Silicone Baking Liners & Basic Baking
Elizabeth Barbone

Dear Elizabeth,

I just bought myself a "silpat" after seeing them used on cooking shows. Now my cookies are spreading. Is the silpat causing this?

I hate to be the bearer of bad baking news. However, I have found that silpats do cause gluten-free cookies to spread more than if they were baked on parchment paper. My theory is: Since silicone is so slippery the cookies keep spreading until they have baked enough to hold their shape. And without gluten, (even with xanthan gum) the cookies can't "fight back" to retain a shape during the early moments of baking.

I have found that parchment paper is still the *very* best pan liner. I use it every time I bake. Nothing sticks to it and cookies don't over spread. Since you have a silpat at home, make a batch of cookies. Bake one tray on the silpat and another on a parchment-lined tray. Then you can judge for yourself if the silpat is causing you cookies to overspread.


Dear Elizabeth,

Thanks for the website. I am newly diagnosed and I don't know where to begin! I thought I would ask you what I should stock in my kitchen for baking. What flours do you think are essential?

This is an excellent question! Beginning to stock a gluten-free kitchen can be overwhelming. Before I give you my list, I want to tell you that the "essentials" for each baker vary. I don't use bean or soy flours, so you won't see them on my list. Listed below are the flours I use most commonly in my recipes.

  • white rice flour

  • brown rice flour

  • cornstarch

  • sweet rice flour

  • xanthan gum

  • sweet dairy whey (for my bread recipes.)

  • As you can see, it is not a jumbo list. Sure there are additional flours and starches I use. However, since you are just stocking your kitchen, this is where I would begin. I don't use a flour blend. So, you don't need to worry about having jars of different flours on hand. These few ingredients will get you nicely introduced to the world of gluten-free baking.

    And now I ask other members, what do you consider essential? Talk about it in the forum. I'll post a thread! See you there!

    Do you have a question? Ask me!

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