Practising making pastry

Today I attempted to make my first ever gluten-free pastry from scratch. As I am partial to a good bacon and egg pie, and I know this is one pie my hubby will never say 'no'to, I adapted a savoury pastry recipe to be gluten-free.

It started off well. Being new to making gluten-free pastry, I decided to opt for an all-purpose gluten-free flour mix. And I'll be the first to admit it - it was the cheats way, but hey it was also reliable and easy and took the guess work out of flour measuring!

Being my usual ambitious self, I decided to make two different types of pastry - one using xanthan gum and the other using guar gum . (For those of you who are still in the dark about these gums, they are used as a gluten substitute in baking and aim to provide the elasticity and stickiness that lacks from not using regular wheat flour.) Anyway, I digress...

A teaspoon of baking powder and 50g of butter later, all mixed into a cup of the all-purpose gluten-free flour, accompanied by a teaspoon of either xanthan gum or guar gum. After kneading the dough and adding a dash of water, the rolling pin was out and the pastry was in the oven.

The homely smell of pastry cooking and bacon and eggs simmering made my mouth water. Within half an hour, the pies were out and left to cool on the bench. By this stage, my stomach is rumbling and my hubby has strategically entered the kitchen and burnt his hand trying to dig out a piece of pie crust. The anticipation is almost audible. Quickly the pies are released from their tray.

This is where things start to go down-hill. The xanthan gum pies crack and crumble upon lifting and end up in an unappetising mess on the plate. The guar gum pies fare only slightly better, but they too resemble more of a sweet crumble than a savoury pie. The highlight? At least the bacon and eggs taste and look as they should!

Do you have any tips to reduce the crumble factor in gluten-free pastry? If so, I'd love to hear your thoughts!

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