Recently I’ve gotten into gluten-free, vegan baking, mostly of muffins. I know a few people who are celiac, meaning they are allergic to the gluten protein in wheat. I have read a few books about the commercial practices of meat production, and find it unappetizing and cruel to eat animals that have been mistreated. Moreover, the food scientist in me loves the challenge of developing gluten-free (GF) recipes. Most GF baked goodies are full of starch (rice, potato, corn) to replace the wheat flour. This means there isn’t much protein and fibre in the food, which isn’t very nutritional balanced, nor is it functionally helpful in terms of creating a baked good that is aerated, holds together, and isn’t heavy as a door stop. The beauty of gluten is that it creates a cohesive structure that holds in air bubbles that develop from rising agents like baking powder and from gas expansion during baking, so you get a light, fluffy treat to pop in your mouth. Without it, you tend to get something that is heavy, dry, and crumbly, qualities which GF bakedness is notorious for.
Anyway, before I launch into a discourse on the amino acid structure of wheat protein, let’s just say that I want to make GF yummies that aren’t sad ghosts of their gluten-containing counterparts, that both celiacs and non-celiac can enjoy in rosy, Lucullan harmony. I believe we can achieve! Oh yes indeedy.
Besides, wheat is just soooo pedestrian.
If you know me personally, get ready to be force fed all my experiments. Don’t worry, its going to be great. Just hold still…