Now as you are well aware, I am far from gluten-free. I do, however, enjoy gluten free foods from time to time. Usually when I bake gluten free items, I will just bake something that doesn’t require flour rather than something that substitutes a “gluten free” flour. However, the folks over at Butterfly Gluten Free Flour were kind enough to send me a bit of their flours to try out and being the curious cat that I am, I just had to try them out.
These flour blends allow you to replace your normal gluten-filled flour 1-1 in recipes. So if you would normally use 1 cup of regular all purpose flour, 1 cup of the gluten-free stuff will replace it. Yay for no maths!
I used the flours in three applications – a quick bread (banana bread – easy baseline recipe), a cookie – palmiers, this was due to our November Baked Occasions, and as a pizza.
Quick bread (Banana) – For this application I almost preferred the gluten free version to the gluten-filled one. The crumb was more tender and I felt the banana flavor was more pronounced than in the flour-filled version. I’ve included my go-to recipe below, but feel free to use your own favorite recipe!
You will notice, however, that the GF version (left) did not rise as high as the gluten version and didn’t get the signature “dome” on top. It also browned (and cooked) more quickly than the regular bread by just a few minutes. The GF bread was done about 5 minutes before the standard banana bread, so make sure to check it earlier than you would check your regular recipe. If your bread is browning too quickly, then you’ll want to cover it loosely with some aluminum foil.
Palmiers – So, structure is not the gluten free product’s strong suit, so things like rolling and folding proved difficult here. Eventually I worked it out with a dough scraper and plastic wrap but I hated my life for the first portion of this.
Once baked, I can honestly say that there was no discernible difference between the gluten free and gluten filled versions here. If I had more flour I would love to try a standard chocolate chip or drop cookie with the GF flour to see how they stack up.
Pizza – Good (probably?) – Now I made the same dough with GF bread flour and with regular bread flour. While the regular bread flour version became poofy and stretchy and glorious. It baked up with big bubbles and a chewy crust. The gluten free version poofed slightly, but was more sticky than stretchy. It tore when trying to do a traditional pizza dough “stretch” so I ended up just sort of patting it into a round pizza shape.
Now by the time the pizza finished cooking, the natural light had disappeared, so my good friend Shannon was kind enough to provide us with an artistic rendition of my pizza. Isn’t she just the best?
As you can see from the picture above, although the gluten-free crust browned just as well as the gluten crust, it remained flat and didn’t have any of the much-coveted bubbles that the standard dough did. So, is it as good as gluten-filled pizza? No. But if you can’t or don’t want to eat gluten, did it make a pizza? It sure did. It looked and tasted fine, just didn’t have the same chewy, bubbly texture as a regular dough does.
(In case you’re thinking to yourself, “Come on, Natalie, the pizza pictures couldn’t POSSIBLY be that bad, could they?” – Yes, they could. See below for proof.)
Overall, I would say the flours performed very well. Although it was more difficult to work with than regular flour in applications that required working by hand (pizza dough, rolling, etc), that is expected due to the lack of, well, gluten (duh). Gluten binds things and so it would make sense that products without gluten would have less structure and therefor things like rolling and stretching would be more difficult.
All items were, however, still delicious. In easier applications that only required regular mixing (quick breads and cookies) you won’t even notice the gluten is missing! You can learn more about Butterfly and find gluten free recipes on their website or Facebook!
This is my go-to banana bread recipe - it's the perfect staple recipe adapted from Smitten Kitchen .
- 4 mashed bananas
- 1/3 C melted butter
- 3/4 C brown sugar
- 1 large egg, beaten
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 Tbsp bourbon (optional)
- 1 tsp baking soda
- Pinch of salt
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
- Tiny pinch ground cloves
- 1 1/2 C AP flour
- Optional additions: Chocolate chips, streusel topping
- Preheat oven to 350F; Grease 1 loaf pan and sprinkle with cinnamon-sugar (sprinkling optional)
- In medium bowl whisk together AP flour with salt and spices. Set aside
- In large bowl mix mashed banana and melted butter with spoon. Stir in sugar, egg, vanilla, and bourbon.
- Stir in flour mixture in 2 additions being careful not to over-mix. Pour into prepared loaf pan and bake 50-60 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean.
*If you want to keep this a “one-bowl” recipe, start with mixing the banana & butter, then sugar, egg, vanilla, (bourbon, if using). After that, stir in the spices, then sprinkle baking soda and salt over top, and lastly stir in the flour (followed by chocolate chips, if using).
Disclaimer: The product reviewed was received free of charge in exchange for an honest review. As always, the opinions stated on Wee Eats are my own and not affected by any exchange of goods.