Monday, March 28, 2011

Gluten Free Baking Class

These are snickerdoodles.  Not gluten free.

Right before I left for Mexico I went to a private baking class at Ivy Bakery in Brooklyn.  My man friend had gotten me the class for my birthday last year.  I love baking so it was a great present but I kept having scheduling conflicts so I didn’t use it for a long time.  This turned out to be a good thing because months later when I found out I was gluten intolerant I was at a loss for how to bake without regular flour.  In fact, thinking I couldn’t bake anymore made me sad.  In high school Richie Fries said he’d marry me for my snickerdoodles.  He might not remember it, but I do.  So when I found out I couldn’t use regular flour anymore, I thought I couldn’t bake, and then who’d want to marry me?  Fortunately, I now know I can bake with or without gluten.

Daniellan Louie of Ivy Bakery is about my age and opened her own bakery when she was only 20.  That is pretty impressive.  Last Friday I took an hour and a half train ride from my home in Queens to her shop in the bottom of Brooklyn.  The kitchen of her small shop is tiny.  I was given a small workspace, sanitized utensils to prevent gluten cross contamination, a recipe, all the ingredients, and she told me to get to work.  With Daniellan’s guidance I made gluten free banana bread and gluten free carrot cupcakes with cream cheese frosting.  They were both extremely easy, much like the regular gluten recipes, and delicious.  I worked with an all purpose gluten free flour mixture, rice flour, and quinoa flour.  I don’t like quinoa and I learned that I don’t like quinoa flour either.  I’m sure I’ll post about quinoa soon.  Preview: I think it’s gross.

Daniellan uses oil instead of butter in her gluten free baking because she says that butter doesn’t mix as well with gluten free flours for some reason.  This was good to learn.  All that oil kind of creeped me out though, so I think next time I’ll use at least half applesauce instead (also so I can pretend I’m being healthy).  I’m not sure it’ll work, but I’ll give it a try.  I also used xantham gum for the first time.  This is supposed to make gluten free baked goods rise.  Or do something.  I’ve heard from some people you need it and some people you don’t.  I’m too cheap to buy it, and I can’t spell or pronounce it, so I pretty much refuse to buy it unless I determine I really need it.

The class was fun and I’m glad I finally went.  I now have the confidence that I can bake gluten free, which means I’m eligible for marriage again.  Phew.  And of course I can still bake with gluten, which I’ve done only once since going gluten free.

Daniellan does regular baking as well as allergy free baking.  If you are looking for an adventure, head to her store in Brooklyn.  She’s also opening a shop in Manhattan soon, or you can get your baked goods delivered.  Need a gift idea for your girlfriend/daughter/cousin/friend?  A baking class is a nice idea, unless that would offend her.  In that case, get your own idea.

Update: I now offer my own baking classes!


  1. well now that I know you have these talents, I will take a carrot cake, please!!! gluten free or otherwise!!!

  2. No problem! As long as you cook me dinner first :)

  3. my dad ate all the cupcakes after you left. he said you are a brilliant baker and that gluten free food doesn't taste all that bad after all. :)

  4. Thanks for supporting the gluten free family.