When I asked my eleven-year-old daughter what others should know about gluten-free cooking, she said, “Don’t forget the xanthan gum!” She knows that we have had several failures when we have tried to bake bread, muffins, or cookies without xanthan gum. These baked items simply won’t hold together without it. We tend to forget the xanthan gum most often when we are trying to convert a wheat-flour recipe to a gluten-free recipe.
One of the first disappointments I experienced with gluten-free cooking was the change in the texture and look of baked bread and rolls. Gluten-free bread and rolls are denser, misshapen, and a bit grainy. Before I got celiac disease, my baking included white bread and rolls that were light and fluffy. Once you get accustomed to the idea that it will never be the same, you can be happy with baking anything that is similar in taste to wheat-based items.
When it comes to baking gluten-free bread, I didn’t have any success without the use of smaller bread pans. If you use regular-sized bread pans, you might as well bring in a brick and place it on the table, because the bread will be very similar! :)