Gluten Free Flour? Try King Arthur Flour.

What’s the one item the vast majority of people miss when they have to go gluten free?  My guess is all-purpose flour.  Whether you are making a simple gravy, or creating the perfect crust for that pie, all-purpose flour is a staple in the majority of American households.  So how do you replace that?  Oh, there are a multitude of gluten free all-purpose flours available.  Amazingly, it seems every single one of them has their own unique blend to create that perfect gluten free flour.  Some of them are good, some… not so much.  Many are good for specific items, but do not work out quite so well in others.  That doesn’t really sound like “all-purpose” to me.  King Arthur Flour’s Gluten Free Multi-purpose Flour doesn’t quite market the “all-purpose” moniker, but it easily passed the two tests I gave it.

I wanted to try out this gluten free flour in two arenas:  one where it is tried and true, and one where I would be experimenting on my own.  With that in mind, I created two products from this flour.  The first is the popover recipe that is on the back of the box, slightly modified (I couldn’t resist).  In my opinion, popovers are very similar to french toast.  So I took the same approach with these popovers that I do with my french toast.  In addition to following the directions from the recipe, I added cinnamon, nutmeg, and vanilla to the batter.  They baked up beautifully.  Warm up a tub of frozen sweetened strawberries, and you have the ideal dipping sauce for these warm and delightful popovers.  They were delicious!

The texture of the popovers was similar to that of a warm yeast roll, and that is quite an accomplishment coming from a gluten free flour.  In my experience, it is very common for gluten free flours to cause recipes to be heavy and sometimes slightly gritty.  That was not the case here at all.  But that was in a recipe from King Arthur Flour.  How would it stack up in a recipe of my own?  Bring on the gluten free pancakes!

Growing up in full menu diners has its benefits.  One of those benefits is the pancake recipe that my father taught me when I was very young and I still use to this day.  Unfortunately, I have never really found a combination of gluten free flours that satisfied me in the recipe.  The key to these pancakes is the word “cakes”.  They are very light, fluffy, and thick, and all of the gluten free flours I have tried just haven’t been able to provide the consistency and texture that I was looking for.  For this test, I simply replaced the wheat flour in the recipe with King Arthur Flour Multi-purpose flour and 3/4 tsp xanthan gum.

Look pretty good, huh?  Taste pretty darn good, too!  While the recipe will need the tiniest bit of tweaking, this is by far the best blend of boxed gluten free flour I have found to use as a drop-in replacement for normal all-purpose flour.  You could not tell the pancakes were gluten free at all.  The only downside was that the pancakes were slightly doughy in the middle.  I’m pretty sure that one extra egg yolk in the recipe, and ever-so-slightly thinning the batter, will correct this problem.  There was absolutely no “gritty” or “grainy” texture or flavor that is often associated with all-purpose gluten free flours.

I will definitely be trying out King Arthur Flour products in other recipes.  It would be very nice to be able to use a single product for the majority of my gluten free flour needs.  Right now I have several different flours that I use, depending on the recipe.  One is very good for a pizza or pie crust, while others are better for gravies and breading meats.  And there is still the occasional recipe that I need to blend the flours for myself.  The convenience of a single flour blend to handle the majority of these tasks is very appealing to me.  What can I say, I’m a lazy cook.

I hope to have that pancake recipe perfected and posted later in the week.  In the meantime, pick up some King Arthur Flour Gluten Free Multi-purpose flour and try it in your favorite recipe.  Let me know how it goes in the comments below.  And don’t forget, you can follow King Arthur Flour on Twitter and Facebook.  They also have a community discussion area, and a blog.  Check them out!

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