Monday, April 19, 2010

King Arthur Gluten-Free Flour

I am so thrilled that we now have quite a few gluten-free flour blends to choose from to make gluten-free and allergen-free baked goods.

King Arthur, considered a leader in premium flours and a company that is committed to using only the finest ingredients, launched their gluten-free product line in February. When they sent me some of their new products to test, I decided to start with the basic – the multi-purpose gluten-free flour blend. And I decided to make a recipe that I’ve tried and loved before, so that I can have an accurate comparison of King Arthur’s flour to the others I have tried.

First things first – about the product. The gluten-free flour is packaged in a 24 oz box, the equivalent of four cups of flour. I like the size, as many recipes call for 2 cups of flour making this the perfect size for two baking projects. It’s a mix of rice flour, tapioca starch, potato starch, and brown rice flour. Gluten-free bakers know that flour blends for breads tend to be different than flour blends for cakes/muffins/cookies/quick breads. I would characterize this as a baking/pastry flour rather than a bread flour. It’s a blend that is high in carbohydrates and low in protein. It’s also a blend that does not contain xantham gum. This means that you will need to add your own based on the recipe you are using, but it also means that those with corn allergies can safely use this product.

The flour contains no wheat, soy, eggs, milk, or corn. It’s made in a dedicated gluten-free facility and certified gluten-free. The flour itself is a fine-grained (powdery) flour, making me very optimistic about how it will perform.

Now, onto my baking experiment. I decided to make chocolate zucchini muffins using Cybele Pascal’s chocolate zucchini bread recipe in the Allergen-Free Baker’s Handbook. I have made this recipe with other flour blends before, and loved it. You can see the result to the right. Overall, the muffins were quite good, but I do have to say that they were a bit lumpy and on the grainy side. Nevertheless, they held together well, and sliced well. Next time I think I’ll add more liquid to make them a bit more moist.

Due to the nature of this blend, I think it will be a perfect choice for cookies, tarts, and pie crusts. I'll be trying some with tarts soon.

I am hoping that King Arthur comes out with a larger more economical package (a 3 lb or 5 lb package would be nice). At the moment it appears that the only place to buy King Arthur gluten-free products is online. I hope to be able to find this in stores soon.

Have you tried King Arthur flour yet? What do you think?

1 comment:

Cybele Pascal said...

Thanks for testing with my recipe! Interesting to know it was lumpy. I have been finding this flour mix in my local whole foods, and bought it to try in place of my flour mix. I will try it with cookies first. I have tried making pancakes with it and like it a lot. I wish it was less expensive! It's more expensive than Authentic Foods GF Classical Blend, which I think is superior.

again, thanks for the link and featuring my recipe.