What is gluten?
Healthline has a fantastic article tackling this question and states:
'Gluten is a family of storage proteins that are naturally found in certain cereal grains, such as wheat, barley, and rye.
Gluten offers a variety of functional culinary benefits and is responsible for the soft, chewy texture that is characteristic of many gluten-containing, grain-based foods. When heated, gluten proteins form an elastic network that can stretch and trap gas, allowing for optimal leavening or rising and maintenance of moisture in breads, pasta, and other similar products.
Because of these unique physical properties, gluten is also frequently used as an additive to improve texture and promote moisture retention in a variety of processed foods.'
Why is there a demand for gluten free baked products?
The demand for gluten free products has been rapidly growing over recent years, this is evident by the increased visibility of labelling and products available in cafes, restaurants, markets and super markets.
The global gluten-free products market size is estimated at USD 5.6 billion in 2020 and projected to grow at a CAGR of 8.1% to reach USD 8.3 billion by 2025.
In October 2020 PR Newswire published the market data quoted above and explained: 'The global gluten-free products market is driven by the increased diagnosis of celiac disease and other food allergies. Also, health benefits and adoption of special dietary lifestyles and free-from foods from a majority population across the globe is expected to further drive the growth. Relatively high cost of gluten-free products as compared to the conventional gluten-containing products along with the fact that gluten-free products lack an adequate amount of dietary fibers, resulting in constipation and other ailments of the digestive system is expected to restrict the growth of the gluten-free products market in the long run.'
What are the effects of gluten-free flour on baking?
As gluten gives bread and baked goods their elasticity and lightness it is not a surprise that removing it can make baking a little trickier.
Without gluten, cakes can be drier, crumbly and have a shorter shelf life but there are a number of ways you can use to try and counter this.
Gluten free flour is increasingly available and there is a wide range to choose from including rice, soy, chestnut, buckwheat, corn, potato and chickpea flour. When baking with gluten-free flours, unless it is a pre-blended mix, you will need to combine three or more flours to achieve structure, lightness and good flavour.
BBC Foods have published a fantastically helpful article with Tips for Gluten-Free Baking and discuss cakes, breads and Pastry, take a look here.
Where can I buy gluten-free flour?
There are many gluten-free flours to select from and Beyond Celiac has published a very clear breakdown of the options available, take a look here.
Doves Farm flour can be found both online and on the high street, find their Freee by Doves Farm Gluten Free Plain White Flour here.
Shipton Mill have a selection of gluten-free flours available, including Brown Teff Flour and Organic Brown Rice Flour, find out more here.
Dhillons Almond flour can be found from Eton Millers here.
Are there any gluten-free recipes I could try?
We love to share recipes with our readers and welcome you to share your bakes with us using our hashtag #mybakerysolutions
Why not try The Ultimate Gluten Free Bread Recipe (Artisan Style Loaf) from The Loopy Whisk.
If you are looking for a cake to enjoy then we think that this flourless Spanish Orange and Almond Cake from All Recipes sounds absolutely prefect!
You may also enjoy the River Cottage Gluten-Free cookbook.
What gluten-free baked products are available in supermarkets?
There are so many products available that we thought we might take inspiration from our article Are There Alternatives to Sliced Bread? and pick some bakes suitable for a picnic lunch.
Warbertons have a wonderful looking Artisan Tiger Gluten Free 400G available in many super markets including Ocado.
Take a look at these BFree 6 Multigrain Wraps available at Waitrose.
We would love to try these Genius Gluten Free 4 Crumpets available at Tesco.
If you would like to bake gluten-free products for your customers but are not sure if you have the equipment needed please do speak with a member of our team by calling 0800 083 5639 or email us at email@example.com