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Gluten-Free Flour from The French Laundry

You've probably heard of The French Laundry, Thomas Keller's famous restaurant in Yountville, up in Napa wine country. Responding to increasing customer pleas for gluten-free dishes, Lena Kwak, the restaurant's culinary researcher, developed a gluten-free flour. This has got to be a godsend to gluten-sensitive eaters who cook even minimally at home -- especially if you bake desserts.

It's a blend of flours from white and brown rice, tapioca, potatoes, potato starch, cornstarch, and milk powder. You replace the wheat flour on a one-for-one basis, hence the name Cup4Cup. My scanty information doesn't mention whether it can replace flour in gumbo roux -- but, y'know, by the time you've got that roux cooked to the proper mahogany color, it's probably lost all trace of gluten anyway, so no worries. (Except for the carbs.)

I've tried some frozen gluten-free pastas and actually prefer the shells to regular flour -- more fragile, light, delicate. Ditto gluten-free cookies.

A New York Times food writer endorsed it after testing it on a pound cake, a chocolate cake, and a pie crust. The cake textures were more delicate than usual, and the pie crust was best rolled a little thicker than usual for easier handling.

The bad news is the price. Cup4Cup Gluten Free flour comes in a three-pound sack for $19.95 at Williams Sonoma stores and from williams-sonoma.com. But it's got Thomas Keller's exalted blessing, and that's not chopped liver.

Pictured: exterior of The French Laundry

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You've probably heard of The French Laundry, Thomas Keller's famous restaurant in Yountville, up in Napa wine country. Responding to increasing customer pleas for gluten-free dishes, Lena Kwak, the restaurant's culinary researcher, developed a gluten-free flour. This has got to be a godsend to gluten-sensitive eaters who cook even minimally at home -- especially if you bake desserts.

It's a blend of flours from white and brown rice, tapioca, potatoes, potato starch, cornstarch, and milk powder. You replace the wheat flour on a one-for-one basis, hence the name Cup4Cup. My scanty information doesn't mention whether it can replace flour in gumbo roux -- but, y'know, by the time you've got that roux cooked to the proper mahogany color, it's probably lost all trace of gluten anyway, so no worries. (Except for the carbs.)

I've tried some frozen gluten-free pastas and actually prefer the shells to regular flour -- more fragile, light, delicate. Ditto gluten-free cookies.

A New York Times food writer endorsed it after testing it on a pound cake, a chocolate cake, and a pie crust. The cake textures were more delicate than usual, and the pie crust was best rolled a little thicker than usual for easier handling.

The bad news is the price. Cup4Cup Gluten Free flour comes in a three-pound sack for $19.95 at Williams Sonoma stores and from williams-sonoma.com. But it's got Thomas Keller's exalted blessing, and that's not chopped liver.

Pictured: exterior of The French Laundry

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Comments
1

The only people that should be on a gluten free diet are those diagnosed with Celiac disease. A diet without whole grains and fiber is eliminating the most important dietary requirement. You can overdo proteins and you can eat too many carbs, but a gluten-free diet is a fad and is not healthy in the long run.

Aug. 25, 2011

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4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
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