I received a question recently regarding my famous GF Apple Fritters and how to store them. She wanted to make them a day ahead and take them to work the next day to share. But we all know too well gluten free bread, donuts, cookies, and cake have the tendency to fall apart into a million crumby pieces in 24 hours or less.
Why the heck do they do that??
The scientific answer:
It was Mr. Starch in the Flour with the Amylose! (Who still loves to play Clue? me!)
Seriously though. It’s the starches fault.
There are 2 types of molecules in starch that are linked together, one that looks all branched out called amylopectin and another called amylose that likes to lay in nice straight lines alongside each other.
Something really cool happens when heat is added. The molecules break apart and the liquid in your batter rushes into the empty spaces and gets all hung up in those straight amylose molecules. Meanwhile the bulky amylopectin molecules add oomph to your baked good (which is part of the reason GF baked goods use so much starch).
Now we have a wonderful loaf of bread, batch of cupcakes, or plate full of donuts. Cool.
Actually “cool” is the problem.
Remember how the straight amyloses broke apart, got all disorganized, and grabbed up the water? They only did that because it was hot. But they don’t like being all crazy. Once the heat is gone they try to get organized again and go back the way they like to be: in nice tight straight lines next to each other which squishes out the water that used to be between them.
Now it’s dry bread and crumbly cookies. It’s the same reason your leftover Thanksgiving mashed potatoes are dry the next morning when you eat them for breakfast (I can’t be the only one Btw, you can turn those mashed potatoes into waffles.).
I like chaos & fresh bread, how do I keep them from lining back up?
You can’t. Bummer. But there is one sure-fire way to slow the process down and another to speed it up.
Slow it waaaay down by freezing. Water can’t leave when it’s frozen solid. If you’re not eating gluten free goodies within 24-48 hours put them in the freezer. I like to slice my bread and put sheets of wax paper between each slice before freezing which makes it easy to grab just a slice at a time to defrost. If you’re making cupcakes you could consider making my Inside-Out Freezer Cupcakes that have the frosting on the inside.
How to make your cookies crumble as quickly as possible? The fridge. Don’t store baked goods, of any kind, in the fridge! It speeds up the entire process.
Rule of Thumb:
- If consuming within 24-48 hours store at room temperature in a sealed container if possible.
- If more than 48 hours will pass before you eat the very last one, freeze them!
- Never ever store in the fridge unless you’re forced to (i.e. cake with cream cheese frosting).
The Quick Answer: the freezer is your friend.