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The French Laundry introduces gluten-free flour line

C4C is sold at Williams-Sonoma stores

C4C is sold at Williams-Sonoma stores

Public awareness continues to grow about the impact of gluten sensitivity and intolerance, as does the market for gluten-free products. The latest entry into that market is a gluten-free flour from the revered French Laundry.

If you’ve ever tried baking without traditional wheat flour, you know it can be done, but it can be tricky. You’re in for many conversions, substitutions and possibly some textural sacrifices. Professional bakeries, such as Pure Knead, do it successfully by hand blending their own flours using millet, brown-rice flour, sorghum and tapioca.

It has been difficult for home bakers to replicate gluten-free products with the same degree of success. Maybe The French Laundry’s new gluten-free flour called C4C will simplify the process. C4C can be substituted “cup for cup” in recipes requiring all-purpose flour.

The product was developed for in-house use at the The French Laundry by its research and development chef, Lena Kwak. Kwak, who tests a range of recipes and products for the restaurant, initially developed the gluten-free flour for the restaurant’s alternative brioche. According to the C4C website, the brioche reduced one diner to a joyful display of tears, inspiring Kwak to share the product on a larger scale.

Kwak worked with Thomas Keller, chef/owner of The French Laundry, to form the company C4C. They worked in partnership with Williams-Sonoma to produce and distribute the product, which made its debut in Williams-Sonoma’s stores this month.

I picked up a bag of C4C to give it a test run. With it, I made pumpkin bread, a year-round staple in our house. My first observation was the the

Pumpkin bread made with C4C

Pumpkin bread made with C4C

batter was very elastic, almost dough-like. It also took slightly longer to cook.

What about the taste and texture? The taste was nearly identical though the texture was not. The crumb was softer and gummier than quick breads made with wheat flour. That being said, it’s less dense and gummy than many of the gluten-free products I’ve tried.

I think the product is worth more testing. Up next? Scones, biscuits, pancakes? And at $19.95 per three pound bag, I’m going to make the most of it.

–by Jenny Turknett, Food & More blog

– Jenny Turknett writes about Southern and Neighborhood Fare for the AJC Dining Team.

3 comments Add your comment

GF

September 6th, 2011
11:54 am

Eager to hear about your experiments with scones, biscuits, and pancakes, Jenny. And maybe toll-house chocolate chip cookies? Thanks for testing it out!

Daisy

September 7th, 2011
10:11 am

I’ll be interested to try it–I have had good luck with King Arthur Flour’s gluten-free flour blend, I find I can substitute it with no problem in most recipes. And it is a bit cheaper than this one.

gern

September 8th, 2011
4:30 pm

Who cares about breads? Who does it work for frying?