FAQ About Gluten Free Cooking Classes

Questions about Classes:

1. I’m not to sure what to expect in a “class”. Could you explain a little further?

Sure! All of our classes are virtual. To take a class you login to our website and then choose any of the classes that you’ve purchased. Once you’re looking at the syllabus or table of contents for the class, you just click on links to work through each class in the suggested order.

Each class includes articles, video and recipes. Generally, you would start with reading the in-depth articles about why you need to use certain ingredients or techniques. If you’ve been through our free email course, then you’ll have gotten a taste of of this in the last third of the course.

The videos for the class are videos that John took of me cooking the recipes included in the class. Some classes just have one video, others (like our Thanksgiving class) have many. I’d say that the average is about 20 – 30 minutes of video.

Each class also includes 2 – 3 recipes. All of the recipes are original recipes that I created for my own family.

2. What is the price of your classes? Do classes only cover one recipe?

The price of a single cooking class is $37, and buying one class is a great place to start. Then, if you’d like to learn more, you can buy another course, or credit the $37 that you’ve already paid towards the cost of the Gluten Free Family Favorites package. (The credit does not apply during special sales and promotions of the Gluten Free Family Favorites package.)

The number of classes included in each recipe varies. Go here to see all of the classes, and then click on the one that you’re interested in to see everything that’s included.

3. Where are the classes held?

All of Gluten Free Cooking School’s classes are virtual, so you can take them anywhere and anytime you have an internet connection. Once you’ve purchased the class, you’ll be redirected to our site to create your username and password. After that you’ll be able to come to our site and access the classes that you’ve purchased.

Each class includes recipes, articles and video(s). You can watch and read all of the information on our website. We’re also working on getting the articles and recipes into a format that is more printable, so that you can read it offline too.

4. How long will I have access to classes?

Once you’ve paid for the class you’ll have access to it indefinitely. I’d say forever, but then there’s the whole Mayan thing in December. So forever, excluding any end world events, acts of God, the end of the internet, or other events such as that which I cannot control.

If you choose the Gluten Free Family Favorites subscription option and cancel during the first 12 months, then you will retain access to any classes that have been added to your account prior to the cancellation.

5. Can I watch the class videos whenever I want, or are they at a set time?

You can watch the classes at any time that you like. There are currently no scheduled components to the classes.

Questions about Ingredients & Techniques:

1. Why do you use xanthan gum in so many of your recipes? Do you offer substitution amounts for guar gum or some other similar agent?

I use xanthan gum because I learned to bake gluten free with it. Back in the day xanthan gum was pretty much the only option. I’ve altered a few of the recipes in the classes to use guar gum but not many.

I do not offer substitution recommendations for the the xanthan gum. Changing the binding agent ingredient in a recipe is not just a simple substitution. It often requires that several other of the ingredients in the recipe be changed as well…and that means lots of experiments to figure out the a new formulation that produces great results. So, until I get that done, xanthan gum is my preferred binding agent of choice.

On a related note, if you (or someone you know) is great at baking gluten free with guar gum or some other GF binding agent, and would like some extra income, then email me at maryfrances@glutenfreecookingschool.com

2. Where can I buy ingredients for the classes? None of my local grocery stores carry any of this.

Unless you live in a larger city, gluten free ingredients can be somewhat hard to find. If you can’t find these ingredients locally, then you have a few options. The first would be to talk to your local grocer and see if he can order the products that you want. Grocery are generally pretty open to ordering things that people want to buy.

The second option would be to order the products online. Some sites only allow large orders (like www.bobsredmill.com) so you might want to get split an order with other gluten free friends. Or you can shop at Amazon (affiliate), Vitacost, or the Gluten Free Mall.

The third option is to find a grocery store in a larger city that does carry what you need, and then stock up the next time that you make the trip into the big city. Whole Foods and health food stores are pretty safe bets. But, you can also find gluten free ingredients at most large chains, especially if you go to locations in the more upscale neighborhoods. Calling ahead of time to check with the store will result in much less frustration on your part (I speak from experience here!)

3. What is masa harina?

Masa harina is a flour that is made from corn. The dried corn is soaked in lime and then ground which gives the resulting flour different characteristics than plain corn flour. Instant masa harina is available in most grocery stores in the Hispanic foods section. Here’s a picture of the Maseca Instant Corn Masa
that I use, so that you’ll know what to look for. This product carries a gluten free label.

Masa harina is VERY absorbent, so if you need to substitute a different flour, then you have to use another VERY absorbent flour like coconut flour, or decrease the liquids in the recipe. With the latter choice, it’s important to know what the dough should look like (from watching the course video) so that you can correctly adjust the amount of liquids.

4. Do you measure by weight (oz or grams) or volume (cups) in your classes?

Right now there is a mixture of both. I prefer to measure by weight because then you and I both know that we’re using exactly the same amounts of ingredients. That level of accuracy is simply not possible with volumetric measurements. That being said, I know that a lot of people in the U.S. are in the habit of using measuring cups, so I try to provide both when possible while strongly encouraging everyone to get a digital scale.

Questions About Substitutions

1. I was interested in your classes, however, I did not see how substitutions are handled? I have a son who can not have gluten, dairy, soy, egg, chia, flax. So often recipes are not successful if changed when working with gluten. Would love to know if this is addressed in the classes.

A lot of the recipes do use dairy, but non-dairy milks, and dairy-free, soy free “butters” generally work just as well as the dairy versions. Many of the recipes also use eggs, but if your son can use egg replacement powder (I’ve copied the ingredients of two popular ones below), then that should be fine as well. The soy is not an issue either – I generally do not use soy flours or soy milk anymore.

If you ever have any questions about the recipes or techniques in a class and how to make the substitutions that you need, I would always be happy to make suggestions. The development of new recipes is not included in the class though, so some experimentation on your part might be necessary

Orgran No Egg:Potato starch, Tapioca flour, Calcium carbonate, Citric acid, vegetable gum (stabiliser): Methylcellulose

EnerG Egg Replacement: Ingredients: Potato Starch, tapioca starch flour, leavening (calcium lactate [not derived from dairy], calcium carbonate, citric acid), sodium carboxymethylcellulose, methylcellulose

2. I am curious about your cooking school. I have other issues besides gluten, and I am wondering if your school can accommodate me. In addition to being gluten free, I am also intolerant of rice (all varieties), oats, dairy and tree nuts. This really cuts down the flours I can use, etc. Any thoughts?

If you’re okay with using sorghum flour or white bean flour instead of the brown rice flour that I use, the recipes should work just fine. I’ve had another member that was allergic to rice and she really enjoyed the classes. Dairy substitutions are also pretty easy to work around. I don’t use oats or nuts very often at all. I’m always happy to help with substitution suggestions too. Just leave a comment on the relevant post, email me, or use the Contact Form =)

3. So you teach recipes that are Wheat, Gluten, Dairy, and Soy Free?

All of the cooking classes are written to be wheat and gluten free. Many of the recipes do use dairy, but I created and tested most of the recipes with non-dairy substitutes and they work perfectly fine with them. As long as the you use a soy-free version of my all-purpose flour, then you’ll be fine on the soy front too, as long as you can find soy-free non-dairy butters and milks.

All of the ingredients included in the recipes, as well as more information on substitutions can be found on on our website.