The Ultimate Guide to Gluten

I already told you everything about the role of yeast in bread making and another thing a lot of you have been messaging me to write about is Gluten.

Now, there are quite a few myths going around about gluten. So say only people with celiac disease, gluten sensitivity, and wheat allergy should avoid gluten whereas some suggest gluten is bad for anyone and everyone.

So in this article, I debunk and myths and tell you all there is to gluten substitutes, gluten in baking, etc.

Is Gluten Really Bad For You?

Believe it or not, gluten isn’t the elephant in the room and should only be avoided if you suffer from celiac disease as it can have major consequences. But if you leave out gluten otherwise, here is what you’d be risking.

Deficiencies: The last thing you would want is to end up with the deficiency of important vitamins and minerals such as iron, calcium, riboflavin, fiber, folate, thiamine, and niacin, right? Believe it or not, that Whole grains, whole wheat bread or those breakfast cereals that you have been skipping are packed with these nutrients.

Heart Attacks: Probably the worst of the problems, with the lack of all the nutrients that gluten contains you are putting your body at serious risk of a heart attack.

Weight gain: Thing gluten-free food is going to give you a beach-ready body? Then you have got it all wrong. Most of the gluten-free food is rich in fat and sugar and contains a lower amount of fiber which, in turn, can lead to weight gain.

But I have celiac disease, how can I replace gluten?

Gluten Alternatives

In general, there are tons of foods that are already gluten-free. For example, you can turn to quinoa, flaxseed, amaranth, buckwheat, millet,  fruit, nuts, milk, eggs, meat, fish, seafood, poultry, and even oats. Yup, just make sure that the oats have not been contaminated with wheat, barley or rye which is very common as oats are often processed in the same factories as these.

If you are looking to replace flour, I would recommend Arrowroot flour, tapioca flour, cornflour, banana flour, coconut flour, chickpea flour, soy flour, almond flour, etc. And yes, they can be added to your cakes and cookies as well as long as you keep in mind these 3 tips.

  1. Add more liquid to the recipe in order to maintain the moisture content.
  2. Give the dough more resting time than you would with regular flour.
  3. Make sure you consume the cookies and cakes quickly and they do not dry up.

Role of Gluten in Baking

In baking, gluten is what holds your cookies and cakes together. By keeping the air in, gluten ensures your cookies and bread have the right amount of chewiness. But how does it do that?

As you knead the dough or mix the batter, the gluten forms a web which is further strengthened when you leave the dough to rest. Furthermore, ingredients such as yeast, salt, milk, etc. can impact the formation of these webs so make sure you stick to the recipes or there is a good chance or cake and cookies might collapse.

If you have more questions about gluten, do write them in the comments section below.

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