Thursday, December 1, 2011

Allergy Free Baking Disasters

I love posting new recipes that we have discovered in hopes that it helps someone else who is allergy free and hungry.  However, I haven't yet talked about the many baking and cooking failures. 

When we first began our allergy free cooking endeavors, most things did not turn out well.  We had a few recipes that were already allergy-free without any modifications.  So, we stuck to those recipes and had the same things every. single. week.

When we were all so very tired of those recipes, we began to branch out and experiment.  On occasion we would find a great new recipe or find a perfect substitution.  But, it was so time consuming!  I spent hours scouring the internet for ideas and help with possible allergy free substitutes.  We had so many expensive failures!  We always had a backup plan to run to Chick-Fil-A for grilled chicken.  We had to use that plan many times!

Then my hubby bought me this cookbook and this baking book.  Suddenly, I was able to cook a few new meals.  The book clearly outlined the substitutions that were possible for our allergy free life and the recipes were edible!  Actually, they were more than edible; they were good!

I stuck to the recipes in these cookbooks for months.  Then I slowly had the confidence to branch out and modify other recipes and come up with new ones.  The recipes on my site are ones that we have discovered or are recipes that are loosely based on some of our old favorites.  And I do mean "loosely!"

However, I still have expensive baking and cooking disasters.  Bread is like the Holy Grail of GF baking.  It is sooooo sooooo very difficult!

I tried a type of French bread that other week.  It was very dense and very heavy, nothing like the airy, fluffy, crusty French bread.  So much for all that expensive bread flour and xanthan gum!

My next experiment was pumpkin roll.  Tastewise it was good.  Other than that it was a mess!  The pumpkin roll did not "roll," it crumbled, it fell, it tore, and it stuck.  And the frosting for the inside was all smooshed out as I rolled it up.  That was fun to clean up!

I gave up on the pumpkin roll and went for something simpler-pumpkin bread.  It looked and smelled wonderful while baking.  But once I cut into it I discovered that it didn't bake all the way through.  It was dense and mushy and gooey.  I even baked it for almost 45 minutes longer than the recipe said.  Fail!

And those failures were all in one week!  Yes.  At the end of that week I had vowed to never cook again.  And I cried.  That was when Prince Charming stepped in and cooked dinner the next night to get me out of the kitchen; since then I'm back at my cooking and baking.

So, no matter how long you've been cooking the allergy-free way, you will have many failures.  However, each success makes it so very worth it to try new things.

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