Adventures in gluten-free baking

I’ve now completed two weeks on a g-free diet. The jury is still out as to whether I’m feeling the benefits, but I do know this one thing: Gluten-free baking is hard.

Like sleeping babies, these muffins look dreamy in their beds but become divas once removed

Like babies, these muffins look dreamy in their beds but are temperamental once removed

Four and a half years ago, I was not a baker. My greatest culinary accolade was microwave-made Ghiradelli fudge. I once tried to broil chocolate-chip cookies. In hindsight, it’s no wonder that my attempt at gluten-free banana bread was a sad, crumbly hovel at an office bake-off.

Since then, I’ve made my share of successful bundts, cupcakes, muffins, cakes, and cookies. I even took third-place at another workplace bake-off.

It was with this slightly inflated ego that I approached g-free blueberry and poppy seed buckwheat muffin recipe. Hubris, it turns out, is not barred from the baking world.

Although I used the same all-purpose mix as the author (brown rice flour and cornstarch), the muffins were structurally unsound– most lost their bottoms before popping out of the pan. I’m not sure whether to blame this kerfuffle on my lack of a kitchen scale, substitution of Greek yogurt for buttermilk, or general g-free ineptitude.

Despite the crumbliness, I ate a few of the muffins, which had the signature nutty undertone of buckwheat. They could have used a bit more flavor (orange zest? cardamon?) or sweetener (just a smidge of brown sugar?). I miss the easy muffins of yore, but now I’m doubly determined to create a successful baked good sans gluten.