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Making The Yummy Best of Gluten Free Mistakes

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Turn your Gluten Free Mistakes into delicious new creations! 

Life, as they say, sometimes gives you lemons. That can be true with baking too. But did you know that with a little confidence and creativity, you can bake your way to that proverbial lemonade with your gluten free recipes? Indeed!

Many people are afraid to bake gluten free. Heck, many folks are afraid to bake, period! It’s my job to help people achieve baking success with gluten-free products and recipes, but things don’t always turn out as we’d expect. It happens to all of us at some point, and that’s ok.

The best tip I have to avoid the mistakes in the first place is to simply use my gfJules™ Flour or baking mixes. I designed them to make people happy, not frustrated, because they take all the guesswork out of baking — they just work. They eliminate the need to buy lots of different gluten-free flours or other funky ingredients and they save you time and money because everything tastes so good, your whole family will want to enjoy it together (even if they don’t have to eat gluten free!).

My mixes are all designed to make the most beautiful, yummy whatever they’re made for: the muffins have a lovely crown on top with no sinking; the pizza is crunchy on the outside and chewy in the middle; the cookies don’t spread … you get the idea. And my gfJules Flour (as well as my mixes) was voted #1 in the Gluten Free Awards because they’re loved by both new and experienced bakers — people just like you!

But every once in awhile we all have a bad baking day. Forget an ingredient? Oven too hot? Don’t set a timer? It happens! Here are some of my lemons and the lemonade I’ve made with them. I hope these inspire you to venture boldly into the kitchen with renewed excitement, no longer fearful of the outcome! I’d love to hear about some of the ways you’ve made the best of some less than perfect baking outcomes – do share!

Gluten Free Bread Too Dry or Too Hard: I sliced and cubed the loaves, then froze them for croutons, bread crumbs (pulse in blender or food processor), bread pudding, stuffing … (croutons recipe here)

cookbook reading cartoonGluten Free Cookies Too Flat: I crumbled them and sprinkled on top of ice cream and pulverized them in a food processor for delicious cookie pie crust (see a recipe for gluten free cookie crust here) or in the centers of a gluten free ice cream cake! (recipe here)

Gluten Free Graham Crackers Too Soft/Thick: I used the soft graham crackers for s’mores and ice cream sandwiches! (s’mores recipe here)

Gluten Free Graham Crackers Too Crispy/Thin: Pulverize them in a food processor and freeze to make graham cracker pie crusts later! (graham cracker crust recipe here)

Gluten Free Pie Crust Dough Too Dry/Fragile: In my early GF pie crust experimentations, I couldn’t get a pretty top crust with the dough because it fell apart, so I used cookie cutters to cut small pieces of decorative crust and laid them individually on top of the pie, covering the whole top with small, manageable pieces (it was quite beautiful!). Meanwhile, if you’d like to make a gorgeous WHOLE top crust, try my pie crust recipe and tutorial! It makes all the difference!

Making Homemade Ravioli & Realize You’re out of Cheese: We empty out the fridge on ravioli night, now that we learned that the fillings can be deliciously unconventional! Hummus, tapanade, grilled veggies, taco filling, pesto … (ravioli recipe here)

Your Homemade Gluten Free Flour Tortillas are Overcooked: No worries! Cut them with a pizza cutter and toast or broil lightly for crunchy toast points for dips! (tortilla recipe here)

cookbook cartoon misplaced decimalGluten Free Brownies Won’t Set Up: Ever heard of a spoon?! Seriously, there’s little better than eating warm brownies with a spoon, even if you can’t cut them into squares, who cares? Top with ice cream, and that’s a little piece of heaven!

Gluten Free Brownies Too Crunchy: There’s a new craze called Brownie Brittle. It’s basically overcooked, crunchy brownies that people actually MEAN to make! That’s what you were going for … right?? 🙂

Gluten Free Muffins Too Dense and Moist in the Middle/Undercooked: (This can happen especially with wet fruit muffins like peaches or strawberries, especially). If it’s too late to simply bake them longer, cut up the muffins into crumbs and sprinkle on top of cut fruit like berries or peaches, drizzle some melted butter on top, sprinkle some cinnamon and sugar, then bake until set. Voilà! A new spin on fruit cobbler!

Leftover Gluten-Free Beer: I often bake with GF beer but there are always leftovers … so I drink it! See, baking is fun! 😉

27 thoughts on “Making The Yummy Best of Gluten Free Mistakes

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  1. I wonder if there is a way to help gluten-free cupcakes or muffins rise well when filling 3/4 full?! I always get the flat top (I used gluten-free flour mix and flour’s texture looks like cornstarch). I don’t want to fill mine full and then get the burnt edges around the top 🙁

    I found in Finnish supermarkets that the fair-priced G-free flours are flour mix and oat flour. There are some other flour mixes with fancy packaging which are quite expensive, and I haven’t bought them to try yet because I have so many bags of flour at home waiting for me to use them.

    • Hi Quyen, since you are in Finland, I’m not sure which blends you are using, but this article might help you work up a blend that will work better for you. I have perfected my gfJules Muffin Mix so that it crowns beautifully without spilling over and getting crunchy edges, but it’s not something that is easily replicated from a homemade blend of flours. You could try using extra large muffin cups and papers and then filling them higher without spilling over, but they likely still won’t crown — that’s all dependent on the flour you’re using.

  2. Not that there’s anything wrong with just words…but pictures make every one of us out here feel sooooo much better and in good company!! The baking company King Arthur Flour sometimes publishes “best recipe ever” type photos around April Fool’s Day, and the pictures and commentary that people share of their flops are priceless and laugh-out-loud funny. If anyone’s brave enough to share photos and explanations of “what the heck was that supposed to be” … it’d be a hoot!

  3. Great ideas for repurposing gluten-free lemons. When our Oatmeal Raisin cookies ended up soft and crumbly, they were great additions to yogurt or as an ice cream topping.

  4. Making GF cupcakes for the first time today…this attitude may come in handy as I’m lacking a few ingredients but am determined to have cupcakes. I wonder what I can do with them if this goes badly. LOL

  5. Digging these tips — we’ve done the cookies on top of ice cream on a couple of occasions and I especially like the idea of drinking the leftover beer. :)

    Thanks for the ideas!

  6. I never throw away my duds, not only is it expensive – but I hate to feel wasteful period. It’s not the bread’s fault I put 4 cups of flour instead of 2. :p

  7. It is amazing how you take some of your mishaps in the kitchen and turned them into something useable. I must remember some of these tips instead of just disposing of my gluten & dairy free mishaps. Thanks Jules:)

  8. Love your lemon bars and just about anything else lemony, so was hoping for some new lemon-flavored goodies… (sigh) But thanks for the tips anyway!

  9. As to the previous comments, I’m not quite a year into this GF life but what I’ve found for me is this: i am doing better by not relying on pre made foods and mixes, I make everything myself so I can control what I’m eating. Jules’ flour and her cookbooks have been my family’s lifesaver. Don’t give up, ladies and never fear baking. Start out with some easy chocolate chip cookies (you can find Jules’ recipe on her blog) and you will be thrilled with the results and eager to try more recipes and improve your health.

  10. When 1st diagnosed and not baking GF yet, I bought a loaf of bread for my husband who is celiac. I did not really have a choice of brands and it was HORRIBLE ! My husband said throw it in the garbage. I said after paying about $6.00 for that little loaf of bread I was not going to throw it away. I did like you….made bread crumbs out of it and made a meat loaf with it !

  11. Shared on facebook. I baked a gluten-free cake mix for Mother’s Day, but I’m thinking it must have milk solids in it because I’m also lactose intolerant and the cake has really been bothering me. I’ve been avoiding doing a lot of baking from scratch but I might have to start. I keep forgetting to read the labels.

  12. I like your list. I guess my most dramatic save was the one time the Greek pizza crust stuck to the pan. Could not get it out. I had salad greens on hand so I scraped the toppings off and made Greek salad instead. We really liked the hot toppings on the salald. It took a lot of soaking to finally get that crust out of the pan.