Baking dairy free??? Help!
My daughter is allergic to dairy, so I've learned to adapt accordingly. I've yet to experiment with baking dairy free, so I'm asking for any help! We use Smart Balance butter alternative for cooking, but how about for baking? Is there a dairy free butter substitute that works well in cookies or cakes?
Thanks so much for the info in advance!
I've had good luck with recipes from this site:
The vegan brownies take some time to make but are really chocolatey and everyone likes them. They're cakey and I prefer fudgey, though. Is she allergic to eggs, too? If not, there are a lot of recipes out there that use oil instead of butter. Is there something special you're looking for? A lot of greek cookies use oil instead of butter and shortening is a good option, if she can have eggs.
She can eat eggs....no problem. I'm thinking ahead to Christmas and all the cookies that everyone will have that she will NOT be able to eat. I want to make some to tote along so she doesn't feel left out! (We buy her dairy free cookies at several organic stores or buy the ol' standby Joe Joe's from TJ's, but I love to bake and want to treat her)
Butter has some unique properties: it is a emulsion of fat, water, sugar and proteins that is solid at room temperature. The sugar and proteins give it its special flavor and coloring properties; the water helps create flakiness. Oils that are liquid at room temp cannot do this. Coconut oil, which is solid at room temp, can be better than other oils. Look for recipes and information that take notes of these differences rather than passing over them.
I've baked with non-dairy margarine for years to deal with kosher issues. Fleishman's makes an unsalted corn oil margarine that works fine--not quite as tasty as a product as you get with butter, but close enough that your daughter won't feel deprived. Look for any product that says is it "parve" or "pareve"--or just has a kosher symbol with a small "p" next to it; that means there is no dairy in it.
re: Marion Morgenthal
I use the Fleischman's parve margarine for baking all the time. It tastes really good in cookies and you can substitute it for butter in the same amount. Just make sure you pick up the right one in the supermarket- because many supermarkets only carry the Dairy packages.
Also, Earth Balance makes a good non-dairy (parve) margarine.
If you're in a city with a kosher supermarket, you'll find a lot of different brands of non dairy margarine sticks. The supermarket I go to has about 6 different brands.
Kosher cookbooks contain tons of recipes using vegetable oil as the sole fat. They often taste delicious. You might want to try a kosher recipe site or buy a kosher cookbook.