Review: King Arthur gluten-free flour mixes
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May 10 2010

Review: King Arthur gluten-free flour mixes

King Arthur is name that many fans of baking are familiar with, They are known as the America’s oldest flour company, establish in 1790!  They are 100% employee owned and based in Vermont.  When I learned this well-known flour company had launched a gluten-free line, I was eager to try the results.

King Arthur’s gluten-free products are produced in a dedicated gluten-free facility that is also certified gluten-free by the non-profit Gluten-Free Certification Organization (GFCO).  This facility is also free of nuts, tree nuts, fish, shellfish, soy, eggs and dairy.  Many of the mixes may call for eggs and or/dairy but with simple substitutions they should be workable.

Fellow writer, Tiffany Janes wrote  a review about the pancake mix not long ago, so I am going to add my own thoughts about the pancakes as well as add additional reviews.  I had the opportunity to try several different mixes by King Arthur recently.  I didn’t know where to start, they all looked delicious from the product photos on the packaging.  I have always felt packaging is so important and can really win or loose a fan instantly.  There are definitely some products I have seen and been immediately turned off by the packaging and therefore never try it.  However, I thought the King Arthur packaging was simple and attractive, and definitely made me want to try whatever was in the box!  The back of the boxes clearly list in illustrations and text what additional ingredients you will need to prepare the mixes, which I feel is necessary with any mix.

I began with the brownies.  I had some friends coming over for dinner and felt that was a perfect opportunity to have gluten eaters who are not familiar with gluten-free foods give some feedback.  I feel that if gluten eaters love it, then it definitely is not going to taste like a gluten-free food imitating something else. The brownies required butter (or oil), water and two eggs.  These came out chewy, gooey, rich and delicious!  I have tried many gluten-free brownie mixes since being diagnosed and many of them have been disappointing and grainy, but this is definitely one of my new favorites.  My gluten-able friends couldn’t stop eating them, and took home half the batch.  These were definitely a winner.

Next, I tried their gluten-free multi-purpose flour.  The brand I regularly used as my all purpose flour was suddenly discontinued so it was great to try something new in hopes it can become a new kitchen staple for me.  I used the flour in a Yorkshire pudding recipe I had recently used.  My husband is from England and has a few decades of Yorkshire pudding experience, so I knew the test was getting his approval.  These came out lovely, and had a wonderful tasty, soft texture in the middle.  My husband was completely enthusiastic about the results, and ate most of the batch.  I made these again for friends a few days later with equally positive results.

As pancakes are a weekend ritual for my family, I was looking forward to the pancake mix after the tasty results of the previous mixes.  The pancake mix calls for 2 eggs, butter (or oil) and milk.  As I emptied the mix into a mixing bowl, I noticed a different smell.  It wasn’t the gluten-free rice flour smell that I smell with some products, but I could not put my finger on it.  I looked at the ingredients and they list ‘natural flavors’ so this gave me no answers.  But as I mixed the batter, the smell became increasingly like maple syrup.  As if there was maple syrup flavor put into the mix.  I used buttermilk rather than regular milk and let the batter sit for ten minutes before cooking.  They resulted in amazingly fluffy pancakes in perfect round circles, like pancakes one would achieve with Bisquick.  As I finished cooking, my husband and daughter walked in the door and mentioned they could smell maple syrup.  I wasn’t sure how I felt about that.  The pancakes went off well, they were a nice texture, however after a couple of pancakes I did not appreciate the maple syrup flavor.  I like syrup once in a while, but I definitely don’t want to feel like I have to have syrup flavor with my pancakes.  I think the flavor and smell were too overwhelming and artificial, and personally it was not for me.  If someone is crazy about maple syrup then they will probably love these pancakes. If it was not for the flavoring I would try these again.

Finally, I tried the muffin mix.  I had a meeting at my daughter’s school, and thought blueberry muffins would be a nice treat to bring everyone.  The mix calls for the addition of butter (or oil), three eggs, milk and 1 1/2 cup of add-ins, I choose frozen blueberries.  Like the pancakes the flour had a scent to it, I looked on the ingredient list and noticed nutmeg.  In the end result, the muffins had a wonderful texture, however the nutmeg flavor was a bit too strong.  I actually really enjoy nutmeg, but I don’t want to feel like any muffin I make with this mix has to have a nutmeg flavor to it.  I would use this mix again, but I know now to only use it with something that could handle nutmeg flavor with it.  Another suggestion is that I added the 1 1/2 cups of frozen blueberries, but I think that was too much, and it would have been better with just a cup.  Since there were so many blueberries (which is a good thing), it made it difficult to get the muffins clearly out of the oiled muffin pan. I think less fruit would have helped.

I am not sure why the pancakes and the muffins had the added flavoring to it, but my call would be to take it out of the formula and list it as a baking tip.

Overall, I am very excited about the brownies and the multi-purpose flour and will become a repeat customer for sure, but could leave the pancakes. I also have a pizza crust waiting for me, and will be sure to make it soon!

King Arthur’s gluten-free flours can be ordered online and will increasingly be available on grocery stores shelves across the country.

Article Written by:

Anne is a self-proclaimed foodie who loves eating out as much as cooking for friends. Since being diagnosed with celiac, she has been determined to not let it put a damper on her food adventures, and to raise awareness among the general public. Anne recently moved from Chicago to Atlanta and is enjoying exploring the gluten-free wonders in her new city. Follow Anne on Twitter and Google+!

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  • http://www.glutenfreepromotions.com Tiffany Janes

    Thanks for this review! I’m interested in trying the brownies and chocolate cake. We did love the pancakes, but would not want that maple flavor in muffins so thanks for the heads up on that. If they left out the flavor on the pancakes, people could alter the mix to make savory pancakes (like with shredded sweet potatoes and green onions) and I’m sure they’d be great as pancakes too without the maple flavor.

  • Marilyn King

    Please send me a catalogue (King Arthur?)