Allergen-Free Baking – Alternatives You Need
Mandy Lau, HK BioTek Nutritionist
Quite a lot of bakers have to go for allergen-free baking because of their own allergy issues. They might feel hard at the beginning. Stopping the use of traditional baking ingredients like wheat, dairy, egg, what else should be used? Let’s start with the five basic elements of baking.
ONE. Gluten-Free Flour
Flour is the main body of many baked goods, especially bread. Gluten forms the structure of the dough, where yeast can ferment under this structure to give an expansion, forming a soft and elastic product. If you are allergic to wheat, choose other gluten-free flours. Since each flour has its own water absorption capacity and has different properties, they cannot be a one-to-one alternative as wheat flour. Some recipes even suggest mixing a few flours for a better result. It is recommended taking more reference before baking.
TWO. Cow Milk Substitutes
Cow milk is a commonly used liquid in baking. In addition to flavor, cow milk can retain water to keep the baking goods soft. As there are numerous alternatives for cow milk, so replacing cow milk should not be a difficult task.
THREE. Oil and fat
Butter is a commonly used in baking, it can enhance the plasticity of the dough, making the product fluffy and soft. Be aware that because the baking temperature is as high as 150-220 degrees, you need to use oil with high smoke point and oxidative stability.
FOUR. Adhesive and Thickening Agents
Another challenge in free-from baking is to abandon the use of chicken eggs. Eggs have multiple roles in baking, and different recipes have different roles. Therefore there is no specific alternative to chicken eggs to all recipes. You need to understand the role of eggs in each recipe in order to find the most suitable alternative. In general, eggs have three main roles:
Adhesive agent to bind dry ingredients;
Provides moisture and act as wet ingredients.
FIVE. Source of Sweetness
White sugar used in baking products, has a Glycemic Index (GI) as high as 65. It has to undergo multiple complicated refining processes, not only the loss of minerals from raw ingredient cane, but also the use of a lot of purifiers, such as sulfur dioxide, slake lime, carbon dioxide and so on. So it is absolutely the “poison" to our health. Remember even when using unrefined sugar, we should pay attention to the excessive sugar consumption!