When the doctors told us we needed to go gluten-free for my daughter it was an overwhelming process of ridding gluten from our house.  I immediately went into overdrive to make her life as normal as possible. Big mistake #1.  Her body needed time to heal and she didn’t feel like experimenting. Plus she was two, not the most cooperative age anyway.  The first thing I tried to replace for her 2-year-old palate was bread.  Big mistake #2.  In reality, that was not the best choice for a first time gluten-free baked good experiment.   Regular bread is hard to make.  Gluten free is even harder, it doesn’t taste or feel like bread,  and you need an arsenal of flours to start the process.  So take it from me, start slow and make breads NOT your priority.  Start with dessert.  You won’t remember the bread you missed, but you will remember the yumminess of dessert.

And to narrow it down even more, there is one clear winner for the first time gluten-free dessert kitchen experience.   It is easy, fast enough, and doesn’t require any new culinary skills.

The humble Donut

If you are lucky enough to have a local specialty bakery nearby go with them for your first gluten free baked goods.  But if you do not, these donuts make a pretty good substitute for those times when you are craving the sweet tear of bread (and even your regular diet folk will love them). To me, these have the texture of a great cake.  The are not light and airy like a Krispy Kreme donut but they are satisfying and chew like real bread. Oh they are wonderful!

As with all gluten-free cooking, there are a lot of ingredients (get used to it) but they are pretty easy to acquire in your local grocery or online.   I have doubled and tripled this recipe and it turns out well.  Just be careful when you measure.

I am sorry about this next part.  I am not going to give you the recipe.  Why, you ask.  Because it is not my recipe.  This recipe was painstakingly deduced by a gluten-free vegan savant in New York city.   She should reap the benefit of her work.  Her name is Erin McKenna and she owns Erin Makenna Bakery (formerly Babycakes).  She has several cookbooks and you should buy them.  All of them.  They are terrific.  The recipes are simple to follow and  do turn out just as she explains they will.

The Donut recipe is in her book, Babycakes Covers the Classics.  My daughter likes them prepared in the donut pan, but you can skip that pan and just use your mini muffin pan to make donut holes.  The ones pictured above are an assortment of cinnamon sugar donuts and plain.  They are all delicious and they are all gone.

So bravo to you for starting a new gluten-free life.  Let these donuts help you forget why we would ever want gluten back in your life.