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Eggs: A Crucial Ingredient for Gluten-Free Baking

If you are among the one in five Americans aiming to eat gluten-free, perhaps you’ve dabbled in gluten-free baking. You may already know it can be challenging to replicate the texture and pleasure of traditional baked goods when you eliminate gluten from your baking recipes.

The egg, a naturally gluten-free ingredient, can be a gluten-free lifesaver in your kitchen.

Here’s why: gluten is a protein. In the words of the American Egg Board, gluten “entraps and holds air bubbles. A leavening agent causes the gluten network to expand; the heat causes the bubbles to rise, and then the structure sets, forming a combination of expansion, elasticity and rigidity.”

Egg protein complements gluten-free flour

Depending on the variety, gluten levels in traditional wheat flours vary from pastry flour (low) to bread flour (high). But a typical wheat flour, says the American Egg Board, is about 10% protein. A typical gluten-free flour is only half that. Eggs in your baking recipes can replace some of that protein. This allows your baked goods to form the structure that captures air bubbles and gives your products a light, enjoyable texture.

Research at Kansas State University, led by Fadi Aramouni, PhD, revealed that adding eggs to gluten-free baking yields rolls with better crumb, deeper color, and greater volume, with “better overall quality.”

The American Egg Board also cites research explaining that compared with other sources of protein in a recipe, eggs perform well in gluten-free baked goods because egg protein is of very high quality.

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Tips: adding eggs to gluten-free recipes

PJ Hamel, in her blog for King Arthur Flour, offers these tips for making gluten-free baked goods using a gluten-free flour: “If I’m working with a wet/pourable batter (think muffins or cake), I usually substitute eggs for half the liquid, by weight. For a drier batter/dough (scones or cookies), I might simply add an egg, without substituting it for another ingredient. Keep in mind…the more liquid the batter, the more structural help it needs.”

If you are exploring gluten-free baking, try your favorite gluten-free flour with Safest Choice™ Pasteurized Eggs. You can explore more baking ideas in the SafeEggs.com recipe center.