For our first production meeting students were given a “Build Your Gluten-Free Blend” information sheet that included a basic ratio mix for an “All-Purpose” flour blend. Below that listed the different “primary flours”, “secondary fours”, starches, and gums/strengtheners. In addition to that sheet each table was given a recipe for classic chocolate chip or peanut butter cookies. The goal was to create a blend that could be substituted for the regular all-purpose flour listed on the original recipes. Students broke up into groups and got started on creating what they thought would make a good AP flour blend. We had three groups of chocolate chip cookies and three groups of peanut butter cookies.
Many of the students had little to no experience with gluten-free baking. We answered whatever questions came out and offered suggestions if needed, but for the most part the 25+ students who joined us that week worked with each other to create a blend. Once all of the cookies were baked we laid them all out so everyone could see the immense difference between them all. No two recipes were alike! Which was great. Some had issues with ingredient amounts (baking soda, etc. which can be different in some gluten-free baked goods). Each group present their cookie, explained their flour blend and why they chose they flours that were used, and discussed what they would change (if anything). Each cookie was tested by everyone in the group, we talked about flavor, texture, smell, mouth-feel, etc.
Below are some photos from our build your gluten-free blend experiment!
This was a great learning exercise for both the students and myself. Gluten-free baking isn’t my strong suit but I enjoy it very much.
Thank you to everyone who came out and made this night a success. If you are interested in joining us for one of our meetings please find us on Facebook where we post all of our upcoming events. Full culinary uniform and paid dues ($10.00 for the year) is required to participate in production meetings. If you are not part of the College for Culinary Arts and are in need of a uniform please e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will try to find you one.
A very special thank you to Joshua for coming to our meetings and take these photographs. Congratulations on your graduation!!