New Product: Thomas Keller and Williams-Sonoma offer GF Flour

One of our favorite things to do around here is share new gluten-free products with you, which makes today’s post a breeze to write.

There’s a new gluten-free flour blend on the market, developed exclusively for William-Sonoma by Thomas Keller and Lena Kwak of California’s iconic restaurant, French Laundry.

Earlier this week, the New York Times posted a favorable review of the flour, called C4C (which stands for Cup4Cup, both the ratio at which they recommend subbing this flour for wheat flour and the name of Keller and Kwak’s company).

The review examined the flour for how well it functions as an ingredient; reviewer Florence Fabricant does not normally keep a gluten-free diet. In her words:

“I tried it in a poundcake, a chocolate cake and a pie crust. It works very well, though the cake textures were more delicate than usual and I found that the pie crust was best rolled somewhat thicker for ease of handling….”

You can also read a review (including recipes and photos) at Gluten For Punishment.

The flour is available in Williams-Sonoma stores and on their website, and will soon be available at Keller’s Bouchon bakeries as well. A 3-pound bag is $19.95. For those of you with multiple sensitivities, here’s the ingredient list: cornstarch, white rice flour, brown rice flour, milk powder, tapioca flour, potato starch, xanthan gum.

Two things worth noting:

  • there are several other flour blends on the market, many of which are certified gluten-free (as of press time, we’ve got no information on this flour’s certification status).
  • where there’s gluten-free flour, there could certainly be gluten-free menus in the works…mega-exciting, especially since the best duck confit this blogger’s ever had was at Keller’s Bouchon Bistro in Vegas.

What are your thoughts? When you bake gluten-free, what flour do you like to use?


22 thoughts on “New Product: Thomas Keller and Williams-Sonoma offer GF Flour”

  1. I was very excited to see this product. My excitement was halted when I realized this flour blend isn’t casein free. Too bad. A high percentage of people with gluten intolerance are also dairy intolerant. I’m not sure how popular this product will be with the demographic they are trying to please.

  2. It sounds wonderful. Too bad it has cornstarch and milk powder – no wonder it’s good. I bake with a sorghum blend or a rice blend flour.

  3. I’m sure this new blend works well but I cannot afford to pay $19.99 for 3 lbs when I can find GF flour mixes for much cheaper in other places. I thank Mr. Keller for bringing attention to our disease but this blend does not appeal to middle class people like me.

  4. it is great that they have a GF flour, but disappointing that it has milk powder. Many people with Celiac disease have allergies to dairy or are vegan (I’m both). I will never buy this flour because it isn’t vegan and free of allergens. Everyone I know that has Celiac disease also doesn’t eat dairy.

  5. I agree with the comments above! I have Celiac disease and suffer from dairy allergies. I was so excited when I saw this and then realized I will be unable to use it. Happy that I read the entire article.

  6. I would not buy this flour because it has very little nutrition to it. I prefer to use combinations of other flours such as sorghum. teff, quinoa, millet, garfava and soy in combination with starches. I’ve learned to bake by weights instead of volume and find it much easier and more accurate all around. It took some time to learn to do this but there are a lot of gf cooking blogs out there to help you.

  7. I think this is great!! Not everyone who has Celiac disease has dairy problems. In fact I found that after being GF for 8 years I can drink milk without any problems. My kids also can eat milk products and are all Celiac. And if this makes it easier for people to make us food then I am all for it. The more products the better. So tired of you “glass half empty” people!

  8. This is very expensive for the lack of nutrition. I truly appreciate your news and keeping us up to date about what is new and available. I really like the flour combination of Pamela’s Baking & Pancake Mix. It is useful for all recipes.

  9. My favorite gluten free flour blend is Cheatin’ Wheat by The Last Crumb Bakery. It never disappoints me, and truly is a “cup for cup” substitution in my favorite recipes. I add my xanthan gum according to the package directions for cookies, cakes, etc and it works out great (instead of having a specific amount already in the flour). I even make Nestle Toll House cookies and just follow the recipe on the bag! It never leaves an after-taste or a grainy feeling. Since we have gluten and dairy allergies, it is also great that it doesn’t include any casein.

  10. I am thrilled to have a new option for a flour substitute. Both of my children have celiac disease but do not have a milk sensitivity/allergy. William Sonoma is known for its high quality so I am grateful that they have found a GF option that they will carry. Hopefully this will allow for more GF foods.

  11. I agree with other comments that observe that this is a pricey gluten-free flour blend considering that the first ingredient is traditionally low-cost cornstarch and also that this flour is nutrient deficient. Why eat foods, gluten-free or not that don’t offer nutritional value?

  12. I am very surprised that they have milk powder in their flour blend. It is a well-known fact that almost all Celiacs have lactose intolerance, and it is becoming very common for those of us with gluten intolerance to find out we have a casein protein allergy (VERY common) or a whey protein allergy, meaning we can’t have any milk/milk products. I was excited to hear about another flour blend, but my enthusiasm has died. And I second the wonderful flour blends by Pamela, as well as Bob’s Red Mill.

  13. Looking forward to trying this mix. I have celiac but can tolerate dairy. The price is not unreasonable if the product is good.

  14. I truly think it is great that there are more GF products available. Personally I think the C4C is a little costly. The girls at the Last Crumb Bakery in Morrison Colorado have a cup for cup flour called Cheatin’ Wheat, it is the best! I buy a 25lb bag for $65. We can make anything we had before our discovery that my kids & husband were celiac’s. Or as we say “silly yaks”! Make it a great GF life no matter what you use.

  15. We used Kwak and Keller’s C4C in the chocolate cake with peanut butter icing recipes he and a colleague developed, and after that in scones and madeleines. Overall, the results were quite superior to what we have found with Authentic Foods Multiblend, Authentic Foods Classic Blend, Pamela’s, Bob’s Redmill, or any other standard flour blend. It was extraordinary to me to see my daughter’s eyes light up after she’d tasted her first deeply chocolate cake in 8 years, and to have her say, “mom, I think this is what I’ve been missing all those years.” Anything we can do to encourage high-quality GF product development should be done, whether or not it suits those with any or all related allergies, and whether or not it has high nutritional value. (Not every serving of food offers that — and certainly not those made of wheat flour!) If good GF products are developed, further dietary innovations for other intolerance sufferers won’t be far behind.

  16. I, too, feel that the Williams-Sonoma flour is too pricey for my use. Also I believe that there are more Celiacs without dairy sensitivities than with.
    I am happy to hear about Cheatin’ Wheat flour. Will try to find out where to buy it.

  17. While it’s nice to see many companies are now offering gluten free products, I personally find most of them lacking in nutrition. I make pancakes and waffles and bake regularly with millet, quinoa, amaranth, brown rice, sorghum and other whole grain flours. And why is it so many manufacturers have to use palm and other high saturated oils in their products? There are lots of healthier alternatives.

    1. Brittany Angell our resident expect says, “Coconut Flour is a fluffy textured gluten free flour that is high in protein and fiber. It is highly absorbent and often requires less liquid when baking. Unlike the other gluten free flours is lacks “stickiness” and does not hold together well on its own. For this reason its often used in combination with eggs for their binding abilities. Coconut flour works best when used in Pancake, Muffin, Cake and Cookie Recipes. I purchase my coconut flour from NutsOnline.com and Tropical Traditions”.

  18. Majority gluten sensitized folks are also Dairy/Casein sensitive! And, cornstarch is…more corn… no no. Local flour blenders provide good products, sticking to them, thanks.

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