Flour Update–We are Back and We are Better!
Just in case you missed our email dated August 3, we suspended sale of Baking Free gluten-free all purpose flour because our long-time manufacturer, NuWorld Foods discontinued that portion of their business. This announcement caught us with little stock as they were holding (but not filling) two of our orders. NuWorld Foods had been our manufacturer for almost 10 years because their quality and reliability had been outstanding.
With no notice, we urgently began researching a new manufacturer that would be our new source for reliable stock. We are delighted with the results we are getting from a sample batch of our formulation that Firebird Artisan Mills has prepared in their 100% dedicated gluten- and allergen-free facility. We have had several professional and home bakers test the product with good results. While there are some differences, which I will discuss, everyone agreed that this new product is every bit as good as our original gluten-free flour. Now that we are assured that the new product will provide satisfaction to our gluten-free bakers, our first order has been placed and will be available by the end of the first week in September. You should note that our first order is for 25 pound bags. Soon, we hope to place an order for 5 pound bags to have in stock also.
One of our test bakers, Audrey D., Canton KS, says, “We baked bread, homemade pizza crust, made pancakes, chocolate chip cookies, We baked bread, homemade pizza crust, pancakes, chocolate chip cookies, biscuits, and hamburger buns! The only difference was the batter seems to be just a bit thicker. It’s really an insignificant difference – so not an issue at all. Taste wise – everything tasted just like normal. Texture wise – everything was great. So – in my opinion – the flour is a go!”
Stacy H., Tampa FL, one of our commercial bakers, baked cookies that “tasted just the same!” She did not indicate that she made any adjustments to the recipe and said she would continue to order and use the new gluten-free flour in her business.
Deborah F., Liverpool NY, also one of our commercial bakers, said she had baked pizza crust that turned out great! Pizza is her second best selling product so it is important that this is right. Her top seller, a cinnamon bread, will need more to be adjusted as the batter felt heavy, although the results were satisfactory.
I, of course, tried the new flour. I baked gluten-free bread in the Cuisinart bread machine, cupcakes, pancakes and cookies. I was very satisfied with the results even though in some recipes I felt the batter was slightly heavier. The texture and the flavor in each item were excellent. In fact, I like the flavor even more!
We approached the manufacturer to discuss the heaviness of some batters and they recommended that because they process all their flour at a fine or ultra-fine texture which can mean that we should use slightly less flour or slightly more wet ingredients to achieve the same feel in the batter. Again, this was a very minor problem for our bakers, but something to know going forward.
Taking all things into consideration, I think the new product is a winner! I will over the next few weeks be trying more recipes to determine if there are any other issues we need to address, but with what I have experienced so far–I think we are back in business–and with a better product!