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Saturday, January 5, 2013

SPLENDID GLUTEN-FREE BAKE MIX 2 (without xanthan gum and using gelatin)


UPDATE:  Gelatin is a wonderful alternative to xanthan gum to prevent crumbly outcomes in baking - it helps all the components of the bake mix to work together nicely and cohesively.  It's healthy as can be, however, I started leaving out both xanthan gum and gelatin recently, but had issues with a couple of recent recipes being a bit crumbly.  To be honest, the xanthan gum worked so well (but hubby banned it in the house as it causes tummy issues for him!) and the gelatin worked well most times, but sometimes I found the baked goods to be too dense, plus I figured the math was confusing some people.  So recently, I've started using GELATIN again, but now I'm making it simpler and using much less with pretty good results so far.  I use a GLUTEN-FREE gelatin (click to see).

 NEW RULES FOR ADDING GELATIN TO THE BAKE MIX (UPDATED July 14, 2014):  (See full instructions below with recipe) Add to the wet ingredients as per usual, however, now to figure out how much to use:  Less than and equal to 1 cup bake mix, use 1/2 tsp (2 mL) gelatin.  More than 1 cup bake mix, use 1 tsp (5 mL) gelatin. 2 cups bake mix and more, use 1 1/2 tsp (7 mL) gelatin.  That's it.  It's very little gelatin and should not contribute to a denser texture for the baked goodies.  Hope some of you out there will experiment with this.  I think it is much simpler, and I'm liking the idea, but it's early days yet!   I think I was too quick to quit using the gelatin altogether.  I mean the bake mix without xanthan gum and without gelatin will work in many recipes, but not all, and it's the few failures that have made me rethink that strategy.  Of course, my tried and true recipes without either are fine to use, but you take a chance on your own.  Xanthan gum and gelatin are not usually required for pie crusts (other than my single pie crust which mimics a pastry crust) and won't be required for crumb toppings, etc.  Just use common sense where needed.  ALSO PLEASE NOTE: add an extra egg with all recipes, except cookies!  Withhold at least 1/4 cup of the wet ingredients/liquid, just in case it is not needed.  If you make a mistake and the batter is too wet, add more dry ingredients, a little at a time, and visa versa, if the batter is too stiff, add more of the wet ingredients.  Most of my recipes are very simple and the recipes are very forgiving in that way.  

VERY IMPORTANT LATEST FINDINGS:  If a baked good contains only butter for the wet ingredients (as in for brownies or blondies or cookies), gelatin will not work (crumbly mess!) well unless you follow the new rules. The way around that is to add an extra egg (and first combine the eggs and gelatin well in your food processor or mixer to dissolve the gelatin - then add your butter, etc.) or you can use the original Gluten-Free Bake Mix.  I'm happy with the amount of gelatin used above, but I'm now fast coming to the conclusion that it would be better just as with my original bake mix with xanthan gum to add an extra egg with all recipes, except cookies!  I've updated the instructions below in the recipe.

Some of the health Benefits of Gelatin

Health Benefits of Oat Flour

The virtues of my bake mix - READ ABOUT IT HERE

Update on more experimenting with this bake mix using gelatin.  CLICK HERE.
And more experimenting:  CLICK HERE.

NOTE:  I have received a few questions via email.  The biggest concern it seems is that many people are using the original Splendid Gluten-Free Bake Mix with xanthan gum and they love it but wonder how to use it when I'm using gelatin in recipes.  Here is how (for recipes earlier than July 1st, 2014, otherwise do not add an extra egg - I've already changed how I do things.  I have discovered that the two gluten-free bake mixes are fully interchangeable.  That's convenient.):  Skip the gelatin in the recipe.  Add another egg and you may occasionally need another egg and perhaps more liquid to get the right batter consistency for say, muffin batter.  Do not add any more eggs for the cookie recipes - copy the recipe exactly - as I don't use gelatin or xanthan gum in the new cookie recipes (that may change!  I've discovered the gelatin is actually quite nice in cookies and keeps them more stable and less crumbly). Baking experience is always handy so that you know what a muffin batter should be like (not too sloppy) and a cake batter (more liquid than a muffin batter usually).  Cookies - no problem - as you will just simply copy the recipe using the old bake mix.  NOTE:  Nowadays, in newer recipes (from July 1st, 2014 onwards), I would already have added another egg, so to be on the safe side, add your extra egg at the end of mixing...really, it won't make a difference, as we're not baking with regular flour /gluten here.

A word about GELATIN (click for Netrition NOW brand, which is what I use):  I have not verified this personally, however, it is possible that if you get a cakey result as one person did instead of a denser product (which is what I like BUT try the other gelatin if you prefer a lighter texture) that it is your gelatin.  Gelatin that you buy in the store is likely to do that, however, I've given the link of the gelatin that I buy in bulk (cheaper that way), that provides great results for me.  In fact, baked goodies using gelatin should be left out of the refrigerator 1 to 2 hours before serving because the texture changes in the refrigerator, becoming too dense, even with the other bake mix using xanthan gum.  Nowadays I use much less gelatin as detailed above.

PLEASE NOTE:  Below are simply alternate suggestions.  I have not tested the bake mix with those alternatives, so it will be an experiment for you.  Take one of my easier muffin recipes and use that as your "test recipe" to get a baseline of how your preferred alternate product works.

WHAT CAN BE USED INSTEAD OF OAT FLOUR?  Sorghum flour or whole wheat pastry flour (similar carbs to oat flour), rice flour (higher carb, but gluten-free) or lupin flour (low-carb and makes baked goods quite yellow sometimes, but seems to work for a number of recipes, like bread recipes and some cookies.  Some people develop quite an allergy to lupin flour.).  If you don't have Celiac, you can use any oat flour, not just Bob's Red Mill certified gluten-free oat flour.  Einkorn flour (an ancient, healthier wheat) could also suffice. I have no idea if millet flour would work or rice flour. Some people want to know why I would use oat flour in the bake mix, as many are afraid of grains these days.  I like my baking to taste more like what we were used to... more normal and less "low-carb" if you know what I mean.  I think sometimes almond flour and coconut flour baking can leave something to be desired.   I like the profile of oat flour (in any case it makes up a small portion of the bake mix) to lower cholesterol.  If slightly more carbs are not an issue, then Einkorn flour, an ancient wheat, that Dr. Wheat Belly (William Davis) himself uses could be a tasty consideration.  

If you are not needing to be gluten-free, but you are needing to be off all grains...try Carbalose flour....find it at at the right hand side of my blog.  You could possibly use it in place of the oat flour.  Worth a try!

WHAT CAN BE USED INSTEAD OF ALMOND FLOUR?  Hazelnut flour or Walnut flour mixed with hazelnut flour.  Some have tried Chestnut flour.  If you cannot have nuts at all, email me for a wonderful Nut-Free Bake Mix (however, it uses gluten).  You will find my email in my profile...just scroll right down on the right hand side margin of my blog. :)  I actually should share it on my blog and will do that one of these days!

WHAT CAN BE USED INSTEAD OF COCONUT FLOUR?  Golden flaxseed meal.  I'm not sure the baking will taste as good, but I'm not a fan of flax, however, it is an alternative.  Another alternative could be oat fiber and that would probably taste wonderful.  It is not certified gluten-free, and to my knowledge there is none could be contaminated with wheat, so not suitable for people with Celiac disease.

I usually try and freeze goodies to keep us from eating too much.  At any rate, not a whole lot to share lately, but I found this pic of my beloved bake mix.  I don't know what I would do without it; just so useful for so many baking applications.  Remember everyone is different.  You may be able to use this bake mix for some things like English Muffins or hamburger buns and an occasional dessert, and still lose weight, and some may find they can't have it until maintenance.  It is not Induction friendly, however, if you are simply having 20 to 50 grams of carbs a day, this bake mix can make your WOE way more exciting and livable for the long term. Besides you now have a way to use some of your own favorite recipes (not just ones that I pick), substitute the bake mix for the white flour (follow instructions) and usually get great results.  This bake mix typically needs eggs, but I've been surprised by others using this bake mix in some recipes where apparently it wasn't necessary.  It's just more predictable if you have eggs in the recipe.  For instance, a loaf or bread without eggs is not going to work with this bake mix.  Judy Barnes Baker made some beautiful yogurt biscuits that used this bake mix and no eggs!  You can visit her blog, Carb Wars, or find the recipe in Low-Carbing Among Friends, Volume 4.

I usually keep my bake mix in the container shown above.  We have a hot and humid climate and we don't use air conditioning other than in the one bedroom.  It normally is fine at room temperature in the airtight container for at least a month .  If I need to store it for longer, I freeze it and typically use that for "breading" veggies and fish, etc., as usually I don't have a lot to freeze.  However, after thawing completely and shaking it in your container to mix well, it should be good to go for baking.  I have also used it straight out of the freezer - somehow with the other ingredients in the bake mix, it typically doesn't form clumps, which almond flour on its own has a tendency to do when frozen (just use your food processor (use the pulse button) to process briefly to get rid of clumps).

Why the small amount of oat flour over time should help lower cholesterol:  READ ABOUT IT HERE

The virtues of my bake mix - READ ABOUT IT HERE

Quote from a fan on our Facebook page and a nurse by profession: "I am a 20g or less low carber. Live in ketosis. I use Jen's bake mix often and never have any problems, never go over on my carbs, never knocks me out of ketosis. And it has opened up a whole world of amazing dishes, from low carb breads/rolls, even to veggie dishes (ie yellow squash casserole). Look at her carb counts per serving, very low...

When people go low carb, they give up a lot, (of course they gain so much more) are right in that the bake mix gives baked goods a feel, taste, and texture that is closer to mainstream baked goods, and does it with VERY little carbs. Nut flours are nice, but a bit heavy, and excess nuts are also not a good idea. Coconut flour is really nice and light, but you gotta use a million eggs! Lol!!! So this very low carb bake mix can help win a lot of folks over to low carbing and a healthier way of life by giving them something that seems close to what they are used to. Ok. Climbing off my soap box now! Lol!

For those that don't have a particular intolerance to oat, it is a very small amount and would still allow a person to stay low carb. She uses the gluten free oat flour. I don't particularly eat the oat for the cholesterol benefits, because low carbing in general will provide all the help with cholesterol you will need. I think most people in the grain free world view wheat as the real culprit. I am completely wheat and gluten free by choice. (I have no food allergies or intolerances.) Yet after carefully reviewing Jen's recipes and carb counts using the bake mixes, I gave it a try. I love the bake mix! And as I said, I keep at 20g or below and stay in continual ketosis. Can't get much more low carb than that. So as long as a person doesn't have a specific intolerance to oats, I encourage all to try!"


  This bake mix uses gelatin and I’ve greatly simplified how to use it with gelatin.  Gelatin  helps bind the wet ingredients and also the dry “flour” components of the bake mix to prevent crumbly outcomes, which is what the xanthan gum also accomplished in my first Gluten-Free Bake Mix.
 It was brought to my attention that many people do not tolerate xanthan gum well, or they balk at the price, or they just plain old don’t trust it.

12/3  cups almond meal, OR (400 mL; 182 g)
  almond flour (I use almond meal – yield is  
  greater with almond flour by up to 1/2 cup (125 mL) more, so then carbs would be 4.8 g) 
3/4  cup certified GF oat flour*, (175 ml; 100 g)
  (Bob’s Red Mill®, not Legacy Valley®)
2 tbsp coconut flour, (30 mL)
  (Bob’s Red Mill®)

In large bowl, combine almond meal, OR almond flour, oat flour and coconut flour. In container with airtight lid, place bake mix and shake the container well to combine.  When measuring oat flour (not necessary with the other ingredients) into measuring cup, make sure to tap the cup on the counter top and fill to the top to get the correct yield for the bake mix.  Keep bake mix at room temperature for up to one month or freeze for much longer storage.

Yield:   21/2 cups (625 mL)
1/4 cup (60 mL) per serving
125.0 calories
4.5 g protein
8.9 g fat
5.7 g net carbs

Instructions for substituting the bake mix in your own flour-containing recipes:  Instructions:  Add 1/4 cup (60 mL) additional bake mix when substituting for 1 cup (250 mL) or more than 1 cup (250 mL) flour in recipes and use 2 tbsp (30 mL) more if substituting for less than 1 cup (250 mL).  Always begin by adding an extra egg in muffins, loaves, cakes and coffee cakes, except for cookies or scones and except if bake mix required is less than or equal to 1 cup (250 mL).  Withhold a quarter of the liquid/wet/fat ingredients; add in as needed (usually need it all). If batter after processing at least a minute is still too thick, add more of the liquid ingredients and if accidentally the batter ends up too sloppy, then add a little more bake mix. If all the liquid has been used and the batter is still too stiff, add another egg and another if necessary. Baking experience is helpful. 

Adding Unflavored Gelatin:  Less than and equal to 1 cup (250 mL) bake mix, use 1/2 tsp (2 mL) gelatin. More than 1 cup (250 mL) bake mix, use 1 tsp (5 mL) gelatin. 2 cups bake mix and more, use 1 1/2 tsp (7 mL) gelatin.  The gelatin is added to the wet ingredients.

Helpful Hints:  Great in muffins, loaves (with eggs!), cookies, squares or bars, coffee cakes, many cakes, pie crusts and a few other specialized applications, but will not be suitable for all applications, nor for most yeast applications unless used in conjunction with other flours. 

Cakes and Cupcakes:  They tend to be more dense than normal. Use half to three quarters less butter in cake recipes – rather add more liquid, if necessary, and do add an extra egg.  

Cookies:  In the case of cookies, if I have not used gelatin in the recipe, then it’s fine to leave it out, however, I’ve discovered using the gelatin actually helps with some recipes that would otherwise have produced more fragile cookies, that have a tendency to crumble. Keep the number of eggs called for in the cookie recipe the same and follow the instructions for replacing flour with the bake mix. Cookies will usually be more fragile straight out of the oven.  Leave them to cool completely on the cookie sheet, and if you have a chest freezer, place the whole cookie sheet in the freezer, or use a thin, metal spatula to transfer cooled cookies to dinner plates and place in the freezer.  Once frozen, place cookies in a sealed container between sheets of parchment or wax paper and put it back in the freezer or refrigerator. 

Helpful Hints:  I buy the NOW® Brand gelatin (gluten-free) in a 1 lb (0.45 kg) bag from When substituting this Gluten-Free bake mix for some of my older bake mixes, treat most of them as if you were replacing white flour; follow my instructions above. **I realize there are slight differences between using almond meal or almond flour in the bake mixes.  Using almond flour will increase the ratio of almond flour to the other ingredients (because the yield is greater), which makes for a slightly less robust bake mix.  If using almond flour, you can experiment by adding 1 to 2 tbsp (15-30) extra oat flour or 1 tbsp (15 mL) extra coconut flour to the bake mix for your own general purposes (just a suggestion, no guarantees!).  Many of my recipes have been tested with almond flour, but a lot have also been tested with almond meal.  I have found them interchangeable with slight differences in texture and color.  In some instances almond meal is superior (I was not able to make my soft tortillas work with almond needed the Gluten-Free Bake Mix 1 (with xanthan gum) and I needed to use homemade almond meal (has more fat in it). 

If you are using the gelatin application for my recipes that use the original Gluten-Free Bake Mix with xanthan gum, don’t change anything in the recipes other than withholding 1/4 cup (60 mL) of the wet ingredients and adding it in as necessary.  I think most times it will be a straight exchange!  How easy is that?

The only drawback with using gelatin or xanthan gum for that matter is that refrigerated baked goods become denser in texture – often too dense.  It is best to place the baked goods such as cakes outside the refrigerator for two hours prior to serving.  If you are in a hurry to eat it, briefly nuking the baked good (if possible), depending on what it is, works.  It is convenient to double, triple or quadruple this bake mix.

*If you are intolerant to certified gluten-free oat flour, then substitute some other gluten-free flour, such as sorghum flour which others have had success with.

For other great Low-Carb, Gluten-Free recipes by the team & me:

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