I have a confession….I’m addicted to buying gluten-free flour. I stop in the aisles of every grocery store, TJ Maxx, Home Goods, Ross and Tuesday Morning to see what unique gluten-free flours are hidden on their shelves. I used to buy them for the curiosity, trying to figure out what each type of flour was good for. Then I bought them for necessity once I knew the flour types that worked for my recipes. But, most recently, I find myself buying blends of flours that help me recreate the flavors from my “previous” life, also known as my “gluten-full” past.
For the last two years, I’ve stood by the mantra, “it’s not about elimination, it’s about substitution,” but secretly, I missed my homemade scones, muffins and coffee cakes. I do enjoy using almond flour for my recipes, but it’s too decadent (and expensive) for a 7-year-old to “hork-down.”
When last I counted, I have 9 different types of flours in my closet. I call it my “flour bin” and everyone in the house knows when I pull it out, something is going in the oven. Much of the time I don’t use flour blends. I’ll use corn or rice flour for breading, almond and coconut flour for flavor and texture and tapioca and rice flour for thickening.
However, for baking I did try to make my own flour blend using brown rice flour, tapioca flour and garbonzo bean flour. I’ll be honest, it was nutritionally better for me, but there was a strong “beanie” after taste that didn’t work in baking.
For Christmas, I received a bag of Cup4Cup baking flour from my San Francisco sister. It was a VERY generous gift as she paid around $25 for the 2 lb. bag (Wegmans has it for $15ish). Cup4Cup was “developed in the famed French Laundry kitchen in Napa Valley, Calif. Co-founder Lena Kwak, then the restaurant’s R&D Chef, started devising a gluten-free flour blend. One day, a diner tasted Lena’s brioche and cried because she hadn’t eaten bread for a decade. Inspired, Lena refined the proprietary multipurpose blend, encouraged by her mentor, Thomas Keller, Chef/Owner of The French Laundry”.
The true test of flours in my house is the Toll House Chocolate Cookie recipe. My family LOVES them. I’ve perfected the “puffy” style (more cake like) using wheat flour, so I was curious to see if I could recreate the texture using C4C. I’m excited to say, they were darn near perfect. Matter of fact, the whole family agreed that their flavor didn’t taste any different from the “gluten-full” style they were used to.
Next I made Grandma’s Blueberry Buttermilk Coffee Cake.
Again, the flavor and texture were EXACTLY like the original “gluten-full” recipe. This was the closest in taste I’ve been able to come to the original since going gluten-free two years ago.
Since everyone liked the C4C recipes, there is no longer a need to make separate pans of “gluten-free” and “gluten-full” for my family. This cuts down on the chances of cross-contamination, saves money on all the ingredients, and only having one type of flour in the house, instead of nine, is going to save us even more money.
Can’t wait to try their new pizza dough flour! That will allow me to get the three different types of pizza crusts out of my pantry as well!
Thanks C4C for making life a little easier in my house!
Nancy’s Buttermilk Coffee Cake Recipe
Heat oven to 350 degrees – Grease 9″ round cake pan
1/2 cup Butter Softened
1 cup Sugar
2 cup Cup4Cup Flour
1/2 tsp. Salt
1/2 tsp. Baking Powder
1 cup Buttermilk
1/2 tsp. Baking Soda
1/4 cup of crumb mixture (above)
1/4 cup sugar
2 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
Combine butter, sugar, C4C, salt and baking powder in a bowl with a pastry blender until crumbled into small pieces.
Dissolve baking soda into buttermilk and add to dry ingredients.
Stir until moistened (it’s very thick). Pour into greased 9″ round pan and poke with 1/4 c. blueberries (if desired). Sprinkle with topping. Bake 35-40 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.