And we’re back with another hot topic from our commercial baking community page, Baking Industry Professionals. Our focus for this month has switched to gluten-free cookies. By definition, this baked good is made with gluten-free grains, and its finished product contains less than 20 ppm gluten. As bakers, to formulate gluten-free cookies, it is necessary to understand the functionalities of gluten and wheat starch during mixing, forming, and baking of conventional wheat-based cookies.
Formulating gluten-free products can be challenging due to the absence of a viscoelastic network typically provided by gluten. Therefore, when it comes to cookies, these formulations are best suited for extrusion and wire-cut forming. However, it isn’t just the processing that concerns bakers, but also shelf-life and texture. The topic in our forum focused mainly on how to keep gluten-free cookies soft and chewy.
Getting quality gluten-free cookies
While the solution can vary depending on the formulation and processing, the first recommendation for bakers is to ensure there is enough water in the dough. The correct hydration will help cookies stay soft even after the unavoidable moisture loss that comes with staling. Alternatively, the addition of too much chemical leavening can cause gluten-free cookies to dry out quickly. Also, dry cookies could even be attributed to too much aeration. With these areas in mind, bakers struggling with hard, dry gluten-free cookies can begin to do some product development and testing to improve texture in the long run.
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