
  • Too much tapioca starch will cause these to be airy + light.
  • Brown rice flour has a noticeably grainy texture.
  • Amount of eggs, oil + sugar will remain the same. 

Now what?

  • First, I will use sweet rice flour, instead of brown rice flour in baked goods.  I use the sweet rice flour in all of my doughnut recipes, and the graininess is never detectable.  I bought a bag of brown rice flour because it was much cheaper, but the sweet rice is far superior.
  • The amounts of sorghum and/or rice flour used, need to be lessoned.
  • No more than 2T tapioca starch will be used. [or 6T in the full recipe]

Three more trials coming at you later this week.  While all four of these recipes worked, I think I can get it a little closer to the real thing.

We shall see!  Ohhh, how I love kitchen experiments!

Ashley

Reader Comments (40)

How did you know I was looking for a biscotti recipe? But these look even better!

Best of luck on your trials. I feel for you! ;) You'll find it. You are Ashley, after all.

December 12, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterKelly @ Foodie Fiasco

OH. I'm a fan.

December 12, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterKatelyn @ Chef Katelyn

Ohhh this is cool! I was just wondering the other day just WHAT sorghum flour is, and have been quite curious about it. This is pretty informative and I can't wait to see your BEST results! These look delicious~if you wanna send your less than perfect goods somewhere, I'm available. :P

December 13, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterEllie@fitforthesoul

i love kitchen experiments too.... now why haven't i thought about labelling the baking parchment before. Genious!

December 13, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterjo@includingcake

I can't wait to see what you come up with! I've never had mandel bread before, but I love biscotti so I'm sure I'll love these too. I'm not on a gluten free diet, but I like playing with different kinds of flours. It's great to hear about how different flours affect the final product. Thanks for sharing your experimentation process with us!

December 13, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterKerry

Yum -- experimenting in the kitchen is always so fun. I had never heard of mandel bread, but what got me cooking in the kitchen was a biscotti-making spree -- it's what sort of started my passion for cooking. I need to make some more! Or try Mandel -- it looks so delicious!

December 13, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterlauren@spicedplate

Hahaha I love your method of perfecting recipes! Can't wait to see the final version and try it out myself! Oat, sorghum and tapioca starch are three baking essentials for me, they're always on hand. I just made a gingerbread cookie recipe using just oat flour and it was fantastic!

I love the comparisons and all the tweaks and versions you have tried of this...nothing like a few pieces of biscotti to taste test and have layin' around the house :)

I love tasty experiments! They look beautiful. I have to say that I love playing with GF flours. I guess that's because I love baking and I know it can be frustrating for some. Enjoy your experiments! They sound delicious!

December 13, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterSarena (The Non-Dairy Queen)

you are so good at testing this stuff...even if mine turned out crumbly yet delicious i'd call it a win!

December 13, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterHeather (Heather's Dish)

I'll say that your iterations looked like the real deal even though you're not satisfied yet. Keep up the good work.

December 13, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJeff

I made a biscotti recipe last year and think I may need to get at it again - maybe chocolate this time?

December 13, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterGabby @ Gabby's Gluten Free

I love your kitchen experiments! I've been intending to make biscotti here for awhile now but I keep forgetting to get on it!

December 13, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterLeanne @ Healthful Pursuit

Talk about a fun science experiment. So biscottis used to be my all time favorite dessert from this one cafe on campus. I got one nearly every night after dinner to have, usually cranberry and white chocolate. They were so so buttery and delicious. When I had to stop eating gluten (and subsequently had moved off campus), those biscottis have not made an appearance in my life. I'm looking forward to seeing a final GF recipe from these trials that I could give a try!

December 13, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterkatie @KatieDid

Love the experiment! Can't wait to see them all :)

December 13, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterLauren @ What Lauren Likes

I love the patience you have for kitchen experiments. I tend to give up after a couple tries! Haha. I need to be more like you!

December 13, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterCait's Plate

There's a gluten-free bakery in my area that makes a delicious mandel bread. I ALWAYS make sure to get a sample at the farmer's market. They use a mixture of millet flour, almond flour, and sorghum flour if that helps at all!

Thank you, thank you, thank you for this!! I have such a hard time making crispy biscotti and was just thinking about trying some today!

December 13, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMary @ Bites and Bliss

I made biscotti last week, and it was so good that I vowed to make 100 different versions. I am so glad you posted this! Also...I have the same bowls I think. Crate and Barrel?

December 13, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterKatie

Personally, I love when you go on baking sprees. It brings out your blogger best and we all benefit :)

December 13, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterRebecca

I love your patience and determination. And your perfected recipes! It just so happens that I've had a bag of sorghum flour in my freezer for a few months now and I had no idea what to do with it (not sure why I bought it other than I knew it was gluten free). Keep with it, Ashley!

this is AMAZING! you worked so hard! I'm making some ASAP and I will take photos and send you my post with kudos to your for your hard work! thanks! stay tuned :) - Jasper

December 13, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJasper Naomi

I am very interested in your gluten free cookie experiments. A friend of mine's 2 year old son has just been diagnosed with a wheat allergy. She is not a baker and is overwhelmed by it all. Hoping to help her out...all your tips on the different gluten free flours is very helpful. Love the coloured bowls!

I made your 3 minute oatmeal cookie this morning, OMG. SO good! Although I dont really like eating egg whites. Any substitute ideas?
Are you on facebook or twitter?

December 13, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJessica

I miss mandel bread. My favorite is ones with chunks of almond or almond slices in them. Or the old classic, covered in cinnamon sugar!

December 13, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterCasey @ Insatiably Healthy

I still dream about your delicious Mandel bread that you sent us. So flipping good.

December 13, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMama Pea

Is that a hint? ;)

December 14, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAshley

I've never had or seen cinnamon sugar mandel bread! Yum! We only ever had walnuts, and maybe a chocolate walnut version.

December 14, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAshley

Yes!! C+B!! For life! ;)

December 14, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAshley

Awesome! That sounds like a great combo!

December 14, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAshley

These are really easy to make, too! Hope to have the recipe soon!

December 14, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAshley

I need a chocolate version for sure!

December 14, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAshley

Thanks daddio!

December 14, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAshley

I've never actually made gingerbread cookies. We always made molasses cookies instead! :)

December 14, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAshley

You will love these!

December 14, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAshley

You're welcome! I love the process. :)

December 14, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAshley

My phone photos are surprisingly better in my kitchen when it's dark out. This sounds delicious. Looking forward to the next photography post...I've learned tons from you already!

December 15, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterCassie @ bake your day

[...] may notice these look much lighter in color than the batches earlier in the week.  With the first trials, I was using sucanat sugar [evaporated sugar cane juice].  I ran out and it’s much more [...]

I like how you share the development side of making your recipes. Many people don't do this and it's refreshing.

December 18, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMeagan

Thanks Meagan!! That means a lot!! I do enjoy the development side...might have something to do with my architecture background and going through iteration after iteration of design ideas! :)

December 19, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAshley

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