Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Gluten Free King Arthur Flour...nailed it!

   This New Years Eve, we did what we've been doing for the last several years here in Sonoma, we threw a dinner/birthday(for Alan)/ New Years party. We starting doing this after the last time we went out for a New Years Eve dinner here in town with a whole bunch of people. We chose the late seating so as to be in a prime spot for all the New Years festivities. Bring out the champagne and paper hats! Cry havoc and let slip the dogs of war!  Party down!  Hardly. By the time 11:30  rolled around, it was like one of those old episodes they run on the Twilight Zone New Years Day Marathon. The place was deserted except for our table. The only thing maissing was Burgess Meridith in Coke bottle thick glasses. We were the only ones left and the waiter was serving us coffee with his coat on. Hint hint.

   We stepped out onto a foggy, drippy, deserted street. Where was the party? Everyone headed for our house where fortunately there is always champagne on ice. After that experience we got paranoid about going out for New Years Eve in Sonoma. We wanted to make sure we would be UP! With other live people.  The way we figured it, if you build them they will come. So we started having New Years Eve parties.

   This year, since we were inviting a couple of friends who hadn't been over before, and one of them (Terri) is gluten intolerant, I needed to take that into account.  While wandering through the baking section of Whole Foods Sonoma I noticed that King Arthur Flour, one of my favorite brands, had come out with a gluten free alternative. Great I thought, just the ticket for Terri.

   I've been mixing my own blends of flour for tart baking but had been very curious to try a pre-mixed blend. I mean who doesn't want to save on work let alone money for all those different flours? I'd seen several brands advertised  but since I already bought and trusted  King Arthur flour, I thought why not give their GF flour a whirl. At 7.99 the price was pretty fair considering I didn't have to buy (and mix) 4 other flours. I put it in my cart.

   I was planing on baking buttermilk biscuits, and then since I love a challenge, I thought why not bake some with regular flour too and then I can do a blind taste test just like on the teeevee machine. But then I thought how do I do that? How can I make sure that Terri only gets the GF biscuits without getting the other kind by mistake? And how do I stop everyone else from eating all of Terri's "special biscuits" in case they turn out super great?! Well, fate and germs intervened. About 2 hours before the dinner I got a text message that Terri's husband was down with the flu and so they would not be joining us. Okay then I thought. I can do a real blind taste test and nobody gets hurt. So I did.

Gluten Free Buttermilk Biscuits

 I made  my regular buttermilk biscuits recipe HERE. And I made a batch using the King Arthur Gluten Free Flour. Same recipe with one exception. I added 3/4 tsp of Xanthan gum to the dry ingredients. See the results below.

   How did the taste test work out? Well, no one at our party was gluten intolerant, they don't have to avoid gluten, and they LOVED the GF biscuits! In fact they fell on them so hard I had to fight to  save two of them for photographic purposes the next day.

   No graininess no chalkiness, no grittiness, none of the other stuff that GF people complain of. Just tender and flaky deliciousness. No longer do the gluten free diners at your table need to feel deprived. This stuff works!  So there you have it,  King Arthur Gluten Free Flour has got a great all purpose blend! I'm glad I bought it and I'll be buying it again. Just remember to use a bit of xanthan gum in the mix and you're in business.

   Coming up next, I go all vegan and wild 'shrooms when cousins from Italy send a surprise package. Follow along on Twitter @kathygori.


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