Last spring (that shows you how behind I am) I had the pleasure of attending a cooking class with Jules Shepard who makes a great All Purpose Gluten Free Flour.
Before we get to the flour and recipes, I have to tell you about Jules. I really enjoyed meeting her and being in her class. You leave her class feeling like you have a new gluten free friend. She is a Mom of two, has been gluten free for over ten years, and is completely devoted to "the cause." That is, making life better and easier for everyone on the GF diet.
She shared a lot of great tips, but two things that she said, actually that she lives by, stuck in my brain:
Regardless of whether or not we ever try the recipes, it is Jules' goal that everyone leave her GF baking class feeling inspired to try new things and with a general feeling that "we can have our gluten free cake and eat it too." That living gluten free does not mean leaving without. That we can have good baklava and scones and bread.
Second, that eating gluten free does not mean you have to eat bad food. Okay, how many of us have bought and consumed bad GF food? I know we all have because, in all honesty, there is a lot of it on the market. And sometimes it seems the only choice.
Jules implored us to STOP eating bad food!!
Not eating bad food is a lot easier to do with her flour which makes baking gluten free extremely easy - yes I said easy.
Now to the flour - Jules has formulated a great gluten free all purpose flour. If you are looking for that one bag of GF flour to put into your counter-top flour canister for everyday use, then you should give this flour a try. For most recipes, you can substitute this flour one-for-one for wheat flour.
During the class, Jules demonstrated the flour by making a chocolate cake, biscuits, scones and bread. We spent the next week trying out the flour ourselves. First we made the scones and they were delicious! They have actually become a family favorite and our easy to play with to change to your taste. We have added chocolate chips and blueberries (not together). I also add a couple tablespoons of ground flax and rice bran just to up the health factor. They are great warmed and drizzled with honey.
JULES' SCONES / SHORTCAKES
This family favorite produces a light, semi-sweet scone that does not crumble, and is good on its own for breakfast or tea, or in milk or berries for a shortcake-type dessert. As with many of my baking recipes, yogurt is used for moistness, but it shouldn’t be overlooked for flavor. There is no reason to use plain yogurt in a baking recipe! Take advantage of the opportunity to liven up your creations by experimenting with yogurt flavors, and try some of the great new coconut or soy yogurt out there if you are avoiding dairy.
2 cups Jules Gluten Free All Purpose Flour
1/4 cup granulated cane sugar
2 tsp. gluten-free baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
4 Tbs. butter or non-dairy alternative (I like Earth Balance® Shortening or Buttery Sticks)
2 large eggs (or egg substitute)
3/4 cup vanilla yogurt (dairy, soy or coconut work best)
1/2 cup fresh or frozen berries; raisins; orange rind; chopped nuts; chocolate chips; etc. (optional for shortcakes)
cinnamon-sugar to sprinkle on the tops before baking
Preheat oven to 400 F.
Whisk together all dry ingredients in a large bottom bowl. Cut butter into the dry ingredients using a pastry cutter or two knives. Stir in the eggs and yogurt.
If making scones, add to final mixture any berries, nuts, raisins, etc. Scoop heaping tablespoonfuls onto a parchment-lined baking sheet and bake for 10 -12 minutes, until the tops are lightly browned and there are no uncooked portions peeking through. Do not overcook, though.
If making shortcakes, roll out onto a surface dusted with Jules Gluten Free All Purpose Flour to a thickness of about ¾ inch. Cut into circles or other shapes with biscuits or cookie cutters. Place onto a greased cookie sheet and brush the tops with butter or non-dairy substitute and sprinkle with a pre-made cinnamon and sugar mixture. Bake for 8-10 minutes, just until the tops are lightly browned. Do not overcook!
Copyright 2009 Jules E. Dowler Shepard
NOTE: We make these with the coconut yogurt and they turn out great.
After trying several of her recipes, we had to put the claim that you can use it as a one-for-one exchange with wheat flour recipes to the test.
The ultimate test was my Grandma's Sugar Cookie recipe. These are the cookies that I baked with my Grandma, sitting in the nook of the cabinets on her counter, at her picturesque farm in Iowa. These are the cookies that she lovingly baked for me and mailed to me when I went away to college, individually wrapped in saran wrap in a shoe box. I mailed the same cookies back to my Grandpa after she died.
I have tried these before using my own flour combinations. They turned out great, but are a very delicate, fragile cookies.
With Jules flour, they were even better. In fact, everyone that I feed them too absolutely praised and loved them.
GRANDMA'S SUGAR COOKIES WITH JULES' GLUTEN FREE FLOUR
·1 cup butter at room temperature (Earth Balance for CF) ***the butter really needs to be at room temperature.If it is too melted, your cookies will turn out flat.
·1 ½ cup sugar (I use fine baking sugar but I am sure regular would work )
·1 t GF baking soda in 1 T milk (Almond Milk for CF)
·1 t lemon juice
·1 t vanilla
·1 t salt
·3 cups Jules Gluten Free All Purpose Flour
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Stir together the GF baking soda and milk and set aside.
Cream the butter.Add the sugar and beat until light and fluffy.
Add the eggs, baking soda mixture, lemon juice and vanilla, and beat well.
Combine the salt and GF flour.Add to the creamed mixture and mix until just together.
Drop in walnut (you can tell this is an old recipe) shaped balls on a cookie sheet that has been lined with parchment paper.
Bake at 350 degrees F for 8 minutes.
WHERE TO BUY JULES GLUTEN FREE FLOUR:
You can order it through Jules' website . Join her weekly recipe email list while you are there.
If you live in the Seattle-area, you can purchase Jules GF flour at Savory Moments in Redmond.
WHERE TO FIND JULES:
If you live in the Seattle area, you can catch a class with Jules at Savory Moments in Redmond, October 23 - October 25th.
Appetizer and Wine (21 and older) Friday October 23rd from 6:00-9:00 pm
Kid's Baking Class (ages 6 and up) Saturday October 24th from 1:00-4:00
General Baking SessionSunday October 25th from 2:00-5:00
Call Savory Moment for more information and to reserve your space at (425) 867-1516