Chicago native Ali Retson has been at The Hutong for the past two years, whipping up cupcakes, cookies, and all manner of homemade desserts for the classes she conducts in her role as culinary manager. This Sunday Retson will lead students through the creation of a range of delicious wheat-free baked-goods at The Hutong.
She ran her first gluten-free baking class last winter. It was a hit not only with those suffering for medical issues such as Celiac Disease and wheat intolerance, but also with health-conscious bakers. "These days everyone is interested in gluten-free baking," Retson says. "Eating gluten-free is a popular health trend, so many people are exploring alternatives to wheat-flour."
On Sunday, August 10 from 2.30-5.00pm, Retson will demonstrate three recipes: chocolate chip cookies (which were a huge hit on last winter’s course and are back by popular demand), Hawaiian butter mochi (Retson describes them as chewy and custardy), and fluffy coconut churros (the recipe can also be used to make donuts).
Bakers will also learn about adapting existing recipes, and mastering wheat-flour substitution. "Gluten protein has a mechanical function in baking," says Reston. "When it’s wet it unwinds at a molecular level and joins with other unwinding gluten strands, giving dough stretch and sponginess. You have to consider how to recreate the webbing and structure gluten provides with any replacement flours."
If you want to give wheat a rest at treat-time, there are still some places available. Click here to book.
Photo courtesy of The Hutong.