Finding a Balance with King Arthur Gluten Free Mixes & Flour

Some days simply adding oil and a few xgfx substitutes to create something wonderfully tasty is the ultimate way to go. There are a bahbillion reasons why store-bought mixes and flour blends can be your best friend in a pinch. Sometimes the convenience more than makes up for the fact that they can be a little pricy. Just remember to tread carefully, dear friends – not all blends and mixes are intended to be baked into vegan goodies. Many of these mixes call for the use of eggs and other ickies, so sussing out which xgfx substitutes work best with each mix is something you’ve gotta play around with. It might be a bit frustrating at first, but fear not – the xgfx review squadron is here to help!

King Arthur Flour Gluten-Free Baking Mixes

Tested: Gluten Free Flour, Pizza Crust, Cookies, Brownies, Chocolate Cake, Muffins, Pancakes, and Bread Mixes

Even the experienced baker occasionally loves a bit of convenience. When I received a huge box from King Arthur Flour I was beyond excited just thinking about the prospect of easy baking. The company has 8 new gluten-free mixes on the market: pizza crust, cookies, brownies, chocolate cake, gluten free flour, muffins, pancakes, and bread. Each one is made with their special flour blend, which seems to be a combination of tapioca starch and brown rice flour.

I decided to try out the bread and cookies first. I immediately noticed that the packaging boasted of being processed in an allergen-free facility, but almost every single mix called for eggs and dairy with no suggested substitute. This was a real bummer because I had to decide on my own which egg replacer would work best for each mix. I went with Ener-G egg replacer for the bread and ground flax for the brownies. The bread turned out great! Nice, crisp crust and a tender inside. It was perfect for sandwiches, toasting, and even French toast. The brownies, on the other hand, were a pile of goo! It was seriously disheartening because the batter had tasted so good before it went into the oven. It even looked perfect when I took it out, but it liquified as it cooled. From that point, I scratched flax from the egg replacer list.


Next, I went with the cookies and muffins. The great thing about these mixes is that they can definitely be personalized. There is an option for mix-ins listed on the back of each box. When it came to egg replacers, I used Ener-G for the cookies and a yogurt/cornstarch combo for the muffins. The cookies were extremely delicate straight out of the oven, so I waited 10 minutes before transferring to a cooling sheet. They were perfectly fine when refrigerated, but went back to a delicate texture when left at room temperature. The flavor was a tad on the salty side, which I gather had to do with salt in the mix, egg replacer, and margarine I used. The muffins were really good, but maybe just a touch too moist and delicate. After this baking day, I decided to stick with yogurt or Ener-G for the mixes.

Next up was pizza! The crust was really quick and easy to make. I used Ener-G, and it came out perfectly. Crisp and hearty. Perfect for piling on the toppings. I would definitely buy this mix again.

After pizza, I was craving some dessert. The chocolate cake was something I wanted to love, but the combo of using yogurt as the egg replacer and following the mixing instructions (overmixing much) made the gummiest cake I’ve ever eaten. I tried to fix it up, but it was too much for me to handle. I could only get one piece down. Seriously, the mixing instructions for this seemed ridiculous. Way too long for cake.

As for the gluten free flour mix, I substituted it in my favorite pancake recipe. It was splendid! The pancakes came out a little flatter, but they were crisp on the outside and still very fluffy! In a side by side comparison, I wouldn’t be able to tell the difference. This flour mix would work great as a substitution for regular flour in recipes, but steer clear of using this in yeast breads.

My final thoughts on this product: purchase at your own risk. The egg replacer thing is a bigger deal than I thought it would be. Ener-G gave consistent results, but it resulted in a saltier taste. Non-dairy yogurt held up well but made everything extremely moist. I have a feeling that a yogurt/Ener-G combo would be perfect. It’s just a lot of trial and error with these mixes.

If you are still feeling risky, you can buy these at stores that sell King Arthur Flour products or online. The mixes run between $7-8.

Pros:

  • Pizza crust and bread are super good.
  • Brownie, cookie, and muffin mixes allow for personalization with mix-ins.
  • Quick and easy.

Cons:

  • Expensive for boxed mixes.
  • Calls for eggs and dairy with no suggested substitution for vegans or people with allergies.
  • Pretty inconsistent results if you don’t use the right kind of egg replacer.

Reviewed by Mo Martin

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7 Comments

  1. Posted May 18, 2011 at 10:20 am | Permalink

    i am amazed/shocked at how amazing the pizza crust came out! it looks amazing!

    i’d love to see a picture of your bread after making it- i recently tried a pre-packaged gf bread mix and it turned out terrible.

    it’s interesting to me that two of the most difficult xgfx things to make-bread and pizza crust, the mix turns out great, but standard things such as cake and brownies ends in a big miss!

    • jessy
      Posted May 18, 2011 at 11:24 am | Permalink

      i thought her pizza dough looked awesome too, Caitlin! i was happyfaced to hear Mo liked it so much – i might have to give it a whirl!

      i do find it kinda funny on the cakes and brownies ending up not so awesomely. it always leaves me scratching my head because when i make them at home from scratch i don’t have any problems, it’s just with the many of those store-bought mixes. it turns out king arthur mentions using flax or starch based substitutes don’t work well with their brownies, so i’m wondering if a silken tofu, banana, or perhaps xgfx yogurt of sorts might work – or a combination of them. i truly believe more companies will start recognizing this issue and i bet we see more gluten free mixes and flour blends that work well for everyone. i’ve got my fingers crossed!

    • Posted May 18, 2011 at 12:30 pm | Permalink

      You know, I think the cake and brownies would have worked if I had just attempted a combo egg replacer. I thought about using silken tofu in the brownies but thought it might come out gummy. I wish I had read the info about not using flax before I started. That kinda stuff would be helpful on the box. Haha.

      The flavors were really good, but it is so tricky to find the right combo when the company just tests the mixes with eggs.

  2. Posted May 18, 2011 at 12:14 pm | Permalink

    Oh~
    I’d love a side by side review between this pizza mix and Bob’s. I’m still searching for the crust that makes me sing! We have an upscale vegan restaurant here in Portland (Portobello’s) and they do an amazing xgfx pizza. Their crust seems to be grilled in oil in a cast iron skillet, sorta like Pan Pizza. It is sooOOo good, but I have no idea what sort of flour base it has.

    xo
    kittee

  3. Posted May 18, 2011 at 1:22 pm | Permalink

    Thanks for the honest review! We haven’t done a lot of testing with different combinations of egg substitutes for these mixes, so we always appreciate this kind of feedback – it’ll help us better serve our customers in the future. That said, we do note on the product page for brownies that flax- or starch-based egg replacers don’t work well – and I hope we’ll be able to incorporate that right on the box to prevent this problem in the future! Thanks again.

  4. Posted May 28, 2011 at 4:45 am | Permalink

    For the chocolate cake, is an egg replacer absolutely necessary? It seems most vegan chocolate cake recipes I use/come across call for equal amounts of both baking soda and baking powder. On that note, I have always found vegan brownies a challenge, even with gluten! Always to dry or too gummy.

  5. Posted May 28, 2011 at 5:03 am | Permalink

    And I love this review! I’m totally going to be making that pizza!

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