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I am trying to bake bread/cake without flour (gluten free). The friend who gave me the recipe gets a fluffy, light weight loaf, while mine tastes the same, but it is more condensed and hard even when I follow the recipe to the letter. What do I do?

This is the recipe:

(using measuring spoons)

  • 6 tbs Tahini paste
  • 2 tbs honey,
  • 4 eggs,
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder.

Lightly beat the eggs and mix well with other ingredients, pour into a lightly greased English-Cake form (long and narrow), and bake for 20 min. in a pre-heated oven at 160-180 °C. 320-356 °F.

  • 1
    Can you show us the recipe? That makes it a lot easier to look for things you might've unknowingly done differently than your friend. – Cascabel Sep 26 '16 at 17:01
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    The recipe is as follows: 6 Spoon Tahini paste, 2 Spoons honey, 4 eggs, 1/2 tea spoon baking powder. Mix ingredients well, pour into a lightly greased English-Cake form, and bake for 20 min. in a pre-heated oven at 160-180 deg C. 320-356 deg F. – winnend Sep 26 '16 at 17:32
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    Are you using an actual tablespoon measure or are you using a soup spoon? Soup spoons are not standardized, so they can be a wide variety of sizes. You need to be using purpose-made measures if you are not. – Catija Sep 26 '16 at 17:50
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    There are no dry ingredients in this recipe at all, and the entire volume of the 'loaf' would be tiny. Something must be missing. – abligh Sep 27 '16 at 7:51
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    ... my strong suspicion is that what is missing from the recipe is "gluten free flour". – abligh Sep 27 '16 at 11:48
15

Assuming this is actually a recipe that worked for your friend (it does seem pretty weird - see rumtscho's answer)...

We are both using a soup spoon, not a measured one, Yet we get different results.

That's exactly why you got different results. Your soup spoons aren't necessarily the same size.

You need to use some kind of reliable, standard measurement when baking, especially for leavening (like the baking powder), whether it's real measuring spoons, or a scale to measure by weight. If your friend can't provide you with a recipe using reliable measurements, then you won't be able to reliably reproduce it.

From your description ("condensed and hard" not "fluffy, light"), it could be that you've used less baking powder than they did, or more tahini than they did. So even if they can't give you a good recipe, you may be able to experiment on your own to find one. But if you do that, do yourself a favor, and get accurate measuring spoons or a scale.

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    Also, particularly with reference to the baking powder, distinguish between a 'level tablespoon' and a 'heaped tablespoon'. That could be a difference of a factor of 2 or more in how much powder goes in. My tablespoons contain about 3 times as much as my soup spoons, so that's a possible factor of 6 out. – abligh Sep 27 '16 at 7:48
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This seems to be a poorly designed recipe, or maybe something is omitted. You have absolutely no flour in it, so the baking powder doesn't get a chance to do much. It would make sense if it were a sweet souffle, but the instructions are wrong for it.

You seem to misunderstand imperial measurements, maybe you are from a part of the world which doesn't use them. You either need a measurement of the "tablespoon" size, or need to use a converter to know how much of each ingredient to actually use. For example, two tablespoons of honey are 42 grams or 29.5 ml, you have to measure that, preferably by weight. (I used http://www.convert-me.com/en/convert/cooking/, but there are other converters too).

Once you've got your measurements correct, it's better to handle it like a soufflé. Beat the whites to a soft peak, beat the rest of the ingredients together, fold gently, use something rough on the walls of the pan to let it climb. Simply mixing will end up with a dense mass as you are experiencing, and it lacks either gluten or gums to be inflated by the baking powder. I have never seen baking powder work in a purely egg based mix.

  • Thank you all very much for your help. I will try again and post a pic of the results. – winnend Sep 27 '16 at 7:37
3

Ok. I decided to have another go, taking into account all of your helpful remarks.
What I did was:

  • Use measuring spoons for the task.
  • I beat the eggs rather than just mix them in with the tahini and honey
  • I used a level 1/2 tsp of baking powder

what I got is: oven ready mix

Then: all done

Slightly better result than the first time...

It smells nice, hopefully tastes nice too.

Thanks again for helping me think.

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