Several weeks ago, this Examiner received samples from Jules Gluten Free, which produces gluten-free flour and a variety of baking mixes. For those unfamiliar with the brand, after being diagnosed with celiac disease in 1999, Jules Dowler Shepard set out to create a line of gluten-free flour and baking mixes that would rival conventional ones in performance and taste. She now sells her products nationally and has also authored several books, including a cookbook entitled Free For All Cooking, available from Barnes & Noble, Borders, Amazon and most major book retailers.
We tested Jules’ cookie mix, following package directions and adding our own eggs, palm shortening, butter and other add-ins. Company representatives had advised us beforehand to ensure all ingredients were at room temperature before proceeding and to chill or freeze the batter prior to baking, as this can have an impact on results (this is on the package, but it’s a good reminder for those prone to cutting corners). Following this advice, the batter mixed up quickly and easily, with minimal mess, and was not gritty.
One of the great things about this mix is that it was idiot-proof. The instructions state to add the chocolate chips or other add-ins prior to chilling or freezing the dough, but we forgot, and had to work them in with our hands just before baking. It didn’t affect the quality in the slightest. The cookies turned out crispy on the outside and chewy on the inside and tasted delicious.
Next, we put the all-purpose flour to the test using one of the recipes available on the Jules Gluten Free website – Oatmeal Cake – making minor substitutions for ingredients we were lacking. The flour was an absolute dream to bake with – powdery and feather-light and the closest thing to conventional all-purpose flour this Examiner has used since going gluten free a decade ago. In fact, we’d say it performed even better than its conventional counterpart, with a lighter weight and completely lump-free consistency that eliminated the need for sifting. We were highly impressed with the performance before the cake even went into the oven.
Fast forward one hour and what emerged was a moist and luscious oatmeal cake that was identical to a conventional baked good in texture. It was wholesome and flavorful with a subtle sweetness. The cake was half gone within 24 hours – a definite hit.
Those interested in receiving Jules’ free recipe e-newsletter can subscribe on her website.