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.
NEW RULES FOR ADDING GELATIN TO THE BAKE MIX (UPDATED July 14, 2014): 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.
Health Benefits of Oat Flour
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): 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 huge difference, as we're not baking regular flour 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.
WHAT CAN BE USED INSTEAD OF OAT FLOUR? Sorghum flour or whole wheat pastry flour (similar carbs to oat flour), or lupin flour (low-carb and makes baked goods quite yellow sometimes, but seems to work for a number of recipes). 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.
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 available...it could be contaminated with wheat, so not suitable for people with Celiac disease.
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 Kelley Sousy Pounds, 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...
3/4 cup certified GF oat flour*, (175 ml; 100 g)
Applications: The gelatin option works in most baking applications. The gluten-free bake mixes need eggs in most applications. To my knowledge it won't work in yeast applications, but nothing stopping you from adding a titch of yeast to bread recipes to get that yeasty bread flavor.