people today try to avoid gluten due to dietary
restrictions or health concerns. Muffins baked with King
Arthur Flour Gluten Free Multi-Purpose Flour yields a
tight crumb but grainy texture.
they bake up? We put 6 brands to the test.
ago, gluten-free all-purpose flours for baking were difficult
to find in supermarkets. That meant some home bakers who have
celiac disease or gluten intolerance spent a lot of time
fiddling with starches and alternative flours to create a
all-purpose flours have joined an array of gluten-free baking
products. They offer home bakers a chance to prepare some
favorite recipes free of gluten, a stretchy protein that
captures gas bubbles made by leavening agents used to increase
a baked good’s volume.
are about two dozen gluten-free all-purpose flours these days,
both well-known brands and smaller independents. They rely on
a variety of flours (from grains, legumes, beans) and starches
(corn, potato, tapioca, arrowroot) to create a flour’s
powdery element. To give baked goods the structure and texture
usually provided by gluten, most use xanthan gum or guar gum,
both commonly used food additives.
decided to test a half dozen of these flours to see how they
perform in a standard baked good. We chose a basic plain
muffin recipe, preparing a control batch with standard
all-purpose flour, then baked batches with the gluten-free
flours. (The flours we tested can be used cup-for-cup in
recipes.) We did not add any nuts or fruit, so we wouldn’t
be distracted from the taste and texture of the muffins. To
those with no gum element (Bob’s Red Mill, King Arthur), we
added xanthan gum.
Red Mill, Cup4Cup and Namaste produced a moist, somewhat
typical muffin batter. The others created almost sticky,
pastelike batters. Yet each made the recipe’s dozen muffins,
with all but Betty Crocker and Glutino rising to a height of 2
tasters (all bakers, some with gluten issues) enjoyed the good
flavor and decent texture of each. Rated on a scale of 1-9,
they all fell in the average range — with a few quibbles
noted in the chart.
gluten-free all-purpose flour you choose, from those tested
here as well as others on the market, will depend on several
factors: your budget (prices for the ones tested ranged from
21 to 35 cents per ounce), shopping criteria (no GMO
ingredients, kosher), personal preferences (you like the nutty
flavor of brown rice) and dietary considerations (you want the
extra protein in Bob’s Red Milll; you can’t have dairy or
soy or those gums, xanthan and guar).
shopping, do not confuse these all-purpose flours with, say,
bread mixes (which may have added yeast) or baking mixes
(which may have added baking powder or baking soda). Most of
these are available nationally, have a store locater on their
website or can be purchased online.
Crocker Gluten Free All-Purpose Rice Flour Blend
for a 16-ounce box; 23 cents per ounce
Rice flour, potato starch, tapioca starch, guar gum, salt
Cakelike texture with a tight crumb. A bit gummy but decent
flavor. Very white and rather bland.
Red Mill Gluten Free All Purpose Baking Flour
for a 22-ounce bag; 21 cents per ounce
Garbanzo bean flour, potato starch, tapioca flour, white
sorghum flour, fava bean flour
Airy crumb and beautifully browned. Crumbly and dry, with a
cornlike aftertaste. Good texture but a bit grainy with off
Gluten Free Flour
for a 48-ounce bag; 35 cents per ounce
Cornstarch, white rice flour, brown rice flour, milk powder,
tapioca flour, potato starch, xanthan gum
Crusty top and good texture. Chewy and really bland. Pretty
attractive with nice, crispy outside and some fluffiness.
Tastes like a muffin!
Gluten Free Pantry All Purpose Flour
for a 16-ounce box; 29 cents per ounce
White rice flour, potato starch, tapioca starch, guar gum,
Good-looking pebbly surface with an even grain, good taste.
Chewy, dense; leaves an aftertaste.
Arthur Flour Gluten Free Multi-Purpose Flour
for a 24-ounce box; 33 cents per ounce
Specialty flour blend (rice flour, tapioca starch), potato
starch, whole grain brown rice flour, calcium carbonate,
niacinamide (a B vitamin), reduced iron, thiamin hydrochloride
(vitamin B1), riboflavin (vitamin B2)
Tight crumb with a bit of a grainy texture. Lovely rise and
not much flavor, but bland isn’t always bad. Floury taste.
Foods Gluten Free Perfect Flour Blend
for a 48-ounce bag; 24 cents per ounce
Sweet brown rice flour, tapioca flour, arrowroot powder,
sorghum flour, xanthan gum
Good browning with a slight earthy aroma. Interior doesn’t
look done. Gummy with a strange grain taste.
Prices are suggested retail. Rated on a scale of 1-9.
minutes Bake: 20-25 minutes Makes: 12 muffins
125th anniversary edition of "The Good Housekeeping
cups all-purpose flour
tablespoon baking powder
(1/2 cup) butter, melted
12 muffin pan cups (with standard cups of 2 ½-by-1 ¼
inches). Heat oven to 400 degrees.
the1/2 cups all-purpose flour, ½ cup sugar, baking powder and
½ teaspoon salt into a large bowl; stir together with a wire
whisk. Put the milk, ½ cup) butter, melted butter, egg and
vanilla into a separate bowl; beat ingredients together with a
fork just until combined. Add liquids all at once to flour
mixture. Stir just until flour is moistened; batter will be
batter into prepared muffin-pan cups. Bake until a toothpick
inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean, 20-25
minutes. Immediately remove muffins from pan. Serve muffins
warm or cool on a wire rack to serve later.
information per muffin: 215 calories, 9 g fat, 5 g saturated
fat, 37 mg cholesterol, 30 g carbohydrates, 4 g protein, 252
mg sodium, 1 g fiber